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Systematic Discussions of Bach’s Other Vocal Works
Missa Brevis in G minor BWV 235

Discussions in the Week of May 2, 2004

Have not started yet.

 

Discussions in the Week of October 7, 2012

William Hoffman wrote (October 8, 2012):
Missa BWV 235: Introduction and Study

Serendipity is the hallmark of Bach's "Missa (Kyrie-Gloria) No. 3 in g minor," BWV 235, especially involving the four original, borrowed movements from Cantata BWV 187, "Es wartet alles auf dich" (There wait all upon you, Psalm 104:27-28). The resulting Missa unfolds with a consistent proportion of memorable movements, each building on the previous section of the liturgical text through the basic rhetorical elements of repetition and contrast. The orchestra of two oboes and strings supports the three choruses, "Kyrie, "Gloria," and "Cum sancto Spiritu." The music of the three arias, also found in succession in the middle of Cantata BWV 187, is particularly expressive in melodic and rhythmic appeal, varied styles and accompaniment.

Through a mixture of serendipity, circumstance, and calculation, Johann Sebastian Bach in the second half of the 1730s was able to transform sacred cantata choruses and arias into four unified settings of the Kyrie-Gloria section of the Mass, BWV 233-35 in six movements each.

Bach's basic plan was to utilize through contrafaction from original German poetry to the Latin "Missa" three entire cantata choruses for the opening tri-partite Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy) and the opening and closing sections of the Gloria, "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the highest) and "Cum sancto Spirtu" (With the Holy Spirit). He was to use three entire cantata arias for three movements in the middle section of the Gloria, usually between the text "Gratias agimus tibi" (We give thee thanks for thy great glory) and "Quoniam tu solus sanctus" (For thou only art holy).

Probably composed in the second half of the 1730s when Bach was perfecting various compositional techniques and compiling his "well-ordered church music to the glory of God," the collection of four <Missae Kyrie-Gloria>, BWV 233-36, reveal various traditions and directions:
*It fosters the German tradition of liturgical settings of the first two sections of the five-part Mass Ordinary, including tropes of Luther's setting of the chorale-based vernacular <Deutsche Messe> (German Mass).
*It uses the Renaissance tradition of contrafaction or new text underlay, usually involving Latin and the vernacular, as well as the Baroque (formerly common-practice period) pursuit of the collective dissemination of works.
*It exhibits a variety of German-based stylistic elements and it represents an engaging alternative to Luther's German Mass.
(Cited previously in William Hoffman BCW Article, "Latin Church Music": http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Latin-Church-Music.htm)


Bach's `Re-compositional' Process

Bach's choice of particular music involved movements of similar "affect," or mood, somber for the "Kyrie" litany plea of "mercy," and more positive for the Greater Doxology canticle, "Gloria. Beyond this, the actual music should have similar rhythmic motives especially for the words "Kyrie," "Gloria" and "Amen," while the music following can ornament the key words in long, spinning phrases. Other text phrases often have correspondingly similar lengths for the German and Latin lines, with repetitive words or syllables.

To these basic requirements, Bach brought a special gift for musical text setting in terms of both the actual spiritual texts and the import of particular words through particular tones and harmonic choices. In addition, Bach's inventive melodies not only fit the original texts and their substitutions (contrafactions, parodies) but also in different contexts can assume special poignance, distinction and meaning. One example is the "Arioso" melody in the string Sinfonia of Cantata BWV 156, which also can be found as the slow movements of a three concerti for harpsichord, violin, or oboe where the music sounds like it was written for that particular solo instrument.

For the 24 needed, "borrowed" movements of Bach's four Missa "Kyrie-Gloria," he started with a stock of four Cantatas BWV 79, BWV 102, BWV 178, and BWV 187, using their core material for choruses of three of the four tri-partite "Kyries" and a concluding "Cum sancto Spiritu," as well as nine of the needed 19 remaining movements. Besides providing virtually all of their madrigalian choruses and arias as acceptable music, these four cantatas involve other common features and distinctions. The music is scored for the appropriate tutti orchestra in consistent tonalities, the music required few adjustments or expansions to fit the new Latin text, and the original settings were composed in Bach's mature yet utilitarian style of late 1725-26 for <de tempore> events emphasizing Reformation and three middle Trinity Time Sundays, respectively, 10, 8, and 7.

