Bach's Mass in B Minor

The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle

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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Autumn is Back (Geekr/flickr)

This week on the Choral Mix, Kent Tritle features a landmark in the choral repertoire, J.S. Bach's stunning Mass in B Minor. We're transported to another world where the soul is filled with happiness, calm, and fulfilling sense of peace.

Johann Sebastian Bach is a favorite for many, including Maestro Tritle. While the sheer beauty of Bach's writing has stolen many hearts, Kent takes a deeper look at Bach's magic. The musical construction behind the Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 is exquisite, perfectly symmetrical on a large and small level.

In the central Credo, the outer movements stand as bookends, arias flank inside, and at the center are three movements which run in succession: Et incarnates, Crucifuxus, and Et Resurrection. From an emotional standpoint these movements represent birth, death and eternal life. All of these details create an exceptional balance between emotion and composition, and continue to allure audiences after for more than two and a half centuries.

Also on this week's program are works by Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff and others.


Wondrous Love   
Southern Harmony
The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Motherless Child (Trad.)
Wondrous Love
The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Mass for Double Choir
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers

Blazhen muzh/Blessed is the man
Vespers All-Night Vigil
The Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Kent Tritle

Mass in B Minor
Atlanta Symphony
Orchestra and Chamber Chorus
Robert Shaw

Si Ambulant from Requiem
Huelgus Ensemble
Paul Neuvel

Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich
La Chapelle Royale
Collegium Vocale
Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
Philippe Herreweghe

Selig sind die Toten
Musikalische Exequien
La Chapelle Royale
Philippe Herreweghe

St. John Passion
Collegium Vocale
Gent Orchestre de la Chapelle Royale
Philippe Herreweghe

Comments [7]

I enjoyed the variety of the pieces presented. Diverse aspects of very spiritual music. The work by the Belgian composer was especially haunting and beautiful.Thanks!

Nov. 06 2011 10:44 AM

I am always thrilled to hear one of Adolphus Hailstork's works. Hailstork was the conductor of The Singing Statesmen during one of his years at Michigan State, and we had the opportunity to sing some of his arrangements fresh from the Xerox machine.

The late 60s and early 70s were a golden era for the Statesmen, as we also enjoyed two years of leadership from Robert Harris. (Harris also programmed Hailstork works.)

Oct. 17 2011 12:05 PM
Gary Ekman from Manhattan NYC

Speaking strictly for myself, once one has sung Gloria In Excelsis Deo and Et Resurrexit from Bach's Mass in B Minor, nothing else really comes close. Possibly the greatest music ever composed.

Although I have to admit that that version of Motherless Child is wondrous.

Oct. 15 2011 08:40 AM
Michael Meltzer

If personal picks are in order:
Bach: Nun ist das Heil, BWV 50
Bach:Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden BWV 230
Barber: The Coolin'
Vittoria: O Magnum Mysterium
Anon: The Coventry Carol
Randall Thompson: Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
Vaughan WIlliams: Old Hundredth
-and from Steve's list, the same Lauridsen, the same Bartok.

Oct. 10 2011 10:14 AM
Stephen J. Herschkorn from Highland Park, N.J.

Thanks for the introduction to Rouchefort!

You asked for our picks of beautiful choral pieces. How about
Duruflé, "In Paradisum" from the _Requiem_
Pärt, Te Deum
R. Strauss, Deutsche Motette (which you have programmed before)
Stravinsky, "Agnus Dei" from the _Mass_
Biebl, Ave Maria
Lauridsen, O Magnum Mysterium
Respighi, Laud to the Nativity
Verdi, requiem section from "Libera Me" from the _Requiem_
Poulenc, "Domine Deus" from_Gloria_ (amongst others)
Schoenberg, Frieden auf Erde
Brahms, "O Heiland reiß" (or practically anything else)
Howells, _Requiem_
Barber, "To be sung on the water"
Bartók, the first of the four Hungarian folk songs for mixed chorus
Monteverdi, _Gloria_
Debussy, "Dieu! qu'il l'a fait bon regarder"
Badings, "La nuit en mer"
Britten, Hymn to St. Cecelia

Oct. 10 2011 12:30 AM
Christine from Manhattan

I loved the Vespers this morning. Years ago, I sang in a small choir in Boone, NC. One of my favorite pieces was O Light Divine, translated from Russian as I recall. I don't see where requests are made so I am making one here!

Oct. 09 2011 08:47 PM
D Tremper from Maplewood, NJ

Yes, truly beautiful music.

Question- did you say that Heinrich Schutz's music had pervading sadness because of all the death he had witnessed and converted to Lutheranism? If not, to whom did you refer?

Oct. 09 2011 04:25 PM

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