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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

Johann Christoph Pez: Mass in A minor BWV Anh 24
Johann Ludwig Bach: Mass in C major, BWV Anh 25
Francesco Durante: Mass in C minor, BWV Anh 26
General Discussions

Discussions in the Week of August 18, 2013

William Hoffman wrote (August 17, 2013):
Missa (Kyrie-Gloria), BWV Anh. 24-26, etc.: Intro

Best known for his full Catholic "Mass in B Minor," BWV 232, composed in the final two decades of his life, Sebastian Bach had an abiding interest in the Latin church music from the Mass Ordinary allowed in the Lutheran Church main service, particularly on feast days: the "Kyrie" litany (Lord/Christ have mercy), the Greater Doxology, "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the Highest), and the Sanctus (Holy). Three factors drove this interest: the use of various settings in the service liturgy, particularly the so-called "Missa Brevis" (Kyrie-Gloria) music in Weimar; his own settings of the Kyrie-Gloria in Leipzig, BWV 234-36, sometimes called "Lutheran Masses"; and the greater goal of utilizing various musical styles, as Martin Luther before him had done. These enabled Bach to compose the most effective music, often reusing existing music in the long-standing practice of contrafaction (underlaying old texts with the prescribed Latin), exemplified in the Renaissance masters.

During his Weimar early period (108-1718), Bach turned to Latin Church Music in the form of the so-called Missa Brevis (Kyrie-Gloria). It was part of his goal of a "well-ordered church music to the Glory of God" as well as a study of compositional styles and techniques. His calling was enunciated in Mühlhausen just before his move to Weimar where he would served as organist and concertmaster of the ducal orchestra. Bach wasn't content simply to compose and present cantatas as "musical sermons" during the main services on Sundays and feast days. In Weimar and Leipzig Bach had old style and new Neopolitan style Missa copied, with occasional changes, and performed.

Previously, Bach had begun c.1700 to compose collections of Lutheran organ chorale preludes to introduce and close the service as well as introduce the selected hymns during the service. Bach later in Leipzig also presented printed collections of <stile antico> polyphonic motets, usually based on Psalm readings, early in the service, as well as chorale harmonizations of the so-called <Deutsche Messe> German vernacular settings of the Latin Mass Ordinary sections and the prescribed Catechism chorales, some in modern style.

Other Lutheran composers often presented simple Latin intonations and chants from the Lutheran hymnbooks to meet the requirement for the Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus sections of the Catholic Mass Ordinary allowed in the Lutheran main service, particularly on feast days. The exception was Bach's colleague and friend, Georg Philipp Telemann, in his 16 Missa (Kyrie-Gloria, 11 early ones with chorales that were unaccompanied), two Magnifcats, an Amen, and "Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden" (Psalm 117) found in the Telemann Vokal Werke Verzeichnis, TVWV9, "Masses, Magnificats, and Music for Special Uses."
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For Systematic Discussion of Bach's Missae, including forms, history and Bach's motives, see BCW, "Douglas Cowling wrote (October 10, 2011)": BWV 234 -- Bach's Five Masses, . Bach's Missa in G major, BWV 236, will be the BCW Discussion, Week of October 13. Bach Werke Verzeichnis (BWV) is the Bach's Works Cataogue.

For details on the Missa Brevis, see Wikipedia, .

Initially, Bach turned to Missae of other composers generally found at the Catholic Dresden Court in Saxony.
From the Grove Music Online (Author: Christoph Wolff):
"In Bach's time Latin polyphonic music was still often used in ordinary Lutheran Sunday worship, particularly, in Leipzig, at important church feasts. Further, the concerted Magnificat continued to hold its place during Vespers. Bach had been interested in Latin polyphonic music at least since his Weimar period, as his copies of pieces by other composers demonstrate (Marco Gioseppe Peranda, Durante, Johann Christoph Pez, Johann Hugo von Wilderer, Giovanni Battista Bassani, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Lotti, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina etc.; catalogue in Wolff, 1968). He also wrote insertions in this style for other composers' works, and made some arrangements (Sanctus BWV 241; Credo intonation for a mass by Bassani; `Suscepit Israel' for a Magnificat by A. Caldara)."

BCW Discussion: Missae BWV Anh. 24-26

BCW Discussion Week of August 18 has three "Missa Brevis" (Missae Breve) originally attributed to Bach: BWV Anh. Missae (Kyrie-Gloria) 24-26, respectively by Johann Christoph Pez, anonymous [?Dresden], and Francesco Durante). Missae BWV Anh. 24 and 26 are classified as works of other composers having only slight Bach involvement in the actual music. Missa BWV Anh. 25 is an anonymous work originally attributed to Bach. There are other Missa attributed to Bach with his involvement or interest that also are discussed below: BWV Anh. 166, and 167, as well as works of Johann Baal, Marco Gioseppe Peranda, and anonymous BWV Anh. 29, all Bach pursuits in Weimar, as well as other Missae linked to Sebastian Bach, especially from Antonio Lotti and Johann Hugo Wilderer.

The main sources are: Neue Bach Ausgabe KB II/9 Latin Church Music (Kirsten Beisswenger, 2000), and Peter Wollny (Eng. trans. Susan Marie Praeder) liner notes, Recordings: "Apocryphal Bach Masses, Vols. 1 and 2," Wolfgang Helbich, Alsfelder Vokalensemble, CPO 99834 (2003) and 777 561 (2012: BWV Anh. 24, 25, 26, 167).

"The present recording" (Vol. 2), says Peter Wollny, "endeavors to rescue from oblivion some of these compositions <mustered out> of the inventory of Bach's works - - not in order to rekindle the discussion about authenticity but toward the goal of leading back to the repertory works that were once highly regarded and heard with pleasure."

Pez Missa BWV Anh. 24 in Weimar

Kyrie, BWV Anh. 24 / Anh. III 167, from the brief Missa (Kyrie-Gloria) in A Minor, "Missa Sancti Lamberti" of Johann Christoph Pez (1664-1716); Details, BCW
Bach wrote out the "Missa" score in 1714-16 as concertmaster of the Weimar Court, but performed only the brief [0:45] Kyrie with parts (SATB, 2 vns., va /+bn., Bc). During Bach's first year in Leipzig (1724) student copyist Christian Gottlob Meißner copied the Gloria [3:35] into parts so that Bach performed the entire "Missa" (Kyrie-Gloria). The score and parts set were listed as C.P.E. Bach property auctioned in 1789 and in the Georg Poelchau's collection until 1841 (score BB [DS] Mus. Ms. Bach P-13, parts BB [SPK] Mus. Ms. St. 327).

