Bach's Mass in B Minor

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

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

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Comments [1]

Carole from brooklyn, ny

Thank you for some really satisfying musical beauties!

- Even though I love the music you chose, per se, I found the exceedingly slow tempo of the "Crucifixus" infuriating, frustrating, & even almost unmusical! I wanted to speed it up by any means, it was so awful that way! Its excruciatingly slow pace just made it drag, & detracted from the angst & passion.
- It was a joy to hear the lovely Richefourt piece that you said was a tribute to Josquin; it was a revelation.
- When you played the Mendelssohn "Verleih uns Frieden," I thought of the Schutz version of that - and then, serendipitously, you featured Schutz's "Selig sind die toten" from the stunning Geistliche Chormusik set - some of my all-time favorite pieces.
- It was wonderful to have the "Ruht Wohl" as the concluding piece on this program. Even though I found the selected performance somewhat lackluster, it still is always great to hear this super-favorite from the gorgeous "St. John Passion."

I always love when you give us great programs such as this one. Please do much more of the same going forward. Thanks much.

Sep. 10 2012 09:27 PM

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