GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: Don Giovanni on April 18, 2007, 10:30:17 AM

Title: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 18, 2007, 10:30:17 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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Que on April 18, 2007, 10:36:43 AM
You won't see the Hengelbrock recommended often - I think few people know it.   
It suffices to say that that doesn't mean it's not any good!  8)

I like the Leonhardt too.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/8025704.jpg)  (http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/8601540.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on April 18, 2007, 10:57:40 AM
Some info here..

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,128.0.html

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 18, 2007, 11:41:28 AM
Thanks.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Justin Ignaz Franz Bieber on April 18, 2007, 02:13:06 PM
i like the ones by gardiner & jacobs. judging by the links it seems that others who post here aren't enamoured with the gardiner recording but i like it.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don on April 18, 2007, 02:15:43 PM
i like the ones by gardiner & jacobs. judging by the links it seems that others who post here aren't enamoured with the gardiner recording but i like it.

I like it also.  It's my 2nd favorite after Leonhardt.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: val on April 19, 2007, 01:13:25 AM
I prefer the version of Gustav Leonhardt, with Poulenard and other soloists, above all because of its spiritual dimension.

The recent version of Rene Jacobs is very touching, not as severe as Leonhardt, more humble and human.

With modern instruments, the version of Jochum with Dresden has sublime moments (Crucifixus and, in general, all the Credo), but the Kyrie and the Gloria seem to heavy.

I don't like Herreweghe, too superficial, almost choreographic, for my taste.

Klemperer is impossible - but has the best soloists - and Corboz is always much better in concert that in his recordings.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: sunnyside_up on April 19, 2007, 01:16:50 AM
The first one I bought and my second favourite (after the Herreweghe....). I wasn't so keen on the Gardiner, whom I usually adore doing Bach.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QS6N2Z1FL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 30, 2007, 07:38:40 AM
I've just received the Gardiner recording of the B minor Mass. At first I was quite pleased but, listening to the Kyrie eleison again, all I can hear throughout the first track is some sort of extra-musical noise. I'm used to hearing the odd sound here and there but there are noises all the way through the first couple of minutes. Have people experienced this on their recordings?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Harry Collier on April 30, 2007, 11:54:19 AM
Klemperer is impossible - but has the best soloists

What a strange adjective! What is impossible about Klemperer's Mass in B Minor? I personally value it more and more as years go by and slick, shallow readings come and go. Reflect that Klemperer conducted the Mass many, many times over a period of almost 60 years and undoubtedly knew it a lot better and a lot more deeply than you do (it was one of his favourite works). He was also very much in tune with its Germanic roots (which is more than you can say of Joshua Rifkin, for example).
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 30, 2007, 12:00:48 PM
What a strange adjective! What is impossible about Klemperer's Mass in B Minor? I personally value it more and more as years go by and slick, shallow readings come and go. Reflect that Klemperer conducted the Mass many, many times over a period of almost 60 years and undoubtedly knew it a lot better and a lot more deeply than you do (it was one of his favourite works). He was also very much in tune with its Germanic roots (which is more than you can say of Joshua Rifkin, for example).

What he said.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 12:20:55 AM
Is anyone able to answer my question regarding Gardiner's recording of the work?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: sunnyside_up on May 01, 2007, 12:41:58 AM
Is anyone able to answer my question regarding Gardiner's recording of the work?

I'm just listening to it now, Don Giovanni, and I can't hear anything untoward.  What sort of extra musical noise does it sound like?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Maciek on May 01, 2007, 12:44:52 AM
I have that recording too, and even though I don't particulary like it I wouldn't go as far as to call anything I can hear there noise.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 01:00:53 AM
On the first track, the Kyrie eleison, at about 0.40 it starts. If you listen 'beyond' the music you should hear some continuous noise (something which isn't being played). I understand that when it's listened to on a stereo it will be difficult but I am very sure it's there.

I don't suppose it's the resultant noise from someone playing their instrument? It's very unlike anything I've heard before.

Could there be an error with my recording? I'm pretty sure it isn't - the sound seems to be coming directly from the performance.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 01:48:42 AM
Update:

If you go to 5.30 on the first track and listen carefully for the duration of the quiet section you should hear it. Sorry for bugging people on this topic: I just want to be sure about this.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 02:19:09 AM
On the first track, the Kyrie eleison, at about 0.40 it starts. If you listen 'beyond' the music you should hear some continuous noise (something which isn't being played). I understand that when it's listened to on a stereo it will be difficult but I am very sure it's there.

I don't suppose it's the resultant noise from someone playing their instrument? It's very unlike anything I've heard before.

Could there be an error with my recording? I'm pretty sure it isn't - the sound seems to be coming directly from the performance.

Update:

If you go to 5.30 on the first track and listen carefully for the duration of the quiet section you should hear it. Sorry for bugging people on this topic: I just want to be sure about this.


The noise you are talking about is very easy to hear. Sounds mechanical noise from the instruments to me but I don't know why the players are making that loud noise.  ???
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 02:35:03 AM
Exactly! Thank you dB. I can't think what instrument it is. Anyway, I might use some of the helpful recommendations from other posters to find another recording. (Since I listen to music always on my mp3 player, I don't think I'll be able to put up with the annoying noise).
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: 71 dB on May 01, 2007, 02:44:40 AM
Exactly! Thank you dB. I can't think what instrument it is. Anyway, I might use some of the helpful recommendations from other posters to find another recording. (Since I listen to music always on my mp3 player, I don't think I'll be able to put up with the annoying noise).

No problem. The rustling noise comes mostly from right, some of it from the middle and left. I am not that annoyed by it because this is among the finest music ever written.  :)

I can always listen to Junghänel on SACD...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 02:48:30 AM
How good is Klemperer's recording? From clips that I've heard he seems to take it slowly (unlike Gardiner). What would be a good recording for me to buy?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Maciek on May 01, 2007, 02:52:36 AM
OK, you actually made me put the CD on. :o I can hear the sound you mean but it doesn't sound like noise to me - just the ordinary stuff coming from woodwinds (I think it's called "keywork" in English?).

Gardiner is HIP which usually means faster tempos. Klemperer is not HIP. But I don't have his recording.

I think we discussed Bach's B Minor Mass recordings on this new GMG somewhere. Look for a Bach thread or something - don't remember where it was exactly...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Maciek on May 01, 2007, 02:59:05 AM
Here's the thread I had in mind:
Bach B Minor Mass on EMI Classics (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,128.0.html)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 03:03:19 AM
OK, you actually made me put the CD on. :o I can hear the sound you mean but it doesn't sound like noise to me - just the ordinary stuff coming from woodwinds (I think it's called "keywork" in English?).

The noises seem to occur even without the woodwinds and out of time with the music?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 01, 2007, 03:07:17 AM
Exactly! Thank you dB. I can't think what instrument it is.

I hear it too. It doesn't sound like any of the usual mechanical noises instruments make. As dB noticed, it also isn't localized. Sometimes it comes from one side, sometimes the middle, sometimes the left. I can't figure it out. It's far more annoying through headphones than speakers though...maybe that's why I never noticed it until you pointed it out. After the first track I think it goes away. I sampled four more tracks and didn't hear anything, not to the extent of the first track anyway.

I can't help you with a recommendation for another Mass. I only have two: Gardiner and Klemperer...and you probably won't like old skool Klemp ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Maciek on May 01, 2007, 03:08:59 AM
The noises seem to occur even without the woodwinds and out of time with the music?

I'm not sure about that. But it doesn't have to be the people who are actually playing at the given moment - they may be cleaning their instruments etc.

Of course, I'm no woodwind expert. I may be all wrong about this. It doesn't bother me anyway because I hardly ever listen to this recording. ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 03:17:31 AM
I hear it too. It doesn't sound like any of the usual mechanical noises instruments make. As dB noticed, it also isn't localized. Sometimes it comes from one side, sometimes the middle, sometimes the left. I can't figure it out. It's far more annoying through headphones than speakers though...maybe that's why I never noticed it until you pointed it out. After the first track I think it goes away. I sampled four more tracks and didn't hear anything, not to the extent of the first track anyway.

I can't help you with a recommendation for another Mass. I only have two: Gardiner and Klemperer...and you probably won't like old skool Klemp ;D

Sarge

Sarge, that's why I normally notice sounds that are very difficult to hear: I always listen through headphones. I'm presently trying to decide whether or not to sample some other recordings or stick with the Gardiner. My pockets aren't as deep as some people's at the moment, so I'd rather have a recording that I'm completely happy with.

 ;D Why wouldn't I like Klemperer's?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Harry Collier on May 01, 2007, 03:36:57 AM
How good is Klemperer's recording? From clips that I've heard he seems to take it slowly (unlike Gardiner). What would be a good recording for me to buy?

Well, this is not Formula One, so speed isn't everything. Klemperer brings a certain nobility and gravitas to this music. I have many recordings of the Mass (including Rifkin, Karajan, Klemperer, Herreweghe, Gardiner, Jacobs). Klemperer is the most recent acquisition and, to my surprise, we are settling in very happily together. The opening Kyrie does sound slow after the rest of the field. But after a few listenings you get used to it, and you start admiring the nobility of the performance and the incredible clarity of the fugal and counterpoint choral. Klemperer used a choir of 60; small for those days. As with many performances, you just have to pick performers on track record, and then digest the performance to see if it fits in with your ideas and tastes.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 03:41:06 AM
Thanks a lot. That's helped me quite a bit. I think I might put off buying another recording for a while I want to get Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas before. I'll use your advice to do some more research.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don Giovanni on May 01, 2007, 08:57:02 AM
Sarge, why do you think I won't like the Klemperer?  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Don on May 01, 2007, 10:54:43 AM
The noises seem to occur even without the woodwinds and out of time with the music?

Took out the Gardiner set and played it on my most revealing system with headphones:

Low volume - no noises.
moderate volume - slight noise.
high volume - more noticeable but doesn't hamper my enjoyment in the least.  Mostly mechanical sounds.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2007, 04:48:35 AM
Sarge, why do you think I won't like the Klemperer?  :)

I was being mostly facetious. In fact I don't know you well enough to know what you might like or dislike. On this forum, though, people tend to prefer HIP baroque and I assumed you did too. The main problem people have with Klemperer are his tempos which can sound, when heard superficially or compared directly to someone like Gardiner, leaden (they aren't though: Klemperer articulates rhythms so precisely and clearly you always have a sense his Bach is moving forward decisively). I enjoy slow speeds because they let me hear and relish the inner workings of a piece so clearly. They give my old brain plenty of time to sort things out ;D

Harry Collier pointed out one irony about Klemperer's Bach. Once upon a time his Bach was considered HIP. He was one of the first, maybe the first, twentieth-century conductor to perform Bach in a manner closer to the original. At a time when most performances of Bach were still based on the nineteenth century tradition of over-romanticizing the music, Klemp scaled back his forces and conducted Bach (and other baroque masters) in a strong, objective style based on fidelity to the score. He took a lot of critical hits for that and when he finally had the opportunity to record Bach after the war, he chose to use larger groups than he did pre-war. Nobody is quite sure why: pressure from his producer and label? sensitivity to critics? Even so, as Harry pointed out, his chorus was still smaller than the norm and certainly the clarity of his Bach is as HIP as anyone's.

