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Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Mass in B minor BWV 232

Conducted by Georg Christoph Biller

V-3

J.S. Bach: Messe h-moll BWV 232

Mass in B minor BWV 232

Georg Christoph Biller

Thomanerchor Leipzig / Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Soprano: Ruth Holton; Counter-tenor: Matthias Rexroth; Tenor: Christoph Genz; Bass: Klaus Mertens

Image Entertainment

July 2000

DVD / TT: 114:00

Philips

July 2000

2-CD / TT: 107:50

1st recording of Mass in B minor BWV 232 by G.C. Biller. Recorded & filmed live at Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Germany.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

V-4

J.S. Bach: Messe h-moll BWV 232

Mass in B minor BWV 232

Georg Christoph Biller

Thomanerchor Leipzig / Leipziger Barockorchester

Soprano: Ute Selbig; Contralto: Susanne Krumbiegel; Elisabeth Wilke; Tenor: Martin Petzold; Bass: Gotthold Schwarz

Rondeau Production

2006 ?

2-CD / TT: 107:24

2nd recording of Mass in B minor BWV 232 by G.C. Biller. Recorded at Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Germany.
Buy this album at: Amazon.de

Thomanerchor new DVD

Boyd Pehrson wrote (January 14, 2002):
The Thomanerchor has released their Bach's B Minor Mass DVD as of 12/2001. Here is a link to the Blackstar UK Online Video Store: http://www.blackstar.co.uk/video/item/7000000067031
The Video was filmed in St Thomas Church with Bach veteran female soprano Ruth Holton and Gewandhaus Orchestra. The DVD is region 2, and you'll need an all region player, or one that plays European/South African region 2.

Takashi Trushima wrote (January 14, 2002):
[To Boyd Pehrson] First of all, I'm sorry I have sent an empty mail by accident.

Well, that DVD was released in December in Japan. The contents are exactly the same as those of CD version (Philips 465 949-2)

What is characteristic is that Herr Biller is singing Gloria in excelcis Deo, Credo in Deum, Dominus tecum in solo, and the choir is singign Introit: Hymnus auf das Pfingstfest before the mass.

 

BWV 232 B Minor Mass Thomanerchor DVD

Boyd Pehrson wrote (January 20, 2002):
I happened upon the new Bach B Minor Mass on DVD while in the local Borders Bookstore. It was on the shelf, much to my delight, so I carried it to the check out clerk in order to give it a good home. I have learned that usually B Minor Masses aren't sung by boys these days and you take what ever you can get, especially when you actually get to see the performance too. This is what one calls impulse buying. The investment was a mere $20, a good deal considering sight and sound on one disc generally runs about $30 U.S..

I had reservations about buying this DVD, firstly because I have been reading comments in the boys' choirs forums about the 'deteriorating quality' of the Thomanerchor lately, and secondly, because of the use of adult female soprano and adult male alto (no, not counter-tenor) instead of the vocal instruments Bach wrote the Mass for- his St. Thomas choirboys.

My reservations proved unnecessary, this turned out to be a very good live performance, and one well filmed. The Thomanerchor sang clear, steady and strong throughout. The tone quality of the Thomanerchor was not at the high standard that is expected from the likes of the Tölzer Knabenchor, and one would hope this situation improves. This is the frustration with this choir, they have the voices, the strength of endurance and the marvellous heritage of Bach, and one always wishes to add fantastic tone to this choir. The placement of recording microphones seemed to work against the choir's intermittent tonal shortcomings, as the St. Thomas Church building's fine resonance seemed to be an attractive target for the recording engineer. Most people will compare this live performance to the cascade of other B Minor Mass recordings over the last century. In this regard, the performance has obvious flaws, as well as achievements to add to the collection of B Minor recordings. As a performance in regard to the function of the St. Thomas Church's Festival of Pentecost, and the ten day Bach festival, it is certainly a fine example to other churches on how they may approach such events. Then again, Bach is St. Thomas' own isn't he?

Soprano Ruth Holton is a veteran Bach soloist, and sang well in a heady tone, though the emotional depth that one anticipates with a 'seasoned adult' was not available for us from Ms. Holton for this particular performance. This for me once again dispels the idea that adults automatically have an extra sensitive insight and emotional connection with the music and that somehow children automatically don't. The Alto performance of Matthias Rexroth was intriguing. This was not the cement-headed countertenor sound that the English choirs attend to, Mr. Rexroth had a wider warmer sound using mask and throat in the processing of tones. I have to say, I would like to hear more of this voice, and trade in a few countertenors. Mr. Rexroth seemed to have caught Ms Holton's emotional cold, only to a lesser degree. He sang the soprano aria Laudamus Te, which he began in the alarming style and tone of a wounded animal. This was an operatic style attempted without success, and it lacked taste. Mr. Rexroth settled down soon afterward, and even achieved a wonderful rendering of the Agnus Dei aria, bringing to mind why the church has considered the alto voice an attractive representation of the voice of the Holy Spirit. This Agnus Dei was marvellous.