Music: Kyrie brief (no instrumental introduction), four-part imitation with orchestra support for the Kyrie, Christe, and Kyrie. The Gloria begins with tenor intonation followed by four-part chorus with little repetition of text to introduce sections; the traditionally slow "Qui tollis" section is the heart of music; and choral imitation is found in the "Quoniam" and "Cum sancto spiritu."

Pez, Stuttgart Capellemeister, published this music in his Missa collection at Augsburg in 1706 (Hans-Joachim Schulze, <Die Musikforschung 14>, 1961: 328f.) Wilhelm Rust in Bach Gesellschaft Vol. 111:15 (1862, Magnificat, Mass movements), printed the opening two measures of the "Kyrie," BWV Anh. 24/1, with a brief note of music that had little involvement from Bach. [Sources: NBA KB II/9 Ibid.: 48f), and Peter Wollny (Eng. trans. Susan Marie Praeder, liner notes, Recording: "Apocryphal Bach Masses, Vol. 2," Wolfgang Helbich, Alsfelder Vokalensemble / Hannoversche Hofkapelle, CPO 777 561 (2012), 4:21.].

The "Missa" music is found published in the Denkmäler der Tonkunst Bayern; Sibley Library: "AusgewählWerke des alt-Munchener Tonsetzers Johann Christoph Pez ... (1664-1716) Herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Bertha Antonia Wallner ; Bearbeitung des Basso continuo von August Reuss. Pez, Joh. Chr. (Johann Christoph), 1664-1716. 1928 M2 .D396B. Jahrg.27/28." "Although Pez's Missa is to be classified as simple music for liturgical use, the composer was able, even in this short work to link with sophisticated elements of the French, Italian, and Southern German styles," says Wollny (Ibid.).

See Pez BCW Short Biography, . Additional information (Wollny, Ibid.): "During the last 10 years of his life, Pez worked in Stuttgart." Wikipedia: "Like many of his contemporaries, Pez was heavily influenced by the French style, and he was one of many imitators of Jean-Baptiste Lully. Although largely forgotten today, he was mentioned in a lyric poem written by Georg Philipp Telemann in 1730, who placed Pez beside the names of composers like Händel, as a grand composer of his era, singling out in particular the quality of his sonatas" [].

Missa BWV Anh. 25 and 26

Bach performed with minor changes in Leipzig two <Missae> later found in the Breitkopf archives that originally were attributed to him and then to his cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach (1677-1731). They are: the anonymous c. 1720 Mass in C Major, BWV Anh. 25 (Bach copied 1740-42), and Francesco Durante (1684-1755), BWV Anh. 26 (Bach copied 1727) [Sources: NBA KB II/9 Latin Church Music (Kirsten Beisswenger, 2000: 55f and 50-52), and Peter Wollny (Eng. trans. Susan Marie Praeder, liner notes; Recording: "Recording: "Apocryphal Bach Masses" (Vol. 1), Wolfgang Helbich, Alsfelder Vokalensemble / I Febiarmionici, CPO 999 834 (2003); Anh. 25 (20:09), Anh. 26 (18:33) - only recording].

This is music formerly attributed to Bach, based on his interest in Latin music and in his 1752 obituary that ranked this vocal music type second in importance after his cantata cycles: "Many oratorios, Masses, Magnificats, several Sanctus," and secular works. Subsequently, Leipzig publisher Breitkopf in his initial 1761 Catalog of some 50 works attributed to Bach gave prominent place before 10 pages of Cantata listings to "Missa with Instruments." They are found on Pages 6-9: the two Bach contrafaction Missa (Kyrie-Gloria), BWV 234 and 236, from sacred cantatas, and four less extensive Missa attributed to Bach: BWV Anh. 25, 26, 166, and 167 - all are found in a manuscript collection in Bach's hand. Bach's Missa BWV 236 will be the BCW Discussion, Week of October 13, 2013.

Anoymous Dresden Festive Missa, BWV Anh. 25

Missa in C major, BWV Anh. 25 / II 165; anonymous, ?Dresden 1720; copied & performed by J.S. Bach in Leipzig c1740-1742; soloists: SATB chorus; orchestra: 2 trumpets, 2 violins, organ. Details, BCW . Wollny liner notes: Bach copied this without listing the source or composer. It shows "considerable influence" of the earlier Italian baroque style rather than the latter, progressive Neopolitan opera style of Pergolesi and Durante. "The composer in question must have belonged to Bach's generation and would have written the mass perhaps around 1720." The instrumentation of two trumpets and two violins shows a "strikingly strong emphasis on the higher range," with the middle area for the four voices. The original score in a later hand designates "di J. S. Bach" in three movements: "Christe," "Qui tollis," and "Quoniam." The music previously was attributed to Johann Ludwig Bach.

The music (movements) [timing]. Wollny description (Ibid): Opening, festive Kyrie section in the traditional three parts, "gradual unfolding of its formal, harmonic and stylistic means." "Here the sequential chains with their upward spiraling point to a typical stylistic element of the Dresden school and thus perhaps to the works place of origin."
1. Kyrie eleison, "brief and in block form," a short introduction [1:12];
2. Christe eleison, "lyrical reverie" in 12/16 time (soprano, alto, two violins) [2:09];
3. Kyrie eleison, chordal bocks and four-part choral fugue with tutti instruments colla parte [2:45].

4. Gloria [1:30] "builds on the compositional types expounded in the Kyrie and cautiously expands the harmonic spectrum with modulations to G major (Laudaumus te), and A minor (Domine Deus). In the tutti parts, it always returns to the main key" (C Major).
5. Laudamus Tte [2:26];
6. Gratia agimus tibi [1:22];
7. Domine Deus [3:16];
8. Qui tollis peccata mundi [1:32];
9. Quoniam tu solus sanctus [1:18];
10. Cum Sancto Spiritu [2:34].



Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.


Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam. Domine Deus rex coelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris,

Glory to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will. We praise Thee; we bless Thee; we adore Thee; we glorify Thee. We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory, O Lord God, Heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son. O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.

Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis. Who sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.
For Thou alone art holy; Thou alone art The Lord; Thou alone art most high, O Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The opening two measures of the Kyrie of Missa in C major, BWV Anh. 25 are printed in the Wilhelm Rust Bach Gesellschaft Vol. XI1:16 (Ibid.). The original score in a later hand designates "di J. S. Bach" in three movements: "Christe," "Qui tollis," and "Quoniam." says Rust. BG editor Alfred Dörfel in Vol. 41:29 says the work is by Johann Ludwig Bach. The score is part of a collection in Bach's hand that is bound together, involving BWV Anh. 24, 25, 167, and 166, from the Breitkopf & Hartel Archiv, Leipzig, Mus. Ms. 9, still there today. Four copies of BWV Anh. 25 from the early 19th century exist in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, Preußischer Kultubesitz (NBA KB II/9, Ibid.:55f). Incipits from all the movements are found at Appendix II in NBA KB II/9 Latin Church Music (Kirsten Beisswenger, 2000: 113-117.