Sarge
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: dtwilbanks on May 02, 2007, 04:54:06 AM
I'm glad people are mentioning Leonhardt. The first I heard and still the best (out of the handful I've heard since).
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Harry Collier on May 02, 2007, 09:48:03 AM
as Harry pointed out, his chorus was still smaller than the norm and certainly the clarity of his Bach is as HIP as anyone's.

Klemperer had to wait until Walter Legge went from EMI in order to be allowed to record the Mass. Legge wouldn't agree to it unless Klemperer used the full Philharmonia Chorus and Klemperer refused, so the project was shelved.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 06, 2009, 05:52:02 PM
I've recently discovered this ancient CD, which is giving me a lot of pleasure, especially the young Schwarzkopf singing Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.

Highly recommended if you're not allergic.

I bought this 2-CD set late last year.  The duet in the last movement is absolutely the most beautiful singing I have ever heard.  While I know the soprano was definitely sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, I am not completely sure if the alto was sung by Kathleen Ferrier or Morga Hogggen. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YGJ9NA1ML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on February 08, 2009, 07:31:44 AM
I bought this 2-CD set late last year.  The duet in the last movement is absolutely the most beautiful singing I have ever heard.  While I know the soprano was definitely sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, I am not completely sure if the alto was sung by Kathleen Ferrier or Morga Hogggen. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YGJ9NA1ML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

If you are referring to the aria that forms part of the full performance; it was Hoffgen, if from the rehearsal extracts, it was Ferrier. The extracts are very special.

That B Minor Mass shows Karajan in lean and muscular mood, he energises his way through the piece. The much later St Matthew you admire, is ponderous and overblown. Can you hear the differences in his approach on these two recordings?

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 07:54:05 AM
If you are referring to the aria that forms part of the full performance; it was Hoffgen, if from the rehearsal extracts, it was Ferrier. The extracts are very special.

That B Minor Mass shows Karajan in lean and muscular mood, he energises his way through the piece. The much later St Matthew you admire, is ponderous and overblown. Can you hear the differences in his approach on these two recordings?

Mike

Absolutely.  It is for the same reason I do not like Karajan's Beethoven Symphonies Cycles from the 70's.  I do plan on getting the following St Matthew Passion ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419FFS3G0SL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on February 08, 2009, 08:02:38 AM
Oh.....that looks interesting. I wonder if Karajan is still in B Minor pixie mode for the St M?

I am listening to his 1973 re-recording...just got to the 'Geduld'. EEK! Grisly stuff.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 08:09:13 AM
Oh.....that looks interesting. I wonder if Karajan is still in B Minor pixie mode for the St M?

I am listening to his 1973 re-recording...just got to the 'Geduld'. EEK! Grisly stuff.

Mike

The only reservation I have is the label, as I know next to nothing about Andante.  This recording was made over the same period, i.e. early 1950's and with no less than the same ensemble, the Vienna Symphony.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2009, 01:02:19 PM
Personally I wouldn't touch a Von Karajan Matthäus, but that is another matter! 8)

What about a Karajan B minor Mass? :D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 01:09:46 PM
What about a Karajan B minor Mass? :D

The Mass in B minor recording by Karajan with the Vienna Symphony around 1950 is great stuff ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YGJ9NA1ML._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on February 08, 2009, 01:53:42 PM
Yes, it really is and would come as a revelation to anyone who only knows his later fix on the work. It is lithe, muscular, rhythmic and boasts an excellently trained chorus. It is quite close in may ways to how it is now paced. It is a great pity he later went into full-on stodge mode.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on February 08, 2009, 06:23:24 PM
Gardiner's is good.  Really good.  Whenever I hear a new Mass in B Minor recording I compare it to his.  Suzuki has an excellent recording out as well, better in technical quality than Gardiner's, but seeming somehow disconnected from the music.  Herreweghe's also came across as disconnected, a little distant and quiet for some reason; subdued.  Haven't heard Harnoncourt's or Leonhardt's, are there samples available somewhere?  I'm always up for more of this magnificent mass!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Que on February 08, 2009, 06:28:38 PM
Gardiner's is good.  Really good.  Whenever I hear a new Mass in B Minor recording I compare it to his.  Suzuki has an excellent recording out as well, better in technical quality than Gardiner's, but seeming somehow disconnected from the music.  Herreweghe's also came across as disconnected, a little distant and quiet for some reason; subdued.  Haven't heard Harnoncourt's or Leonhardt's, are there samples available somewhere?  I'm always up for more of this magnificent mass!  ;D

Haroncourt is a bit dissapointing IMO, Leonhardt is a fine performance but try Thomas Hengelbrock (DHM)! :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on February 08, 2009, 07:49:17 PM
Herreweghe's also came across as disconnected, a little distant and quiet for some reason; subdued.

Herreweghe certainly finds more subtlety in this work but 'disconnected' isn't exactly fair.

No, his approach isn't 'exhibitionist' but it needn't be when other things are so effective. Atmosphere, nuance, color...just an overall mood that brings its own rewards.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 08, 2009, 07:58:33 PM
Gardiner's is good.  Really good.  Whenever I hear a new Mass in B Minor recording I compare it to his.  Suzuki has an excellent recording out as well, better in technical quality than Gardiner's, but seeming somehow disconnected from the music.  Herreweghe's also came across as disconnected, a little distant and quiet for some reason; subdued.  Haven't heard Harnoncourt's or Leonhardt's, are there samples available somewhere?  I'm always up for more of this magnificent mass!  ;D

I have the version by Gardiner as well.  But his tempo is fast.  Somehow when I first got the set in the early 90's, it sounded fine.  Lately, I have found his Bach's tempi may be a tad too fast for my taste.  Perhaps this is an age factor? 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 11, 2009, 07:59:28 PM
Just ordered this DVD and I am looking forward to watching it ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41K9RJKQ7RL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on February 16, 2009, 07:41:15 PM
...try Thomas Hengelbrock (DHM)! :)

Q

Ordered!

You planted the seed of curiosity in my mind, Q!  Thanks for the recommendation.  I saw there were two issues, so I ordered the cooler-looking one in the red case.  ;) I'll let you know what I think when it arrives...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on February 17, 2009, 03:19:06 PM
If anyone's interested and missed it the first time around, here's the Listening Group discussion I led on this great work back in 2005:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5637.0.html
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Que on February 18, 2009, 12:15:08 AM
Ordered!

You planted the seed of curiosity in my mind, Q!  Thanks for the recommendation.  I saw there were two issues, so I ordered the cooler-looking one in the red case.  ;) I'll let you know what I think when it arrives...

Ha! :) Well, I'lll interested to hear your opinion on this one. Ultra clear and transparent in the choral lines, with a strong pulse - speedy faster movements but the slower movements are decidely unhurried. Lots of character and emotion but not overbearing or indulgent and not mechanical.

BTW the cover left is just a cardboard slip case (on occassion of the reissue on a lower price), and contains the CD with the red cover on the right. So you get the same CD.

Q

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61BFBQ0EQBL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WA23VQAXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: The new erato on February 18, 2009, 02:00:11 AM
Haroncourt is a bit dissapointing IMO, Leonhardt is a fine performance but try Thomas Hengelbrock (DHM)! :)

Q
That's the one in the DHM 50 anniversary box with 50 CDs, very cheaply available. I have the box, but listening to another B minor wasn't on my schedule. Will see what I can do about that.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on February 18, 2009, 03:26:54 AM
Haven't listened myself yet, but Christoph Wolff gives a lecture on the Mass, which you can listen to here:
http://broadcast.iu.edu/lectures/bach/
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on February 21, 2009, 12:37:10 AM
Ha! :) Well, I'lll interested to hear your opinion on this one. Ultra clear and transparent in the choral lines, with a strong pulse - speedy faster movements but the slower movements are decidely unhurried. Lots of character and emotion but not overbearing or indulgent and not mechanical.
You have great taste, Que - this is a magnificent recording of the B Minor Mass!  :o  Tempi are just right for my tastes (I prefer the quicker movements to be nice and fast as well) and the sound quality is pristine (the instruments sound amazing and brass and drums are nice and crisp).  I even thought the vocalists were superb, which is odd for me.  At first I was surprised by the pace through the Kyrie, then I looked at the score: it seems Hengelbrock is playing it as designated and it works wonderfully.  There is also an amazingly deep and passionate feel about the performance...  Thank you so much for the recommendation!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on February 21, 2009, 02:41:41 PM
Suzuki vs. van Veldhoven (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2007/12/bachs-mass-in-b-minor.html)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 21, 2009, 05:00:25 PM
After a late dinner, I hope to play this DVD ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41K9RJKQ7RL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on February 21, 2009, 11:12:51 PM
The Karl Richter's Mass in B Minor DVD is quite good.  In my opinion, one really develops much better appreciation for the Bach passion by watching the DVD, which provides the visual orientation that the audio only CD-set cannot do ...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on April 13, 2009, 01:13:02 AM
This was released in France last December but has been released elsewhere only in recent months.  I have listened to it only once through but have been really impressed.  Minkowski has managed to create this truly rich and yet transparent sound out a 10-strong choir and 26-piece orchestra and his interpretation is surprisingly more nuanced, sensual, and dramatic than most other dozen HIP recordings I have heard.  To me his experience in Handel and in French baroque operas pays off handsomely here. 

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/68/1066268.jpg)

For further refrence, this is the press review that I identify most among those I have read so far:

All Music Guide review of Bach B minor Mass recording (Minkowski) by Stephen Eddins  (http://www.allclassical.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=43:184628~T0)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Que on June 11, 2009, 09:12:03 PM
Any takers for this new issue? :)

(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia/images_produits/ZoomPE/5/2/6/0608917231625.jpg)

Review at MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/May09/Bach_Kuijken_cc72316.htm)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on June 11, 2009, 10:02:23 PM
Any takers for this new issue? :)

(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia/images_produits/ZoomPE/5/2/6/0608917231625.jpg)

Review at MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/May09/Bach_Kuijken_cc72316.htm)

Q

Not me, I guess - I have already had the new Minkowski recording (above).   The musicweb critic doesn't seem to be aware of the Naive, so a direct comparison is not present in his article.  In general, though, I have found Kuijken to sound bloodless when compared to Minkowski, and I don't really need another Junghanel-style OVPP Mass in b minor that soon.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 11, 2009, 10:40:20 PM
Not me, I guess - I have already had the new Minkowski recording (above).   The musicweb critic doesn't seem to be aware of the Naive, so a direct comparison is not present in his article.  In general, though, I have found Kuijken to sound bloodless when compared to Minkowski, and I don't really need another Junghanel-style OVPP Mass in b minor that soon.

Minkowski as preferable to Kuijken? In Bach’s music? Not in Handel’s music, but in Bach? It is hard to accept, Masolino, especially when I have listened to some excerpts on the web.

Kuijken is certainly in my shopping cart and not simply as a new Junghänel.  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on June 11, 2009, 11:35:18 PM
Minkowski as preferable to Kuijken? In Bach’s music? Not in Handel’s music, but in Bach? It is hard to accept, Masolino, especially when I have listened to some excerpts on the web.