Bach's overall plan entailed placing the established borrowings into appropriate tonal and textual contexts and filling the remaining 10 gaps with five Kyrie, Gloria and "Cum sancto Spiritu" choruses (BWV 233a, BWV 72/1, BWV 136/1, BWV 40/1, and BWV 17/1, as well as two Gloria arias from Cantatas BWV BWV 67/6 and BWV 138/5. This leaves an intriguing Kyrie chorus (BWV 234/1) and three Gloria arias for which no original sources have been found: BWV 233/2 and 3, and BWV 234/3. Thus, four of 24 movements, or one-sixth (16%) lack original sources. Similarly, music for several movements in Bach's cantata Mass in B-Minor, BWV 232, assumed also to be contrafactions from cantatas, have yet to be found. Meanwhile, Bach scholars are pursuing works that he may have salvaged that survive today only in printed texts for special occasions such as weddings as well as sacred and secular celebrations.

The circumstances of plentiful and appropriate music and other performing opportunities as well as his calculating genius enabled Bach a decade after creating his annual cycles of church year cantatas, to utilize this music in another context, not as a portions of a repeated cantata musical sermon but probably in the greater part of the Lutheran Main Service as liturgical music in a broader theological context. So far, the specific uses and actual performance dates of the four "Missa," BWV 233-236 are unknown. All that survives are the four scores in a copy from the hand of Bach student and son-law, Johann Christoph Altnikol, found in son Emmanuel Bach's estate in 1790. Two autograph scores of Missas, BWV 234 and BWV 236, do survive, first found in Leipzig publisher Breitkopf's first catalog of Fall 1761, listed for copying for a fee under "Masses with Instruments," as well as a parts set for BWV 234.


Missa No. 3: Anatomy & Reception

Among the four "Missa," the so-called "Mass No. 3 in g minor," BWV 235, is particularly representative of Bach's musical selection and composing procedure. The Kyrie-Gloria in excelsis Deo (Movements 1 and 2) come from third cantata cycle of 1726, Cantatas BWV 102/1 (Trinity 10) and BWV 72/1 (Epiphany 2), respectively; and then the final four movements (three arias and a chorus) are parodiedfrom two-part Cantata BWV 187, "Es wartet alles auf dich" (There wait all upon you, Psalm 104:27-28), composed originally for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, Aug. 4, 1726. Five of the six Missa movements, from Cantatas BWV 187 and BWV 102, have a single literary source, the Rudolstadt text of 1704. The chorus "Gloria in excelsis Deo," comes from Cantata BWV 72/1, set to a Salomo Franck text. The resulting six-movement Missa contrafaction is the most musically unified work of the four Missae, in terms of original text source, tonality, structure, and maturity using elements of gallant style such as dance influences and active rhythmic motifs.

Initially, "Missa No. 3" was the most maligned of the four Missae, in comments from Albert Schweitzer and Charles S. Terry. It was "the most flagrant instance of his indifference to the appropriate fitting of his Latin text," said Terry in "Bach Magnificat, Lutheran Masses and Motets" (Oxford University Press, London, 1929: 30). In particular, Terry cites "a rather gloomy" "Cum sancto Spiritu" chorus from Cantata BWV 187/1, with its "somewhat severe setting" of Psalm 104:27. Terry also found the three arias from Cantata BWV 187 "are inspired by thoughts which find no echo in the Latin hymn" (Gloria). "The <Kyrie> of this Mass is a laboriously adapted version of the opening chorus of Cantata BWV 102, while the Gloria, taken from another Cantata (BWV 72/1), imperfectly expresses the mood of its adapted text."

While Terry noted that Schweitzer assumed that Bach worked on the Masses in haste, accounting for their "blemishes." But a "comparison of the original and revised movements hardly supports an accusation of haste." Terry then gives musical examples from the four Masses and their originals, citing only the initial vocal line with text showing ornamentation of the Latin text and adjustments in the rhythmic motives.
"It is impractical to illustrate here Bach's larger texture of renovation," says Terry.

