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Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Mass in B minor BWV 232
Conducted by John Butt

V-1

J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor

Mass in B minor BWV 232 (Breitkopf Edition, edited by Joshua Rifkin)

John Butt

Dunedin Consort & Players

Soprano: Susan Hamilton; Soprano: Cecilia Osmond; Alto: Margot Oitzinger; Tenor: Thomas Hobbs; Bass: Matthew Brook

Linn Records CKD-354

Sep 11-17, 2009

2-SACD / TT: 102:00

Recorded at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
Buy this album at:
2-SACD: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de
Music Download: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de

New Rifkin BMB
BMB by John Butt & Dunedin Consort and Players

Randy Lane wrote (May 27, 2010):
I just for the first time saw info about a forthcoming B Minor Mass from Joshua Rifkin in LINN SACD.
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Linn/CKD354

Is this totally new?
Is it from performances anyone in this group has heard? If yes, any comments?
What should I expect?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 27, 2010):
[To Randy Lane] Yes, it's brand new, recorded in luxurious SA-CD format.

Sound samples (and you can also purchase tracks too!) @: Linn Records

Fantastic audio quality and performances, much more so than the Nonesuch Records recording.

Evan Cortens wrote (May 27, 2010):
[To Randy Lane] Just to clarify, the recording is by the Dunedin Consort and Players, directed by John Butt. It's using the new, improved edition by Joshua Rifkin. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it; it's a great deal!

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (May 28, 2010):
BMB by John Butt & Dunedin Consort and Players

[To Randy Lane & Evan Cortens] I downloaded it yesterday through the Linn Records website in flac format (CD quality sound), and listened to it about three times in a row.

My first impressions are very positive. Great sound, very precise, and striking presence. The OVPP option gives (I would say evidently) a maximum of polyphonic clarity, space and ductility. I heard quite a lot of melodic line details I never noticed before.

The solo parts are very good, even if one could perhaps prefer some soloists from other recordings. The "Laudamus te" and the "Domine Deus" are particularly superb, combining grace, strength and lightness. Trumpets and timpani have an amazing presence and power.

I don't have time enough today to be more analytic (and, as I said, I only listened to it three times) but "a priori" this version has great chances to get on top of my personal ranking.

Just so that everyone knows, to this day, in this common OVPP perspective, my preferences went to Jos van Veldhoven (Netherland Bach Society - Channel Classics), and some parts particularly appreciated in the Marc Minkowski version (les Musiciens du Louvre - Naïve). I am sorry to say that I was very disappointed by the last Sigiswald Kuijken (La Petite Bande - Challenge Classics)...

Looking forward to reading other comments and impressions about this version.

Jens F. Laurson wrote (May 28, 2010):
[To Evan Cortens] As mentioned: Yes, it's new. But after tremendously enjoying his Matthew Passion (BWV 244), this one is not only not as satisfying, it's dangerously close to a dud. The singers are not convincing, some of their accents horrible [not in an "academic-Latin-was-pronounced-differently-in-Bach's-time" way but in an immediately twangy, American way].

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 28, 2010):
Paul Dirmeikis wrote:
< am sorry to say that I was very disappointed by the last Sigiswald Kuijken (La Petite Bande - Challenge Classics)... >
Any specific disappointments with Kuijken? He strikes me as a serious performer and researcher, at the peak of his career, and producing superb cantata performances. I notice the BMM (which I have not heard) is not on the same label (Accent) as the cantata releases.

Many a [potential] slip twixt the cup and the lip [performance and CD release]. (Shakespeare, I believe, without taking the trouble to look it up at the moment).

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 28, 2010):
Jens F. Laaurson wrote:
< The singers are not convincing, some of their accents horrible [not in an "academic-Latin-was-pronounced-differently-in-Bach's-time" way but in an immediately twangy, American way]. >
Come on, its all academic. You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to, lets call the whole thing off? Most of the regional USA dialects and accents are traceable to historically accurate UK origins, from when the settlers left the homeland and ultimately drove out the original North Americans, no? Of course, they did learn a few new words, Naumkeag and Massachusetts, for example. What a text (complete with discussion of proper pronounciation) that would make!

