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The work was one of Bach's last compositions, not completed until , the year before his death. Much of the Mass gave new form to vocal music that Bach had composed throughout his career, dating back in the case of the "Crucifixus" to , but extensively revised. To complete the work, in the late s Bach composed new sections of the Credo such as "Et incarnatus est". It was unusual for composers working in the Lutheran tradition to compose a Missa tota and Bach's motivations remain a matter of scholarly debate.

The Mass was never performed in its entirety during Bach's lifetime; the first documented complete performance took place in Since the nineteenth century it has been widely hailed as one of the greatest compositions in musical history, and today it is frequently performed and recorded. Five months of mourning followed, during which all public music-making was suspended. Bach used the opportunity to work on the composition of a Missa, a portion of the liturgy sung in Latin and common to both the Lutheran and Roman Catholic rites.

The petition did not meet with immediate success, but Bach eventually got his title: he was made court composer to Augustus III in In the last years of his life, Bach expanded the Missa into a complete setting of the Latin Ordinary. It is not known what prompted this creative effort. Wolfgang Osthoff and other scholars have suggested that Bach intended the completed Mass in B minor for performance at the dedication of the new Hofkirche in Dresden, which was begun in and was nearing completion by the late s.

However, the building was not completed until , and Bach's death in July, prevented his Mass from being submitted for use at the dedication. Instead, Johann Adolph Hasse's Mass in D minor was performed, a work with many similarities to Bach's Mass the Credo movements in both works feature chant over a walking bass line, for example. Count Sporck, the borrower of the 'Sanctus' parts in the s, cannot be considered, for he died in Bach reportedly corresponded with Questenberg in the spring of about a commission or project.

Maul and others are pursuing these connections. As reported recently, it is possible that the B-Minor Mass was performed soon after its completion, possible at St. Stephens in Vienna. I also think its is possible that Baron von Swieten may have had access to German and Austrian sources. Much may have been word of mouth after Christoph Wolff writing about the St. Bach circle in Hamburg , c.

Bach vocal music, including the early Weimar Passion.

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What source specific sources would Swieten have had? And why didn't he perform it then, or have copies in his library?

Bach: Mass in B Minor

Were those sources lost later, because Beethoven was desperate to get a copy of the B minor Mass for his own studies in preparation of the Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. If I may pickup on what you have written, I'm going to focus on the horn connection. As you point out, BWV is scored for 2 horns and 2 oboes and the first two movements, "Gloria" and "Domine Deus," are parody. Incidentally, there is a whole historical genre called the "Parody Mass," for those averse to the term "parody. In the chorus he elides the division between the opening and middle sections, and abbreviates the beginning of the recapitulation, but the original form remains.

We'll be taking up the Lutheran Masses a year from now. Meanwhile, I'd like to connect some possible dots. Start with the B-Minor Mass bass solo, "Quoniam," with the gorgeous horn solo and two-bassoon accompaniment. It could be traced to the sacred wedding cantata BWV Anh. It may be that at that time, Bach had met Count Sporck in Leipzig , a friend of Picander, who dedicated his first book of poetry to the Count and who may have facilitated the Bach-Picander collaboration. Sporck was a champion of the horn and I will pursue this further in a few weeks with the discussion of BWV Bingo, full circle!

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As for other topics related to the current discussion of BWV , I'm pursuing both the Trinity Feast "omnes tempore" connections with the Mass and the biblical origins of the Mass Ordinary texts. Peter Smaill wrote October 9, : [To William Hoffman] The Michael Maul theory is decidedly provisional; as he explained at Belfast, we may never know whether the score and parts of the B Minor Mass were delivered to von Questenberg, who like Count von Sporck was an enlightened Catholic patron interested in the work of the greatest protestant composer of their time.

Apparently the servants at the great estate of Jaromerice where von Q lived subsequently took to protecting the trees in winter by wrapping old scores around their trunks! In this context of ecumenical relevance, it is interesting that von Q's ancestor Gerhard von Questenberg was the Habsburg ambassador during the Thirty Years' War and attempred to negotiate an end to the conflict, associated with the famous Catholic general Wallenstein who tried to secure peace but was murdered.

This von Questenberg is dealt with rather inaccurately in Schiller's trilogy of Wallenstein plays, depicted as entirley partisan there to absolutism. I can't believe that one of the estate managers wouldn't have put a halt to this. Granted people may have not have known the musical value of what they were using, music manuscripts were a big investment in terms of paper, ink, time and the cost of copying.

Pisendel went to great risks to send Telemann a score of a beautiful Zelinka motet, and begged him not to allow the source be made known, since it could have serious ramifications for Pisendel's position in Dresden. Why not rip an oil painting out of a frame and wrap a tree with that as well? I've heard the stories about Bach scores were used to wrap fish after his death, but I don't know the origin of that or if it's truly factual.