A close examination of the original and adapted movements in the "Mass No. 3 in g minor" shows Bach began with the core music, the chorus and three arias from Cantata BWV 187, as the final four movements in the Gloria section. He then took another opening chorus in the same general key, g minor, from his stock of four Cantatas, in this case BWV 102, for the opening "Kyrie," and the opening chorus of Cantata BWV 72 for the initial "Gloria in excelsis Deo" movement.

Bach's Mass No. 3 has both extensive expansion and revision, particularly in the three central arias. This primarily involves additional measures of repetition of phrases using similar music, especially in the extension or repetition of text passages, as well as occasional deletion of repetitive measures in the original. At the same time "Bach's "larger texture of renovation" (Terry's words) shows both a commanding understanding and transformation of the original material, an overall unified architecture, and a revelatory application of the original biblical text and poetic interpretation.


Missa No. 3 Particulars

Since this is the first BCW Discussion of "Mass No. 3 in g minor," BWV 235, the BCW Cover Page, material is listed (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242.htm):
German Title: Messe in g-Moll
English Title: Missa Brevis in G minor
Composed: Leipzig, 1738-1739 ? | 1st performance: Last years in Leipzig
Sources:Parodies of Mvts. from Cantatas BWV 72, BWV 102, BWV 187
Text: Latin Mass (Kyrie eleison-Christe eleison-Kyrie eleison, Gloria in excelsis Deo (Greater Doxology)
Language: Latin-1 | Translations: Dutch | English-1 | English-3P | French-6 | German-7 | Hebrew-1 | Italian | Japanese | Portuguese-2 | Spanish-6
Scoring: Soloists: Alto, Tenor, Bass; 4-part Chorus (SATB)
Orchestra: 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo
Score BGA [5.74 MB], BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV235-BGA.pdf

References: BGA: VIII | NBA: II/2 | BC: E 5 | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1858

Commentary: AMG | Count Frantisek Antonin von Sporck and Bach's Four Shorter Masses
BCW, http://www.baroquemusic.org/bqxsporck.html

Music: Music Examples (Score Examples: Parodies in Bach's Vocal Works: BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/Parody.htm, BWV 102/1=235/1 (Thomas Braatz, May 2, 2008).

Discussions: Week of May 2, 2004 (none); Week of October 7, 2012

While scant source-critical evidence exists that Bach composed his four <Missae Kyrie Gloria>, circumstantial and collateral evidence abounds and this history is described in detail in BCW: Systematic Discussion, BWV 233-236: Thomas Braatz wrote (May 7, 2004): "Lutheran Masses BWV 233-236: The NBA KB II/2 (Lutheran Masses - mainly BWV 233-236) has on pp. 14 ff. the following introduction to the Lutheran Masses in general: [I am providing a fairly close translation of this section]", Systematic Discussion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/VD/BWV233-236.htm; See: Lutheran Masses - Diagram of Borrowings (from other Bach cantatas): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV233-236-Sco.htm


Missa No. 3 Recordings

Some 20 recordings of the Bach <Missae Kyrie-Gloria>, BWV 233-236, in the Bach Cantata Website (BCW) in the past decade, of a total of 49, (BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242-Rec1.htm. These recordings, as well as extensive BCW general discussion, suggest that this music is finally being recognized as important part of Bach's oeuvre. I would further suggest that it is an important part of Bach's development of "Latin Church Music," that is a cornerstone of Bach's calling of "well-regulated church music to the glory of God."

Two BCW Recordings of all four Masses listed have Pdf liner notes:
+No. 22, Purcell Quartet, Vol. 1 (BWV 235, BWV 234), http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Purcell-V01c[Chandos-CD-CHAN0642].pdf ; No. 23, Vol. 2 (BWV 236, 233) http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Purcell-V02c[Chandos-CD-CHAN0653].pdf.
+No. 34, Ton Koopman, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Koopman-C22c[AM-3CD].pdf


Mass No. 3 Movement Summary

The following is a summary description of each movement of the "Mass No. 3 in g minor, BWV 235, including the original musical and textual sources, as well as changes:

Mvt. 1, "Kyrie," from Cantata BWV 102/1, "Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben" (Lord, your eyes yet look for faith, Jeremiah 5:3,4), is a tripartite opening chorus, ¾ time, g minor, for the 10th Sunday after Trinity, Aug. 25, 1726 (possibly alternating with lost J.L. Bach cantatas in middle Trinity Time). There are no major musical changes in the "Kyrie" tri-partite movement.