Eric Basta wrote (May 28, 2010):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] I am very interested in hearing this new recording. I have been listening to two recordings of the Mass recently: Marc Minkowski with Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble and Jos Van Velhoven with the Netherlands Bach Society. I cannot seem to stop listening to either of these. They are both extremely fresh sounding to my ears and the Minkowski has breakneck tempos in the Credo and Confitior which let me hear things with structure that I have never really heard or had the opportunity to feel before. I am looking forward to hearing the John Butt recording. For me, it seems a very good year for B Minor Mass'.

Eric Basta wrote (May 28, 2010):
[To Ed Myskowski] I donít know how a B minor mass with a Chicago accent would sound, but after the show we could all get a sammich on da nortside and everybody can go with, just don't leave your pop on the parkway.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 28, 2010):
Eric Basta wrote:
< I donít know how a B minor mass with a Chicago accent would sound >
As long as the American nasal twang is controlled, perhaps not too bad?

Uncle Dave wrote (May 308, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< As long as the American nasal twang is controlled, perhaps not too bad? >
I've heard it and it didn't exactly rock my world. The singing to me does lack personality though the orchestral parts are played well. Still, I like the B Minor Mass with a little more meat on it, and this struck me as a poor man's meal.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 30, 2010):
Uncle Dave wrote:
< I've heard it and it didn't exactly rock my world. The singing to me does lack personality though the orchestral parts are played well. Still, I like the B Minor Mass with a little more >meat on it, and this struck me as a poor man's meal. >
I have lost trof the original comment; I originally responded because I feel that American nasal twang is an ill-considered generalization, unfair to the many fine USA based and/or born Bach performers. Was the comment specific to the new Rifkin BMM release?

As to getting more meat on a performance, no better place to try than Chicago, the heartland of USA? I trust that joke was intentional.

Chicago: <I saw a man who danced with his wife!>

Apologies for sending this to both lists, I thought the Rifkin BMM thread began (properly) on BCML, but I am responding to a BRML post.

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 30, 2010):
This new recording by Butt was included in Saturday's "CD Review" on BBC3: a long review playing excerpts from about two dozen recordings.

At the end, the reviewer settled on the Philips recording by Bruggen (not the newer Glossa) as his overall favorite, but since Bruggen's is out of print, he recommended Parrott's.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sk902/CD_Review_Building_a_Library_Bachs_Mass_in_B_minor/

Jens F. Laurson wrote (May 31, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I have lost track of the original comment; I originally responded because I feel that American nasal twang is an ill-considered generalization, unfair to the many fine USA based and/or born Bach performers. Was the comment specific to the new Rifkin BMM release? >
Oh, yes. Specific to the performance (BUTT BMM release, not Rifkin), specific to one performer, specific to one incidence particularly.

I wouldn't praise their M-Passion (BWV 244) (or several other issues), only to dump on their BMM based on a silly generalization.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 31, 2010):
Jens F. Laaurson wrote:
< Oh, yes. Specific to the performance (BUTT BMM release, not Rifkin), specific to one performer, specific to one incidence particularly.
I wouldn't praise their M-Passion (
BWV 244) (or several other issues), only to dump on their BMM based on a silly generalization. >
I have recovered the original exchange, repeated here for benefit of BCML readers who may have missed it on BRML:

Evan Cortens wrote:
< Just to clarify, the recording is by the Dunedin Consort and Players, directed by John Butt. It's using the new, improved edition by Joshua Rifkin. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it; it's a great deal! >
------
[JL]:
< As mentioned: Yes, it's new. But after tremendously enjoying his Matthew Passion (BWV 244), this one is not only not as satisfying, it's dangerously close to a dud. The singers are not convincing, some of their accents horrible [not in an "academic-Latin-was-pronounced-differently-in-Bach's-time" way but in an immediately twangy, American way]. >
EM:
That did not (still does not) sound specific to one singer, one instance, to me. I see that it is in fact specific to the new Butt performance of the new Rifkin BMM edition. IMO, the generalization an immediately twangy, American way is worth reconsideration, before using it again to describe any singers perceived deficiency, at any time.

Evan Cortens wrote (May 31, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< [JL]:
As mentioned: Yes, it's new. But after tremendously enjoying his Matthew Passion (
BWV 244), this one is not only not as satisfying, it's dangerously close to a dud. The singers are not convincing, some of their accents horrible [not in an "academic-Latin-was-pronounced-differently-in-Bach's-time" way but in an immediately twangy, American way]. >
I've just now had a chance to download the disk, and what I've heard so far, I've enjoyed very much. Technically, the recording is excellent, and I very much like that one can have lossless audio files for a mere $13. Highly recommended.