In the 18 th century, there was little or no interest in such developments. The churches were pretty much fixed in their doctrines and in their political arrangements. On a practical musical level, however, there was clearly substantial movement. The career of Handel is a good example. Although an orthodox Lutheran, he was commissioned to write lavish liturgical music for the Catholic mass and vespers in Rome. Later Handel would do the same for Anglican Church. What was to prevent Bach from accepting commissions from Catholic patrons? The Lutheran authorities in Leipzig may not have liked it, but if there was a connection with the Saxon Court at Dresden , they may have acquiesced.

After all, there was a Jesuit chapel royal in Leipzig. Bach may very well have contemplated a career change at the Catholic Chapel royal in Dresden. At the same time, his interest in mass composition evidenced in the so-called 'Lutheran' masses shows his concern to provide Leipzig with the most modern liturgical music. I find it hard to believe that the Mass in B Minor was ever repertoire at a minor aristocrat's chapel. The sheer scale of the work argues for a very special event and major royal or imperial performance.

This is music of princely "magnificence. I only listened to the Kyrie and Gloria. It was interesting to go through the Mass with Bach's manuscript in front of me; sometimes it was harder to follow than a modern printed scorbut it was remarkably clear for the most part, and it was kind of neat to listen to the Mass that way.

I'm sure Bach never imagined his manuscript would be printed and used as a reference centuries later. One interesting thing about the OVPP that I didn't notice before is that it really brings out the contrast between voice being doubled by an instrument and not. You can also hear a big difference when Bach collapses both sopranos into one line. They certainly could have assumed that role. The Sanctus was just a foretaste of the feast to come. There were always concentric circles of decision-making which guarded social superiors from direct contact with middle-class artists and artisans. The court party which supported "modern" composers like Telemann in the negotiations for the Leipzig cantorate could well have decided that Bach belonged in Dresden or Vienna.

I was listening to the Biber part 'Missa Salisbugiensis' the other day -- it's a truly mediocre work -- but its monumental scale always reminds me of the "imperial" quality of the Mass in B Minor. A Hapsburg performance? Matthew Passion by the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Choir. There were three obvious textures: 1 The voices as "soloists" without any doubling in the arias and recitatives.

The various scorings created extraordinary contrasts which I had never heard before with large choirs. Viennese court and musical circles there. In the paper "Viennese Traditions of the Mass in? B Minor" given by Ulrich Leisinger. C Minor K There are obvious similarities between the two works, starting with the five part "chorus" with two sopranos for the "Kyrie" and an eight double part chorus for the Osanna- settings that are not commonly found in mass compositions of the period.

Not so! Leisinger thinks however that Van Swieten himself may have shown it to Mozart. It is in the Eisenstadt Collection in Austria, ms ; and was in Haydn's collection. The essay's theme is that "By setting the text of the Latin Mass, Bach in fact was participating in a liturgical and musical process begun by Martin Luther himself Vivaldi 's visit to Vienna shows the strong Venetian connection connection in Vienna and Salzburg.

So too in Dresden. It would not surprise me if records turned up which showed a Dresden or Vienna performance for the Mass in B Minor. Just to be precise, the choir at the Dom, St. Stephen's Cathedral, was a different institution from the Hofkapelle choir, the court choir which sang in the imperial chapels for court functions it became the Vienna Choirboys after the dissolution of the Austrian monarchy after WWI.

Because St. Stephen's was the site of many imperial occasions, there was much overlap of the two choirs, just as even today the choir of the English Chapel Royal will join with the choirs of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral for royal weddings, funerals and coronations. Chris Kern wrote October 13, : Mass in B Minor 2 I listened to the second part Credo to the end with the manuscript score; the second part is a little messier and harder to follow but it was still a nice experience.

Parrott's OVPP is definitely one of my favorite versions.

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The treatment of the two sopranos in the first three parts are different; sometimes they're independent, sometimes they combine, and sometimes like in the Crucifixus only one sings. The DoNobis Pacem is 8 voices vs. I don't think these textures and contrasts can be heard in a non-OVPP performance even in a small choir I'm not sure the ear can distinctly hear 8 voices vs. I was astonished in the first Kyrie that, after the opening four bars, the first part of the fugue was given to the soloists and second to the tutti choir.

This went on all evening: e. The performance was beautiful, but the effect was to turn the Bach mass into a Classical mass with solo quartet alternating with choir.

Mass in B minor, BWV (Johann Sebastian Bach) - ChoralWiki

That ain't what Rifkin and Parrott intended. Although I did not yet take the time to listen for it, my guess is that it will also be apparent in Rifkin, even from the LPs. Come to think of it, often it still is. Within the Credo, No. Stauffer observes variously that Bach's original Credo in G-mixolydian was expanded when Bach composed a new No. Kyrie eleison II, A. Palestrina-style II. A str. Aria, modified da capo Benedictus; B, ritornello, da capo A, sensitive style Stauffer also points out that the Credo movement was well-known after Bach's death, beginning in the Berlin circle of Nichelmann and Agricola, and performed in Hamburg by C.