Mvt. 2, "Gloria in excelsis Deo" from Cantata BWV 72/1, "Alles nur Gottes Willen" (All just according to God's will) has a Salomo Franck 1715 text. It is a free da-capo chorus in ¾ time, transposed from a minor to g minor. It was presented on the Third Sunday after Epiphany, Jan. 17, 1726, although an earlier Weimar version may have been presented on Jan. 27, 1715). With Cantata BWV 72 in 1726, Bach began a three-month sabbatical, substituting 12 J.L. Bach cantatas through Jubilate Sunday (Third after Easter) when the annual Leipzig Spring Fair began (May 12, 1726), with new Cantata BWV 146 to a probable Picander text.

Mvt. 3, "Gratias agimus tibi" comes from Cantata BWV 187/4, bass aria with "Violino I/II all' unisono," and basso continuo. It is an expansion for the same bass voice, of a two-part ritornello trio aria transposed from g minor to d minor, in 4/4 time. The original text begins, "Darum sollt ihr nicht sorgen noch sagen" (Therefore you should not be anxious nor say).

Mvt. 4. "Domine filil unigenite" comes from Cantata BWV 187/3, alto aria with "Oboe I e Violino I all' unisono, Violino II, Viola," and basso continuo." The expanded adaptation uses the same alto voice in the free da-capo aria in Bb Major (no transposition), in 3/8 time sarabande style. The original text begins, "Du Herr, du krönst allein das Jahr mit deinem Gut." (You Lord, you alone crown the year with your good.)

Mvt. 5, "Qui tollis" and "Quoniam" is an expansion from Cantata, BWV 187/5, originally a soprano aria, changed to tenor singing an octave lower. It is scored for voice, oboe solo, and basso continuo. This ritornello trio aria in Eb Major (untransposed) is in two-parts, accommodating the two passages from the Mass Gloria: "Qui tollis," 4/4 Adagio," and "Quoniam," 3/8 time, "un poco allegro." The original text begins, "Gott versorget alles Leben, (God cares for all life)"

Mvt. 6," Cum sancto spiritu" comes from Cantata BWV 187/1, opening chorus, in g minor, 4/4 time, scored for "S, A, T, B, Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola," and basso continuo in three-part form (A, B, A') omitting the original instrumental introduction to the beginning text, "Es wartet alles auf dich" (Everything depends on you)


Missa & Original Cantata Texts

The following is an interlinear text comparison of the Latin "Missa Kyrie-Gloria No. 3" and the original cantatas set in German (Francis Browne BCW English translations):

Mvt. 1. Chorus "Kyrie eleison" from Cantata BWV 102/1. The original text, Jeremiah 5:3, is the prophet's condemnation of the people of Jerusalem for their sin and idolatry, while the Mass text shows people in deep need of the Lord's mercy.

+Kyrie eleison:
(Lord have mercy,)
Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben!
(Lord, your eyes look for faith!)

+Christe eleison (m 45)
(Christ have mercy,)
Du schlägest sie, aber sie fühlen's nicht;
(You strike them but they do not feel it.)
du plagest sie, aber sie bessern sich nicht.
(You torment them, but they do not improve themselves.)

+ Kyrie eleison (m 72)
(Lord have mercy.)
Sie haben ein härter Angesicht denn ein Fels
(They have a face harder than a rock)
und wollen sich nicht bekehren. [Jeremiah 5:3]
(and are not willing to be converted.)

Mvt. 2. Chorus "Gloria in excelsis Deo," from Cantata BWV 72/1. Both texts are united in "on earth peace to men of good will" and "God's will should calm me in clouds and sunshine."

+Gloria in excelsis Deo,
(Glory be to God in the highest,)
Alles nur nach Gottes Willen,
(Everything according to God's will,)
So bei Lust als Traurigkeit,
(both in pleasure and sorrow,)
So bei gut als böser Zeit.
(both in good and evil times.)

+et in terra pax hominibus
(and on earth peace to men)
Gottes Wille soll mich stillen
(God's will should calm me)
+bonae voluntatis.
(of good will.)
Bei Gewölk und Sonnenschein.
(in clouds and sunshine.)

