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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
General Discussions - Part 13

Continue from Part 12

Soloist Shufflings in the Mass in B Minor

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 9, 2006):
I was surprised this week at an otherwise exemplary period instrument performance of the Mass in Minor by the Tafelmusik Choir and Orchestra that the conductor had the soloists sing the first fugal section after the choir opened the Kyrie. The full choir of 35 then came in at the second fugue. The soloists also sang the "Qui Tollis" and "Et Incarnatus" and the bass sang the "Et iterum" in "Et Resurrexit". It all sounded lovely but it sure ain't Bach. Is this some new-fangled OVPP/Choral hybrid?

I also noted but wasn't surprised that the "Laudamus Te" was given to the Soprano I soloist even though Bach marked it for Soprano 2 -- it was Suzi LeBlanc so I didn't complain. Is it my imagination or has it now become "traditional" that, if there are five soloists, the alto is always a countertenor?

Santu de Silva wrote (May 10, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I was surprised this week at an otherwise exemplary period instrument performance of the Mass in Minor by the Tafelmusik Choir and Orchestra that the conductor had the soloists sing the first fugal section after the choir opened the Kyrie. The full choir of 35 then came in at the second fugue. The soloists also sang the "Qui Tollis" and "Et Incarnatus" and the bass sang the "Et iterum" in "Et Resurrexit". It all sounded lovely but it sure ain't Bach. Is this some new-fangled OVPP/Choral hybrid? >
Gardiner does it this way; I think his defense of it (the first four entries of the Kyrie) sung by the soloists) included some evidence that it was sung that way in Bach's time, but I could be wrong.

Uri Golomb wrote (May 10, 2006):
Doug asked, about the choral/solo transitions in movements of the Mass:
< I was surprised this week at an otherwise exemplary period instrument performance of the Mass in Minor by the Tafelmusik Choir and Orchestra that the conductor had the soloists sing the first fugal section after the choir opened the Kyrie. The full choir of 35 then came in at the second fugue. The soloists also sang the "Qui Tollis" and "Et Incarnatus" and the bass sang the "Et iterum" in "Et Resurrexit". It all sounded lovely but it sure ain't Bach. Is this some new-fangled OVPP/Choral hybrid? >
Actually, it's OLD-fangled: it seems that the conductor is following (at lesat in broad outline) the recommendations that musicologist and conductor Wilhelm Ehmann made back in 1961 (and he, in turn, was relying on the ideas of Arnold Schering, whose research was published in the 1920s). This is pre-Rifkin. Ehmann himself recorded several cantatas with such solo/choral (or, rather, concertino/ripieno) transitions; Robert Shaw and John Eliot Gardiner did the same in the B minor Mass (and, to a lesser extent, Brüggen too). Actually, Andrew Parrott and Konrad Junghänel adopted similar ideas in the Mass as well. Only, in their case, the transition is merely from one-per-part to two-per-part (that is, only one extra singer is added per line in the fuller sections), so the differnece is less telling than in Gardiner and Shaw -- and, indeed, in the performance you described.

There are several cases where Bach is known to have used such conertino/ripieno alternations: Cantata BWV 21 (as performed in Leipzig) being the most famous example.

Who's the conductor in this performance, BTW?

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 10, 2006):
Uri Golomb wrote:
< Who's the conductor in this performance, BTW? >
Ivar Taurins, the director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.

Robert Sherman wrote (May 10, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote
< I was surprised this week at an otherwise exemplary period instrument performance of the Mass in Minor by the Tafelmusik Choir and Orchestra that the conductor had the soloists sing the first fugal section after the choir opened the Kyrie. The full choir of 35 then came in at the second fugue. The soloists also sang the "Qui Tollis" and "Et Incarnatus" and the bass sang the "Et iterum" in "Et Resurrexit". It all sounded lovely but it sure ain't Bach. Is this some new-fangled OVPP/Choral hybrid? >
Aw c'mon. If Bach wrote the notes and the performance sounds lovely, it IS Bach.

Chris Kern wrote (May 11, 2006):
< I was surprised this week at an otherwise exemplary period instrument performance of the Mass in Minor by the Tafelmusik Choir and Orchestra that the conductor had the soloists sing the first fugal section after the choir opened the Kyrie. The full choir of 35 then came in at the second fugue. The soloists also sang the "Qui Tollis" and "Et Incarnatus" and the bass sang the "Et iterum" in "Et Resurrexit". It all sounded lovely but it sure ain't Bach. Is this some new-fangled OVPP/Choral hybrid? >
I have a recording of the B Minor Mass conducted by Rene Jacobs in which the soloists sing Et Incarnatus, and the bass soloist sings the Et Iterum part. I also have a Herreweghe recording in which the bass soloist sings the Et Iterum.

