Author Topic: Bach: Mass in B minor  (Read 147441 times)

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Marc

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #160 on: December 24, 2011, 01:34:40 PM »
Listening to this one at the moment:



'Old school HIP' ;) .... with a choir!
Even though Kai Wessel isn't my favourite altus, I do think that this recording by Ton Koopman c.s. is a convincing one. A bit laid-back sometimes maybe, which isn't something one would expect with Koopman. OTOH, it would be unfair to characterize his style entirely as (too) vivid, hasty and 'jolly'. His Weihnachts-Oratorium f.i. is also brought in a rather modest way.
And once you've heard him play the organ chorale 'Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir' BWV 686 .... you'll get the picture.

Marc

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #161 on: December 24, 2011, 02:25:49 PM »
Listening to this one at the moment:



'Old school HIP' ;) .... with a choir!
Even though Kai Wessel isn't my favourite altus [....]

Doing very well in this recording though! Thumbs up!
But my personal highlights are: Guy de Mey singing 'Benedictus' .... and the closing chorus 'Dona nobis pacem'.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #162 on: November 28, 2012, 04:54:17 PM »
Loved this:



and a friend mentioned this one:



so on its way! :)
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Gordo

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #163 on: November 28, 2012, 06:24:21 PM »
Loved this:



Me, too! Wonderful performances.



This is even better than the previous set of cantatas.

IMO one of the best versions of the B Minor Mass, generally overlooked because of the polemic of OVPP.
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #164 on: November 28, 2012, 06:28:14 PM »
My friend said it was pared down....small ensemble or a single singer at parts. Does this sound correct?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 06:35:19 PM by Bogey »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Gordo

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #165 on: November 28, 2012, 06:36:55 PM »
My friend said it was pared down....small ensemble or a single siger at parts. Does this sound correct?

Totally correct. Rifkin is the high priest of the theory of one-voice-per-part regarding the chorus in Bach.


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Winner of the 1983 Gramophone Award for best choral recording. An oddly unsettling, but ultimately very stimulating, experience.

Undoubtedly the most controversial recent record in the baroque-music field has been that of Bach's B minor Mass conducted by Joshua Rifkin (Nonesuch digital D79036, 3/83), He has re-edited the work on the basis of Bach's separate parts rather than the score—a number of small details emerge differently, such as coulés semiquavers in "Domine Deus"—and put into practice his theory that it should be interpreted with a single voice to each part. (His extremely lengthy introductory essay includes a defence of this thesis, which however has not gone unchallenged in some quarters.) On hearing the opening of the Kyrie, one's reaction may be to recall that conductor who asked for a solo double-bass to play the start of the trio of the Scherzo of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony so that it should be nice and clear; but the truth is that we have become so conditioned to a massive conception of Bach's Mass that this intimate approach, with its conspicuous gain in textural clarity, and its sometimes startling fast speeds, proves an oddly unsettling, but ultimately very stimulating, experience. The instrumentalists are outstandingly good, and the voices mainly very agreeable (though their intonation is not always impeccable); but in choruses like the Gloria and the second Credo Bach's jubilant writing, with trumpets, still seems (to me at least) to demand more sheer weight of vocal tone, even though the engineers have produced a surprisingly successful balance, I'm not sure that I go along with all Rifkin's well-reasoned arguments, but I strongly recommend this vitally performed radical experiment to all those with open minds.

-- Gramophone [9/1983]
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Offline Bogey

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #166 on: November 28, 2012, 06:40:21 PM »
Very helpful....and thank you.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

jlaurson

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #167 on: November 29, 2012, 05:21:29 AM »
My friend said it was pared down....small ensemble or a single singer at parts. Does this sound correct?

Indeed. Not easy to buy into the theory, but often very easy to buy into the results. (Particularly in the one-year Cantata Cycle of S.Kuijken.)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #168 on: November 29, 2012, 10:01:03 AM »
Indeed. Not easy to buy into the theory, but often very easy to buy into the results. (Particularly in the one-year Cantata Cycle of S.Kuijken.)

Your review has made me want to hear these CDs very much but honestly, I'm scared to order them. I don't have an SACD player in my hifi. Normally I rip CDs and play them via a wireless steam. I don't know if  my computer's disc drive will play SACDs, it's not obvious how I can find out. And anyway, can I rip a CD to some taggable lossless format which my squeezebox will see?


« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 11:18:44 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline StLukesguildOhio

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    Mozart, Wagner, Richard and Johann Strauss, Schubert, Gesualdo, Monteverdi, Haydn, Berlioz, Faure, Offenbach... did I say Mozart? Mozart... the Baroque... and always always always always J.S. BACH!
Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #169 on: November 29, 2012, 11:56:14 AM »
I have the "old school" Klemperer:



Early HIP/Old School Richter:



Two versions by Herreweghe:

1989:



and the version with Gens and Scholl:



and John Eliot Gardiner's:



My favorites might be the Klemperer and the second Herreweghe... but all are marvelous. As a Bach fanatic the Mass in B-minor is one of those works I need to get in multiple recordings. The only ones I don't; have which pique my interest are:

Minkowski:



and Suzuki:

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jlaurson

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #170 on: November 29, 2012, 12:08:47 PM »
Your review has made me want to hear these CDs very much but honestly, I'm scared to order them. I don't have an SACD player in my hifi. Normally I rip CDs and play them via a wireless steam. I don't know if  my computer's disc drive will play SACDs, it's not obvious how I can find out. And anyway, can I rip a CD to some taggable lossless format which my squeezebox will see?

