4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
25 Years in the Making! (1724 to 1749), J.S. Bach's (1685 - 1750) `Mass in B Minor' is nearly 2 hours of what few would disagree is one of civilizations greatest masterpieces. Everything about it is large, the music, the voices, the scope of conception, the dynamics, use of ancient and modern music idea, melody, harmonics. The music is vibrant, pictorial, vivid, chromatic, joyful, reverent. It set the benchmark every composer afterwards strove toward in his Mass (Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, et al). There is more adventure and joy in it than every ride at all the Disneyland's combined. Bach's Mass in B Minor is something you'll want to make, in your life, a frequent and old friend. What a genius! What a man too!(prolific in Body (20 children), Intellect (his massive oeuvre) and Soul (his upbeat joyful disposition gifted to us in his joyful music).
The soloists are all young adults (see photo's and bio's in booklet) with strong voices and tight vibratos. Pitch is often perfect. They are backed by the Dresden Chamber Choir, along with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. Helmut Muller-Bruhl is conductor.
The Physical Media -- Not a CD, rather it's multi-channel sound DVD-Audio (2 disc set):
If you have a good sound system (5.1 or better surround home theater type system) hooked up to your DVD player, you are going to love being wrapped in the Olympian surround-sound of this 2-disc "DVD-Audio" set. It is an "Original Advanced-Resolution Surround Recording", with Dolby 5.1 Digital AC-3 and DTS Surround Sound. It was recorded in studio in November 2003. Thank You Naxos! (record label). Good Job.
Learn More About Bach's Mass in B Minor:
Note too, there are good articles out there, type "Mass in B Minor" in Wikipedia for instance, for a good intro to this wonderful piece of our musical heritage. Some of the Bach scholars who have written about it at length are: Arthur Mendel, Georg von Dadelsen, Alfred Durr, Sir Donald Francis Tovey. You can find their books here at Amazon. Cheers All!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
let it lead
- Published on Amazon.com
The performance is sensitive but lacks power. Blame for this rests partially upon the recording and/or mastering engineers: there is nowhere near a 24-bit dynamic range in the MLP lossless files. The peaks falls at least ten decibels below clipping, and these levels are only achieved twice in the entire recording. The average mezzo-forte dynamic is 25 decibels below clipping. I would not be surprised if the CD version sounds as good or perhaps better than this. It is amazing to me that Naxos releases DVD Audio discs with less dynamics than a properly done CD version of the same work.
If you have multi-channel capabilities, then this disc is worth considering. Otherwise it's not worth the trouble. I'm highly suspicious of the SA-CD version of this recording after the technical incompetence of the DVD Audio. It's not the only such Naxos release with problems in the sound levels.