Bach: Mass in B Minor [2015 Recording]

Bach: Mass in B Minor [2015 Recording]

by John Eliot Gardiner


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With this recording, conductor John Eliot Gardiner returns to Bach's magisterial "Mass in B minor, BWV 232," just about exactly 30 years after first recording it in 1985. In between have come a host of other Bach recordings; Gardiner's impressive Bach cantata tour with his Monteverdi Choir, performing Bach's music in places of historical importance to it; and his book Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, drawing in large part on insights developed during the recording of the cantata cycle. With all this in mind, it is a testimony to the consistency of Gardiner's vision that nothing has been fundamentally recast here. Instead, the music-making is sharpened, the interpretations deepened, with singers who have learned to interact with each other in very subtle ways. Gardiner here uses a choir of 35 and an even larger orchestra with dual harpsichord and organ continuo: large even by general standards and representing a total rejection of the fashionable one-voice-per-part approach. The only objection to this performance might come if you're convinced by that approach and are uncomfortable with Gardiner's rather lush sound. Otherwise, this recording is gorgeous, intelligent, and above all deeply felt. Sample the choral numbers in the "Gloria," such as the "Gratias agimus tibi" (CD one, track six), where the physical sense of rejoicing as Gardiner has the chorus jump in from the previous solo is palpable. Everywhere there are the Gardiner trademarks of close attention to detail, including faultless text intelligibility, combined with a sense of the monumental shape of the whole (which is really the point of the "B minor Mass": yes, it was derived in part from earlier pieces, but the genius lay in seeing how they fit together). The engineering staff from Gardiner's Soli Deo Gloria label, working in St. Luke's, London, has also learned a great deal about the way these musicians work together. A magnificent "Mass in B minor."

Product Details

Release Date: 11/13/2015
Label: Sdg
UPC: 0843183072224
catalogNumber: 722
Rank: 81294

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