I'm curious about this "twangy, American" pronunciation, which I don't hear... Certainly it would be odd, given the singers' nationalities, as follows:

Susan Hamilton, soprano: Scotland
Cecilia Osmond, soprano: Canada (looks like she's spent most of her life in Britain though)
Margot Oitzinger, alto: Austria
Thomas Hobbs, tenor: England
Matthew Brook, bass: England

Not an American in the bunch...

Harry W. Crosby wrote (May 31, 2010):
Thank all of you who have weighed in on this Butt/BMM recording. I just got it and admit to mixed and somewhat lukewarm feelings after two hearings, and a comparison or two with others.

In short, I enjoy the recording; the sound is very good, and I agree with whoever it was who reported that he heard better here some of the inner voices. This seems to me due to not only the fine recording, but also the more open, chamber-sized forces at work.

As far as the performance itself goes, I find two of the soloists not realizing the potential of their pieces as well as their counterparts in my other recorded performances, Herreweghe II, Minkowski, and Kuijken. And the other two do not displace my favorites.

But, more significantly, I am totally unconvinced by arguments for OVPP performances of the B minor Mass. Bach wrote parts of it toward the end of his life and rearranged other parts from earlier works. It seems certain that he had no patron, no specific choir/orchestra in mind, but rather was committed to leaving a rather idealized version of his vision of a Mass, no sect in mind. Since he had dealt with fair sized choruses and instrumental groups himself and was well aware of the sizes employed in some places by the late 1740s, I simply cannot imagine that he would have chosen or even consented to the OVPP method as a preferred way to present this epic work. However, I am sure that OVPP enthusiasts will not feel threatened by such opinions coming from a non-musician, non-musicologist.

And, the whole exercise was most interesting and I will probably keep Butt & Company's recording just to enjoy the unanticipated clarity and openness they afford me, even as compared to my other downsized version, Kuijken.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 31, 2010):
Harry W. Crosby wrote:
< But, more significantly, I am totally unconvinced by arguments for OVPP performances of the B minor Mass. Bach wrote parts of it toward the end of his life and rearranged other parts from earlier works. It seems certain that he had no patron, no specific choir/orchestra in mind, but rather was committed to leaving a rather idealized version of his vision of a Mass, no sect in mind. >
Does Rifkin provide notes to his new edition of the BMM, to accompany the Butt recording? Do they differ from his 1982 liner notes, as to performance forces?

Harry (Old Dude 1) makes a neat point: in the case of BMM, it is one thing to argue about what Bach could have done with his Liepzig resources, quite another what he might have preferred, in a work never actually performed in his lifetime: what he actually did does not apply in this (unique?) instance.

Evan Cortens wrote (May 31, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Does Rifkin provide notes to his new edition of the BMM, to accompany the Butt recording? Do they differ from his 1982 liner notes, as to performance forces? >
Just to clarify, the edition is entirely separate from the recording.(I.e., it doesn't make sense to speak of notes to the edition accompanying the recording.) That being said, there is a lengthy preface (in both German and English) to the new edition, which does discuss, among other things, scoring, including vocal. I'd quote a bit from it, but it really needs to be read in its entirety, so it wouldn't do it justice to quote a couple sentences.

Another point of clarification: we need to separate the "B Minor Mass", the four-part (Kyrie/Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, O/Benedictus/Agnus Dei), large-scale mass which Bach brought together in the final years of his life from the original "Missa" (Kyrie/Gloria). Bach made a full set of performing parts for the latter (including, you might not be surprised, only one part per vocal-line [SSATB]) which he sent to the Dresden court in 1733. So far as we know, it wasn't performed there, but in some sense this is immaterial, since it wouldn't have been under Bach's direction. In other words, Bach's performance directions are contained in the still extant aforementioned performance parts.

On a related note, there is a lengthy preface by John Butt included with the recording, and available online:
Linn Records
The final section of the notes is on performance practice.