+Laudamus te, benedicimus te,
(We praise thee, we bless thee,)
Alles nur nach Gottes Willen!
(Everything according to God's will!)

+adoramus te, glorificamus te.
(we adore thee, we glorify thee.)
Dies soll meine Losung sein.
(This should be my watchword.)

Mvt. 3. Bass aria, "Gratias agimus tibi. In the original text (Cantata BWV 187/4), the earthly desires of people are provided by the Father in Heaven (Mat.6:31-32) in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and in the Mass the people give thanks to God as Lord, King and Father Almighty.

+Gratias agimus tibi
(We give thee thanks)
Darum sollt ihr nicht sorgen noch sagen:
(Therefore you should not be anxious nor say)
Was werden wir essen,
(What shall we eat,)
was werden wir trinken,
(what shall we drink)

+propter magnam gloriam tuam.
(for thy great glory.)
womit werden wir uns kleiden?
(with what shall we clothe ourselves?)

+ Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,
(O Lord God, heavenly King,)
Nach solchem allen trachten die Heiden.
(The gentiles strive after all such things.)
Denn euer himmlischer Vater weiß,
(For your heavenly father knows)

+ Deus Pater omnipotens.
(God the Father Almighty,)
daß ihr dies alles bedürfet.
(that you need all this.)

Mvt. 4. Alto aria "Domine filil unigenite" uses the same voice, expanded. God's thanksgiving through grace found in the Psalms is sounded in Cantata BWV 187/3, becoming in the Mass the renewal of the thematic plea for mercy.

+Domine Fili unigenite Jesu Christe.
(Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ,)
+(d.c.)qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
(Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.)
Du Herr, du krönst allein das Jahr mit deinem Gut.
(You Lord, you alone crown the year with your good.)

+ Domine Deus,
(Lamb of God,)
Es träufet Fett und Segen
(Oil and blessing trickle)
+ Agnus Dei,
(O Lord God,)
Auf deines Fußes Wegen,
(on your footsteps,)
+ Filius Patris, [Filius Patris,]
(Son of the Father.)
Und deine Gnade ists, die allen Gutes tut.
(and it is through your grace that good is done for everyone.) d.c.

Mvt. 5. Tenor aria "Qui tollis peccata mundi," continues the Missa plea of mercy through Jesus Christ as the Son of God while the original German text (BWV 187/5) describes the Father's mercy.

+Qui tollis peccata mundi,
(Thou that takest away the sins of the world,)
Gott versorget alles Leben,
(God cares for all life)

+suscipe deprecationem nostram.
(receive our prayer.)
Was hienieden Odem hegt.
(that draws breath here below)

+Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
(Thou that sittest at the right hand of the Father,)
Sollt er mir allein nicht geben,
(Would he not give to me alone)

+miserere nobis.
(have mercy upon us.)
Was er allen zugesagt?
(what he has promised to all?)

+Quoniam tu solus sanctus, (m 22)
(For thou only art holy;)
Weicht, ihr Sorgen, seine Treue
(Give way, you anxieties, his faithfulness)

+tu solus Dominus,
(thou only art the Lord;)
Ist auch meiner eingedenk
(keeps me also in mind)

+tu solus altissimus
(thou only art most high,)
Und wird ob mir täglich neue
(and from day to day is made new for me)
+Jesu Christe.
(O Jesus Christ.)
Durch manch Vaterliebs Geschenk.
(through the many gifts of a father's love. )

Mvt. 6. Chorus "Cum sancto spiritu," has only one, affirmative Trinitarian summary line while the original German text, drawn from Psalm 104:27-28, speaks of God the Creator as sustainer of the people.

+Cum Sancto Spirit
(Witthe Holy Spirit)
Es wartet alles auf dich,
(Everything depends on you)

+in Gloria Dei Patris, amen.
(in the glory of God the Father. Amen.)
daß du ihnen Speise / gebest zu seiner Zeit.
(so that you give food / to them at the right time.)

+Cum Sancto Spiritu
(With the Holy Spirit)
Wenn du ihnen gibest,
(When you give it to them,)

+in Gloria Dei Patris, amen.
(in the glory of God the Father. Amen.)
so sammlen sie,
(then they gather;)

+Cum Sancto Spiritu
(With the Holy Ghost)
wenn du deine Hand auftust,
(when you open your hand,)

+in Gloria Dei Patris, amen.
(in the glory of God the Father. Amen.)
so werden sie mit Güte gesättiget.
(then they will be satiated by your kindness.)