Equally chilled emotionally to Ms. Holton's performance was the Tenor, Christoph Genz. Mr. Genz as well proved that adults can suffer from emotional disconnection from music, and his Benedictus aria was afflicted with symptoms of insipidity. The Bass, Klaus Mertens, was only up to the task momentarily, and his style was the weakest fragmentation of Bach's Spiritum Sanctum aria that I have heard at this performance level. After hearing Director Biller's beautiful baritone voice, I wished he would have taken the bass solo. Nevertheless, all four soloists sang with the utmost textual clarity, and all have nice voice qualities.

The Gewandhaus orchestra was, well, as ever the great Gewandhaus orchestra. Unfortunately, they were deployed with their modern instruments, but making them sound as Baroque as possible. I think the use of modern instruments really contributed to the lack of nuance and connection in the vocal solos. The orchestral forces were not large, a few of each instrument, and this kept modern instrument competition with the choir to a minimum.

The choir was almost 70 strong; about 44 boys in a roughly equal mix of sopranos and altos, the balance of the former tending to be the younger; and about 12 each of Basses and Tenors all seeming to be in their late teens 'und twens' with the Basses singing more along Baritone lines. The boys were strong, articulate, and well rehearsed. They sang with plausible precision, and looked relaxed throughout this monumental and demanding work. There were momentary sags in the chorus pieces, such as the Cum Sancto Spiritu, which should wave as silk in the wind, but the fine soprano top notes were subdued, and the bass was lightened, thus foreshortening the distance we should experience between heaven and earth. The Confiteor Unum Baptisma and Et Expecto Resurrectionem suffered similarly at times, and at times it seemed the choir and orchestra were somehow struggling to subdue Bach's monumental work. The Credo in Unum Deum was well sung, with a clarity, strength and tone characteristic of boys' unique voices. The Sanctus expressed the idea of angels swirling upward, as it should. The Icarnatus Est and the Crucifixus Etiam Pro Nobis were sung well, and these tend to mark the middle tone of the Mass. Here Mr. Biller directed an urgent pulse over the traditional sadness and largo approach. This shortens the movement by between a minute regarding the faster HIP approach, and by two and a half minutes regarding the psudeo-religious approach of the Romantic School. The end of the Crucifixus was reconciled to Bach's peaceful rest on the text "passus et sepultus est", and this is an interesting exploration of Mr. Biller's potential as a director. I am ever intrigued with Bach's use of flute and violin for the crucifixus. This combination of instruments along with a full choir pulsing along in heartbeat and rhythmic breathing, produces a fine impression of the human frame, tissue and bone, and dripping blood in its transparent tension, life ebbing away. This is the musical masterpiece of painting the crucifixion in the mind of the listener. There is violence in the crucifixion, and directors are constantly at pains to depict this movement properly since it reconciles itself in peace. The Dona Nobis Pacem at the end of the Mass was absolutely marvellous, as close to perfection as I've heard from the Thomaners and Biller.

Georg Christoph Biller has approached this Mass with an emphasis on the 'nuts and bolts' of the pieces. Mr. Biller has picked up the pace of the Mass in the HIP standard, and somewhat à la mode of Robert King. I think this structure and pace compliments the Mass and it reminds me of German engineering. One cannot look at the score of the B Minor and think "Largo". The nuances and wisps of detail as one might find in the B Minor directed by a Robert King are missing. But here now is an ecclesiastical emphasis, which gives the Mass authenticity in Biller's hands. The opening Pentecost Hymn, Spiritus Sancti Gratia, is superbly sung, reminding all that this Thomanerchor and its director finds its glory and function in the church, and this Mass is a part of their functional existence. Indeed, Biller sings the liturgical chats before he begins the various sections of the Mass. Bach's B Minor Mass is a truly monumental undertaking to sing, and director Biller appears to age visibly in the latter part of the performance. Just when I thought Mr. Biller might drop dead, he begins to sing a two and a half minute solo litany: Dominus Vobiscum.

The choir is moved from clarity and power to a most transparent butterfly wing of a choral tone, thus the glory of boys' voices! The St. Thomas church space provides a marvellous 4 second sound deterioration and Biller uses the space for effect, as he pauses between songs. The choir begins to show visible signs of fatigue toward the end, wet hair, they are in the choir loft this whole time and are melting like cheese in the sun, but they don't show any signs of vocal fatigue and sound very fit and strong right to the end. They sing the Dona Nobis Pacem with all fervent skill and attention, drawing on its internal beauty, and connecting with the music as profoundly as they did in the opening hymn.