Kuijken is certainly in my shopping cart and not simply as a new Junghänel.  :)


The problem for me is HOW different the Kuijken can be from the Junghänel, when the Minkowski is already SO different from the Junghänel (or the Veldhoven). :D  On the other hand, I don't see why it is not possible to prefer Minkowski to Kuijken in Bach (with the exception of violin playing I suppose :)) if the former can (and did) deliver a radically new, beautiful and valid interpretation of his music.  To put it more bluntly, more experience doesn't necessarily equate more artistic insight, and I must say I was truly surprised by Minkowski's refreshing approach listening to his recording of the b minor mass.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on June 12, 2009, 12:33:38 AM
The Kuijken isn't coming up on Amazon searches on either side of the Pond.

Is it a new performance, or is the rest of that ill-advised release of excerpts from several years back?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on June 12, 2009, 12:49:02 AM
The Kuijken isn't coming up on Amazon searches on either side of the Pond.

Is it a new performance, or is the rest of that ill-advised release of excerpts from several years back?

A new performance as far as I can tell - at least as indicated at the crotchet link in the musicweb review. http://www.crotchet.co.uk/cgi-bin/cws/scan/rs=yes/se=cc72316/sp=trackscl?mv_pc=zmusic
Different soloists from the Arkiv listing, which shows a 2004 recording.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on June 12, 2009, 12:53:34 AM
The Kuijken isn't coming up on Amazon searches on either side of the Pond.

Is it a new performance, or is the rest of that ill-advised release of excerpts from several years back?

It is new, but it can be easily found on Amazon outside the US:

Germany: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001RH974U/nectarandambr-21

France: http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001RH974U/nectarandambrFR-21

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001RH974U/nectarandambrUK-21

The one on Arkiv (also found on Amazon), for now, is an older live recording of EXCERPTS.
Similar cover, which might be confusing.


Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on June 12, 2009, 04:29:38 AM
I don't see why it is not possible to prefer Minkowski to Kuijken in Bach (with the exception of violin playing I suppose :)) if the former can (and did) deliver a radically new, beautiful and valid interpretation of his music.  

I don't see any problem at all, Masolino, especially in this forum where we love new and beautiful versions.  :)

In my case just a prejudice: I think that spiritually men are born Bachians or Handelians, and Minkowski is a Handelian for me. I recalled this when you described his performance like “sensual” and “dramatic”, complex words when we are talking about a Bach's mass.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on June 12, 2009, 04:49:47 AM
I don't see any problem at all, Masolino, especially in this forum where we love new and beautiful versions.  :)

In my case just a prejudice: I think that spiritually men are born Bachians or Handelians, and Minkowski is a Handelian for me. I recalled this when you described his performance like “sensual” and “dramatic”, complex words when we are talking about a Bach's mass.

You should read Minkowski's reasons for not having tackled Bach sooner. May I (not entirely unselfishly) recommend the interview in the current issue of Fanfare: "Minkowski Bach at Last". ? :-)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on June 12, 2009, 07:27:45 AM
In my case just a prejudice: I think that spiritually men are born Bachians or Handelians, and Minkowski is a Handelian for me. I recalled this when you described his performance like “sensual” and “dramatic”, complex words when we are talking about a Bach's mass.

Yes - Minkowski's vision of the Bach mass is a complex one, and all the more remarkable because of this.  Especially his interpretation of the Kyrie and the Gloria is worthy of their dedication to the Dresden court chapel, i.e. fabulous. Let's think of Mozart's c-minor Mass - it may not have been that remote from Bach's b minor in the aesthetics that they subscribe to.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka on September 03, 2009, 07:20:47 AM
I have just been listening to this for the first time in years and I was struck by the length of it. It must surely be the longest mass ever.

It's hard to imagine that a mass this long could actually be used as part of a ritual -- was it designed for liturgical use?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Dr. Dread on September 03, 2009, 07:37:40 AM
I have just been listening to this for the first time in years and I was struck by the length of it. It must surely be the longest mass ever.

It's hard to imagine that a mass this long could actually be used as part of a ritual -- was it designed for liturgical use?

Google is your friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_in_B_Minor
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on September 05, 2009, 09:37:35 AM
I have just been listening to this for the first time in years and I was struck by the length of it. It must surely be the longest mass ever.

It's hard to imagine that a mass this long could actually be used as part of a ritual [....]

I wouldn't mind to join that service, though. ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on September 13, 2009, 07:06:29 AM
Anyone, particularly forum members from the Netherlands, know anything about this set?  I would like to get some positive opinions before pulling the trigger ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on September 13, 2009, 07:21:42 AM
Anyone, particularly forum members from the Netherlands, know anything about this set?  I would like to get some positive opinions before pulling the trigger ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)



Hi, Coop. What is the reason for your "particularly forum members from the Netherlands"?... I'm just curious.  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on September 13, 2009, 07:25:50 AM
Hi, Coop. What is the reason for your "particularly forum members from the Netherlands"?... I'm just curious.  :)
 

They are generally more familiar with ensembles from that part of Europe, just as I am more familiar with ensembles from the northeastern part of the US. 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on September 13, 2009, 07:35:45 AM
Google is your friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_in_B_Minor


Indeed, Mass in B minor was composed in Lutheran style with much Roman Catholic influence.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Leo K. on December 20, 2009, 11:10:49 AM
I searched to see if there was a longer B Minor Mass thread but couldn't find it sorry!  Just one pagers is all I could find, and a link to a discussion on the old board which I've found helpful.

Anyways, I've been just getting back to listening to this incredible work once again after putting it away for awhile...

The recordings I know are:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B803JZ0BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413VEDWQWJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

These are great, but last night I heard this for the first time:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41nw2ZIzxiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

And wow...what another world!!!  It sounds cosmic, but at the same time I feel I'm in a smaller country church in an intimate setting despite the atmospheric sound quality.  And the singing sounds real special and human.



I'm just asking for thoughts on your favorite recordings of this work...all styles/interpretations welcome please!


I want to explore this work much more.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bulldog on December 20, 2009, 11:17:03 AM
My favorite is Leonhardt's.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Leo K. on December 20, 2009, 08:21:54 PM
Moderator...thanks for finding the thread  ;D 

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 21, 2009, 04:19:09 PM
Any takers for this new issue? :)

(http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia/images_produits/ZoomPE/5/2/6/0608917231625.jpg)

Antoine
Can I assume since this offering is your top choice for Cds of 2009 you really like this............... :)

Is this your favorite Mass in B minor of all time, top 3, comments please......(don't keep any secrets from us)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 21, 2009, 04:24:25 PM
I added this set to my Bach collection a few weeks ago.  It is quite good on first listen - all the chances I have had so far ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 21, 2009, 04:28:39 PM
Coop
What is your favorite B minor Mass? (or top 2-3 versions)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 21, 2009, 04:44:11 PM
Coop
What is your favorite B minor Mass? (or top 2-3 versions)

My top three favorite Mass in B minor, in no particular order, are
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YGJ9NA1ML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hwns%2BNpnL._SS500_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B803JZ0BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

They are a combo of CD's and DVD.  The Karajan's 1950 version with the Vienna Symphony is noteworthy due to having two all-time great soloists, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Kathleen Ferrier and Karajan was not doing his extreme legato.
Herbert Blomstedt really did put in a very memorable performance on the DVD, which was recorded at St Thomas, the same church where JS Bach was the cantor.  John Eliot Gardiner also did a great job (for an English ensemble) on this piece IMO.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 21, 2009, 05:02:15 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51D%2BlKfupZL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I very recently ordered the Suzuki/BIS 10 CD boxset of sacred works (mass, passions, oratorios)

These seem to get very good reviews and Amazon sellers have it for close to $50, also I believe the BIS sound will be quite good. Will report in when box arrives.......... ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on December 21, 2009, 05:23:47 PM
Even at the moments when Suzuki isn't Top-Notch, in Bach's vocal works he's still a good purchase! Not always my favourite, but I do like listening to his performances.

About the Mass BWV 232: there are so many recordings, and of this one I only have a 'few'.
But I most certainly like Gardiner, and also Thomas Hengelbrock and Gustav Leonhardt (both Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, though the latter might be OOP in the US of A). Herreweghe's first one is also good, but in general I think he's better in the more epic works (passions, oratoria) and cantatas. Oh, and let's not forget the first recording by Harnoncourt .... like Herreweghe, his second attempt was more slick though less expressive.
Another serious English contender IMO is Harry Christopers (from Collins to Brilliant Classics to Coro :)). This one is now available at a nice price, combined with the Christmas Oratorio & Cantatas BWV 34, 50 and 147 (Coro COR16072).

If someone would like to try OVPP: check out Konrad Junghänel with his Cantus Cölln.
Although I personally prefer this work with, say, at least 3 voices per part.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 21, 2009, 05:30:05 PM
Marc
Do you like any of the large scale "old school" versions for variety like:
-Giulini
-Klemperer
-Jochum etc
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 21, 2009, 05:47:53 PM
Another serious English contender IMO is Harry Christopers (from Collins to Brilliant Classics to Coro :)). This one is now available at a nice price, combined with the Christmas Oratorio & Cantatas BWV 34, 50 and 147 (Coro COR16072).

If someone would like to try OVPP: check out Konrad Junghänel with his Cantus Cölln.
Although I personally prefer this work with, say, at least 3 voices per part.

I have Mass in B by Herreweghe on the old Virgin Classic but will get his latest version soon.  The Coro set by Harry Christophers is a super-bargain but I am skeptical of any English ensembles/soloists except John Eliot Gardiner and his group to do Bach choral works right ...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: ccar on December 21, 2009, 05:49:44 PM
Hermann Scherchen recorded the B minor Mass twice - in 1950 and 1959.

In more than one sense I feel Scherchen's Bach interpretations like a unique (impossible?) synthesis: an almost HIP like but more “natural” sensibility to clarity and transparency, with less use (or abuse) of propelled contrasts and primary tone colors, combined with a very free choice of tempi and phrasing, but continuously focused on the emotional and spiritual sense of the words and music. 

But prepare yourselves. Right from the beginning you may be surprised (or shocked!) when  for instance you compare Leonhardt  and Scherchen in the first Kyrie eleison chorus: there you’ll find 9:19 against  15:53  (1950) or 14:46 (1959). But don’t expect this to be a rule. If you keep comparing the two readings, the more stretched approach from Scherchen in the first Chorus part contrasts immensely with faster tempi in other Chorus parts and in many of the arias or duettos. For some these “extreme” variations may not be in tune with the good cannons of performance. But for others they may reflect a talented insight into the expressive musical content of the Mass.


(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2007/Feb07/Bach_Mass_TAHRA618619.jpg)   (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/MBM-Scherchen-R2-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on December 21, 2009, 05:50:24 PM
Marc
Do you like any of the large scale "old school" versions for variety like:
-Giulini
-Klemperer
-Jochum etc
I only heard parts of Giulini, and it's just not my taste of Bach. The same goes f.i. for Karl Richter. Sure, they would bring more variety to my collection, but what's the point if I do not really like to listen to those 19th-century/romantic/sewing machine Bachanian attempts?
But the three names you've mentioned are very good musicians, no doubt. If I had to buy or borrow one to give it a try, I think I would go for Jochum, who did some serious Bach & baroque studying in his time, or maybe (not mentioned) Karl Münchinger.
Other non-HIP names who recorded this piece and might be satisfying (just guessing, though, dunno 'bout their recordings) are Michel Corboz, Helmuth Rilling .... or even Sir Georg Solti! Solti's got good singers like Anne Sofie Von Otter and Hans-Peter Blochwitz.

