J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor (1)

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Artist RIAS Kammerchor
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
René Jacobs conductor
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 95110
EAN code 5028421951102
Release February 2015

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About this release

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor is regarded by many as one of the supreme achievements of Western classical music. Even before its first complete performance, the Swiss music historian and publisher Hans Georg Nägeli described it as the “greatest musical masterpiece of all times and nations”. Many scholars believe that, along with the Art of Fugue and the Musical Offering, the work presents a summation of Bach’s musicianship as well as the most glorious presentation of the composer’s deeply held religious beliefs. Much of the Mass gave new form to vocal music that Bach had composed throughout his career, some of which was not from sacred sources (a point of contention for Leipzig churchgoers). The Kyrie and Gloria (known as the “Missa”) had been written as an application for the post of court composer at Dresden. The remaining movements, the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, turn the “Missa” into a “Missa tota”: the full setting of the Ordinary of the Mass. The enormous length of the final product (around two hours in duration) was clearly beyond the requirements of the divine service in Leipzig and indeed any liturgical purpose; a matter which remains the subject of scholarly debate. Indeed, it is probably due to its scale that the complete work wasn’t performed in Bach’s lifetime. The music itself is full of a variety of styles. In the Kyrie, Bach explores three different forms of musical expression in an impassioned entreaty for God’s mercy. He brings in trumpets and drums to sing the praises of the Lord in the Gloria, Credo and Sanctus, and, as so often before, saves one of his most exquisite and poignant musical phrases to express the idea of peace in the ‘et in terra pax’. The dramatic contrast forged between the ‘Crucifixus’ and ‘Et resurrexit’ movements of the Credo serve as a dramatic representation of the Christian statement of belief, and the lamenting Agnus Dei aria gives way to a exultant chorus of ‘Dona nobis pacem’ (Grant us thy peace), bringing the vast score to its conclusion. René Jacobs directs the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in this reading, which was described as “Spacious and intimate … a compelling performance” by the BBC Music Magazine following its first release.
The Reissue of one of the finest recordings of Bach’s “Hohe Messe’!
This “compelling performance..spacious and intimate” (Gramophone) boasts of a line‐up of famous soloists: Christoph Prégardien, Matthias Goerne, Bernarda Fink and Hillevi Martinpelto, singers of world renown who have amply won their spurs in Early Music. René Jacobs and his Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the Rias Kammerchor count among
the best (if not THE best..) of Baroque ensembles and choirs around the world.

Other information:
The booklet includes extensive liner notes.
Full sung texts are available on www.brilliantclassics.com.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: I. Chorus. Kyrie eleison (A 5)
  2. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: II. Duet. Christe eleison (Two Sopranos)
  3. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: III. Chorus. Kyrie eleison (A 4)
  4. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: IV. Chorus. Gloria in excelsis Deo (A 5)
  5. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: V. Chorus. Et in terra pax hominibus (A 5)
  6. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: VI. Aria. Laudamus te (Soprano II)
  7. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: VII. Chorus. Gratias agimus tibi (A 4)
  8. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: VIII. Duet Domine Deus (Soprano I, Tenor)
  9. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: IX. Chorus. Qui tollis peccata mundi (A 4, Soloists)
  10. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: X. Aria. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris (Alto)
  11. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: XI. Aria. Quoniam tu solus Sanctus (Bass II)
  12. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 1: XII. Chorus. Cum Sancto Spiritu (A 5)

Disk 2

  1. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: I. Chorus. Credo in unum Deum (A 5)
  2. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: II. Chorus. Patrem omnipotentem (A 4)
  3. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: III. Duet. Et in unum Dominum (Soprano I, Alto)
  4. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: IV. Chorus & Soloists. Et incarnatus est (A 5)
  5. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: V. Chorus. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis (A 4)
  6. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: VI. Chorus & Soloists. Et resurrexit tertia die (A 5)
  7. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: VII. Aria. Et in Spiritum Sanctum (Bass)
  8. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: VIII. Chorus. Confiteor unum baptisma etiarn pro nobis (A 5)
  9. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 2: IX. Chorus. Et expecto resurrectionem (A 5)
  10. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 3: Chorus. Sanctus (A 6)
  11. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 4: I. Chorus. Osanna in excelsis (A 8)
  12. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 4: II. Aria. Benedictus (Tenor)
  13. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 4: III. Chorus. Osanna in excelsis (A 8)
  14. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 4: IV. Aria. Agnus Dei (Soprano II)
  15. Mass in B Minor BWV 232, Pt. 4: V. Chorus. Dona nobis pacem (A 4)