So it's not all that new-fangled, although I've never heard of the Kyrie being sung by soloists outside of a full OVPP performance.

Rick Canyon wrote (May 11, 2006):
[To Chris Kern] The 1968 Harnoncourt also has the bass singing the bass singing Et iterium. Harnoncourt's liner notes in the vinyl version--far more complete than what comes with the CD version--has this to say about this bass solo:

"The resurrection chorus 'Et resurrexit' is, like the Gloria, modeled on a lost instrumental concerto, though much further reaching alterations were necessary here; there was probably an instrumental solo passage where the bass solo 'Et iterum ventrus est' now stands."

What I find interesting is Harnoncourt seemingly having reached a foregone conclusion that this section is a solo. I only have the Dover Miniature Score which doesn't seem to indicate a solo, though I'm sure this isn't a definitive score.

Uri Golomb wrote (May 12, 2006):
< The 1968 Harnoncourt also has the bass singing the bass singing Et iterium. Harnoncourt's liner notes in the vinyl version--far more complete than what comes with the CD version--has this to say about this bass solo: >
In his 1986 version, on the other hand, Harnoncourt assigns this passage to a full section of choral basses.

The allocation of this portion to a bass soloist goes back at least as far as Donald Francis Tovey, who made a good (though not conclusvie) case for this in his 1937 essay on the Mass (originally the program notes for a performance under his direction).

Of course, if the Mass conceived for a group of soloists -- with or without ripienists doubling them in the selected choral passages -- then there would be no special indication that this passage is solo: everything would be solo anyway. Also, Bach only wrote the score of the B minor Mass -- he did not produce parts (for individual players/sections and singers). Often, the decision on whether particular portions woudl be sung by soloists or soloist-plus-ripienists would only be indicated in the parts, not in the score; Bach himself could make different decisions in different performances -- assigning the same passage to a soloist in one performance and to fuller forces in another. It would not necessarily have been an unalterable compositional decision.

To my mind, having the passage performed by a soloist in a performance which otherwise uses the full chorus throughout the choral movements does soudn a bit akward. On the other hand, if the performance has other soloist/ripienist distinctions (that is, if there are other portions within choral movements that also employ soloists only), then having the "iterum" sung by a soloist is more natural.

Jacobs, BTW, uses five soloists in the choral passage "et ascendit", which precedes "et iterum". Thus we have full chorus at the start, then all five soloists in the middle, followed by a bass soloist in "iterum" and then full chorus again in "cuju regni". The bass soloist thus soundslike a continuation of a previous soloist section, rather than an isolated solo in an otherwise full choral movement. To my ears, this sounds more convincing; but this is an aesthetic point, not a historical one.

 

The B Minor Mass Confeitor

Chris Kern wrote (July 14, 2006):
The Confeitor, as far as I know, is always performed with only the continuo in addition to the voices. However, I've heard a theory that Bach actually intended it to be performed with doubling instrumental parts. If you look at the autograph, there is nothing written before any of the staves. If you compare it with the second Kyrie, the second Kyrie has "soprano" and the flute doubling labeled, but then the second staff is labeled only "alto" with no doubling instruments listed, and none of the other staves have names.

Are there any comments on this? I can't read German so the NBA may say something about this issue that I am not aware of.

Bradley Lehman wrote (July 14, 2006):
< The Confeitor, as far as I know, is always performed with only the continuo in addition to the voices. However, I've heard a theory that Bach actually intended it to be performed with doubling instrumental parts. >
CPE Bach did so, performing that section in 1786; it's also been proposed by others more recently, starting with Schweitzer.

There is a good seven-page subchapter about this in George Stauffer's book.

Go to: http://books.google.com
....search on "stauffer mass minor"
....bring up the first book and search on "confiteor" inside it
....the section starts on page 224.
....get yourself a free Google password if you don't already have one...