But again: I'm more a HIP-man, though sometimes I hate these kinds of parochialism. I did hear f.i. some parts of Günther Ramin mono recordings of Bach which were rather good, and also Fritz Werner is a name which should be remembered, IMO.

I once bought a cheap non-HIP set conducted by Peter Schreier, with (a.o.) Lucia Popp and Carolyn Watkinson, and it proved to be very good value for that money! ;) Carolyn Watkinson sings the most moving Agnus Dei that I've heard .... yet.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 21, 2009, 08:13:30 PM
I only heard parts of Giulini, and it's just not my taste of Bach. The same goes f.i. for Karl Richter. Sure, they would bring more variety to my collection, but what's the point if I do not really like to listen to those 19th-century/romantic/sewing machine Bachanian attempts?
But the three names you've mentioned are very good musicians, no doubt. If I had to buy or borrow one to give it a try, I think I would go for Jochum, who did some serious Bach & baroque studying in his time, or maybe (not mentioned) Karl Münchinger.
Other non-HIP names who recorded this piece and might be satisfying (just guessing, though, dunno 'bout their recordings) are Michel Corboz, Helmuth Rilling .... or even Sir Georg Solti! Solti's got good singers like Anne Sofie Von Otter and Hans-Peter Blochwitz.

But again: I'm more a HIP-man, though sometimes I hate these kinds of parochialism. I did hear f.i. some parts of Günther Ramin mono recordings of Bach which were rather good, and also Fritz Werner is a name which should be remembered, IMO.

I once bought a cheap non-HIP set conducted by Peter Schreier, with (a.o.) Lucia Popp and Carolyn Watkinson, and it proved to be very good value for that money! ;) Carolyn Watkinson sings the most moving Agnus Dei that I've heard .... yet.

Marc,  I agreed with most of your assessments.  Giulini should  not be a conductor to count on for Bach in general while Jochum should be.  Personally, I think Karl Richter is fine - he was the son of a Lutheran minister and as such should not be summarily written off.  Richter might also have more than one version of Mass in B.  I also like Munchinger, though I am not sure about the availability of his Mass in B (OOP?).  I also agreed with you that the Peter Schreier's version is worth listening to as is the version by Helmut Rilling and I have both versions.  I will soon have two versions of Mass in B by Herreweghe (I already have the older version on Virgin Classic), who could be controversial for some listeners.  The latest addition by La Petite Bande/Kuijken is too new for me to give a meaningful assessment.  Personally, I also like John Eliot Gardiner and have the version as well.  I also have 3 DVD's on Mass in B, one each by Richter and Blomstedt and the third one by Gewandhausorchester/Thomanerchor Leipzig/Biller.  Choral works by Bach are always much more difficult to recommend since one has to deal with the singing in additional to instruments playing.  A person should really experiment a bit before he can find that happy medium.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 22, 2009, 12:55:37 AM
Richter recorded the B-minor Mass three times, plus the one on DVD. The earliest, from 1961, is easily my favourite of my 80-some recordings. I wouldn't label him old school, though I wouldn't certainly t call him HIP either, but he was a precursor to the HIP movement, scaling back the forces considerably compared to those who came before him.

As is not unusual from Scherchen, his recordings--both of them-- of the Mass are uneven, but those moments that work are absolute magic. The Kyrie is stunningly beautiful at the slow tempo. (

If you want to try a pre- (or anyway non-) HIP recording but don't gravitate towards the ones already mention, Marriner's is very rewarding.

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on December 22, 2009, 02:59:49 AM
Karl Richter has indeed been very important for the 'development' of interpreting Bach's music. And he still has a lot of fans, which obviously means that his insights aren't tied to just one period of time.
So anyone who likes him: please carry on in doing so! :)
It's just that all the things I've heard of him (so far) never really worked for me, both as a conductor and keyboard player/organist.

With one exception though:
the 2nd Brandenburg Concerto!

;D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: rubio on December 22, 2009, 03:46:02 AM
(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2007/Feb07/Bach_Mass_TAHRA618619.jpg)   (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/MBM-Scherchen-R2-3.jpg)

Which of these two versions would you recommend the most?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: rubio on December 22, 2009, 03:47:30 AM
Richter recorded the B-minor Mass three times, plus the one on DVD. The earliest, from 1961, is easily my favourite of my 80-some recordings.

Is this the 1961 recording?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BPQ89MNML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 22, 2009, 04:08:39 AM
Is this the 1961 recording?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BPQ89MNML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Yes.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: ccar on December 22, 2009, 02:48:56 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4199HA6DvWL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/216D2J1X91L._SL160_AA115_.jpg)

Which of these two versions would you recommend the most?
How can I put it? First beware. Why do you go with this Scherchen fad if you can choose between so many carefully chiseled HIP interpretations, listen to the solos and duets by famous and more sophisticated singers, or turn to some of the other more respected “nonHIP” performances? And most of these are coming with opulent digital sound or new hi-tech masterings.
   
For me it’s a bit like painting. You may prefer a landscape depicted by some faithful and beautiful reproduction of reality or you may look for an emotional imprint of the same landscape given by blurred contours, brush marks and hidden new colors or shades. In spite of many imperfections and some crude choices, some may also feel that Scherchen somehow is able to build a continuous dramatic and spiritual intensity which is only rarely to be experienced in so many “perfect” Bach performances.
                       
Even so, I should warn you again. Neither of the two Scherchen versions is proper for a perfectionist or purist listener. You won’t find any state of the art sound and the tempi have the widest variations from part to part, particularly in the 1950 version. The solo singers may be quite expressive and moving but sometimes are ponderous or too infatuated. So if you look much into the solo singing parts you may prefer some individual singers from one or the other version. The chorus colors and textures may be more open in the first reading but more worked and polished in the second. And the solo instruments also seem to me more forward in the earlier recording.

If after all this warnings you are still willing to accept the risks, you may need some extra courage to go into the more rugged (but transparent) mono sound and the more rustic interpretation of the first Scherchen. Personally, I wouldn’t pass this experience because in spite of lesser means, there is a sense of immediacy which moves me the most.



(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Bach_1750.jpg) (http://www.maxinefrost.com/blogengine.net/image.axd?picture=2009%2F3%2Fyoung+bach+blog+image+corrected+final.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 22, 2009, 06:53:25 PM
Antoine
Can I assume since this offering is your top choice for Cds of 2009 you really like this............... :)

Is this your favorite Mass in B minor of all time, top 3, comments please......(don't keep any secrets from us)

Yes, DA, Kuijken is currently my top choice, together with Leonhardt. But it exists a lot of very enjoyable versions, for instance, just to mention some of them among my own discs: Veldhoven, Herreweghe 1 & 2, Suzuki, Junghanel, Fasolis, Gardiner.

I prefer Leonhardt and Kuijken because they always convey that feeling of Lutheran sobriety -certain kind of reverence almost phisically tangible- that I search in Bach sacred works (even in this work sometimes called "the Catholic Mass"). BTW, I would like to have the Rifkin's version of this mass, but it is totally OOP.  :)         
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 22, 2009, 07:00:05 PM
DA,  You can't go wrong if you get 15 versions of Mass in B between CD's and DVD's like I did ...     ;)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 22, 2009, 07:26:16 PM
DA,  You can't go wrong if you get 15 versions of Mass in B between CD's and DVD's like I did ...     ;)

Indeed that would solve one problem......yet create another by very quickly draining my finances
(compare to the incremental draining I have been practicing lately)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 22, 2009, 07:38:54 PM
Indeed that would solve one problem......yet create another by very quickly draining my finances
(compare to the incremental draining I have been practicing lately)

DA,  The challenge for getting to a definitive version of any choral works is two folds - the orchestral playing and the soloists/choir performance.  The truth is you will always find something that does not agree with you 100%.  While listening is no doubt quite subjective, it is an even bigger problem when you have two forces tugging at you - voice and instruments.  You may want to sample the music on Amazon and make better use of your local library before you settle on a half-dozen of mass in B.  IMO, it is total bunk to think Mass in B is done right ONLY when it is HIP.  Personally, I found Karl Richter was in fact (semi) HIP when I watched his Brandenburg Concertos on DVD.  While the intruments were modern instruments, he scaled the size of his ensemble according to the concerto the group was performing.  Unlike Karajan, who used the force strength of the BPO in his recordings ...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 22, 2009, 07:43:41 PM
Yes, DA, Kuijken is currently my top choice, together with Leonhardt. But it exists a lot of very enjoyable versions, for instance, just to mention some of them among my own discs: Veldhoven, Herreweghe 1 & 2, Suzuki, Junghanel, Fasolis, Gardiner.

The samples for Kuijken sound good, food for my plate

Coop
Not a problem, I will have my modern orchestra basses covered  with Richter/Archiv and Klemperer/EMI GROTC
So I will not be completely distracted by the HIP versions

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KPSAWVNTL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GREVY8YEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: rubio on December 23, 2009, 02:41:29 AM
If after all this warnings you are still willing to accept the risks, you may need some extra courage to go into the more rugged (but transparent) mono sound and the more rustic interpretation of the first Scherchen. Personally, I wouldn’t pass this experience because in spite of lesser means, there is a sense of immediacy which moves me the most.

Thank you very much for the detailed and interesting comments, ccar! I will keep them in mind and I will probably pick up one of them up as an alternative version if I find it for a fair price. I have no problems with transparent mono sound, and I very much enjoy Scherchen's art in other areas.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 23, 2009, 06:01:46 AM
The samples for Kuijken sound good, food for my plate

Go for Kuijken, DA! And, if it is possible, Leonhardt too.

Just one unnecessary prevention: it exists a recording by Kuijken on Urtext Records; it only contains excerpts and it is not recommendable. The good one is on Challenge Classics. :)

 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 23, 2009, 06:11:35 AM
Go for Kuijken, DA! And, if it is possible, Leonhardt too.

Just one unnecessary prevention: it exists a recording by Kuijken on Urtext Records; it only contains excerpts and it is not recommendable. The good one is on Challenge Classics. :)

Yes I have ordered the "new" Kuijken, have to carefully screen the OVPP versions since I don't care much for the lean sound of Parrott for instance, but this Kuijken sounds much better from samples
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 23, 2009, 07:31:57 AM
Yes I have ordered the "new" Kuijken, have to carefully screen the OVPP versions since I don't care much for the lean sound of Parrott for instance, but this Kuijken sounds much better from samples

Parrott was a big disappointment for me. I love, really love his two sopranos -Kirkby and van Evera-, but that performance don't work at all.  :( 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 23, 2009, 07:45:33 AM
Yes I have ordered the "new" Kuijken, have to carefully screen the OVPP versions since I don't care much for the lean sound of Parrott for instance, but this Kuijken sounds much better from samples

Parrott's ensemble does have a lean sound and it is not as polished as other English baroque orchestras such as the AAM or English Baroque Soloists.  That may be fine with Henry Purcell's works and does not work with Bach choral works IMO.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 23, 2009, 08:25:09 AM
I added this set to my Bach collection a few weeks ago.  It is quite good on first listen - all the chances I have had so far ...
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Anyone have a clue what this photo on CD cover is supposed to represent in relation to B minor mass?

A glimpse of heaven from the basement............ :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 23, 2009, 08:29:35 AM
Anyone have a clue what this photo on CD cover is supposed to represent in relation to B minor mass?