Neopolitan Missa of Durante, BWV Anh. 26

Missa in C minor, BWV Anh. 26, Francesco Durante (1684-1755), arranged by Bach 1727 with new Christe eleison duet, BWV 242 [1:38]. Also found in the Breitkopf collection, BWV Anh. 26, is scored for SATB, 2 violins, 3 trombones <in ripieno> reinforcing the lower three voices, and continuo. It is in the florid, progressive Neopolitan style. "Copied by J.S. Bach during the second half of 1727. J.S. Bach changed the structuring of the Kyrie part of his source. He retained only Kyrie I, composed a new filigree duet for the Christe (BWV 242), and employed the music from the beginning of the Gloria for the Kyrie II. In the Gloria simple plainsong intonation takes the place of the first section, and it is not until the words "Et in terra pax" that Durante's music is resumed" [see Details BCW, ].

"In its original form, the serious, melodically somewhat brittle, yet harmonically bold work has an orchestra consisting of two (tutti) violins and continuo," saPeter Wollny in the CPO liner notes (Ibid.). Therefore, the three lower choral parts are reinforced by trombones in order to fit out the middle range." It is not known if this was part of the original or a later addition. The BWV Anh. 24 Missa incipit and first two bars of the opening "Kyrie" music are printed in the Rust Bach Gesellschaft Vol. XI1:16 (Ibid.). The "Gloria proceeds over spacious harmonic terrain," explains Wollny, outlined below in the movements with [timing]:

1. Kyrie eleison (orch. intro), [2:20];
2. Christe eleison, BWV 242, BCW Discussion Week of October 20, 2013 [1:38]
3. Kyrie eleison [1:27]
4. Gloria (bass intonation) [0:57];
5. Laudamus te (soprano, alto) in G minor [1:21];
6. Gratia agimus tibi in E minor [2:43];
7. Domine Deus soprano solo in C major [2:00]
8. Qui tollis peccata mundi [1:55]
9. Quoniam tu solus sanctus [1:37]
10. Cum sancto spiritu in C major with Amen fugue [2:30].


Thomas Braatz' 2008 BCW Biography of Durante provides more details in the section, "J.S. Bach Connection
[ ], quoted here:

"Thomas Braatz wrote (July 5, 2008):
The NBA KB II/2 dating from 1982 was still unable to identify the source of the other two mvts. included in the score which is a Bach autograph. BWV Anh. II, 26 contains a Christe eleison mvt. which, along with all the other mvts., originally had been attributed by Alfred Dörffel (BGA) in 1894 to Johann Ludwig Bach. Spitta (II, 510) had already considered the entire work to be by an Italian composer, despite the fact that Bach had written after the title of the Christe eleison mvt.: di Bach, thus indicating correctly which of the mvts. was really by him. The BWV Verzeichnis (1998) gives the Mass in C minor as being by Francesco Durante, not the Christe eleison mvt. which obviously is genuinely by J.S. Bach and is listed as BWV 242. Alfred Dürr has identified the watermark of the paper used by Bach as belonging to the period from 1727 to 1731."

Later, as with Missa BWV Anh. 24, Hans-Joachim Schultze again identified the actual composer of BWV Anh. 26 as Durante ("JSB's Vocal Works in the Breitkopf Non-Thematic Catalogs" in Bach Perspectives II, <JSB, the Breitkopfs, and the Eighteenth Century Music Trade, ed. George Stauffer (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996: 48f.), Source: NBA KB II/9, Works formerly attributed to Bach, p. 55

BWV Anh. 166 and 167

Missae (Kyrie-Gloria) BWV Anh. 166 and 167, along with BWV Anh. 25-26 are still in the possession of the Breitkopf publishers as part of a collection in Sebastian's hand and initially attributed to him.

J.L. Bach Missa, BWV Anh. 166

In July 1716, Sebastian cousin Johann Ludwig Bach in Meiningen composed the Missa sopra cantilena (Kyrie-Gloria) in E minor (using German "Gloria" chorale melody "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" - Alone to God in Heav'n Praise), BWV Anh II 166. (Carus printed this work as composed by Johann Nicolaus Bach). J.S. Bach arranged the introduction to the Gloria, and performed the work in Leipzig 1729 (See BCW Details, ,

Score: previous attribution to Johann Nikolaus Bach, Missa Brevis, ed. Klaus Hofmann, Hänssler-Verlag Neuhausen-Stuttgart HE30.701/01 1976, Duration 20 minutes. Preface by Hofmann provides extensive bibliographical notes on J.N. Bach, six manuscript copy sources, and Sebastian Bach's involvement. Information on J.N. Bach (1669-1753) and the Missa are found in Karl Geiringer's "The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius (London: Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954: 87-95). The initial Schmieder BWV catalog of 1950 cites the Bach Gesellschaft sources indentifying the composer as J. L. Bach: Rust and Dörffel (Ibid., pp. 15, 276), scoring "2 violini, 2 viole, canto concerto, Canto ripieno, alto, te., Basso col basso Cont. The Canto ripieno (soprano chorale melody and text) is found in the Gloria section, Measure 30, "Vivace."

Notes on the German `Gloria' in excelsis Deo' [BCW Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, (Feb. 10, 2013), scroll down to "German `Gloria' in excelsis Deo'"

"Allein Gott in der Höh, sei Her" (To God alone on high be glory, <Greater Doxology, <Gloria in excelsis Deo>). NLGB No. 145, Trinity, Nicolaus Decius and Martin Luther, 4 stanzas 1522/25, <hymnus angelicus> (angels' song from Luke 2:14; Decius adapted the melody (Zahn 4457) from the <Gloria> in the <Missa Tempore Paschali> of the <Graduale Romanus> (Liber usualis). Full text and Francis Browne's English translation are found at BCW, . For a full discussion of the melody and text, see BCW, .

Based on the Gregorian chant "Gloria in excelsis" (Zahn melody 4457), Bach used the melody more than any other chorale, as an organ chorale in three settings each of the "Great 18 Chorales" (BWV 662-64), Clavierbüchlein III German Organ Mass (BWV 675-77) and Miscellaneous Chorales (BWV 715-17), in the plain chorale, BWV 260 in D/B Major, and listed it for Trinity Sunday in the Orgelbüchlein as an organ chorale prelude (OB 53) but not set. The melody, usually transmitted in G and F Major, is set to various texts in Cantatas BWV 85, 104, 112, and 128 for the Easter Season. In 1739, Bach observed the 200th anniversary of the introduction of the Reformation into Leipzig with the composition of the Clavierbüchlein III and the beginning of the revision of the "Great 18 Chorales," originally composed in Weimar (c.1710-17). The fughetta super setting of the German <Gloria> from the Clavierbüchlein III, BWV 677, is found in the Hänssler Bach Edition of Bach Chorales, Vol. 82, Incidental Festivals (St. Michael).

