Mass in B Minor
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|1. Kyrie: Chorus: Lord, Have Mercy On Us.|
|2. Kyrie: Duet (Soprano - Mezzo-Soprano): Christ, Have Mercy On Us.|
|3. Kyrie: Chorus: Lord, Have Mercy On Us.|
|4. Gloria: Chorus: Glory Be To God On High.|
|5. Gloria: Chorus: And On Earth Peace To Men Of Good Will.|
|6. Gloria: Aria (Soprano): We Praise Thee; We Bless Thee; We Adore Thee; We Glorify Thee.|
|7. Gloria: Chorus: We Give Thee Thanks For Thy Great Glory.|
|8. Gloria: Duet (Soprano - Tenor): Lord God, Heavenly King, God The Almighty Father. O Lord, The Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Most High Lord God, Lamb Of God, Son Of The Father.|
|9. Gloria: Chorus: Thou Who Takest Away The Sins Of The World, Have Mercy Upon Us. Thou Who Takest Away The Sins Of The World, Receive Our Prayer.|
|10. Gloria: Aria (Alto): Thou Who Sittest At The Right Hand Of The Father, Have Mercy Upon Us.|
See all 12 tracks on this disc
|1. Credo: Chorus: I Believe In One God.|
|2. Credo: Chorus: I Believe In One God, The Father Almighty...|
|3. Credo: Duet (Soprano - Mezzo-Soprano): All In One Lord Jesus Christ...|
|4. Credo: Chorus: And Was Incarnate By The Holy Ghost Of The Virgin Mary And Was Made Man.|
|5. Credo: Chorus: And Was Crucified Also For Us Under Pontius Pilate...|
|6. Credo: Chorus: And The Third Day He Rose Again According To The Scriptures...|
|7. Credo: Aria (Bass): And I Believe In The Holy Ghost...|
|8. Credo: Chorus: I Acknowledge One Baptism For The Remission Of Sins.|
|9. Credo: Chorus: And I Look For The Ressurection Of The Dead...|
|10. Sanctus: Chorus: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Of Hosts...|
See all 15 tracks on this disc
One of the most frequently mentioned "favourite" works of Bach, the B Minor Mass is not really a functional liturgical work, but an assemblage of movements written over a period of many years. Its grand scale is certainly awesome, but its musical and spiritual unity is more remarkable, considering its origin and the fact that it contains several different compositional styles--not to mention some of Bach's most profound and beautiful music. Performing this work and preserving a sense of its grand design while bringing out the considerable musical details is a challenge that most choirs, orchestras, and conductors are not up to. Almost by consensus, however, John Eliot Gardiner's version is the most successful--and it is indeed a phenomenal recording--at once sumptuous and penetrating, with gorgeous choral and solo singing, and spacious, vibrant sound. --David Vernier
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite some nice later recordings, particularly Hickox's and Herreweghe's, Gardiner's still stands out as the more passionately committed one. Being a predominantly choral work, the Mass in B minor benefits immensely from the extraordinary singing of Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir. And Gardiner's option of using solo voices in some choral parts, as in the first Kyrie, the Et in terra pax and the Crucifixus, add a more intimate dimension which nicely contrasts with the more extrovert passages, where Gardiner shines as usual, with brilliant trumpets and fervourous singing.
Of course, the Mass has also some extraordinary solo pieces, and Gardiner's soloists excel, as the playing of the English Baroque Soloists does. But it's the choirs that really make the difference. And here Gardiner's control of dynamics, rhythm and articulation is unsurpassed. He can draw the most vibrant singing from his choir without making it sound forced, without losing textural clarity.
I tried to look for other recordings of this masterpiece. Harnoncourt disappointed, Brüggen was only ok, Parrott was intriguing, Hickox was excelent, Herreweghe was a joy. But I always find myself going back to the same Gardiner recording over and over again.
Gardiner's reading is much different than that of Herreweghe's. It seems to be impossible to record the "perfect" B-Minor Mass, and by all means, neither have achieved it- although both have come close. What is readily noticable is that Herrweghe's recording is more pious and introverted, while Gardiner's is very extroverted.
I was pleased to see that Gardiner chose to scale down his choir to a smaller force. Recorded in 1985, it was released during a time shortly after Rifkin gave his infamous lecture on performing Bach's concerted choral works using one voice per part. While the liner notes of this present recording do not seem to praise such an approach, Gardiner uses the One Voice Per Part principle in several numbers. What a surprise! This is a very "different" BWV 232. For example, "Et in terra pax" is performed only with soloists in the beginning, while the choir (or concertists) enter one by one (just as the concertists enter one by one in the famous Cantata No. 21) This helps the recording build dramatic intensity. The "Crucifixus" is also appropriately performed OVPP.
Each soloist was very good, but I did not find myself particularly blown away. The orchestral playing was expressive and joyful, although the trumpets seemed to blare at times.
To compare the Herreweghe recording to this one may be impossible since they are so different. While Herreweghe seemed to focus of bringing the B-Minor Mass back to its rightful place the church (and his choice of top soloists to match), Gardiner still presents BWV 232 with irresistable freshness and bombast.
This is a recording I will want to return to often.
The Cd booklet raises such questions as "why did Bach write this piece?" and "was it ever performed complete during his lifetime?" It also gives a good history of the composition and performance of the mass. It's by no means comprehensive, but it gives a good general background for the work.
The music is beyond words. I convinced myself to buy it after hearing just a few audio samples of the Kyrie and the Sanctus. It didn't take much. The work is a cathedral in itself. Nonetheless, you don't have to be a catholic or even a christian to appreciate the music on these disks, but were I trying to convert someone I'd probably have them listen to this to get 'em in the mood.
Most recent customer reviews
Again, five stars for Mr. Gardiner. The tempi are thoughtfully chosen: neither rushed, nor sluggish. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by Popescu Lucian
The name of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, relatively unknown until the 1980's, has entered a practically household status with music lovers after his milestone recording of Claudio... Read morePublished on March 7 2004 by Alexandre Abdoulaev
If you are looking for a dynamic, transparent recording than this is the best I know of.Published on Sept. 10 2003
From the standpoint of a vocal performer and active listener, I find this THE best recording of Bach's Mass in B minor. Read morePublished on March 9 2003 by dg_steve
I love this piece of music, so I decided to buy this CD, my second version of the Bach mass. I am not sorry I bought it, but like others have said, I am beginning to think that... Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2002 by Rob Hahn
Majestic, and beutiful performance
as we are used to hear from J.E. Gardiner
and his English Baroque Soloists
I have three recordings of the B minor mass: Gardiner's, Herreweghe's and one by my own choir (which is good but cannot be compared to any of the other two for many reasons). Read morePublished on July 5 2002
This is a wonderful recording to get somebody totally hooked on Bach. This amazing music is vividly shaped and sung with such brilliance and intensity it leaves one gasping. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2002
Absolutely lovely. I'm not much of a classical music fan but I thought this was beautiful. My husband who is a Bach fan was thrilled.Published on Nov. 27 2001