A glimpse of heaven from the basement............ :)

I put this Mass in B CD artwork in the same category as this Brandenburg Concertos ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-M0n%2BqA6L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 23, 2009, 09:09:30 AM
Anyone have a clue what this photo on CD cover is supposed to represent in relation to B minor mass?

A glimpse of heaven from the basement............ :)

I have not read the booklet, but I don't see any special relation. The artwork includes some pictures of the Vlierbeek Abbey (an old Benedictine abbey built in 1125) in the city of Leuven, Belgium, and the cover is apparently a detail of one of those pictures. :)

P.S.: Thanks, Wikipedia!  :D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bulldog on December 23, 2009, 09:22:18 AM
Parrott was a big disappointment for me. I love, really love his two sopranos -Kirkby and van Evera-, but that performance don't work at all.  :(

I have to disagree.  Although I don't find Parrott's version as rewarding as Leonhardt's, I think that Parrott directs very well and that his soloists are first-rate.  Overall, I consider Parrott on Gardiner's level in this work.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 23, 2009, 11:12:07 AM
I have to disagree.  Although I don't find Parrott's version as rewarding as Leonhardt's, I think that Parrott directs very well and that his soloists are first-rate.  Overall, I consider Parrott on Gardiner's level in this work.

Bulldog have you heard the new Kuijken under discussion, from samples seems to have found a more satisfying way to use "one voice per part" compared to early pioneers like Parrott.........

I will know more once the Kuijken arrives, I have owned the Parrott for quite some time

Coop
that Naive Brandenburg cover photo had me scratching my head also, a mystery for sure
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Brewski on December 23, 2009, 11:16:25 AM
Coop
that Naive Brandenburg cover photo had me scratching my head also, a mystery for sure

I love that cover!  (Also with no idea what it means...)  If the performance and recording weren't so good I'd be more impatient with the artwork, but I find the photo amusingly inexplicable.

--Bruce 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on December 23, 2009, 11:20:32 AM
I love that cover!  (Also with no idea what it means...)  If the performance and recording weren't so good I'd be more impatient with the artwork, but I find the photo amusingly inexplicable.

--Bruce

I am just intrigued by the CD cover, though I know nothing about the recording itself.  Since I already have some 25 versions of Brandenburg Concertos (including some DVD's) , it is unlikely for me to add another version by an ensemble I know nothing about ...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bulldog on December 23, 2009, 01:18:10 PM
Bulldog have you heard the new Kuijken under discussion, from samples seems to have found a more satisfying way to use "one voice per part" compared to early pioneers like Parrott.........

I will know more once the Kuijken arrives, I have owned the Parrott for quite some time


No, I haven't heard it yet.  That's my negligence because I subscribe to the Naxos Music Library and the set is available.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 23, 2009, 03:27:24 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515XAQ187YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

How about this B-minor Mass cover?

Alas, the trend these days is that an artiful picture is sufficient reason to put it on a classical CD cover.

Zoomable but unpasteable image here:
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Minor-Musiciens-Du-Louvre/dp/B001JPB9LE/ref=sr_1_30?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1261610632&sr=1-30
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 23, 2009, 03:42:23 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515XAQ187YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

How about this B-minor Mass cover?

That photo makes "symbolic" sense since it is a stairway ascending upwards (towards heaven or God)
Minkowski version for Naive label includes very deluxe 2 CD hardbound digibook with 100 pages inside........... :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bulldog on December 23, 2009, 04:43:41 PM
That photo makes "symbolic" sense since it is a stairway ascending upwards (towards heaven or God)
Minkowski version for Naive label includes very deluxe 2 CD hardbound digibook with 100 pages inside........... :)

A question - how do you know it's ascending?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 23, 2009, 04:51:48 PM
I have to disagree.  Although I don't find Parrott's version as rewarding as Leonhardt's, I think that Parrott directs very well and that his soloists are first-rate.  Overall, I consider Parrott on Gardiner's level in this work.

My impression was rather different, Don. I generally appreciate Parrott and his singers, but here I disliked not just the muffled instrumental part - certainly the sound quality doesn’t collaborate - but certain general lack of emotion in the performance. It sounds monotonous, cut-and-dried to me; a competent performance that never catches fire.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on December 24, 2009, 06:43:30 AM
A question - how do you know it's ascending?

That's a matter of eschatology.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: rubio on December 28, 2009, 02:54:11 PM
Is this the 1961 recording?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BPQ89MNML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

One more question. Is the above 1961 recording and the below Christmas Oratorio included in the Sacred Masterpieces box set? Or are there other recording dates?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41F8A22804L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I get a bit confused when I read the Amazon comments. Some write they are the same, some not.

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Sacred-Masterpieces-Hermann-Prey/dp/B00004SAAW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1262040236&sr=1-1

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KPSAWVNTL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: ccar on December 28, 2009, 04:38:49 PM
One more question. Is the above 1961 recording and the below Christmas Oratorio included in the Sacred Masterpieces box set? Or are there other recording dates?

No. The first you mention is from 1961 and the one included in the box is the Tokyo May 9 1969.

AFAIK there are 5 different (released) versions of Karl Richter's Mass in B minor:

1. Nov 30, 1956 – CD Andromeda

2. Feb, Apr 1961 – CD DG Archiv
 
3. Apr 17, 1968 – CD Ars Nova

4. May 9, 1969 – CD DG Archiv

5. Sep 12-28, 1969 – DVD DG

(http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:yOQvUVttNEOJmM:http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/andromedaandrcd9042.jpg) (http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:PCu9bLm01GTtlM:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BPQ89MNML._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://img.towerrecords.co.jp/images/jacket/tower/2044130000521.jpg) (http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:6VNiRtmnfmct1M:http://seanthebaptist.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/07/41kpsawvntl_sl500_aa240_.jpg)  (http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:4srSADxFm5KWHM:http://www.classical.net/music/recs/images/d/dgg734148dvd.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 28, 2009, 05:55:10 PM
AFAIK there are 5 different (released) versions of Karl Richter's Mass in B minor:
1. Nov 30, 1956 – CD Andromeda

Do you have a link for this one? My favourite conductor of my favourite piece and I had no idea about this version. It's not even listed at bach-cantatas.com.  Is it live?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: ccar on December 28, 2009, 06:59:31 PM
Do you have a link for this one? My favourite conductor of my favourite piece and I had no idea about this version. It's not even listed at bach-cantatas.com.  Is it live?

Yes. Live - Lukaskirsche Munich - 30 Nov 1956

Fahberg, Topper, Lutze, Kelch
Munchener Bach-Chor
Ein Kammerorchester

The sound has some hiss but is quite acceptable for the date. 
 
http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_ss?__mk_de_DE=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=mass+richter+andromeda&x=18&y=26 (http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_ss?__mk_de_DE=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=mass+richter+andromeda&x=18&y=26)

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on December 28, 2009, 07:02:30 PM
Do you have a link for this one? My favourite conductor of my favourite piece and I had no idea about this version. It's not even listed at bach-cantatas.com.  Is it live?

German link (http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B001HAWUMI?ie=UTF8&tag=jlaurson-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1638&creative=19454&creativeASIN=B001HAWUMI)

could not find a US link

UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001HAWUMI?ie=UTF8&tag=ionarts-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B001HAWUMI)

French link (http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B001HAWUMI?ie=UTF8&tag=ionartsfr-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1642&creative=19458&creativeASIN=B001HAWUMI)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 29, 2009, 12:43:00 AM
Thanks, both. Just ordered it.

While we're on a roll, do either of you have a link for the Russian recording? I've been looking for that one for a few years but have never tracked it down.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 29, 2009, 05:37:39 AM
Yes, DA, Kuijken is currently my top choice, together with Leonhardt. But it exists a lot of very enjoyable versions, for instance, just to mention some of them among my own discs: Veldhoven, Herreweghe 1 & 2, Suzuki, Junghanel, Fasolis, Gardiner.

While I await the delivery of new Kuijken version I took delivery of the 1998 Fasolis Mass mentioned by A.M., delightful version that takes a middle ground between grand modern orchestra versions and the spartan OVPP of Parrott etc, clear detailed sound with agile clarified textures a great one to add to any collection, spirited inspired singing that sounds very fresh, timing is 104 minutes compared to Gardiner/Archiv 106 minutes, Herreweghe II 108 minutes (Richter/Archiv boxset & Klemperer/EMI 136 minutes)  :)

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/arts475252.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Leo K. on December 29, 2009, 08:25:52 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JE9VW57YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


WOW.  Real incredible performance...I ordered this after being amazed at the sound examples on Amazon and I was not dissapointed upon my first listen last night.

A live performance recorded at the St.Paul's Cathedral...so yeah, you probably have to be a reverb fan to want to have this...but WOW...great singing on here too.

Because of the echo, the parts of the orchestra sounds like distant stars surrounding you...the horizon seems to be hidden by couldy atmospheric perspective.

Gotta love this old school Bach sometimes.

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: ccar on December 29, 2009, 10:46:44 AM
Thanks, both. Just ordered it.

While we're on a roll, do either of you have a link for the Russian recording? I've been looking for that one for a few years but have never tracked it down.

Sorry Kevin. No help on that. It was first released as a Melodiya LP and latter as a Ars Nova CD (005/06) but AFAIK became quickly OOP and has always been difficult to find - it was once available from Tower Japan but I believe not anymore.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 29, 2009, 06:11:05 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51D%2BlKfupZL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I very recently ordered the Suzuki/BIS 10 CD boxset of sacred works (mass, passions, oratorios)

These seem to get very good reviews and Amazon sellers have it for close to $50, also I believe the BIS sound will be quite good. Will report in when box arrives.......... ;)

The Suzuki boxset has arrived............befrore I comment on performances I must applaud the excellent BIS packaging.
The hardcase box contains the full booklet from each individual release, same is true of the Suzuki cantata boxsets they have full booklet from every individual CD release, I have never seen this generous amount of documentation for any boxset previously! :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 29, 2009, 06:25:22 PM
While I await the delivery of new Kuijken version I took delivery of the 1998 Fasolis Mass mentioned by A.M., delightful version that takes a middle ground between grand modern orchestra versions and the spartan OVPP of Parrott etc, clear detailed sound with agile clarified textures a great one to add to any collection, spirited inspired singing that sounds very fresh, timing is 104 minutes compared to Gardiner/Archiv 106 minutes, Herreweghe II 108 minutes (Richter/Archiv boxset & Klemperer/EMI 136 minutes)  :)

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/arts475252.jpg)

Hi, DA. I believe I have said this before, but I prefer Fasolis conducting vocal music. He goes mad rather easily when music is exclusively instrumental, for instance, in the Orchestral Suites and the Brandenburgs. On the contrary, his Mass in B minor, Johannes-Passion, Mätthaus-Passion and Weihnachtsoratorium are totally enjoyable, IMO (especially the latter, one of my preferred versions of these cantatas).

I think you would love his recordings of BWV 198, 106 (in the same disc!) and 1083 Psalm 51 (Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden). Please, check this video:

http://www.youtube.com/v/2dkr_sVJcTU

 :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on December 29, 2009, 06:52:47 PM
Antoine
I immediately placed an order for Fasolis - St John Passion after hearing the B Minor mass, awaiting delivery.....
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 29, 2009, 09:19:37 PM
Antoine
I immediately placed an order for Fasolis - St John Passion after hearing the B Minor mass, awaiting delivery.....

