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Bach: Mass in B minor BWV 232 / Minkowski, Crowe, Lunn, Wey, Balzer, et al

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass in B minor, BWV 232
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Twentieth century scholarship has uncovered information about performances of individual movements of the Mass during the composer's lifetime indicating that, in spite of its length, Bach intended it to be a chamber piece for small vocal and instrumental ensembles... Whatever impact of massed voices that's lost here is more than compensated by the coherence of the small ensemble sound, which has a surprising grandeur at the moments where it is required... The sound is intimate and clean, allowing the vocal and instrumental details to emerge with clarity and brilliance. The CD would make a fine introduction to the Mass and should be of strong interest to listeners who already love it." -All Music Guide

The Observer
Marc Minkowski chose his 10 international soloists - who combine to sing the choral sections - with infinite care. Their balance is superb, aided by his sensitive direction of the sublime Musiciens du Louvre who never overwhelm the vocal lines. Among many glorious moments the "Et Incarnatus est" and "Crucifixus" stand out as particular peaks of perfection

The Times
The adrenalin and excitement is real, and there's lovely colouring from brass and wind.

The Independent
Using forces identical in number to those in The Gabrieli Consort's St Matthew Passion, Minkowski delivers an elegant reading with as many reflective largos as lickety-spit allegros.

The Guardian
The shifting permutations of colours constantly take you by surprise. The end result is as much a celebration of the joy of music-making as a hymn to the glory of God. Wonderful and highly recommended.

Sunday Times
Minkowski's Bach is less mannered than his Handel, but there is drama and brilliance in the singing and playing he encourages from his period-style forces. Highly collectable.

Gramophone Magazine
The most outstanding aspects of this performance involve the linear focus and Minkowski's musical instinct to draw out the imagery with discriminationà The large-scale movements with trumpets and drums are wonderfully exuberant exclamations, especially the "Gloria" and "Et expect", roulades of joy which never tire.

BBC Music Magazine
Minkowski comments that 'Bach turns everything into an orchestra'; his mind is 'symphonic'. As a result, the singers are required to match the instrumental virtuosity of players, as they do with breathtaking effect in 'Et resurrexit', 'Et expecto'. Recording quality, in a warmly reverberant churn in Santiago de Compostela, matches the performance, making this the best of the minimalist B minor Mass recordings.


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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass in B minor, BWV 232
  • Performers: Colin Balzer (Tenor); Markus Brutscher (Tenor); Lucy Crowe (Soprano); Christian Immler (Bass); Julia Lezhneva (Soprano); Joanne Lunn (Soprano); Blandine Staskiewicz (Mezzo-Soprano); Luca Tittoto (Bass)
  • Conductor: Marc Minkowski
  • Ensemble: Les Musiciens du Louvre
  • Running Time: 100 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1748-1749