Recordings. There are at least three CDs currently available of the J. L. Bach Missa, BWV Anh. 166:

1. J.L. Bach Cantatas & Missa Brevis, Hermann Max, Capriccio (2002), BCW (Amazon);

2. J.G. Goldberg: Kantaten; J.L. Bach: Missa brevis; J.L. Krebs Magnificat; Ex Tempore, Florian Heyerick; Ricercar CD 5400439003170 (2012);

3. Johann Nikolaus Bach Missa Brevis, C.P.E. Bach Magnificat; Rilling, Hänssler Classic 040888897026 (2004) . Tracks:
10. Movement 1. Kyrie - 1. Kyrie I - 2. Christe - 3. Kyrie II
11. Mvt. 2. Gloria - 1. Gloria in excelsis Deo - 2. Laudamus te - 3. Domine Fili unigenite - 4. Quoniuam to solus sanctus - 5. Cum Sancto Spiritu.

The most current information on this Missa, BWV Anh. 166, is found in the NBA KB II/9 (2000), Kirsten Beisswenger, p. 53f under the category of Bach's lesser involvement in works of others, Antonio Lotti's "Domine fili unigenite" (Gloria, Domine Deus) from the Missa a 4, 5, & 6 voices; J.C. Pez's "Kyrie" from Missa San Lamberti in A minor, BWV Anh. 24/1 (Ibid.); and Durante's Missa BWV Anh. 26 (Ibid.). The Beisswenger entry details the Meinengen source of the work and its attribution to J. L. Bach.

Earlier German Missa, BWV Anh. 167

The currently Anonymous Missa in G Major, BWV Anh. 167, is part of the collection of Missae in Bach's hand in tBreithopf Archives. It is a shorter work [13:31] for double chorus and now attributed to Johann Ludwig Bach or Antonio Lotti (see BCW Details, , scoring, "Voices: Chor I: S, A, T, B; Chor II: S, A, T, B; Instruments: with Chor I: 2 violins, 2 violas, violone; with Chor II: 3 oboes, taille, violone, basso continuo."

The NBA KB II series Critical Commentary on Masses, Passions, and Oratorios initial entry is found in Vol. II/2, Masses and Mass Movements, Emil Platten & Marianne Helms (1982). The more recent information is found in Beisswenger's NBA KB II/9 (2000, Ibid.: 57-59), that includes incipits in Appendix II for the three-part Kyrie and two movements of the Gloria, Et in terra pax and Gratias agimus tibi (pp. 118f).

The most current source is Peter Wollny's liner notes in the 2012 CPO recording, "Apocryphal Bach Masses II" (Ibid.). Missa BWV Anh. 167 is an anonymous festive work in Sebastian Bach's hand attributed to the Dresden Court. "Bach had the Kyrie and the beginning of the Gloria written out by one of his copyists between 1732 and 1735 and completed the score in his own hand around 1738/39." Whether he ever performed one of the parts or both them is beyond our knowledge," says Wollny. "The impressive work, certainly one written for a special occasion (feast day), effectively mixes the splendor of the Roman monumental style and fine concertizing passages." "Spitta thought of the Dresden chapel master Antonio Lotti or one of his German imitators." Wollny says that stylistic findings point earlier to the last quarter of the seventeenth century and beyond Dresden to Saxon Halle-Weißenfels, Zeitz, and Merseburg, possibly composers Christoph Bernhard (1628-92), Johann Philipp Krieger (1649-1725) or David Pohle (1624-95).

Historical Survey

Lutheran tradition enabled Bach to perform Latin liturgical settings of sections of the Mass Ordinary in the Lutheran main service, primarily the Kyrie-Gloria as a so-called <Missa Brevis>, as well as the "Sanctus."

Genesis of the Kyrie-Gloria

Here are notes drawn from the most recent <Mass in B Minor>, BWV 232, General Discussions Part 17, October 14, 2009: BCW,

1. Kyrie, BWV 233a, assumed to have been composed in Weimar, 1708-12, interpolates the German chorale "Christe du Lamm Gottes" (Christ, thou Lamb of God) in motet style with the traditional four voices singing the "Kyrie" in Latin. In the extant version, BWV 233/1, the setting is for four voices with continuo while horns and oboes play the hymn melody, presumed to have been sung by the soprano in German in the "original" bi-lingual trope or interpolation setting.

2. During his Weimar period, Bach "had need of compositions with Latin words, as shown by the Masses of other composers (Baal, Peranda, Pez) he had copied," says Dr. Andreas Bomba in his liner notes to "Kyrie eleison - - Christe, du Lamm Gottes, BWV 233a, "Sacred Latin Music 1, Hänssler, Rilling, Bachakademie, Vol.71 (1999; English translation Dr. Miguel Carazo & Associates).

Bach in his later Weimar period between 1713 and 1717 performed the Johann Baal <Missa in A Major>, Marco Gioseppe Peranda's <Missa à 6 in A Minor>, and Johann Christoph Pez' <Missa San Lamberti in A minor,> with Kyrie arranged by J.S. Bach, BWV Anh 24/1; as well as the anonymous <Missa (Kyrie, Christe, Gloria) in C minor, BWV Anh 29 [see BCW, "Works of Other Composers performed by J.S. Bach," ]. At this time, Bach was primarily interested in studying the Kyrie form in Baal, Pez, and Peranda, says Christoph Wolff (Stile antico: 165).

A. Baal, Johann (1657-1701), Missa tota a 2. Violini 2. Viole Fagotto 4. Voci. Basso contin del Sigr. Joh. Baal Partitura (Patrucci, OUP).

B. Mass in A minor (Kyrie and Gloria). Score "By Marco Gioseppe Peranda. Edited by Peter Wollny. Arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach. For SSATTB Choir and Soli, 2 Violins, 3 Violas, Basso continuo. This edition: Paperbound. A-Moll (A minor). German title: Missa brevis in a. Mass Sections. Level 3. Full score. Language: Latin. 56 pages. Duration 15 minutes. Published by Carus Verlag (CA.3530700, 2000)," M2010 P42 M5 2000. Recording: .