Douglas Cowling wrote (July 15, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman] CPE Bach also wrote a short string introduction to the Credo for his performance (reproduced in part in the chapter) Stauffer also points to Bach's Credo in F Major which provides a short Credo fugue much like that for the B Mnor Mass as an introduction for an Italian Credo which began conventionally at "Patrem Omnipotentam".

The argument against instrumental doubling is that Bach adds the two violin parts without the violas in the manner of 17th century "ad placitum" parts which could be played or not ad libitum (Praetorius was the master of this type of additive composition).

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 15, 2006):
Latin please! "Confeitor" not, etc.

Douglas Cowling wrote:
< introduction to the Credo for his performance (reproduced in part in the chapter) Stauffer also points to Bach's Credo in F Major which provides a short Credo fugue much like that for the B Mnor Mass as an introduction for an Italian Credo which began conventionally at "Patrem Omnipotentam". >
With respect to everyone's brilliance and in full admission of my own abominable English typing, I beg everyone to be diligent with the Holy Latin Tongue (no, I am not Catholic but Latin is still holy to me and our common Western civilization).

Con-fiteor is a deponent verb with the root fit- < *fat- ultimately from *fa:- as in fa:bula (hence Spanish hablar); as a simplex it appears in the verb fa:ri in the infinitive with a 3sg. fa:tur. Cognate is Greek phe:mi and Skt. bha:- Please take care with it.
There are further complexities of IE zero grade far too off-topic and with non-e-mail signs to enter upon here.

You cannot make the third declension adj. common gender acc. case with a termination -am.
It makes God the Father seem like a first declension female.
It is only omnipotentem to the nominative omnipotens (itself for *omnipotents).
Please respect the Latin text.

Dick S. Knives wrote (July 15, 2006):
Huh?

Bradley Lehman wrote (July 15, 2006):
< With respect to everyone's brilliance and in full admission of my own abominable English typing, I beg everyone to be diligent with the Holy Latin Tongue (no, I am not Catholic but Latin is still holy to me and our common Western civilization). >

Agreed, but I hope you've seen the "Romanes eunt domus" scene in Monty Python's The Life of Brian.

As background to the scene, the revolutionary faction has just assigned Brian to sneak into town and write the imperative message "Romans go home!" as graffiti. An armed Roman official catches him in the process, and the dialogue ensues. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=romanes+eunt+domus

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 15, 2006):
Huh? Huh? What is that supposed to mean?

I will save Yoel the trouble, and say hello, my friend, in the process.

It means, if you are going to use Latin, get it right, use itrespectfully.

 

Is This True?

Rick Canyon wrote (July 30, 2006):
I read in Otto Bettmann's book the following:
there are 2345 bars of music in the Mass in b-minor.
2+3+4+5=14
B+A+C+H=14
Are there really 2345 bars?
Bettmann gave 3 different years for Bach's death, as I recall, so I don't know whether to accept the 2345 number.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 30, 2006):
Canyon Rick wrote:
< Bettmann gave 3 different years for Bach's death, as I recall, so I don't know whether to accept the 2345 number. >
It depends. What are the three years for Bach's death?

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 30, 2006):
Canyon Rick wrote:
>>I read in Otto Bettmann's book the following: there are 2345 bars of music in the Mass in b-minor.
2+3+4+5=14 B+A+C+H=14 Are there really 2345 bars? >
Friedrich Smend, who had done much research into this area of gematria, warns that there are differences in the length of mvts. between the original (Urgestalt) and the final versions (the Symbolum Nicenum, for instance, in its original form did not contain the "Et incarnatus est" and the "Crucifixus was 4 measures/bars shorter than in its present form).

>>Bettmann gave 3 different years for Bach's death, as I recall, so I don't know whether to accept the 2345 number.<<
There was never any doubt historically about the year or date on which Bach died. BTW, what is the name of Bettmann's book, when and where was it published?

