Bach: Mass in B minor

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Cologne Chamber Orchestra, according to the liner notes of this album, plays "according to the principles of historical performance-practice on modern instruments and so can meet the needs of modern concert halls." This is nonsense, sloppily expressed do concert halls have needs? desires maybe?. Performances by historical-instrument groups in modern halls are commonplace. Editorial malfeasance aside, however, this is a strong B minor mass in an unusual territory lying between symphony orchestra treatments and those by Baroque-instrument bands. "Principles of historical performance-practice" applied to modern instruments seem primarily to mean the use of a small string...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Cologne Chamber Orchestra, according to the liner notes of this album, plays "according to the principles of historical performance-practice on modern instruments and so can meet the needs of modern concert halls." This is nonsense, sloppily expressed do concert halls have needs? desires maybe?. Performances by historical-instrument groups in modern halls are commonplace. Editorial malfeasance aside, however, this is a strong B minor mass in an unusual territory lying between symphony orchestra treatments and those by Baroque-instrument bands. "Principles of historical performance-practice" applied to modern instruments seem primarily to mean the use of a small string group that allows the wind parts to be heard and Bach's intricate polyphonic writing to emerge in its full glory. And so it does, both in the big trumpet-driven choruses that are the glory of the B minor mass and in the glittering solo and duet arias. The sound is not big, but it is dense and full in a way that suits Bach's choral music satisfyingly. Conductor Helmut Müller-Brühl, he of the multiple umlauts that have tested the mettle of many a classical disc jockey, leads an ensemble situated squarely in the center of the German Bach tradition when it comes to overall style; the Dresden Chamber Choir has a vigorous but perfectly blended sound. At the budget price, this may be a good, basic "Mass in B minor" for those new to Bach's music; it is one of the cornerstones of his output, containing some of his most intricate contrapuntal creations but maintaining a tone that is by turns monumental and joyful. But sometimes Naxos carries the whole budget thing a little too far. Would it really have added to the cost of the album to tell us which soprano was singing on which solo? This disc is available in an SACD release, likely worth the extra money.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/22/2005
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313110261
  • Catalog Number: 6110102-03
  • Sales rank: 201,908

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mass in B minor, for 5 voices, 6-part chorus, violin, orchestra & continuo, BWV 232 (BC E1) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Cologne Chamber Orchestra (108:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Helmut Müller-Brühl Primary Artist
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