Bach missa in b minor

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bach missa in b minor

Bach: Mass in B Minor by John Butt

Ive held the opinion for a number of years now that Bachs Mass in B Minor is the greatest musical composition of all time, and this book certainly did nothing but reinforce that opinion. Although it is not very long (only 116pp, including the index) its scholarly tone and fairly technical analysis requires careful attention and pretty slow plodding from a reader with only a moderately sufficient understanding of musical theory and vocabulary (such as myself). I would not recommend it as a means of introduction, but for one who is already very familiar with the work through seasoned listening and ready to dive deeper than a superficial understanding, this book is rich with insights and will serve to significantly amplify appreciation for the remarkable, God-glorifying genius and craftsmanship which is on display in this breathtaking musical opus. For better or for worse, the author does limit most of his analysis to the musical and historical side of things, and makes but very scant commentary on any possible symbolic interpretations and so on. But readers who are well-versed in Christian theology (and typology) can readily pick up where he leaves off in a number of places and fill those areas out a good bit for themselves.

As far as listening goes, Ive listened to a number of different recording over the years (especially more recently after Spotify has come along). Ive heard many that I dont care for at all and only a very few that I really like. The wrong approach can have positively ruinous effects. For instance, a too slow tempo turns what should be the magnificently rich and lively fugue of the Credo in Unum Deum into a ponderous, lumbering mess which fails to cohere. I still regard the 1986 recording conducted by John Eliot Gardiner as the gold standard. Reading and listening with a complete musical score (which I myself dont have currently but hope to acquire soon) is also highly recommended.

I had the privilege of attending a live performance a few years ago (conducted by Helmuth Rilling, who also did a find job), and am looking forward to singing it in heaven, where Bach himself will no doubt conduct!
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Published 06.01.2019

Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B minor, BWV 232 - Jordi Savall (HD 1080p)

Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)

Quoniam tu solus sanctus, Cum Sancto Spiritu. Missa missing pp. Christe eleison - 4. Laudamus te - 8. Qui tollis peccata mundi - Credo in unum Deum - Et in Spiritum sanctum -

The Christe eleison is a more light-hearted duet for two sopranos.
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Bach - Mass in B Minor - John Eliot Gardiner (2015)

The genesis and purpose of nearly all of Bach's prodigious output of vocal works is either known or can be reliably surmised — except for his very last and arguably greatest of all, which would come to be known as the Mass in B Minor although, as Karl Geiringer observes, the title is a misnomer, as twice as many sections are in B Major than in b minor. George Stauffer points out that, by whatever name, the B Minor Mass is not mentioned in any of Bach's letters nor in any other contemporaneous documents, and so our only direct evidence of its creation must lie in the autograph itself. In terms of its origins, the Mass can be viewed as having been crafted in two distinct halves. The first two of its five major sections the Kyrie and Gloria , known as the Missa were dedicated in to the Elector of Saxony in Dresden in the apparent hope of obtaining either a court title or at least some commissions. Joshua Rifkin notes that after a dozen years of service Bach felt mistreated in his position at Leipzig and sought an official, if only honorary, title to strengthen his status.

One of the Baroque period's most celebrated choral masterpieces, this Mass was Bach's last major work before he died. Bach composed his Mass in B minor around —49, a year before his death in Despite its sheer scale and grandeur, Bach didn't even give the work a name, and exists only as a collection of itinerant manuscripts. When the work is heard in its entirety, the listener comes away with the impression that this is a piece of music the composer had been building up to writing for the whole of his life. The Qui tollis dates back even later, and was most probably based on a cantata from Add a Credo and an Et incarnatus est movement, however, and the whole piece is given a new lease of life. The work's magnificence is evident from the opening bars of the Kyrie, which begins with a mighty five-part setting of the words, followed by a weighty fugue, but the work is as diverse as it is long.

2 thoughts on “Bach: Mass in B Minor by John Butt

  1. The work was one of Bach's last compositions, not completed until , the year before his death.

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