If you have any interest in pursuing the topic of gematria further, check out: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Numbers.htm
and the sections that follow it.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (July 30, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Friedrich Smend, who had done much research into this area of gematria, warns that there are differences in the length of mvts. between the original (Urgestalt) and the final versions (the Symbolum Nicenum, for instance, in its original form did not contain the "Et incarnatus est" and the "Crucifixus was 4 measures/bars shorter than in its present form). >
Actually, this is only partly true. The "Crucifixus" was 4 measures shorter in the original form of the Messe h-Moll, but the "Et incarnatus est" was not excluded. Rather it was part of the Duette "Et in unum Dominum", and was (as was the rest of the movement) in G Major. As to the "Crucifixus", if I remember right, it was literally a copying job of Movement 2 from BWV 12 (the Chorus "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen") transposed down a half step from the original Weimar version (in F minor) and 1 and 1/2 steps from the Leipzig version (in G minor). The four introductory measures were added in 1749 when the Messe was compiled in its final form.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (July 30, 2006):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] What are you trying to say about the numerology? It is not a Fabronaci number if that is what you are trying to get across because Fabronaci numbers are obtained by multiplication =1x2x3x4x5 et al=120 of which could be hypothesized the attribution that 120 represents the Trinity since 1+2+0=3. Fabronaci numbers seem to have a direct correlation with the way nature creates things. Count the petals of a flower and usually it will be some Fabronaci number and the same with many other things. No one has explained if this is a mere coincidence, or there is a correlation, or that this is a clever falla.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (July 31, 2006):
[To Ludwig] That was not my argument. My argument was opposed to this statement:

"Friedrich Smend, who had done much research into this area of gematria, warns that there are differences in the length of mvts. between the original (Urgestalt) and the final versions (the Symbolum Nicenum, for instance, in its original form did not contain the "Et incarnatus est" and the "Crucifixus was 4 measures/bars shorter than in its present form)".

The statement that the "Et incarnatus est" movement was not included in the original form of the Credo is an absolute fallacy. The recent publication of the Neue Bach-Ausgabe of the original forms of the movements in the Messe h-Moll bears this out that the "Et incarnatus est" movement was included in the Duette "Et in unum Dominum", whilst the original form of the "Crucifixus" replecated exactly the 2nd movement of BWV 12, only in E Minor instead of G Minor (Leipzig version) or F Minor (Weimar version).

Rick Canyon wrote (July 31, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< There was never any doubt historically about the year or date on which Bach died. BTW, what is the name of Bettmann's book, when and where was it published? >
The book is called "Johann Sebastian Bach As His World knew Him" (Carol Publishing). Bettmann was apparently a member of the Thomanerchor in the early part of the 20th century, then fled the Nazis. Growing up, I had heard of the Bettmann archive while knowing little of the man, himself.

His book is written in an interesting manner in that it is formatted somewhat like an encyclopedia. The chapters, A-Z, are topics--upon which there is a brief, usually 1-2 page discussion of some aspect of Bach's life. A very easy and enjoyable read. But, as I mentioned I found 3 different dates for Bach's death including the correct one. One of the incorrect dates was certainly in the wrong year, if not both.

Here is a website on Fibonacci numbers: http://www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fib.html

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 31, 2006):
Ludwig wrote:
<< What are you trying to say about the numerology? It is not a Fabronaci number >>
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< That was not my argument. >
If you will forgive me interrupting, could I attempt to to condense, with minimal attempt at wit?

Numerology is additive, so that 2345 adds to 14. The numerologica equivalents to <bach> (BACH?), 2138, also add to 14.

In order for this to be significant, Bach would have needed to contro the number of measures at 2345, in all permutations of the SMP. I do not want to say this is absurd, because that word has proven (correctly) to be incendiary. It is much more in my daily vocabulary to say, highly unlikely. But in order to make the point, you would need to demonstrate that
(1) in at least one permutation of SMP, this was intentional.
(2) all other permutations also add, are related in some way, or the original (or subsequent) intent was abandoned.

Numerology and Fibonaccci sequences are kissing cousins, at best. Better understood as unrelated. Numerology is additive of numbers of any derivation, Fibonacci is additive of a special sequence. Which creates a spiral. Actually a larips, spelled backwards. Pardon the exception, that is an attempt at wit.

On a more positive, organic, note: thanks to Ludwig (is Bill preferred?) for the summary of organ technology, very informative (carefully concise, noted and appreciated) for the non-specialist. Organism, not organist.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 31, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
<< There was never any doubt historically about the year or date on which Bach died. >>
Canyon Rick wrote:
< One of the incorrect dates was certainly in the wrong year, if not both. >
There is a fundamental rule in technical and financial writing. Don't make errors in arithmetic, numbers, or accepted data. One mistake of this nature will discredit your entire argument. Proofreading and data checking, ad nauseum, is the order of the day.

I have never been a musicologist, but I suspect this principle applies. In truth, I don't suspect. I can tell you that it does.

