Author Topic: Bach: Mass in B minor  (Read 169352 times)

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Offline LKB

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #220 on: March 11, 2022, 06:42:44 PM »
When l was introduced to the work, the " hot " new recording ( heavily promoted by my boss at Tower Records ) was Marriner's with his ASMF on Philips.

It still seems to me a good performance, released just before HIP recordings started to have a real impact, though the soloists' contributions seem more questionable these days. So a qualified recommendation for anyone who is not hip to HIP.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #221 on: March 12, 2022, 04:34:41 AM »
How is Kuijken?

Online San Antone

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #222 on: March 13, 2022, 06:18:11 AM »
I haven't heard any HIP performances that match my 3 all time favorite interpreters: Corboz, Rilling and Richter.

None of your choices nor any modern recordings can match my three favorite OVPP recordings: Rifkin, Kuijken, and Junghanel.

Offline Chaszz

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #223 on: March 17, 2022, 09:14:34 AM »
Please excuse me for coming here in mid-stream; I just noticed this thread. I don't have time to go through all the prior posts so will just beg pardon and write about my utter dissatisfaction with the tempi in HIP interpretations of the B Minor Mass. I am trying to enable my adult children to enjoy the Mass, and send them music files or links on Youtube to do so.
Of my favorite chorus, Cum Sancto Spiritu, there is NOT ONE example anywhere among recent recordings that I can send them. I must go back into the past to find something that does the writing at all justice. I'm not asking for recommendations; I have already found and recorded copies of a few that will serve. I'm just discussing the utter barbarization of musical culture that has taken place among this generation of conductors. The trumpet double triplet at the climax of Cum Sancto Spiritu, so inspired and necessary at that climax, is just a smear in all current day recordings if it can even be distinguished at all in the runaway-locomotive chaos. This defacement alone puts the lie to any tempo decision than an HIP conductor can make. The architecture of the polyphony throughout this movement, a monument to genius, is destroyed like a building razed by Putin. For years I've been looking for a justification of these tempi and never found one. And the tempi in all Bach get faster and faster. This is desecration of art on the highest scale. It is far worse than the Romanticisation of Bach, longer and more languorous tempi, that took place in the 19th and early 20th centuries and is deplored by HIP conductors. Throwing the baby out with bath water, indeed. I am saddened immeasurably by the beauty younger generations have missed in Bach and will never recover.
It's as if a hammer were taken to Michelangelo. (Once again please forgive me for all the detailed discussion of this point I've undoubtedly(?)  missed in the prior pages as time doesn't permit me to search thru.) 

Offline KevinP

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #224 on: April 21, 2022, 12:34:16 AM »
I don't have time to go through all the prior posts so will just beg pardon and write about my utter dissatisfaction with the tempi in HIP interpretations of the B Minor Mass.


I'm not 100% opposed to the HIP movement, though some admirers of it have--perhaps unfairly--prejudiced me against it and I do my best to keep that in check.

What I find funny, if unfortunate, is how someone found a quote from one of Bach's sons saying that his father tended to take tempos pretty quickly. and since then, all recordings of the first movement have been nine minutes and some seconds or very close. Prior to that, they varied greatly, rarely that fast and with some recordings exceeding 18 minutes. At the now-standard tempo, it's a nice vocal fugue; slowed down, it takes on a beautiful, unearthly/heavenly quality.

Offline idia legray

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #225 on: July 03, 2022, 09:24:48 AM »
Which would you say is the best recording of this work? I know that it may be a matter of opinion, but I would appreciate 2 or 3 recommendations.
Karl Richter.

DizzyD

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #226 on: July 03, 2022, 09:30:53 AM »

I'm not 100% opposed to the HIP movement, though some admirers of it have--perhaps unfairly--prejudiced me against it and I do my best to keep that in check.

What I find funny, if unfortunate, is how someone found a quote from one of Bach's sons saying that his father tended to take tempos pretty quickly. and since then, all recordings of the first movement have been nine minutes and some seconds or very close. Prior to that, they varied greatly, rarely that fast and with some recordings exceeding 18 minutes. At the now-standard tempo, it's a nice vocal fugue; slowed down, it takes on a beautiful, unearthly/heavenly quality.
Totally agree, and I'm in the same boat. It seems that in a lot of HIP there's nothing slower than allegro moderato.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #227 on: July 03, 2022, 09:44:14 AM »
The first Kyrie is similar in affekt to the b minor fugue from WTK 1. It should be slowish, but not glacial.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

DizzyD

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #228 on: July 03, 2022, 10:01:20 AM »
The first Kyrie is similar in affekt to the b minor fugue from WTK 1. It should be slowish, but not glacial.
It's marked Largo in the score, so I think it should be slow, but maybe not Klemperer-slow. Some HIP recordings I've heard take even the Crucifixus at an allegretto pace. I wonder if that's due to the thinner textures of a HIP ensemble. The pre-HIP-dominance recordings of Rilling and Corboz are fairly lively but still let the music breathe.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #229 on: July 03, 2022, 10:16:17 AM »
The first Kyrie is similar in affekt to the b minor fugue from WTK 1. It should be slowish, but not glacial.