Post-Script

It seems as though Bach near the end of actively composing church year cantatas in 1726 was looking forward to utilizing some of this music, that he had just composed with such inerrant mastery, in a broader or different context. Looking back almost 300 years, the specific results of Bach's overall process of "borrowing" now seems to be essentially another production rather than a perfunctory self-plagiarism or an attempt to "improve" or "perfect" an existing work, judged with traditional assumptions in the judgmental context of dismissing or comparing.

It is unfortunate that earlier Bach scholars and initially, virtually, and unconditionally accepted the Great B-Minor Mass (BWV 232) as a masterpiece, without fully realizing that most of it involves similar contrafactions on a larger scale composed in the last two decades of Bach's life, and then apply that work as the yardstick by which to judge other, similar "borrowings" done in a short period of time for specific purposes.

Fortunately, the current long list of recordings cited above, and made in the past 50 years, testified to the appeal of the music to today's audience as well as the respect and insight of current scholars and commentators.

Douglas Cowling wrote (October 8, 2012):
Missa BWV 235: Pastiche Masses

William Hoffman wrote:
< Serendipity is the hallmark of Bach's "Missa (Kyrie-Gloria) No. 3 in g minor," >
Terrific background to a magnificent late work which is unfairly dismissed by scholars and performers alike as a "parody" I'll never understand why the "Christmas Oratorio" is drooled over while the Missae are sniffed at. They're all part of the same "adaptation" process that characterizes Bach's later vocal works.

One additional historical point. Although it clear that the work was performed as a "Missa" (Kyre and Gloria) in the Lutheran mass in Leipzig, Stauffer points out that Kyrie and Gloria pairings were common at the Catholic court chapel in Dresden. Independent settings of the Credo, Sanctus/Benedictus and Agnus Dei were added to complete the Ordinary as a "pastiche" mass (I wish we could find new terms for "parody" and "pastiche"!)

All of the "missae" could also have been part of Bach's "Catholic Portfolio" that he may have been assembling as part of an application to move to Dresden.

Uri Golomb wrote (October 8, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I'll never understand why the "Christmas Oratorio" is drooled over while the Missae are sniffed at. They're all part of the same "adaptation" process that characterizes Bach's later vocal works. >
My hypothesis: maybe it's because the Christmas Oraotrio is based primarily on secular models, which Bach then "elevated" by using them in church; whereas the Missae are based on LITURGICAL models, transferred from Lutheran purity to Lutheran-Catholic hybrid. For those who view Bach as a staunch, uncompromising Lutheran, the Missae might well represent a much bigger problem than the Christmas Oratorio.

I should stress that this is not MY view - I adore the Missae and share Douglas's view that they're grossly underrated - but it's the best explanation I can come up with to this conundrum in Bach reception. I have elaborated on this in an article I wrote a few years ago about the Missae, which Aryeh subsequently uploaded to the Bach Cantatas website; see: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Missae-Golomb.pdf

Russell Telfer wrote (October 9, 2012):
[To Uri Golomb] Sometimes what we perceive as "the best" diverts attention from "the rest".

It may be the labelling that's at fault. Our study group has been studying and singing all the Masses in the BWV 233 upwards range and I have been hit by the concentrated power of the music. Unlike the cantatas where there is some sort of respite in the recitatives from the relentless rhythm and pace of the allegro sections, the Masses provide music with attitude. If they had happened to be designated as numbered cantatas with or without different texts, they would have received a great deal more attention.

Ed Myskowski wrote (October 9, 2012):
[To Russell Telfer] Thank you for the post, I agree with the sentiments expressed. Let this post and reply also serve as the reminder for the weekly discussion topic. I intend to resume my regular reminder posts for the Trinity season cantatas next weekend.

Ed Myskowski wrote (October 9, 2012):
[To William Hoffman] Sorry, in reading eMail in reverse chronology, I overlooked this fine introduction when sending my previous post.

 

Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242: Details
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BWV 233 | BWV 234 | BWV 235 | BWV 236 | BWV 233-236 | BWV 237-242

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