These SACDs have a red-book CD layer. Every player should be able to play them... though some modern CD players sometimes need a reminder (i.e. opening and closing the tray again) to get their act together. They're rippable like any other CD, too... but you will only ever rip the CD layer, not the SACD layer.

jlaurson

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #171 on: November 29, 2012, 12:19:12 PM »

My favorites might be the Klemperer and the second Herreweghe... but all are marvelous. As a Bach fanatic the Mass in B-minor is one of those works I need to get in multiple recordings. The only ones I don't; have which pique my interest are:

Minkowski:



and Suzuki:



Maybe this helps: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2007/12/bachs-mass-in-b-minor.html

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Bach's Mass in B-minor BWV 232

The enemy of excellence is greatness? True, generally – but not when it comes to Bach’s Mass in B-minor which would still be a masterpiece in the least of performances and is a gift to humanity when performed as well as I’ve now had the pleasure of experiencing trice in short succession. First courtesy of the Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven (Channel Classics), then as I received the newly released Masaaki Suzuki recording on BIS, and then just before Christmas when Ton Koopman directed the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Herkulessaal in Munich – which was also broadcast live on radio...

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/06/im-american-you-know-interview-with_22.html

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Minkowski apologizes for having little time; his exhaustion, visible and audible, is not put on. But he patiently listens to questions, volunteers anecdotes, and inquires if I’ve received “the Bach.” Bach is the obvious starting point for the conversation, since his recording of the B-Minor Mass has just been released in France and I had duly listened to it over the last few days. On the notion of “talking about Bach,” Minkowski takes a deep breath, shakes his head as if to jog his brain, and laughs. So much music has piled up since the recording sessions that he needs a moment to get into Bach mode...

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/03/ionarts-at-large-bach-in-naarden.html

In short: Veldhoven is among my absolute favorites... of the two you list, I find Minkowski the more interesting one, by some measure. Suzuki never dips below a certain level of his very high standard, but his B-Minor mass faces too much competition.


Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #172 on: November 29, 2012, 12:31:55 PM »
Along with the other HIP versions mentioned, I also like this one by Andrew Parrott a lot:



I put the Jos van Veldhoven in my shopping cart.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #173 on: November 30, 2012, 09:11:29 AM »
These SACDs have a red-book CD layer. Every player should be able to play them... though some modern CD players sometimes need a reminder (i.e. opening and closing the tray again) to get their act together. They're rippable like any other CD, too... but you will only ever rip the CD layer, not the SACD layer.

Thanks
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline KevinP

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #174 on: June 17, 2013, 09:25:10 PM »

Early HIP/Old School Richter:




I wouldn't call Richter early-HIP but more proto-HIP. He was the first conductor to scale down the chorus, thus allowing faster tempi; however, he resisted the HIP movement once it really kicked off. Of the HIP conductors, Suzuki's debt to Richter is clearly expressed. There are some contrasts in the dynamics of Richter's recordings that aren't performed by anyone else but which Suzuki clearly copies, and to good effect.

Some of you who remember me (I never really went away, but I seldom posted outside the Diner for the past few years) may recall that this is my favourite work and the one I most obsessed over collecting-wise. I'm currently listening to Savall's version released this year, which I'm enjoying though it's not placing itself in the top of my collection. There are some very (read: too) fast tempi here. Savall is one of those conductors who, when I learn a work from him, I'm spoiled and can't listen to any other, but when he does a work I know well, I'm seldom convinced. King is another. Nice packaging on the Savall though: it includes two CDs (of course) and two DVDs, one of which is a live performance, and the other is apparently a making-of documentary in French without subtitles--I just received this today so haven't watched the DVDs.

Since no one's mentioned it, Herreweghe has a third recording out:

(At least an Amazon reviewer says it's a third recording. I hope so because I just ordered it, along with a couple others I missed.)

Offline KevinP

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #175 on: June 18, 2013, 09:07:45 PM »
I think it's time for me to work through my collection of this work one-by-one, including the ones I didn't like and the ones I only ever listened to once. I'll be posting comments along the way.

Offline knight66

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #176 on: June 21, 2013, 10:10:27 PM »
We should hold you to that.....breath bated.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #177 on: June 22, 2013, 06:19:26 AM »
In any recording of Bach's B minor Mass, we should probably cut the singers some slack.  I've sung it--it's HARD!! :o And the instrumental parts are no easier.  It's a supreme technical and endurance challenge--but oh, so worth it musically.  I sometimes think that on my entrance to heaven, I'll hear the trumpets from Dona Nobis Pacem. 8)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Parsifal

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #178 on: June 22, 2013, 06:49:03 AM »
I sometimes think that on my entrance to heaven, I'll hear the trumpets from Dona Nobis Pacem. 8)

But Bach was a heretic.  They will be playing it for new arrivals to the other place.

jlaurson

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Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
« Reply #179 on: June 22, 2013, 10:41:45 AM »
But Bach was a heretic.  They will be playing it for new arrivals to the other place.

They play nothing but Berlioz in Hell.