Hope this helps,

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 31, 2010):
Evan Cortens wrote:
< On a related note, there is a lengthy preface by John Butt included with the recording, and available online:
Linn Records
The final section of the notes is on performance practice.
Hope this helps >

Yes indeed, just what I was asking. I cannot promise I will do the info justice, short term, but it is worthwhile to share with the list immediately, and to archive on BCW for longer term reference.

IMO, the Rifkin 1982 BMM liner notes set the standard for accurate scholarly exposition (lacking only peer review), to accompany a recording. The current series of cantata releases by Kuijken on Accent approach that standard, and both Suzuki and Gardiner strive for accuracy, relevant to their own performance decisions. What more could we wish for?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (June 1, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< IMO, the Rifkin 1982 BMM liner notes set the standard for accurate scholarly exposition (lacking only peer review), to accompany a recording. The current series of cantata releases by Kuijken on Accent approach that standard, and both Suzuki and Gardiner strive for accuracy, relevant to their own performance decisions. What more could we wish for? >
Well, here in the United States, Nonesuch Records had a long tradition of such liner notes starting with the label's introduction in 1964. Jac Holzman insisted on such liner notes on all releases. With incredibly detailed annotations for original sources and modern editions! Tracey Stern (who ran Nonesuch Records) had Joshua Rifkin as an asst while he attended grad school in the New York City area during the 1960s/70s. Dr. Rifkin also wrote quite a few album notes, and I think he offered suggestions on items for Nonesuch to license from European recording houses.

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 1, 2010):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< Jac Holzman insisted on such liner notes on all releases. With incredibly detailed annotations for original sources and modern editions! Tracey Stern (who ran Nonesuch Records) had [Dr.] Joshua Rifkin as an asst while he attended grad school in the New York City area during the 1960s/70s. >
A significant portion of my musical knowledge comes from reading Nonesuch liner notes. Thanks for substantiating the intent for accuracy (lack of peer review notwithstanding).

Now if only Dr. Rifkin could sort out the Beatles archivists, seemingly with their knickers in a permanent twist (and shout!)

 

Mass in B minor BWV 232: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17
Systematic Discussions:
Part 1: Kyrie | Part 2: Gloria | Part 3: Credo | Part 4: Sanctus | Part 5: Agnus Dei | Part 6: Early Recordings | Part 7: Summary
Individual Recordings:
BWV 232 - C. Abbado | BWV 232 - Anonymous | BWV 232 - G.C. Biller | BWV 232 - F. Brüggen | BWV 232 - J. Butt | BWV 232 - S. Celibidache | BWV 232 - M. Corboz | BWV 232 - A. Eby | BWV 232 - G. Enescu | BWV 232 - E. Ericson | BWV 232 - D. Fasolis | BWV 232 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 232 - C.M. Giulini | BWV 232 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 232 - T. Hengelbrock | BWV 232 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 232 - R. Hickox | BWV 232 - R. Jacobs | BWV 232 - E. Jochum | BWV 232 - Ifor Jones | BWV 232 - K. Junghänel & Cantus Cölln | BWV 232 - H.v. Karajan | BWV 232 - R. King | BWV 232 - O. Klemperer | BWV 232 - S. Kuijken | BWV 232 - G. Leonhardt | BWV 232 - P. McCreesh | BWV 232 - M. Minkowski | BWV 232 - H. Müller-Bruhl | BWV 232 - S. Ozawa | BWV 232 - M. Pearlman | BWV 232 - K. Richter | BWV 232 - J. Rifkin | BWV 232 - H. Rilling | BWV 232 - H. Scherchen | BWV 232 - P. Schreier | BWV 232 - R. Shaw | BWV 232 - G. Solti | BWV 232 - M. Suzuki | BWV 232 - J. Thomas & ABS | BWV 232 - K. Thomas | BWV 232 - J.v. Veldhoven
Articles:
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 [T. Noel Towe] | Bachís B minor Mass on Period Instruments [D. Satz] | Like Father, Like Son [B. Pehrson]

John Butt: Short Biography | Dunedin Consort | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Discussions of Vocal Recordings:
BWV 232 - J. Butt | BWV 244 - J. Butt
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach Organ Toccatas & Schubler Chorales from John Butt | New JSB Organ Recordings
Books:
Bach Interpretation: Articulation Marks in the Primary Sources of J. S. Bach | The Cambridge Companion to Bach

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

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Last update: żJune 1, 2010 ż11:01:36