Episode 13: 'Gloria in excelsis' from Bach's Mass in B Minor

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Today's free download consists of the grand and brassy "Gloria in excelsis" from Bach's Mass in B Minor.

Album Details:
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232: 'Gloria in excelsis Deo; Et in terra pax'
Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra
Karl Richter, conductor
Available at Arkivmusic.com

The Mass in B minor stands as lofty in design, expression and scope as anything Bach ever wrote. He composed the piece in stages, mostly during his long residence in Leipzig; these were assembled to form a complete mass near the end of his life. Bach himself never heard the work in its entirety, but despite its piecemeal genesis, it has a unity in logic and overall plan. In the late 1950s and early 60s German conductor Karl Richter made a series of recordings of the great Bach choral works which taught an entire generation how to think about this music. Made long before the period-instrument movement took off, they lean closer to the grand approach favored in the mid-20th century. Listen above to the "Gloria in excelsis."

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