Spot on, I think.
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Offline KevinP

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #230 on: July 03, 2022, 02:38:38 PM »
It's marked Largo in the score, so I think it should be slow, but maybe not Klemperer-slow. Some HIP recordings I've heard take even the Crucifixus at an allegretto pace. I wonder if that's due to the thinner textures of a HIP ensemble. The pre-HIP-dominance recordings of Rilling and Corboz are fairly lively but still let the music breathe.

Richter is sometimes considered proto-hip, though that's not a term I particularly like. Defining someone by features that are developed later usually distorts something that isn't into something that is, and does so to justify the later movement. But he was the first to really scale back on the size of the choir, and as a result, could take faster tempi. Klemperer's chorus was so huge they effectively had natural speed limits.

This is why Richter's recordings remain my favourite. I don't think he was saying, 'I want to be noticed for going faster, so I'm going to use smaller forces' nor 'I'm doing it this way because history says that how it must have been.' It sounds like he preferred the sound of smaller forces, and the freedom to take things a little faster was a natural consequence. I can't think of an instance in which I completely disagree with his tempo choice. There are some times where he takes things faster or slower than I would have, were I a conductor, but he does it convincingly.

DizzyD

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #231 on: July 03, 2022, 02:43:29 PM »
Richter is sometimes considered proto-hip, though that's not a term I particularly like.
Me either. It makes it sound like HIP is some perfected state at which musicians have been aiming until finally hitting paydirt in the mid 20th century.
Quote
Defining someone by features that are developed later usually distorts something that isn't into something that is, and does so to justify the later movement. But he was the first to really scale back on the size of the choir, and as a result, could take faster tempi. Klemperer's chorus was so huge they effectively had natural speed limits.

This is why Richter's recordings remain my favourite. I don't think he was saying, 'I want to be noticed for going faster, so I'm going to use smaller forces' nor 'I'm doing it this way because history says that how it must have been.' It sounds like he preferred the sound of smaller forces, and the freedom to take things a little faster was a natural consequence. I can't think of an instance in which I completely disagree with his tempo choice. There are some times where he takes things faster or slower than I would have, were I a conductor, but he does it convincingly.
I'm a huge Richter fan too. I cherish my complete DG-Archiv Richter box set. Expensive, but I think it's still a bargain. I can't think of any other Bach recordings in which the instrumental parts are so beautifully balanced and distinct. And the singing is terrific. His recording of Handel's Messiah in German is absolutely luminous, although there are some cuts in the work that leave me scratching my head. (He recorded a complete version in English as well.)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 02:52:01 PM by DizzyD »

DavidW

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #232 on: July 03, 2022, 03:53:03 PM »
Richter is sometimes considered proto-hip, though that's not a term I particularly like. Defining someone by features that are developed later usually distorts something that isn't into something that is, and does so to justify the later movement. But he was the first to really scale back on the size of the choir, and as a result, could take faster tempi. Klemperer's chorus was so huge they effectively had natural speed limits.

This is why Richter's recordings remain my favourite. I don't think he was saying, 'I want to be noticed for going faster, so I'm going to use smaller forces' nor 'I'm doing it this way because history says that how it must have been.' It sounds like he preferred the sound of smaller forces, and the freedom to take things a little faster was a natural consequence. I can't think of an instance in which I completely disagree with his tempo choice. There are some times where he takes things faster or slower than I would have, were I a conductor, but he does it convincingly.

Well said.  Semi-recently the NYT did a nice write up about Richter's career.  I think I shared it on this forum.  His Bach is just incredible!

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #233 on: July 03, 2022, 10:07:27 PM »
Richter is sometimes considered proto-hip, though that's not a term I particularly like. Defining someone by features that are developed later usually distorts
But they were not really developed later rather roughly at the same time and Richter was to some extent part of it. "HIP" has been a slow and sometimes zigzag development since the early 20th century and Richter was e.g. playing harpsichord, not piano (even less Busoni or Liszt versions which is the real contrast to "HIP"). And Richter (*1926) was 20 years younger than Wenzinger and only 2-3 years older than Leonhardt and Harnoncourt.

There are some tempi that are hardly feasible with a large choir. But the difference between a 9 vs. 15 min. Kyrie I or a 7 vs. 11 min St. Matthew first choir are not such cases because the "fast" tempi are still quite moderate compared to e.g. the "Gloria", Osanna or some Turbae in the passions. I have not done any systematic comparisons and don't have enough older recordings to to them but I'd guess that the tempo differences among at least some moderate/fastish pieces, e.g. the Kyrie II, Credo, Gloria in excelsis etc. are actually smaller between 1950s/60s "traditional" or early HIP recordings and later ones than they are in the "slow" pieces like Kyrie I, Et Incarnatus, Crucifixus...
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 10:12:14 PM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)