E in Text Sources The five-part Ordinary of the Mass is based on biblical readings and the Nicene Creed essentially are derived from non-psalmodic sources, but with specific psalmodic, influences. The "Kyrie eleison" Lord have mercy comes from a litany or repetitive, responsive phrase. The litany can be traced back at least as far as Psalm , where the psalmist gives thanks for God's saving and providential care, and then concludes each verse with the confession, "For God's mercy endures forever.

Its earliest appearance in Roman observance was as a call to the readings from the Old Testament, Epistles, and Gospels. It often accompanied the full Canticle of Zechariah father of John the Baptist , called the "Benedictus" blessed , Luke The three phrase Kyrie-Christe-Kyrie eleison was initially chanted sung by the congregation as a canticle of biblical text referring to God's assertive activity in the world. The "Gloria in excelsis Deo" Glory to God in the highest is an expansion, an elaboration, of the canticle, Luke , modeled on various Psalms and canticles.

Luke attributed the song to the angels at Jesus' birth. It is called the Greater Doxology, Glory be to the Father. It's authorship and age are unknown. By the fourth century it was associated with morning prayer lauds , as was the "Benedictus," and was imported from there into the Eucharist, or second half of the Mass the first half being the Word of the Mass , after the Kyries. Martin Luther in establishing the vernacular Deutsche Messe accepted the "Kyrie" as it has been used customarily, with the various melodies for the different seasons, together with the Angelic Hymn, "Gloria in excelsis," which follows; nevertheless its use rests on the judgment of the bishop or how often he desires its omission.

Luther made minor variants in the Latin text, notably in the Sanctus, the phrase "gloria tua" thy glory becomes "gloria eius his glory which Bach observes. The "Credo" I believe or creed. Was first used in worship during baptism, which explains the formation of the initial Apostles Creed, but the christological controversies of the first centuries led to the introduction of the Nicene Creed, an expansion of the Apostles Creed, from the Council of Niceae into the Eucharist. The Credo is in a triune, Trinitarian form of God as creator, redeem, and sanctifier.

There followed several centuries of divergent communion practice during the second half of the Mass. Eventually the "Credo" was placed before the Institution of the sacraments and before the "Sanctus" Holy, from Isaiah and established "Benedictus" during the codification of Gregory the Great Around , the "Agnus Dei" Lamb of God was assigned to be sung at the Communion Fraction or symbolic breaking of the bread or Christ's body. The "Agnus Dei" from John had previously been used during the last two-thirds of the "Gloria," in the plea to Jesus Christ the Redeemer.

Stages of Mass composition : 1. Kyrie, BWV a, assumed to have been composed in Muehlhausen or Weimar, , uses the German chorale Christe du Lamm Gottes in motet style with the traditional four voices singing the "Kyrie" in Latin.


Bach composed a new "Sanctus" score for the B-Minor Mass in the late s. While most of the Missa is presumed to be parodies from previous cantatas, only the music of the A sections of two opening choruses has been found: BWV 29, for the Town Council, , for No. Between and , Bach parodied movements from at least 10 church-year cantatas to create four Missae, BWV , "using the same basic plan as the earlier Missa but on a reduced scale," says Joshua Rifkin, Notes to BWV Rilling Nonesuch recording.

During the s, Bach was studying older Mass music from the Dresden archives and in particular the handing of the Credo chant intonation in the Giovanni Battista Bassini "Credo," which he realized in as BWV Bach submitted the Missa while seeking the title "Court Composer" and finally was granted the title from the Saxon Court in Dresden on Nov.

The time discrepancy to is accounted for by the lassitude of W. This time his effort succeeded on 19 November. While the parts lay unused in Dresden , the autograph score of the Missa lay similarly unused in Bachs possession. Not until the early s does he seem to have paid it any notice -- and then it would appear, only long enough to adapt three numbers from the Gloria for the Latin Christmas cantata Gloria in excelsis Deo , BWV The combined evidence of the autograph and [of] the music itself reveals that each section originally belonged to a different composition.

I do find that Rifkins writing is always clear and enjoyable, his points either supported, expressed as opinion, or blends of the two, logically argued. This does not of course mean that he is necessarily correct, but he is easily understood. Uri Golomb wrote October 14, : In responsto Doug Cowling's critique of the Tafelmusik Mass: I did not hear this performance myself, but in general, the alternation between solo and tutti passages is exactly what Parrott, at least, had in mind.

