Joanne Lunn Soprano
Lea Desandre Soprano
Lucile Richardot Alto
Emiliano Gonzalez Toro Tenor
Thomas E. Bauer Bass
Raphaël Pichon Conductor
The origin of Bach’s famous Mass in B minor is not well known. It was probably finished in Leipzig in 1748, two years before the composer’s death, by assembling his 1733 Missa Brevis (a Kyrie and a Gloria dedicated to the Elector of Saxony, at the catholic Dresden Court – with a brilliant musical life) with different pieces already written, notably the Sanctus from Christmas 1724 and also new compositions to create what his son Carl Philipp Emanuel called the “Grand Catholic Mass”. It is probably a theoretical composition, whose purpose was not dictated by need: Bach thus created his major work, a musical summit after fifty years dedicated to cantatas and passions…
Only published in 1833, the full work was certainly not performed in Bach’s lifetime; in the 19th century, it became a model of mastery of composition, and then with the rebirth of baroque it took a centre place in German baroque and universal music, together with St Matthew’s Passion.
In Bach’s work, this grand Latin mass opposes its opulence to protestant passions. The heady grief of the Crucifixus where each voice deplores the death of Christ is followed by the exhilaration of the Resurrexit, in a deployment of brass and timpani and the cries of joy of the faithful. Bach’s musical testament is one of his most often performed work.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Mass in B minor
Video: Bach, St Matthew Passion - Raphaël Pichon & Ensemble Pygmalion
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