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Bach: Magnificat; Masses BWV 233-236 / Schreier

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Magnificat
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 3 voices, chorus, 2 flutes, strings & continuo in A major, BWV 234 (BC E3)
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 3 voices, chorus, orchestra & continuo in F major, BWV 233 (BC E6)
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 3 voices, chorus, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in G minor, BWV 235 (BC E5)
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 4 voices, chorus, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in G major, BWV 236 (BC E4)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"The Schreier set can be warmly recommended ... a fine, fresh account of the Magnificat. He has excellent soloists, notably Barbara Bonney and Olaf Bär, and the ... digital sound is first class." -Penguin Guide

"How beautifully moulded ... is the unassuming fugal opening of the F major Mass, followed by an exuberant and brilliantly executed Gloria ... Bonney shows exemplary control in "Qui tollis", as she does so affectingly in the gliding equivalent in the A major Mass." - Gramophone

Bach's spectacular choral masterpiece, the Magnificat, remains one of his most popular works. It is accompanied by the Missae breves - Bach's quartet of short but beautiful Lutheran masses. These lively modern-instrument performances by the C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra are led by distinguished conductor and tenor Peter Schreier. "The Schreier set can be warmly recommended... a fine, fresh account of the Magnificat. He has excellent soloists, notably Barbara Bonney and Olaf Bar." - Penguin CD Guide

American Record Guide
On the whole these are solid, mainstream performances, mostly free of annoying mannerisms... such endings are just too cute for Bach. In other places Schreier's understatement can be very effective, as in the 'Omnes Generationes' chorus from the Magnificat. The harpsichord on this recording has a metallic tinkle that draws too much attention to itself for a continuo instrument. Worthy of special praise is the exquisitely subtle and sensitive rubato in the oboe d'amore obbligato of 'Quia Respexit'.

BBC Music Magazine
Like Münchinger, Schreier uses modern instruments, but with an awareness of performance practice which yields sparkling playing.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin (11/1993).



Reviews

Bach at a bargain
This is a reissue of a 1993 recording, combining well-known Bach (the Magnificat) with the more obscure (all four of the missa brevis settings). Bonney and Trost are first-rate soloists; I think Bar has a bit too much vibrato for works of this period, even though the music is played on modern instruments. The chorus makes a healthy sound, but is not gigantic. Conductor Schreier had been singing Bach for years, and certainly knows how it ought to go, capturing the dance flavor of a lot of historically-informed recordings. Documentation is a bit sketchy (it sounds like the trio for female voices in the Magnificat is sung here by a semi-chorus), and texts are not supplied (nor are they available online, though the tray card says they are). However, this is a recommendable, well-recorded set for those who don’t care for the sound of period instruments and, at a two-fer price, is a bargain.
Submitted on 06/09/11 by Jim D. 
Pinnacle of Rejoicing and Performance
This two-disc set shares the genius of J. S. Bach via the presentation of the famous Magnificat in D and four “short masses”. The accompanying booklet explains the background of these “rework” pieces, all suitable for examples for choirs to use today. The cover showing red and white columns and ceiling work almost appears to be fancy icing on an elaborate dessert.


Internationally acclaimed artists Barbara Bonney, Birgit Remmert, Rainer Trost, and Olaf Bär and the RIAS Chamber Chorus under the direction of the inimitable Peter Schreier make every entrance, every phrase, every ending a standard for other choruses to emulate. Biographies and information on recordings and concerts are available at bach-cantata.com and websites under the artists’ names. The C. P. E. Bach Chamber Orchestra preserves the quality reputation of the eldest son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, through more than forty years of excellence in music via recordings, tours, and performances (cpebach-berlin.de).


The Magnificat in D bursts forth in joy, projecting an ecstatic expression of ebullience, as glorious today as when first performed on Christmas Day 1723. The voices of Ms. Bonney and Ms. Remmert complement each other throughout. In addition, the alto/tenor duet “Et misericordia” and the trio “Suscepit Israel” are particularly appealing.


The four “short masses” would be suitable for any good choir to undertake in entirety or partial presentation in a service. While each has its own special appeal, either strings or oboe providing intricate motifs and runs, all have the standard setting of the initial Kyrie followed by the Gloria. For example, if a director is searching for a foot-tapping mass but is missing a soprano soloist, then BWV235 would be a good choice. The bass aria “Domine Deus” in BWV234 and “Gratias agimus” in BWV236 invite repeat listening.


This cd is itself a “remake” from 1994 of a 1993 Berlin recording. This set will be a most-desired acquisition for any Bach aficionado, singer, or choir director.


Submitted on 09/16/11 by howsweetthesound 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Magnificat
  • Performers: Olaf Bär (Baritone); Barbara Bonney; Birgit Remmert (Alto); Rainer Trost (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Peter Schreier
  • Ensemble: RIAS Chamber Chorus
  • Running Time: 23 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 06/1733

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 3 voices, chorus, 2 flutes, strings & continuo in A major, BWV 234 (BC E3)
  • Performers: Olaf Bär (Baritone); Barbara Bonney; Birgit Remmert (Alto); Rainer Trost (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Peter Schreier
  • Ensemble: RIAS Chamber Chorus
  • Running Time: 29 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1738-1739

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 3 voices, chorus, orchestra & continuo in F major, BWV 233 (BC E6)
  • Performers: Olaf Bär (Baritone); Barbara Bonney; Birgit Remmert (Alto); Rainer Trost (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Peter Schreier
  • Ensemble: RIAS Chamber Chorus
  • Running Time: 24 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1738-1739

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 3 voices, chorus, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in G minor, BWV 235 (BC E5)
  • Performers: Olaf Bär (Baritone); Barbara Bonney; Birgit Remmert (Alto); Rainer Trost (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Peter Schreier
  • Ensemble: RIAS Chamber Chorus
  • Running Time: 18 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1738-1739

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Mass for 4 voices, chorus, 2 oboes, strings & continuo in G major, BWV 236 (BC E4)
  • Performers: Olaf Bär (Baritone); Barbara Bonney; Birgit Remmert (Alto); Rainer Trost (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Peter Schreier
  • Ensemble: RIAS Chamber Chorus
  • Running Time: 25 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1738-1739