The guy who screwed up the date is the guy with the numerological (2345 = 14) SMP theory? Well, everyone makes mistakes. But why is it that the people with weird ideas seem to make more of them?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (July 31, 2006):
[To Ed Myskowski] I wouldn't mind the interruption, if the interruption was to the point, which yours was not. I was not arguing about the numerology at all. In fact, I think such speculation belongs to Judaic theology than to music, and especially Bach's music since it was embued not with Judaic, but with Evangelical theological precepts. The only numberological concepts that could be applied are not as you propose, but rather symbolic, such as the opening and closing (and especially the closing) of the Klavieruebung, dritter Theil. The three flats and tripartite fugue have been argued to have been used by Bach to symbolize the triune God.

The point I was addressing (again I have to reiterate) is that the "Et incarnatus est" movement was not at all discarded in the earlier versions of the Messe h-Moll. It was incorporated into the Duette "Et in unum Dominum", whereas the "Crucifixus" was literally a replication of Movement 2 of BWV 12 transposed to E Minor.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 31, 2006):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< I wouldn't mind the interruption, if the interruption was to the point, which yours was not. >
Sorry I conflated your posts with the numerology thread (Is This True), where they appeared, and which I was interrupting.

I think my statements were accurate, concise, and very much to the point of the thread: is the total of 2345 measures in SMP of numerological significance?

I am not ready to adopt the Brad Lehman approach of eliminating names when responding (not just yet, anyway). But I see the value, Brad.

Rick Canyon wrote (July 31, 2006):
< I think my statements were accurate, concise, and very much to the point of the thread: is the total of 2345 measures in SMP of numerological significance? >
Well, I asked because if it is true, I think it's quite astounding. Clearly I don't think it would be a coincidence.

Somewhere, however, I read that Bach didn't do these number games with his music for any sort of sinister, "DaVinci Code"-type reason. He did it largely because he could do it. Numbers just added an extra dimension, extra challenge to his composing.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (July 31, 2006):
[To Canyon Rick] Wrong again. He did not do any such thing, except for the reasons I stated. This whole thread is not at all about Bach and all about Judaic speculation. The only "numbers game" Bach employed was symbolic and in the music itself, not combining movements as has been mentioned. Mozart would later follow Bach's lead in his "Die Zauberfloete" with a different angle (Masonic instead of Evangelical/Christian). Case in point: the Praeludium and (especially) Fuge Es-Dur BWV 552. The work (which opens and concludes the Klavieruebung, dritter Theil) is in three flats and the Fugue is tripartite--both of which were intended to symbolically represent the Triune God.

Douglas Cowling wrote (July 31, 2006):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< Case in point: the Praeludium and (especially) Fuge Es-Dur BWV 552. The work (which opens and concludes the Klavieruebung, dritter Theil) is in three flats and the Fugue is tripartite--both of which were intended to symbolically represent the Triune God. >
Numerical symbolism can be found all over Bach's works, e.g. The Sanctus of the B Minor Mass stresses the Trinitarian symbolism of the triple Sanctus (Tersanctus) in its 3 oboes, 3 trumpets, and 6 voice choir. And all those triplets!

As to mathematical arcana, it's a slippery slope: you can work out formulae to produce just about any result (the "Bible Code" mania of a few years ago shows the impulse is still very much around). Totalling up the Mass in B Minoto equal Bach's name, however, doesn't recommend itself to me. If it was in the Art of the Fugue or the Musical Offering, perhaps, but such self-reference seems inappropriate in this instance.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 31, 2006):
In my previous posts on this thread, I referred to SMP. I see that the original numerological speculation of 2345 = 14 actually referred to BMM. Sorry for this error, it has no effect on the logic of any of my statements, which I stand by.

Bradley Lehman wrote (July 31, 2006):
< As to mathematical arcana, it's a slippery slope: you can work out formulae to produce just about any result (the "Bible Code" mania of a few years ago shows the impulse is still very much around). Totalling up the Mass in B Minor to equal Bach's name, however, doesn't recommend itself to me. If it was in the Art of the Fugue or the Musical Offering, perhaps, but such self-reference seems inappropriate in this instance. >
I agree; such mumbo-jumbo as numerology or gematria doesn't affect the way the music sounds in performance, and therefore it's moot. My general principle (personally) is: whatever's not audible isn't the music.

[Not to say that the stuff exists or doesn't exist in Bach's music; only that it's safely in the who-cares realm that is its own circular reward, and doesn't affect any direct perception of the musical work! It's unscientific/unfalsifiable.]