I like that Mass too. In fact, it might just be my favourite recording of the Mass by a not-well-known conductor. Think I'll revisit it today; it's been a while.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 29, 2009, 10:12:26 PM
Since we're talking about the Mass, for anyone who wasn't here at the time or hasn't discovered it since, here the listening group I lead some four (wow) years ago.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5637.0.html
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on December 30, 2009, 12:06:18 AM
Okay I came home from work and put on the Fasolis. It's not the one I was thinking of when I praised it above. The one I had in mind, and which is spinning now, is Radu's. (It's not even the first time I made this mistake. I think I bought the CDs at the same time.) The reason I like Radu's interpretation is because he is the only conductor to use only a harpsichord for the continuo. Others use the organ or a combination of two. The organless continuo here gives it a different feel, almost like a choral Brandenburg. The effect is most agreeable, especially as an alternative.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Leo K. on January 02, 2010, 09:50:23 AM
This was released in France last December but has been released elsewhere only in recent months.  I have listened to it only once through but have been really impressed.  Minkowski has managed to create this truly rich and yet transparent sound out a 10-strong choir and 26-piece orchestra and his interpretation is surprisingly more nuanced, sensual, and dramatic than most other dozen HIP recordings I have heard.  To me his experience in Handel and in French baroque operas pays off handsomely here. 

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/68/1066268.jpg)

For further refrence, this is the press review that I identify most among those I have read so far:

All Music Guide review of Bach B minor Mass recording (Minkowski) by Stephen Eddins  (http://www.allclassical.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=43:184628~T0)


Wow!  What a great B Minor Mass!

Immediately the most satisfying HIP account I've yet heard of this work...absolutely stunning sonics too.

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on January 02, 2010, 10:04:51 AM

Wow!  What a great B Minor Mass!

Immediately the most satisfying HIP account I've yet heard of this work...absolutely stunning sonics too.

Leo, pretty nice package also for Minkowski...........

I received Antoine's beloved new Kuijken version in mail, so naturally we must compare these two new OVPP Masses and see where we stand  :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on January 02, 2010, 10:09:56 AM
Leo, pretty nice package also for Minkowski...........

I received Antoine's beloved new Kuijken version in mail, so naturally we must compare these two new OVPP Masses and see where we stand  :)

DA,  You meant this set?  I bought it over a month ago ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on January 02, 2010, 10:11:16 AM
DA,  You meant this set?  I bought it over a month ago ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Indeed, that is the one............
Since Antoine scored a big hit for me with Fasoli, I suspect the Kuijken will also be to my liking
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on January 02, 2010, 03:27:06 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) vs (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515XAQ187YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Just listened to the lastest contenders in the OVPP Bach Mass B Minor, both of these are better than the older Parrott an early OVPP pioner. Kuijken talks in booklet about being converted from large choral group to OVPP and now cannot go back. He uses a small group of 8 vocalists and some sections only use 5, Minkowski slightly larger group with 10. Kuijken group acheives wonderful polyphony with voices weaving in and out especially in sanctus/osanna section, sounds like a Monteverdi Vesper at St Marks in Venice, soloist stepping out from choral group sound lovely with the sopranos sounding very angelic

Another advantage for Kuijken is the use of small organ for continuo with gives a deeper fondation bass from which angelic voices can soar to the heavens.....Minkowski uses harpsicord or organ as needed. So I give the overall edge to Kuijken, he gives us the clarified detail and counterpoint heard clearly in this OVPP that is often lost and drowned out in large choral groups previously used, while still keeping an overall richness and depth to sound.
 
The Challenge Classics hybrid SACD sound could hardly be better, especially the trumpet and horn fanfares which sound very natural and spacious
Timings are Kuijken 102 minutes, Minkowski 107 minutes
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Leo K. on January 03, 2010, 06:42:16 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rMn4RBa7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) vs (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515XAQ187YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Just listened to the lastest contenders in the OVPP Bach Mass B Minor, both of these are better than the older Parrott an early OVPP pioner. Kuijken talks in booklet about being converted from large choral group to OVPP and now cannot go back. He uses a small group of 8 vocalists and some sections only use 5, Minkowski slightly larger group with 10. Kuijken group acheives wonderful polyphony with voices weaving in and out especially in sanctus/osanna section, sounds like a Monteverdi Vesper at St Marks in Venice, soloist stepping out from choral group sound lovely with the sopranos sounding very angelic

Another advantage for Kuijken is the use of small organ for continuo with gives a deeper fondation bass from which angelic voices can soar to the heavens.....Minkowski uses harpsicord or organ as needed. So I give the overall edge to Kuijken, he gives us the clarified detail and counterpoint heard clearly in this OVPP that is often lost and drowned out in large choral groups previously used, while still keeping an overall richness and depth to sound.
 
The Challenge Classics hybrid SACD sound could hardly be better, especially the trumpet and horn fanfares which sound very natural and spacious
Timings are Kuijken 102 minutes, Minkowski 107 minutes

Thanks for that comparison!  I almost bought the Kuijken from Borders but I hadn't heard any samples yet so I waited, and ended up getting Minkowski first on iTunes because I was blown away at the sonics.  I'm heading over to Amazon to listen to some samples of the Kuijken now.  Since I have an SACD player I am definitely interested in the Kuijken account.

I should mention that I'm quite new to the OVPP performance of the Mass and the St.Matthew Passion (via the McCreesh), and so far I've been blown away at what I'm hearing.


Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on January 03, 2010, 06:50:38 AM
Thanks for that comparison!  I almost bought the Kuijken from Borders but I hadn't heard any samples yet so I waited, and ended up getting Minkowski first on iTunes because I was blown away at the sonics.  I'm heading over to Amazon to listen to some samples of the Kuijken now.  Since I have an SACD player I am definitely interested in the Kuijken account.

The solution to many dilemas here is to own both............. ;)
If you like Minkowski's version you will definitely be impressed with Kuijken also, and vice versa

If you have accepted and embrace the sound of OVPP for Bach you really need both, even for those who were turned off by early OVPP releases like Parrott should give Kuijken another chance, you may have a change of heart and be won over.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on January 03, 2010, 07:31:08 AM
Thanks for that comparison!  I almost bought the Kuijken from Borders but I hadn't heard any samples yet so I waited, and ended up getting Minkowski first on iTunes because I was blown away at the sonics.  I'm heading over to Amazon to listen to some samples of the Kuijken now.  Since I have an SACD player I am definitely interested in the Kuijken account.

I should mention that I'm quite new to the OVPP performance of the Mass and the St.Matthew Passion (via the McCreesh), and so far I've been blown away at what I'm hearing.

If you're interested, here's an interview with Minkowski and how he came to Bach:
“I’m American, You know” – Interview with Marc Minkowski, Part 1
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=574

 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=574)
I still prefer van Veldhoven, I don't yet know Kuijken II, but Minkowski blew me away immediately and is among my favorite versions. I like what DarkAngel had to say about the polyphonic strengths of his 10-singer group. By the way: How do you, DarkAngel, account for 107 minutes for Minkowski? Somehow it only adds up to 101 for me.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515XAQ187YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
J.S. Bach, Mass in B-minor, Minkowski / LMdL
naïve 5145 (101:05)
 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001JPB9LE/weta909-20)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on January 03, 2010, 07:59:19 AM
I still prefer van Veldhoven, I don't yet know Kuijken II, but Minkowski blew me away immediately and is among my favorite versions. I like what DarkAngel had to say about the polyphonic strengths of his 10-singer group. By the way: How do you, DarkAngel, account for 107 minutes for Minkowski? Somehow it only adds up to 101 for me.

Since there is no total timing given in Minkowski booklet I took total times from CD player readout for both CDs and added them together........ 53:24 + 53:40
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on January 03, 2010, 08:09:37 AM
If you're interested, here's an interview with Minkowski and how he came to Bach:
“I’m American, You know” – Interview with Marc Minkowski, Part 1
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=574

 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=574)
I still prefer van Veldhoven, I don't yet know Kuijken II, but Minkowski blew me away immediately and is among my favorite versions. I like what DarkAngel had to say about the polyphonic strengths of his 10-singer group. By the way: How do you, DarkAngel, account for 107 minutes for Minkowski? Somehow it only adds up to 101 for me.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515XAQ187YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
J.S. Bach, Mass in B-minor, Minkowski / LMdL
naïve 5145 (101:05)
 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001JPB9LE/weta909-20)

Since there is no total timing given in Minkowski booklet I took total times from CD player readout for both CDs and added them together........ 53:24 + 53:40

My copy does indicate a total timing... namely 1hour, 41 minutes. (Back-cover, lowest line, really fine print. My version is the "book-style" copy from last January.) For the timing I gave above, I faintly remember  counting the individual, official movement times and adding them up. Don't know where the discrepancy to your timing comes in, unless the official timing does not count "empty" space on tracks, while iTunes of course would count that.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: DarkAngel on January 03, 2010, 08:29:55 AM
My copy does indicate a total timing... namely 1hour, 41 minutes. (Back-cover, lowest line, really fine print. My version is the "book-style" copy from last January.) For the timing I gave above, I faintly remember  counting the individual, official movement times and adding them up. Don't know where the discrepancy to your timing comes in, unless the official timing does not count "empty" space on tracks, while iTunes of course would count that.

OK I see that now in very small print on back of digibook: 1H41
Not sure how they arrive at that time compared to actual total times from CD player readout which total just over 107 minutes (1H47).......

The Kuijken total times in booklet are 50:35 + 51:27, but the CD player readouts are 50:33 + 51:25
So mysteriously I lost a few seconds of Kuijken......... :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on January 03, 2010, 08:55:53 AM
OK I see that now in very small print on back of digibook: 1H41
Not sure how they arrive at that time compared to actual total times from CD player readout which total just over 107 minutes (1H47)

If it were a live recording, I'd say that its' the applause. As it is,

Disc 2: 53:34 total timing. Avg. 5 seconds reverb after each track, 13 tracks... still that's only one minute and the reverb times are *not* unusually long.
Same on disc 1: 53:20, Avg.5 seconds after each track (lack of any pause between some made up by the last), 12 tracks, another minute. 106 minutes.

If it were an LP, I'd check my belt... but since these are just 1s and 0s, they must have made an error with 101 minutes. Which explains why in my review I was so surprised about how fast the recording was supposed to be, when it sounded radically un-slow in a few select places. (I really felt like a dumb-ass for a while, because I asked Minkowski about the slowness only to go home and read it was the fasted B-minor ever, alongside Junghaenel's.  ;D

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jwinter on January 03, 2010, 04:54:43 PM
I know I'm an un-HIP heathen, but the ones I usually come back to are --

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413ojelagkL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41umnCsBMmL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hwns%2BNpnL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The Blomstedt DVD is beautifully recorded in Bach's church, and has a great interview with Blomstedt on the mass.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on January 03, 2010, 05:04:04 PM
I know I'm an un-HIP heathen, but the ones I usually come back to are --

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/413ojelagkL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41umnCsBMmL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hwns%2BNpnL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The Blomstedt DVD is beautifully recorded in Bach's church, and has a great interview with Blomstedt on the mass.