Also available is Kyrie in C major, Score, "By Marco Gioseppe Peranda. Edited by Peter Wollny. Arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach. For SSATB choir, 2 trumpets, 2 violins, 2 violas, violone, basso continuo. This edition: Paperbound. C-Dur (C major). German title: Kyrie in C. Mass Sections. Level 4. Full score. Language: Latin. 20 pages. Duration 8 minutes. Published by Carus Verlag (CA.3530600)" M2010 .M93 K.272b, K3. [ ].

Peranda's Short Biography is found in BCW, A member of the Dresden Court, Peranda composed a liturgical setting of the St. Mark Passion that originally was attributed to Heinrich Schütz. The Peranda Passion is found in an omnibus collection with the three Schütz Passions (Matthew, Luke, and John) in the Dresden Court Library. Sebastian Bach had access to this and Missae scores also found in the library. Peranda's setting of the Marcan narrative, based on Martin Luther's translation, with the evangelist and character solos, and polyphonic turbae (crowd choruses) is quite similar to Bach's setting found in Picander's published (1732) libretto of the St. Mark Passion, BWV 247.

C. The anonymous <Missa (Kyrie, Christe, Gloria) in C minor, BWV Anh II 29 survives only in the violoncello basso continuo in a copy dated to 1843). It is listed as a work formerly attributed to Bach and a reproduction of the two-page manuscript is found as Appendix I, in the NBA KB II/9:111f.

Leipzig Missa Activity

Bach's interest in Missa movements in Leipzig began with Sanctus settings, possibly as early as the Feast of John the Baptist on June 24, 1723. For the Kyrie, Gloria and Sanctus Latin settings of the Mass Ordinary permitted in Lutheran feast day services in Leipzig, Bach had available music from Weimar discussed above as well as music in the libraries of the Leipzig churches and the Dresden Court. In addition, as Bach began his own original settings of the Kyrie-Gloria in the early 1730s, he studied stile antico, stile moderno, and stile misto (mixed style) music from the Dresden Court archives and court composers such as Lotti, Zalenka, Henichen, Hasse, and Wilderer. Bach also may have had Missa Brevis music of Palestrina, Rosenmuller, and Buxtehude, as well as Telemann.

Student copyist Christian Gottlob Meißner, who had copied the parts set of the Pez "Missa Sancti Lamberti" in 1724, also copied the score of the Wilderer Missa in G Minor (Mus. ms. 23116/10) about the late 1720s. Bach scholars have found the Wilderer "Kyrie" to be the model for Sebastian's Kyrie," opening the Missa (Kyrie-Gloria) in B Minor, BWV 232I of 1733.

Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) was among the composers of sacred Latin works whose music J.S. Bach made use of (and in part reworked) for church services in Leipzig. The sale catalogue of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's estate, under the title 'Works by diverse masters', includes a Sanctus by Lotti (now lost), and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin has a score (Mus. ms. 13161), partly in J.S. Bach's hand, of a Mass in G minor (Kyrie and Gloria only) for six voices, trumpet, strings, and continuo which Bach used at Leipzig for some liturgical occasion (see BCW Biography, It is the passage "Domini fili unigenite," from the Domine Deus of the Gloria and is documented in the NBA KB /9 (Ibid.: 46f).

Another Missa of Lotti is well-known: "Missa Sapientiae," Mass in G minor (Kyrie, Gloria) for 6vv, trumpet, strings & bc (arr. Jan Dismas Zalenka). Recording: [DHM, Thomas Hengelbrock, 29:24].

2. Bach's Missa "Kyrie" and "Gloria," BWV 232I and II, was composed in 1733. The original score "was reworked by Bach during the adaptation of the Missa for the Mass in B Minor, in 1748-49," says the new Baerenreiter edition from the NBA I/2a, "Early Versions of the B Minor Mass" (2006). 1732-1735

3. Between 1735 and 1738, Bach parodied movements from at least 10 church-year cantatas to create four Missae (Kyrie-Gloria), BWV 233-236, "using the same basic plan as the earlier Missa but on a reduced scale," says Joshua Rifkin, Notes to BWV 233-236 Rilling Nonesuch recording.

ADDENDUM: Latin Church Music (edited excerpts)

Author: William Hoffman (July 2011)
BCW Article:

Following his death in 1750, Johann Sebastian Bach's Latin Church Music for the Lutheran Liturgy merited being listed second in the category of unpublished vocal works, after cantata annual cycles, in the miscellaneous category of "Many oratorios, Masses, Magnificats, several Sanctus," and secular works, followed by the third separate category of "Five Passions," according to his 1752 published "Obituary," authors Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach and Johann Friedrich Agricola. Exactly a half-century later, at the beginning of the so-called "Bach Revival," in Sebastian's first published biography by Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1802), the service pieces had fallen to third place, behind the Passions yet still ahead of the motets, the other category of "learned" music with which Bach had earned his initial reputation as a composer.

Needless to say, Bach's standard service settings experienced the 19th century's general disinterest in matters religious, except for a handful of major works - the "Great" Mass in B Minor, the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and a few cantatas. In addition, the Romantic Era valued the latest compositional techniques and relegated the studied motets and fugues to the dust bin of musicological studies. While the cantatas and oratorios are gaining much favor beyond just respect, the other pillars of Bach's "well ordered church music" -- the chorale four-part settings and the organ chorale preludes -- have remained the providence of composition students for the hymns and organists for virtuoso church demonstrations. The learned Latin liturgy, with the exception of Bach's two settings of the <Magnificat>, BWV 243(a), have remained the providence of Bach specialists. In essence, Bach provided occasional original composition insertions into larger works, primarily <Masses> for the main Sunday services and <Magnificats> for the Saturday and Sunday Vesper services as well as major feast day main services (including the three Marian feasts), and well as additional instrumental accompaniment and, presumably, straightforward accounts of original music by other composers.

Bach's figural Latin Church music finally was explored in the last half of the 20th century, beginning with its inherent compositional values as so-called "stile antico," "prima prattica," or learned style, as revealed and championed by today's leading Bach scholar and author, Christoph Wolff (see Bibliography). Previously, like the so-called parodied works of Bach (except for the "Great Mass"), the liturgical settings had been ignored or treated at best as orphans or bastards in Bach's <oeuvre>. Bach studies, having spent the past half-century pursuing all facets of the treasure chest of compositions, have turned to these "lesser," "secondary" works - including the parodied compositions - and have begun to secure a greater, wider appreciation, especially while casting large nets and connecting the dots of Bach's wide and deep interests.