A few months ago I heard a radio discussion forum including scholar Ruth Tatlow, and she had some remarks about a movement of the B minor mass that has a bar-count in the margin. She pointed out that the bar-count was written there by a copyist (in this case CPE Bach) not to do anything numerological or mystical, but simply as a checkpoint that the written-out parts for that movement don't have the gross omission or addition of a bar through a copying error.

Continue of this discussion, see: Number Symbolism in Bach's Vocal Works - Part 2 [General Topics]

 

BWV 232 B minor mass (new recordings reviewed on BBC)

Chris Stanley wrote (March 5, 2007):
Copied from a posting on BBC messageboard

Four new recordings were considered in Saturday 3 March CD review programme!
Try 'Listen Again' about an hour and three-quarters in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/cdreview/pip/8cj23/

10:45
Bach's Mass in B Minor

Reviewer: Nicholas Anderson

BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV232
Marlies Petersen (soprano), Stella Doufexis (soprano), Anke Vondung (alto), Lothar Odinius (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (bass), Franz-Josef Selig (bass), Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling (conductor)
HANSSLER CLASSIC HAN098274 (2-SACD/CD Hybrid)

BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV232
Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano), Daniel Taylor (alto), Paul Agnew (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Maitrise Notre Dame de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson (conductor)
VIRGIN CLASSICS 3706369 (DVD)

BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV232
Dorothee Mields (soprano), Johannette Zomer (soprano), Matthew White (alto), Charles Daniels (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass), The Netherlands Bach Society, Jos van Veldhoven (conductor)
CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA25007 (2-SACD/CD Hybrid)

BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV232
Mechthild Bach (soprano), Daniel Taylor (alto), Marcus Ullmann (tenor), Raimund Nolte (baritone), Kammerchor Stuttgart, Barockorchester Stuttgart, Frieder Bernius (conductor)
CARUS 83211 (2-CD)

Julian Mincham wrote (March 5, 2007):
Chris Stanley wrote:
< Copied from a posting on BBC messageboard
Four new recordings were considered in Saturday 3 March CD review programme! >
Yes this was very interesting. Rilling got quite a pasting and I wondered what some of the onlist Rilling fans thought of it.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 5, 2007):
Chris Stanley wrote:
< BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV232
Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano), Daniel Taylor (alto), Paul Agnew (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Maitrise Notre Dame de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson (conductor)
VIRGIN CLASSICS 3706369 (DVD) >
The boys (and girls!) of the choir of Notre Dame make a very sophisticated sound. The following link is to a concert they gave in the cathedral. They do a little Bach, but it's mostly modern French choral music accompanied by the legendary Cavaillle-Colle organ. Worth a quick listen.
http://www.ktotv.com/video_data.php3?numero=42

Sw Anandhyan wrote (March 16, 2007):
Chris Stanley wrote:
< BACH Mass in B Minor, BWV232
Dorothee Mields (soprano), Johannette Zomer (soprano), Matthew White (alto), Charles Daniels (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass), The Netherlands Bach Society, Jos van Veldhoven (conductor)
CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA25007 (2-SACD/CD Hybrid) >

I'm currently listening to this recording for the first time, alas it is the one on the Carus label that I was eager to get, though hearing Matthew White singing the Agnus Dei aria ought to be something.

First impression? Somehow an effiminate version; very delicate, the musicianship is extraordinary and just like the Junghänel version, I have some difficulties adjusting to the chamber-like atmosphere; with van Veldhoven there is a flow that is quite sumptuous at first hearing. Not being overpowered but elevated. ha!

I ought to write more as I get more accustomed to this recording. A must nevertheless after his XO and the JP for the packaging makes it truly a work of art. You do get a museum book with the music once more.

 

New Subject: The BMM

Jean Laaninen wrote (May 7, 2007):
Last night I surfed the web for a little while to try to find out about the BMM people have been mentioning in their writings of late. I found a PDF in German that appears to be this document, and downloaded it. The document has over 600 pages, and is in German. I was able to read some of it, but I do not read German fluently though I can work with translation. So it seemed to me that it might be good to translate a little bit at a time over time. If I understand what this is about, this is a document Bach wrote as either an autobiography, or some explanation of his life and work. But I am not sure about the contents, so I invite anyone to jump in and give me their understanding of this material, and perhaps some sources for translation.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Jean Laaninen] Last time I checked, BMM on this list normally means B Minor Mass... But then again, maybe I've missed something? Because it seems that over 100 messages were bounced by my account lately...