I have all the grounds covered.  I have the Blomstedt's DVD and the HvK's CD but not the Jochum's CD.  I have versions by most of the leading HIP conductors of this work as well.  I am not religious about HIP and in fact like Karl Richter for most of his Bach choral work recordings ...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on January 04, 2010, 04:27:40 PM
I gave Maazel a spin today and man, I forgot how good his reading was. This is upper echelon stuff. 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on January 06, 2010, 12:45:25 AM
Since I have an SACD player I am definitely interested in the Kuijken account.

BTW, how many recordings of the Mass are on SACD?

I have these:

Any others?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: czgirb on January 20, 2011, 12:26:21 AM
Yes, the Leonhardt B Minor Mass is my favorite on record.

To me:
SMP: Karl Richter (1959), Herreweghe (1984), and Gardiner
XO: Gardiner
MiB: Leonhardt ... same as you
SJP: Karl Richter ... what yours?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bulldog on January 20, 2011, 12:36:46 AM
To me:
SMP: Karl Richter (1959), Herreweghe (1984), and Gardiner
XO: Gardiner
MiB: Leonhardt ... same as you
SJP: Karl Richter ... what yours?

Gardiner on Archiv.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on January 23, 2011, 01:44:27 AM
With the new excellently recorded OVPP performance by John Butt and his scottish Dunedin Consort and Players, one hears the music with an unprecedented clarity of texture and colours, not to mention the energetic and stylish communication in the singing and playing (Try the corno da caccia solo in the example, the trio of clarini also brilliant).  Again voice types and features will always be subject to listener's own background, tastes and preferences, but there is no denying that John Butt holds his status as a first-class Bach scholar and musician well with this recent presentation.

excerpts: 'Quoniam' - 'Cum sanctos spiritus' from Gloria

http://www.youtube.com/v/yz1WHzjXBMw

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/008/071/0000807186_350.jpg)


BTW, how many recordings of the Mass are on SACD?

I have these:
  • Kuijken
  • Netherlands Bach Society
  • Junghanel
  • Muller-Bruhl (2nd Naxos)
  • Suzuki
  • Rilling (2005)

Any others?

Yes this one, too, is on SACD, and deservedly.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on January 23, 2011, 02:34:12 AM
I have almost bought that Dunedin version several times and what has stopped me has been the very luke warm comments on the soloists. What do you think of them?

The versions I have are:

Enescu: 1951 A 'specialist' version that I would not generally recommend
Karajan:1952, swift and well sung, a lasting pleasure
Richter: 1962 Stader/Topper. I enjoy this a lot.
Karajan: 1974 Po-faced and turgid, only worthwile for the soloists, Janowitz amongst them.
Marriner: 1977 Sound, but no individual take on it. Good soloists including Baker.
Rifkin: 1982 Groundbreaking one to a part, terrific in ensemble, bland solo work.
Parrott: 1984 Fizzing with life and wonderfully tangy.

In 25 years a version must have been produced using HIP and with characterful soloists and at least not an eccentric take on it.

I am still wary having bought last November the Harnoncourt Christmas Oratorio and enjoying it all apart from the mauling the conductor gives the piece.

Mike
 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on January 23, 2011, 02:45:19 AM
I have almost bought that Dunedin version several times and what has stopped me has been the very luke warm comments on the soloists. What do you think of them?

The soloists are not eccentric at all, but neither do they have a glamourous voice (as many of them do in Minkowski's recording). The women especially sound like boy sopranos/altos, and that actually works well in the 'choral' parts.  The arias, though, will be an acquired taste if one has not taken to Emma Kirkby's style comfortably.  Speaking for myself, I like the Butt/Dunedin recording most for its crystal clear presentation of the music; it's a bit like Parrott's, but with more definition, rigour and colour. i.e. you can find better singing elsewhere but the conductor's overall very coherent concept and his rather precise way of putting it altogether with his technically assured musicians are hard to fault.  (Using the scale of your list, I'd say this one is in the lineage of Rifkin/Parrott, with serious upgrades in overall finish and precision.) 
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on January 23, 2011, 02:58:09 AM
Thanks for that. I get the impression that the Dunedin will be somewhere between Rifkin and Parrott...which is not to infer it is middle of the road. Both of those have very good choral elements. I do want someone who balances that quality with really excellent soloists.

In the Minkowski....do the singers, drawn from the chorus of 10, really get to the heart of the arias and does he allow contemplative elbow room?

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on January 23, 2011, 03:02:27 AM
In the Minkowski....do the singers, drawn from the chorus of 10, really get to the heart of the arias and does he allow contemplative elbow room?

Mike

I only have one example of that handy at the moment; try this and see what you think.  Minkowski's 'soloists' (all of them get an aria or a duet) are similar in their approach to the emotive content of the music.

Terry Wey sings 'Qui sedes' in Gloria:

http://www.youtube.com/v/VBFpzY4TYvo
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on January 23, 2011, 03:14:59 AM
Again, thanks. A very sane tempo that allows for that dancing lilt to come through sounding neither becalmed nor rushed. I have been through Youtube and like what I have found. I will order the set.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: FideLeo on January 23, 2011, 03:27:59 AM
Again, thanks. A very sane tempo that allows for that dancing lilt to come through sounding neither becalmed nor rushed. I have been through Youtube and like what I have found. I will order the set.

Mike

You are welcome; Minkowski's is a lovely set.  It could have been a bit better recorded (soundstage and overall transparency not really top notch) but for me the interpretation/performance itself holds up beautifully after several listenings over time.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on January 23, 2011, 05:25:53 AM
Thanks for that. I get the impression that the Dunedin will be somewhere between Rifkin and Parrott...which is not to infer it is middle of the road. Both of those have very good choral elements. I do want someone who balances that quality with really excellent soloists.

In the Minkowski....do the singers, drawn from the chorus of 10, really get to the heart of the arias and does he allow contemplative elbow room?

Mike

I'd agree with Masolino that Minkowski & his singers really involve themselves. (See above review)
The singers may not be to everyone's taste (they suit me just fine, though), but there are no obvious or objective flaws. That's one difference from Butt/Dunedin's B-minor which has such problems and doesn't achieve lift-off elsewhere, either. (Note that that criticism applies only to that recording; their M-Passion is terrific and not marred by such problems). [Note to self: when googling my review of the latter, never use the words "Butt Passion" again with the safe-search off.] Two Saint Matthew Passions (John Butt) (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=464)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Coopmv on January 23, 2011, 07:28:40 AM
With the new excellently recorded OVPP performance by John Butt and his scottish Dunedin Consort and Players, one hears the music with an unprecedented clarity of texture and colours, not to mention the energetic and stylish communication in the singing and playing (Try the corno da caccia solo in the example, the trio of clarini also brilliant).  Again voice types and features will always be subject to listener's own background, tastes and preferences, but there is no denying that John Butt holds his status as a first-class Bach scholar and musician well with this recent presentation.

excerpts: 'Quoniam' - 'Cum sanctos spiritus' from Gloria

http://www.youtube.com/v/yz1WHzjXBMw

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/008/071/0000807186_350.jpg)


Yes this one, too, is on SACD, and deservedly.

I still have not had the chance to play the SACD set by John Butt and his scottish Dunedin Consort, which arrived just before Christmas from Presto Classical and before all the recent massive mail delay ...
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on January 23, 2011, 07:46:13 AM
How can it be that be reading about music that my mouth can water....I understand the connection when I read or hear about food. Anyway, now my mouth waters when I anticipate the package.

One of the links I watched included about 30 seconds of the Sanctus in full flow. It was thrilling to watch such a small body of singers attacking this with such wonderful tone and it did not sound in the least underpowered.

I have the McCreech one to a line St Matthew and will never part with it. If the approach is right and includes first rate musicians, there is nothing more concentrated, nor textures that are clearer. The massed bands, which I still enjoy, are just not needed to put across the glory of the music.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Leo K. on December 24, 2011, 12:48:28 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Z105i74zL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It's the time of year when I like to hear Bach's B Minor Mass, and I'm really enjoying what I'm hearing so far in this account.

My favorite is the Minkowski account, but I'm VERY impressed with the Dunedin Consort.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on December 24, 2011, 01:34:40 PM
Listening to this one at the moment:

(http://i39.tinypic.com/ao74si.jpg)

'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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Marc on December 24, 2011, 02:25:49 PM
Listening to this one at the moment:

(http://i39.tinypic.com/ao74si.jpg)

'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'.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2012, 04:54:17 PM
Loved this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511FJ6cI3ZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and a friend mentioned this one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510B791ZN4L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

so on its way! :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Gordo on November 28, 2012, 06:24:21 PM
Loved this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511FJ6cI3ZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Me, too! Wonderful performances.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510B791ZN4L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bogey 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?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Gordo 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.


Quote
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]
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Bogey on November 28, 2012, 06:40:21 PM
Very helpful....and thank you.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson 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. (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-7.html))
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka 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. (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-recordings-of-2010-7.html))

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?


Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: StLukesguildOhio on November 29, 2012, 11:56:14 AM
I have the "old school" Klemperer:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515xOyPfg%2BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Early HIP/Old School Richter:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BnGUF93RL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Two versions by Herreweghe:

1989:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41B%2BuO0rK8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and the version with Gens and Scholl:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512UpkaLipL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and John Eliot Gardiner's:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61kE6E%2BJSKL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

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:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AzEY51lzL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and Suzuki:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51O6jwm6E3L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson 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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson 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:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AzEY51lzL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and Suzuki:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51O6jwm6E3L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

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

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

Quote
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 (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.

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: San Antone 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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka 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
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on June 17, 2013, 09:25:10 PM

Early HIP/Old School Richter:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BnGUF93RL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


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:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41e5GoQyQQL._SY300__PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__.jpg)
(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.)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP 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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on June 21, 2013, 10:10:27 PM
We should hold you to that.....breath bated.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jochanaan 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)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Parsifal 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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson 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.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Sammy on June 22, 2013, 10:52:48 AM
Since no one's mentioned it, Herreweghe has a third recording out:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41e5GoQyQQL._SY300__PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__.jpg)
(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.)

That's the one PHI recording I haven't acquired yet, and yes, it's Herreweghe's third.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka on June 22, 2013, 01:11:27 PM
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.



Have you heard this?

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/MBM-Richter-R0[Andromede].jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on June 22, 2013, 02:22:19 PM
Have you heard this?

Yes, I have. I remember preferring the 1961 Richter recording, but in my journey through all the B Minor Mass recordings, I plan on listening to all four Richter recordings back-to-back and comparing them.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jochanaan on June 22, 2013, 06:26:47 PM
But Bach was a heretic.  They will be playing it for new arrivals to the other place.
A heretic?  He who wrote "Soli Deo Gloria" on most of his music?  Granted, he had his difficulties with church authorities--but so did many other saints. :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Parsifal on June 22, 2013, 06:39:34 PM
A heretic?  He who wrote "Soli Deo Gloria" on most of his music?  Granted, he had his difficulties with church authorities--but so did many other saints. :)

Now, now.  according to the one true faith (Catholic) the Lutheran church itself was heresy.   :)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka on June 23, 2013, 05:33:06 AM
Yes, I have. I remember preferring the 1961 Richter recording, but in my journey through all the B Minor Mass recordings, I plan on listening to all four Richter recordings back-to-back and comparing them.