Today, the focal point of Bach scholarship, the Neue Bach Ausgabe (New Bach Edition), has accepted some adaptations with the latest vocal study edition, NBA II/9(KB). <Lateinische Kirchenmusik/Passionen: Bearbeitungen fremder Werke, Werke zweifelhafter Echtheit> (Latin Church Music/Passions: Adaptations of Extraneous Works, Works of Doubtful Authenticity) by Kirsten Beißwenger, 2000. Its contents are now part of the Bach Cantata Website (BCW) on-going weekly discussions, including under the categories Latin Church Music, Passions, Oratorios:

*BWV 1081, <Credo Intonation> to Bassini <Mass>; and BWV 1082, <Suscepit Israel> in Caldara's <Magnificat)> (July 3, 2011),
*BWV 1083, Motet <Tilge Höchster, meine Sünden> (Psalm 51) adaptation of Pergolesi <Stabat Mater> (Week of Jun. 24, 2012;
*BWV Anh. Missae (Kyrie-Gloria): BWV Anh. 24-26 (Johann Christoph Pez, anonymous, Francesco Durante), BCW Discussion, Week of Aug. 18, 2013);
*BWV 1088, <"Arioso" aus einem Passions-Pasticcio (BCW Discussion, Week of Mar. 31, 2013).

Also, there is a recent BCW Article, "Johann Sebastian Bach's Adaptation of the Kyrie and Gloria from Palestrina's <Missa sine nomine> (1590), Provenance and Description of Source Materials," based on the NBA KB II/9 pp. 23-30, prepared by Thomas Braatz © 2010,

They are a part of whole category of works Bach performed in Leipzig as part of his "well-ordered church music" (some of it still being explored). This involves works of both well-known contemporary German colleagues such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Georg Frideric Handel, Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, C.H. Graun and Reinhard Keiser, as well as respected figures of the far- and near-past such as Palestrina, Frescobaldi, Fux, Lotti, Pergolesi, and Caldara. See: BCW: . In fact, these composers were listed in Bach's "Obituary" as influences and acquaintances, yet virtually ignored by mainline German Bach scholarship, beginning in the early 19th century when originality and struggle were championed over learning still treasured by many practicing contemporary composers.

The "discovery" of Bach's Latin Church Music began with the well-known composer, Palestrina, and his <Missa sine nomine> (Mass without name), and it continues. Bach scholar Wilhelm Rust in his introduction to the Bach Gesellschaft (BG) first Bach Edition, 1862, Vol. 11/1, "mentioned its existence in a list of works by other composers in Bach's hand," c.1742, says Braatz in his BCW article: . The BG volume printed the music of Bach's <Magnificat>, BWV 243(a), and Mass Ordinary movements (four Sanctus), BWV 237-40. It was Rust who soon after discovered the "lost" parodies, the St. Mark Passion, BWV 247; and the Köthen Funeral Music, BWV 244a. One of the latest findings is Palestrina's <Missa Ecce sacerdos magnus a 4> (J.S. Bach added bass and instruments), c1745, occasion unknown; Source: Barbara Wiermann, `Bach und Palestrina - Neue Quellen (Sources) aus Johann Sebastian Bachs Notenbibliothek (Music Library)', Bach-Jahrbuch (2002), 9-25. BCW Details & Recording: (Aryeh Oron, May 2010).

In Wolff's studies, he points out the <stile antico> features of many Latin church pieces, including the <Credo> Intonation, BWV 1081, and the <Magnificat" movement <Suscepit Israel>, BWV 1082: large-note values in <Alle Breve> tempo 2/2 cut time or 4/2 compound, consonant and dissonant syncopations, and strict vocal polyphony. Wolff says the thrice-repeated eight-bar ostinato in the continuo is a repetition of the central theme of "One God" (unum Deum, "Bach and the Tradition of the Palestrina Style," in <Bac, Essays on his Life and Music: Outlines of a Musical Portrait> (Harvard University Press, 1991), pp. 96ff.

About 1736-1740 [c.1735] J. S. Bach called upon an anonymous scribe (perhaps his son Gottfried Heinrich Bach, 1724-1763) to copy the entire contents of Bassani's Acroama missale (Augsburg, 1709), which consisted of six masses, each with Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, and Sanctus. Later, in 1747-1748, J. S. Bach himself composed ex novo the intonation (Credo in unum Deum) for the fifth of these. This brief composition (16 bars in length) in F major for four voices (SATB) and continuo (BWV 1081) follows the style of the collection and introduces the same plainchant intonation that J. S. Bach used in the Symbolum Nicenum of his Mass in B minor (BWV 232)."

Bach's manuscript copy of these six Bassani Massses, found in his library, probably was copied from the 1709 print edition acquired through a Leipzig bookseller. It is a study in <stile antico> of the original <Credo Intonation> chant, as well as musical techniques and treatments of the full Latin Mass Ordinary of the Catholic Church. Stauffer in his monograph of the <B-Minor Mass> (p. 39f) offers some interesting details of Bach's manuscript. <Acroama> means "that which is heard with pleasure" for these "six small concerted Mass settings of the Venetian/Viennese type, each composed of Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, and Sanctus (through the "Osanna" I)."

While Lutheran liturgical tradition and practice allowed for the use of the opening <Kyrie-Gloria> and the <Sanctus>, there is no record of the use of a separate Latin <Credo> musical setting, called the <Symbolum Nicenum>. Individual <Credos> were set by composers such as Antonio Vivaldi in Venice, RV 591, for chorus and orchestra, c.1715, in concerted contemporary style with four movements (fast <Credo in unum Deum> and closing <Et resurrexit>, slow "Et in carnatus est" and "Crucifixus"). "We do not know, however, when Latin <Credo> compositions would have been performed in Leipzig church services. A Latin <Credo> was not provided for the liturgy," says Uwe Wolf in the "Preface" to the <Early Versions of the Mass in B Minor>, Bärenreiter, vocal score, based on the Urtext of the New Bach Edition by Andrea Köhs, 2006, supplement to NBA II/1a, ed. Uwe Wolf, 2005.

As evidence that no Latin <Credo> was performed in Leipzig, Bach salvaged a <Sanctus> from the complete <Missa Superba> (before 1674) of Johann Caspar Kerll (1627-1693), Munich Court Capellmeister, which was purchased for the St. Thomas School library in 1677. Bach's adaptation used music from the original <Sanctus>' succeeding "Osanna" to replace the original music of <Pleni sunt coeli> since he had no use for the rest of the <Sanctus> as well as the preceding <Credo>, and the closing <Agnus Dei. A complete recording of the concerted <Missa Superba> is found in music from the Bach Library, Vol. 2; Thomas Hangelbrock conducting, Hänssler CD 518104. A description of the adaptation process of the <Sanctus>, BWV 241, is found in "Sacred Music in Latin, Vol. 2, Helmut Rilling conducting, Hänssler Complete Bach, CD Vol. 72.



Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis. Kleine Ausgabe. Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, 2a.); ed. Wolfgang Schmieder, Breitkopf and Hartel, Wiesbaden. 1998 ISBN 3-7651-0249-0.
This is a complete catalog, in German, of every piece Bach wrote, with abbreviated information. The first few measures of each movement of every piece are shown, with words when applicable. It is updated to include the music added to the catalog since 1990.

NBA KB II/9. Neue Bach Ausgabe (New Bach Edition), has accepted some adaptations with the latest vocal study edition, NBA II/9(KB). <Lateinische Kirchenmusik/Passionen: Bearbeitungen fremder Werke, Werke zweifelhafter Echtheit> (Latin Church Music/Passions: Adaptations of Extraneous Works, Works of Doubtful Authenticity) by Kirsten Beißwenger, 2000.

Stauffer, George B. <Bach: the Mass in B Minor: The Great Catholic Mass> (Yale University Press: 2003).

Wiermann, Barbara. `Bach und Palestrina - Neue Quellen (Sources) aus Johann Sebastian Bachs Notenbibliothek (Music Library)', Bach-Jahrbuch (2002), 9-25.

Wolff, Christoph. Der stile antico in der Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs (Wiesbaden, 1968).

Wolff, Christoph. "Bach and the Tradition of the Palestrina Style," <Bach, Essays on his Life and Music: Outlines of a Musical Portrait> (Harvard University Press, 1991).

After Wolff's seminal study of Bach's involvement in Latin music (Der stile antico in der Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs) other Bach scholars such as Kirsten Beißwenger have made major contributions to the understanding of this music as well as and its impact on Bach's creativity. See: Kirsten Beißwenger, "Bachs Einggriffe in Werke fermder Komponisten Beobachtungen an den Notenhandschriften aus seiner Bibliothek unter besonderer Berüucksichtigung der latinischen Kirchenmusik" (Bach's Involvement in Extraneous Work Compositions in Adherence With Musical Manuscripts in His Library, With Separate Consideration of Latin Church Music), <Bach Jahrbuch>, 1991; pp. l27-47.


Bach's Missa in G major, BWV 236, will be the BCW Discussion, Week of October 13.

The 5 Sanctus & Christe eleison, BWV 237-242 will be discussed the Week of October 20, 2013.

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 18, 2013):
Bach, the "Catholic" Lutheran

William Hoffman wrote:
< Best known for his full Catholic "Mass in B Minor," BWV 232, composed in the final two decades of his life, Sebastian Bach had an abiding interest in the Latin church music from the Mass Ordinary allowed in the Lutheran Church main service, particularly on feast days >
I have an abiding interest in Bach's Latin masses which have been unfairly pushed to the periphery of audience and critical interest. A focus on the masses is a good remedy to the Romantic stereotype of Bach as THE Protestant composer. Many historians have retrojected late 19th and early 20th century Lutheran liturgy with its exclusive focus on chorale-singing and preaching. In fact, Bach's Sunday morning was very different from that late Protestant model. The pattern would surprise even conservative Lutherans today with its very "Catholic" ceremonial and music. Modern devotees of Bach are still surprised to find out that he made his privateconfession weekly before receiving the sacrament.

The Sunday morning service was an elaborate sung mass with general reception of the sacrament. The mass was also sung on several weekdays in Leipzig. Leipzig principally used Luther's Latin "Formula Missae" (Order of Mass) of 1523, not the more common vernacular "Deutsche Missae" (German Mass) of 1526. Even in Bach's time, the number of churches using the Latin mass must have been very small and limited to those parishes which had residential choir schools and pre-Reformation traditions of polyphonic music. The vast majority of parishes used the vernacular mass with chorales replacing texts such as the Gloria. This was the rite which came
universally to North America with Lutheran immigrants. It would be interesting to know how many "Formula Missae" churches there were in Bach's Germany. As far as I've been able to discover there are no "Formula
Missae" parishes today. Bach's familiar rite has been lost to history.

In order to give the Bach masses some context, it's provocative to speculate on the musical repertoire for the Ordinary texts of the mass sung each Sunday by Bach's four choirs:

Sanctus (without Benedictus)
Agnus Dei

with reference to both the concerted works and the Vopelius hymn book which was Bach's normative source.

Choir 4:
We usually ignore the bottom-feeders of the Thomasschule hierarchy because they "only" sang unison chorales. Their repertoire was probably the well-known hymns in the Vopelius:

Kyrie: Kyrie Gott Vater
Gloria: Allein Gott in der Höhe
Credo: Wir Glauben All
Sanctus: Jesaia dem Propheten (Heilig, Heilig, Heiling)
Agnus Dei: O Lamm Gottes (often replaced by a chorale 'sub communione')

All of Bach's swere taught to read and sing Latin. The Vopelius hymn book also contains Gregorian chant settings of the Ordinary (the Credo theme was used in the Mass in B Minor). If Choir 4 sang at a "Formula Missae" service, they might have sung the Ordinary to unison chant unaccompanied. We can probably assume that these unison chorale and chant settings were the foundational repertoire of all four of the school's choirs.

Choir 3:
If we assume for argument's sake, that the four choirs sang a graduated repertoire of mass settings, Choir 3 might have added the elaborate quasi-motet chorale settings which are found in the Riemenschneider collection. These are clearly not congregational music and may represent Choir 3's somewhat greater musical proficiency. The Vopelius hymnbook also provides the plainsong for the Proper texts of the Mass on important feasts (e.g. Introit, Gradual, Sequence). These melismatic chants are more demanding than the syllabic melodies of the Ordinary and might represent another choral gradation.

Choir 2:
Given that Choir 1 and 2 alternated services in St. Nicholas' and St.Thomas' where the expectation for elaborate music was high, we can postulate that Choirs 3 & 4 were the "general" students and Choir 1 & 2 were the "music" students. The Vopelius hymn book provides several 16 & 17th century polyphonic mass settings in Latin in 4 - 6 voices. Again, our prejudice about them being "only" stile antico settings masks the fact that these are demanding choral pieces, in some cases much more difficult than the cantatas and concerted settings. These polyphonic settings were probably Choir 2's principal repertoire. They may have been doubled by Instruments, especially cornetti and trombones

Choir 1:
The first choir contained the most accomplished musicians in the school, and they knew the mass repertoires of the other choirs. In addition, it appears that concerted settings of the mass were performed on principal feasts. There appears to have been a ranking of the feasts: Christmas, Easter and Penctecost were the pillars of the church (A concerted Latin Magnificat was sung at Vespers of those feasts) The major genres were:

The Missa: Kyrie & Gloria
Agnus Dei appears to have been replaced by a 'sub communione' second cantata
The Credo of the B Minor Mass might suggest that the Creed was occasionally sung in concerted settings.