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 7, 2007):
< Last night I surfed the web for a little while to try to find out about the BMM people have been mentioning in their writings of late. I found a PDF in German that appears to be this document, and downloaded it. The document has over 600 pages, and is in German. >
Where, please? I'm curious what you're looking at!

"BMM" on this particular discussion list usually means nothing more than abbreviation for "B Minor Mass".

I see that Dr Tomita last week posted a review of Joshua Rifkin's 2006 edition of the B Minor Mass: http://www.music.qub.ac.uk/tomita/bachbib/bb-review_Rifkin-BMM.html
Or here: http://tinyurl.com/33bksr
Apparently the goal of the edition is to remove CPE Bach's changes from the piece, as far as possible, so it can be seen what JSB wrote.

Jean Laaninen wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Cara Emily Thornton] Thanks, Cara. Google had quite a few entries for the abbreviation, and the one I ended up downloading was a document called JSB by Johann Sebastian Bach. But the entries I have seen could have been for the mass, and probably were.

Jean Laaninen wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Thanks for the insight on the interest.

Jean Laaninen wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman]
http://books.google.com/books?id=940BAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA49&dq=bmm+bach#PPP1,M1

Try this link. It refers to a book that can be downloaded as a PDF...Johann Sebastian Bach by Johann Sebastian Bach. The text is German, and I haven't spent the time to decipher it yet, but this looks very interesting. I found this just reflecting and try to decipher some of the comments on the abbreviation BMM. I did recognize the comments might have referred to the mass possibly, or some other work. My guess is that some of the discussion could have referred to a text. Anyway, I'm a sleuth when it comes to finding out things in depth, and fast, so this was one of my discoveries.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Just a teaser! Have there been any substantive reviews of the edition?

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Douglas Cowling] I don't know. Tomita's main page about that book lists only his own quick review, and he's usually very good about linking everything as soon as it comes out.

A couple months ago already I tried to order an interlibrary loan copy of that score, and was told that it's too new: nobody wants to let their copy circulate that way yet. I'll try again in the summer or autumn.

I'm still trying to get back to Rifkin's book-length article about the B minor orchestral suite 1067. It's been sitting here all of 2007 so far, waiting for me to find concentrated time to read it all. The book came free, along with paid membership to American Bach Society. It's volume 6 which should show up sometime (but not yet!) at: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/publications.html

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 7, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< I'm still trying to get back to Rifkin's book-length article about the B minor orchestral suite 1067. >
Does he have any special insights into the work?

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 7, 2007):
Jean Laaninen wrotr:
< http://books.google.com/books?id=940BAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA49&dq=bmm+bach#PPP1,M1
Try this link. It refers to a book that can be downloaded as a PDF...Johann Sebastian Bach by Johann Sebastian Bach. >
Somebody at Google has mis-labelled it as they scanned it. It's not by Johann Sebastian Bach. It's part of a 19th century book about Bach, by C. H. Bitter who is credited also as the Prussian finance minister.

For more about this same book: http://homepages.bw.edu/bachbib/script/bach2.pl?22=11965

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 7, 2007):
Rifkin's thesis about 1067

<< I'm still trying to get back to Rifkin's book-length article about the B minor orchestral suite 1067. >>
< Does he have any special insights into the work? >
Well, yeah. There's all kinds of stuff.

Want the teaser of skipping ahead to the closing sentence? "But if we cannot provide an airtight explanation for the relationships among the sources, we can at least affirm the fundamental thrust of what we read from the parts: the Ouverture in B minor represents Bach's adaptation of an earlier work, all but certainly one for violin in A minor."

That's the only main-text sentence on the final page (98) of the article. The rest of that page is given over to a 33-line footnote, #229, in smaller type.

Jean Laaninen wrote (May 7, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] I figured that out now that I have translated some of the pages. Too bad. Has anyone read this book?

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 8, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< "But if we cannot provide an airtight explanation for the relationships among the sources, we can at least affirm the fundamental thrust of what we read from the parts: the Ouverture in B minor represents Bach's adaptation of an earlier work, all but certainly one for violin in A minor." >
I don't want to hear some fiddle playing the Badinerie!

Humphhh!

 

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