I plan on listening to some Richter records over the summer too. Do you know if this book says anything about his ideas?

(http://www.godleybooks.co.uk/image/data/005296.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on June 23, 2013, 11:30:58 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)

No, for me, et Resurexit. I agree, very demanding, but i recollect that it was intended as several pieces, then put together. There are many wonderful recording.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on June 23, 2013, 12:20:16 PM
I plan on listening to some Richter records over the summer too. Do you know if this book says anything about his ideas?

(http://www.godleybooks.co.uk/image/data/005296.jpg)

Not familiar with that book but I'd be interested if it does.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jochanaan on June 28, 2013, 07:40:41 PM
No, for me, et Resurexit...
Come to think of it, there are several such triumphal moments here.  "Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum," anyone? ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Rinaldo on November 04, 2013, 01:38:06 AM
Just a heads up on a recent release:


As HIP as it gets.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: HIPster on December 01, 2013, 06:23:06 PM
Just a heads up on a recent release:


As HIP as it gets.

Count me in!

Has anyone heard this yet?  Rinaldo?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Rinaldo on December 02, 2013, 07:57:07 AM
Count me in!

Has anyone heard this yet?  Rinaldo?

Just bits from the rehearsals. I'm hoping to get to it around Christmas.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on December 02, 2013, 09:18:09 AM
Count me in!

Has anyone heard this yet?  Rinaldo?

Listened to it earlier today... quite nice... indeed very nice. but not a new favorite in its category.
Liked it better than Butt (whose B-Minor is the weak point in his 'triolgoy'), but didn't touch van Veldhoven (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2007/12/bachs-mass-in-b-minor.html) or Minkowski (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/06/im-american-you-know-interview-with_22.html).
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka on December 02, 2013, 10:43:01 AM
Listened to it earlier today... quite nice... indeed very nice. but not a new favorite in its category.
Liked it better than Butt (whose B-Minor is the weak point in his 'triolgoy'), but didn't touch van Veldhoven (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2007/12/bachs-mass-in-b-minor.html) or Minkowski (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/06/im-american-you-know-interview-with_22.html).

Can you say a bit more about what you didn't like about Butt?  I have reservations myself, about the soloists mainly.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: aquablob on December 02, 2013, 10:52:49 AM
Can you say a bit more about what you didn't like about Butt?

 ;D
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: jlaurson on December 02, 2013, 12:44:23 PM
Can you say a bit more about what you didn't like about Butt?  I have reservations myself, about the soloists mainly.

Precisely. They offered weak spots in the M-Passion, already, but nothing that worried me in light of the over-all quality. In the B-minor Mass they detracted from the enjoyment. The new St.John is the one I like best of the lot.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: André on May 14, 2019, 06:00:26 PM
Cross-posted from the WAYL thread:

Quote
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61X3qxgvoBL.jpg)

I bought this to hear the Windsbacher Knabenchor in Bach’s B minor Mass. Boy choristers sing the soprano and alto parts, grown ups make up the tenor and bass contingent. They produce a wonderfully full, transparent and penetrating sound. No haze here, no approximate pitches, no flying sibilants. The orchestra is MI and the performance as a whole is a traditional one in the best sense, with a natural feel to the tempi. At 107 minutes it is in the same time range (105-108 minutes) as Gardiner, Suzuki, Christie, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Layton, Jacobs, Brüggen and other period performance practitioners, and 15-30 minutes faster than the avuncular, old fashioned (but spiritually intense) Jochum, Karajan, Klemperer, Richter, Shaw, Scherchen, Munchinger, Giulini. Two very contrasted sets of approaches indeed. I have favourites in both camps, but tend to prefer the first.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on August 25, 2019, 03:37:27 PM
Bach and them were overly dramatic, weren't they?

(https://scontent-icn1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/fr/cp0/e15/q65/68562567_2541224399270167_152012022320463872_o.jpg?_nc_cat=104&efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&_nc_oc=AQnW0-FPKrqSL3qrDIg6J7Kc9vZY1bR_HkIiKey9ZaXiuMPrzeAoaTdMha-HPI0kLt0&_nc_ht=scontent-icn1-1.xx&oh=58d59264f0fdd36df4ff70e1d34d4f12&oe=5DD0E685)
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Mandryka on August 26, 2019, 11:45:24 AM
Bach and them were overly dramatic, weren't they?

(https://scontent-icn1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/fr/cp0/e15/q65/68562567_2541224399270167_152012022320463872_o.jpg?_nc_cat=104&efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&_nc_oc=AQnW0-FPKrqSL3qrDIg6J7Kc9vZY1bR_HkIiKey9ZaXiuMPrzeAoaTdMha-HPI0kLt0&_nc_ht=scontent-icn1-1.xx&oh=58d59264f0fdd36df4ff70e1d34d4f12&oe=5DD0E685)

Very good!
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Verena on August 27, 2019, 03:14:17 AM
Does anyone know the recording by Dijkstra. I rather liked it on first hearing, somewhat less so the second time.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on August 27, 2019, 02:03:31 PM
Was a time when I could say I had every Mass recording in print and then some, but I've only kept up in spurts. The Dijkstra isn't even listed on Amazon.com except in the complete box (but is on the .uk site), so no, I don't have this one. What did you like and not like about it?
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Verena on August 29, 2019, 12:41:58 PM
What I liked the first time round is the fact that the interpretation sounded introverted to me, having a nice « flow ». On second hearing, I found the interpretation - the Kyrie especially - not sufficiently « expressive ». So I guess what I liked the first time is roughly what I didn’t like the second time. However, I did like the soloists on both hearings.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: dissily Mordentroge on December 01, 2019, 10:13:25 PM
Now, now.  according to the one true faith (Catholic) the Lutheran church itself was heresy.   :)
According to Rome, still is.
I’ve gone off all the ‘romanticised’ earlier recordings these days tending to reach for the Van Veldhoven conducting the Netherlands Bach Society. My only doubt is the somewhat ‘sleepy’ introduction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLbiDrn8IE
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: aligreto on July 19, 2020, 01:23:23 AM
JS Bach: Mass in B minor [Hengelbrock]


(http://www.jpc.de/image/cover/front/0/8025704.jpg)


This is a version that I have warmed to [more] over the years. I was OK with it originally but, at the same time, I was not overly enthusiastic about it. My original contention was that it lacked fluidity and presence. The older me still holds to these premises, particularly where we have a soloist accompanied by less dense orchestration and also in its slower movements that I feel the performances are not as consistently good. That is where it loses its way for me. It is slower overall thereby losing some of its urgency and impact. I think that consistency is the main issue here. However, all forces perform admirably, instrumentalists, choral and solo vocalists.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Que on July 20, 2020, 09:47:44 AM
JS Bach: Mass in B minor [Hengelbrock]

This is a version that I have warmed to [more] over the years. I was OK with it originally but, at the same time, I was not overly enthusiastic about it. My original contention was that it lacked fluidity and presence. The older me still holds to these premises, particularly where we have a soloist accompanied by less dense orchestration and also in its slower movements that I feel the performances are not as consistently good. That is where it loses its way for me. It is slower overall thereby losing some of its urgency and impact. I think that consistency is the main issue here. However, all forces perform admirably, instrumentalists, choral and solo vocalists.

What are you favourites?   :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: aligreto on July 21, 2020, 11:51:04 PM
JS Bach: Mass in B minor [Fasolis]


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/616iEKgZriL._AC_SX425_.jpg)


When I first bought this version many years ago I remember being somewhat disappointed with it. However, I have changed my opinion over the years. I now take it for what it is; a straightforward and more devotional take on this work as opposed to the more “laboured” label I gave it back then. The pacing is not, in fact, as slow as I had perceived it before. The performances are more than fine from all forces, both instrumentalists, choral and solo vocalists. It has grown on me with time.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: aligreto on July 21, 2020, 11:57:01 PM
What are you favourites?   :)

Q

Hello Que. My favourite Mass in B minor is the original performance by Gardiner [Archive Productions]. I also very much like Herreweghe [Virgin] and Bruggen [Glossa] and of course Harnoncourt. Of the "newer" versions that I have heard I do like van Veldhoven. Of course, special mention also has to go to Jochum for a wonderful, "old School" performance.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on August 20, 2020, 09:20:55 PM
The work I once totally obsessed over.

I remember liking the Fasolis above though I'd have to listen to it again to remember why.

I think the harpsichord in the continuo was more prominent, and I always like hearing a harpsichord in this piece.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Jo498 on August 20, 2020, 09:54:46 PM
Fasolis is very good with very good soloist (overall considerably better soloists than Gardiner/DG Archiv). IIRC he was not the first but one of the first with a fastish dramatic Crucifixus section. As I have not been following more recent recordings, I don't know if this is more common nowadays.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: knight66 on August 24, 2020, 11:46:11 PM
The work I once totally obsessed over.

I remember liking the Fasolis above though I'd have to listen to it again to remember why.

I think the harpsichord in the continuo was more prominent, and I always like hearing a harpsichord in this piece.

I remember that well. I think you started a thread about the B Minor and wrote what must have been about the longest post ever which was so thorough and knowledgeable that it was not added to.

Mike
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Jo498 on August 24, 2020, 11:55:31 PM
BTW I cannot see how one could see the Fasolis as "slow" unless compared with the most hyperkinetic versions there are. By a brief glance at the track times it seems though, that Fasolis is bit slower than Gardiner in some "fast" sections but faster in some "slow" sections, such as the Crucifixus, Qui tollis, Sanctus, Agnus Dei.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: KevinP on August 28, 2020, 07:39:43 PM
I remember that well. I think you started a thread about the B Minor and wrote what must have been about the longest post ever which was so thorough and knowledgeable that it was not added to.

Mike
I

Wow. Thanks, Mike!

Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: vers la flamme on September 08, 2020, 01:11:06 AM
This work mystified me for a long time until really clicking with me roughly 1.5 months ago. I cannot attribute this change to any particular recording, but the music all started making sense to me and now I love the whole thing. Definitely one of my favorites in all Bach.

I think my two recordings are about as vanilla as it gets: Gardiner/Archiv and Richter/Munich on the same label. Of these I think I ultimately do prefer the Richter. Amazingly sung and played. Next I think will be Leonhardt, though I'm not yet ready to pull the trigger on yet another B minor Mass.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Handelian on November 05, 2020, 04:08:25 AM
The Mass in B minor recording by Karajan with the Vienna Symphony around 1950 is great stuff ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YGJ9NA1ML._SS400_.jpg)

This is actually surprisingly 'modern' in its approach, more so than HvK's DG remake (which he was disappointed with). At the time of its release it was considered quite radical in fact with far livelier tempi than usual. Of course now it appears dated but it is a really good performance of the old style Bach.
For an HIP performance I have a great liking for Herreweghe's with the wondrous Scholl singing the Agnus Dei.
Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: Ras on November 07, 2020, 04:52:45 AM
There are many, many good recordings of the B minor mass, but my favorite is Jordi Savall's:



By the way: In December Jordi Savall will release a new recording of the Christmas Oratorio:


Title: Re: Bach: Mass in B minor
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on November 07, 2020, 08:19:58 AM
I remember that well. I think you started a thread about the B Minor and wrote what must have been about the longest post ever which was so thorough and knowledgeable that it was not added to.

Mike

Can someone link us to that post? thankx.