He did it himself - in his B-minor Mass and in his Jesu meine Freude. Rifkin states explicitly that such arrangements are within the spirit and practices of the Baroque period. There are models from Bach himself - for instance, in the way he added ripienists to the Leipzig version of Cantata BWV He recently wrote an article - which I don't have access to at the moment - detailing exactly how, in his view, ripienists should be deployed in the Mass the starting point is that you can do the Mass without any ripienists; but if you do use them, there are specific ways to do so.

He would certainly object to some specific ways in which ripienists have been employed in recent performances - implying that some transitions can be too fussy and detailed, for instance. But deciding that some movements should be done with concertists only, and some with concertists and ripienists, is in itself historically authentic. The devil, as often, as in the details.

As I said, this is not a commentary on the Tafelmusik performance, which I haven't heard. The size of the choir was definitely not in line with Rifkin's and Parrott's findings there: a full complement, for Bach, would have alternated between one-per-part and two-per-part, with the ripienists standing apart from the concertists not a single block as in today's choirs : so the entry of the ripienists would have been experienced as a subtle change in timbre, not a dramatic gesture. This is clear if you compare Parrott and Gardiner in the First Kyrie: both start the opening fugue post-introduction and ritornello with single voices, and then add a fuller complement gradually, starting with the bass's fugal entry.

But in Gardiner, this emerges as a grand dramatic gesture - whereas with Parrott it is, as I said, just a subtle shift. Tafelmusik presented a brilliant OVPP performance of the Matthew Passion in which the ripienists were seamlessly added like stops on an organ. It was a standard arrangement with a choir of 25 voices and the soloists sitting in front. They did not sing with the choir but stood only to sing the "solo" passages. It was all very beautiful but it made Bach sound like a Classical mass.

I can't see any historical justification for this disposition of voices. The Classical disposition grew out of the polychoral tradition. It is, as Peter told me, a "must listen" for anyone interested in Bach. I have trouble getting my head around the idea of splitting the original manuscript pages!

I was surprised that the conductor said quite authoratatively that the Gloria was based on a work in C major which had no trumpets. Have I missed a scholarly discovery? There's general speculation about a parody source but he made it sound like it was accepted fact. There is mounting evidence, still collateral and not source-critical, showing that 1 early versions of Bach's instrumental music, primarily the Orchestral Suites, originated as far back as Weimar without trumpets and drums with oboes instead in C major and that 2 some of Bach's materials from otherwise lost Koethen instrumental works may have been salvaged by Bach in Leipzig.

Joshua Rifkin some 20 years ago and more recently raised the idea of the MBM "Gloria" and "Et in terra pax" originating in Koethen, along with ritornello passages in the Cum sancto spiritu. More recently, Siegbert Rampe and Dominick Sackman have done extensive studies of the origin and genesis of the Orchestral Suites.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (Enoch zu Guttenberg)

Bradley Lehman wrote December 4, : [To William Hoffman] Also, there is a newer Rifkin paper about the B minor orchestral suite and its hypothetical A minor origin: in the book "Bach Perspectives" volume 6, , pp It also has some remarks about the B minor flute sonata BWV , and plenty of the other sonatas and concerted pieces that involve flute.

This 7 arrived some months ago, and I haven't had time to study it closely yet. All of these "Bach Perspectives" bound volumes are among the excellent premiums from membership in the American Bach Society. That's open to membership from anyone, merely pay the annual dues. I'm going to have to join the American Bach Society, I didn't realize how good of a value it was!

Also re. In order to make sense of the different numbering systems for movements in the old and new editions, a concordance is necessary to follow scholarly references to these editions. Actually a system which numbers the movements consecutively and continuously from the beginning to the end is preferable the system used by Joshua Rifkin in his Breitkopf edition and by others as well. The PDF charts should enable the reader to gain a quick overview of the current status of research regarding the sources the bulk of them being parodies some of which are undisputed and listed and others which are left open as possibilities and the chronology of the separate movements involved.

The charts should be self explanatory for the most part. The other colors indicate various types of parodies those with proven derivations vs. The PDF explains the situation quite well. What an incredible resource to have the complete facsimile score linked to a recording on line!

The unrolling scrolls of the text boxes are silly and cumbersome: wish they were simple text windows. Many thanks to Tim for this amazing site. This was an enormous and time consuming project, and it's greatly appreciated! Not to be missed, if you have the opportunity. A great suggestion, and here it is! With best wishes for a happy and healthful fall season.

Biller BWV - F. Butt BWV - S. Celibidache BWV - M. Corboz BWV - A. Eby BWV - G. Enescu BWV - E. Ericson BWV - D. Fasolis BWV - J. Gardiner BWV - C. Giulini BWV - N. Harnoncourt BWV - T. Hengelbrock BWV - P. Herreweghe BWV - R. Hickox BWV - R. Jacobs BWV - E. Karajan BWV - R. King BWV - O. Klemperer BWV - S. Kuijken BWV - G. Leonhardt BWV - P. Minkowski BWV - H.