The mass cycle was therefore a "pasticcio" of individual movements brought together on particular Sunday or feast day. The Kyrie and Gloria were not an incomplete 'missa brevis' or some phantom "Lutheran mass." Stauffer points out that the 'pasticcio mass' was a concurrent tradition with the more familiar 'cycle mass' at the Catholic court of Dresden. Farther afield, Monteverdi and Vivaldi's famous "Gloria" settings were intended for inclusion in pasticcio mass. As late as Mozart, it's clear that the composer did not consider the setting incomplete, but used it with movements drawn from other masses.

If Bach's normal model for Choir 1 was a concerted pasticcio mass, it would help to explain the isolated movements which Bach arranged or copied. There are at least a half a dozen mass movements by other composers which Bach performed. Together with Bach's four missae and two Sanctus settings, that's a substantial repertoire.

It would appear that the growth of modern concerted, cantata-style mass was a style that Bach developed in his last decade, possibly because of increased contact with Dresden. Stauffer hints than Bach's growing interest may have been part of his campaign to move to the Catholic Chapel Royal in Dresden. Even if that's not the case, the Bach masses should be considered in the context of a very catholic-flavoured liturgy.

Anthony Kozar wrote (August 18, 2013):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I have an abiding interest in Bach's Latin masses which have been unfairly pushed to the periphery of audience and critical interest. A focus on the masses is a good remedy to the Romantic stereotype of Bach as THE Protestant composer. Many historians have retrojected late 19th and early 20th century Lutheran liturgy with its exclusive focus on chorale-singing and preaching. In fact, Bach's Sunday morning was very different from that late Protestant model. The pattern would surprise even conservative Lutherans today with its very "Catholic" ceremonial and music. Modern devotees of Bach are still surprised to find out that he made his privateconfession weekly before receiving the sacrament. >
Thanks very much, Doug, for your interesting post! I too have a very strong interest in all of Bach's Latin church music and in the "apocryphal" settings that are part of the Bach canon.

I have read a number of statements recently in contexts discussing Bach's music claiming that Luther's liturgy (and by extension, that practiced by Bach) was somehow a radical departure from Catholic liturgical traditions. While there may be some significant differences, it seemed clear to me that these statements were mostly false. As you point out, the Ordinary of the Mass and even many parts of the Proper were still in regular use and the overall shape of the liturgy still bore the unmistakable mark of the Latin rite.

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 18, 2013):
Anthony Kozar wrote:
< I have read a number of statements recently in contexts discussing Bach's music claiming that Luther's liturgy (and by extension, that practiced by Bach) was somehow a radical departure from Catholic liturgical traditions. >
Stauffer's book on the B Minor Mass is a must-read about Bach's complex relationship with Dresden. Perhaps the most consequential discovery is that the B Minor Mass is a practical liturgical mass. He shows its similarity to gigantic cantata-style masses that were a regular feature in the Dresden Chapel Royal. Bach's work was not a "closet mass" written as some ecumenical paen to universalist religious tolerance, but a work that would have been performed as part of a Catholic high mass.

The question of scale is an important one that needs to be addressed as we consider the four masses. Works like the Missa in F Major are substantial works. If they had a Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei attached to them we would say that Bach wrote five "great" masses. It would be interesting to add the extra movements from other composers and create full catholic masses and experience how Bach may have intended his four missae to be used if in fact he had moved to Dresden and ended his career as Bach the Great Catholic Composer.

Needless to say, Stauffer's speculation about Bach's career plans are indeed speculative, but they are intriguing as a reason why Bach became so interested in the Latin mass in the last decade of his life. It reminds me of the stories of Mozart who in the last five years of his life decided that he had to look for a church job. He hadn't written any church music for years, so the Requiem was going to be a kind of advertising showpiece. However, he also wrote to Salzburg to have his early church works sent to him to assemble a portfolio which would assist his applications.

Are Bach's five masses his portfolio?

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 19, 2013):
Bach's Mass Repertoire

Out of personal curiousity, I thought I'd compile a list of the masses performed or known by Bach from the catalogues on this list:

* Masses performed by J.S. Bach:

Anon: Missa in C Major
Baal: Missa in A Major
Bach, J.L: Mass in E Minor
Bach, J.L.: Mass in C Minor
Bassani: Mass #5 in F Major with Credo
Durante: Mass in C Minor
Kerl: Missa Superba
Lotti: Missa Sapientiae in G Minor
Palestrina: Missa Ecce Sacerdos Magnus
Palestrina: Missa Sine Nomine
Peranda: Kyrie in C Major
Peranda: Missa a 6

Pex: Missa San Lamberdi in A Minor
Wilderer: Missa Brevis in G Minor

* Works in J.S. Bach's Library:

Bernhard: Missa Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam,
Bernhard: Missa: Durch Adams Fall
Buxtehude: Missa Brevis
Fux: Gradus ad Parnassum
Monteverdi: Missa in Illo Tempore
Schmidt: Kyrie in D Major
Stölzel: Missa Brevis
Telemann: Missa Brevis

It's a very impressive repertoire which provides us a with a great deal of context when we look at at Bach's five m.

A few observations ...

* Bach had an encyclopedic familiarity with the mass in both Catholic and Lutheran traditions stretching from the classic 16th masses of Palestrina to the contemporary settings of Telemann. Add to that the plainsong settings of the Vopelius hymn book, and there is little doubt that Bach could have written a history of the music of the mass. Only the French repertoire is missing. although Bach did have copies of organ masses by De Grigny.

* Both the German Lutheran and Italian Catholic traditions are almost equally represented.

* Stile antico and concerted settings are represented almost equally.

* The repertoire is almost exclusively settings of the Missa (Kyrie and Gloria). In the case of most of the Italian Catholic masses, Bach simply ignored the Credo, Sanctus and Benedictus.

* There are no independent Sanctus movements. Bach wrote two settings himself (in C and D major) but it is curious that there are no other examples.

* The Bassani Mass includes a setting of the Credo beginning at the traditional "Patrem Omnipotentem". Bach added 16 bars setting "Credo in Unum Deum" to replace the priest's intonation -- similar to the opening of the "Symbolum Nicenum" of the B Minor Mass. An indication that concerted Credos were occasionally performed.

* Many of the settings appear in the 1740's, again suggesting that Bach's interest was stimulated in the last decade of his life.

David McKay wrote (August 19, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] A most interesting survey. Thanks for going to the trouble, Douglas.


Kleine Magnificat in a-Moll BWV Anh. 21: Recordings | General Discussions

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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