I can recommend this DVD, as the price makes it worth putting up with the sags and flaws. This Thomanerchor has fine voices, but they are not tonally developed to their potential. They have all good skill, strength and willingness. The focus in this performance is on clear pronunciation, reminding me of the Tölzer Knabenchor's articulation, but without the Tölzer's tone quality. Clarity is an inherent feature of boys' voices, and the muddiness of large choirs of females is not a problem with these clear and refreshing boy voices. There is definitely a move in the right direction with the Thomanerchor in this regard. Although it has its rough edges, this certainly isn't a choir deteriorating in quality on this production. I think the addition of a small cadre of individual vocal coaches who are excellent at what they do, would take this choir to world class status. I suspect that Cantor Biller is probably forced to spend more time than should be allowed on administrative aspects, and he cannot be effective to do all that needs to be done artistically with out a lot of essential help.

I will be watching this DVD many more times, and since it is a DVD I can use it for playing background music as well. The economic packaging of this DVD did not allow for line notes, or other essential information. But, since the price was that of a CD alone, I won't consider that in my overall rating.

Rating: 7/10

Johan van Veen wrote (January 21, 2002):
Boyd Pehrson wrote:
< I happened upon the new Bach B Minor Mass on DVD while in the local Borders Bookstore. It was on the shelf, much to my delight, so I carried it to the check out clerk in order to give it a good home. I have learned that usually B Minor Masses aren't sung by boys these days and you take what ever you can get, especially when you actually get to see the performance too. This is what one calls impulse buying. The investment was a mere $20, a good deal considering sight and sound on one disc generally runs about $30 U.S..

I had reservations about buying this DVD, firstly because I have been reading comments in the boys' choirs forums about the 'deteriorating quality' of the
Thomanerchor lately, and secondly, because of the use of adult female soprano and adult male alto (no, not counter-tenor) instead of the vocal instruments Bach wrote the Mass for- his St. Thomas choirboys.

<review snipped> >

Thanks for sharing your views. I have heard and seen that recording on TV in 2000. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to hear the Thomanerchor singing under its "new" director. Of course, he isn't really "new", but I remembered the Thomanerchor only from old recordings, where they were singing in rather old-fashioned style. When Mr Biller was appointed as new director and announced he wanted to work with period instruments, I thought that was a very exciting perspective. I didn't know Mr Biller had all and had no idea about his credentials, but I was pleasantly surprised about the result, considering the fact that he was using a traditional symphony orchestra – or at least members of it, not all of whom seem really to know how to use period style on modern instruments - and the fact that the boys had had a quite busy schedule in the days and weeks before the performance. But you are right that the choir was the most satisfying part of the performance, and that the soloists were somewhat disappointing. I wasn't surprised by Ruth Holton, since she has had a large role in the Brilliant Classics complete cantata recording, directed by Pieter-Jan Leusink. As far as the soloists are concerned, she is the weakest link in that series (together with the tenor Knut Schoch). Apart from bad German pronunciation, she often seems not to have a clue about what she is singing. For example, she sings Cantata BWV 199, which even in the Teldec recording was given to a female soprano. But I think that a really good treble could give a better - and particularly deeper - interpretation than she does. The recording of the B-minor Mass indeed shows that adult soloists don't guarantee a more emotional interpretation than boys. And there is a mass of evidence for that. I am just reviewing a number of volumes of Bach cantatas with the Bach Collegium Japan. The female soloists are quite close to boys in the tone production - much more than those Ton Koopman uses. But I have compared them with the boys in the Teldec series, and even though some of the boys' intonation is a little suspect now and then, the emotional depth and the nuances in the interpretations of the recitatives and arias is mostly stronger and a lot more convincing and satisfying than those of the adult sopranos.

I hear quite a lot different kinds of recordings of Bach's cantatas, but most of the time I return to Leonhardt & Harnoncourt with a sigh of relief. The mastery of period instruments may have increased, the insight into the content of the cantatas definitely hasn't.

Douglas Neslund wrote (January 21, 2002):
[To Boyd and Johan van Veen] Thank you both for your insightful comments.

I wanted to add a little about Mr. Biller, based upon my personal observation of him, and having heard his choir perform, albeit in the opera, during my visit to Leipzig last May to hear Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden and his Tölzer Knabenchor perform at Thomaskirche for BachFest 2001. As you know, Mr. Schmidt-Gaden employed a group of Baroque specialists, playing upon authentic Baroque-era instruments, drawn from the Gewandhaus Orchester, for accompaniment duties. They played beautifully, in my opinion, and exhibited an understanding of style comparable to Concentus Musicus. Under Mr. Biller, to my knowledge, they have yet to be employed at Thomaskirche, although it was obvious at the time that he was highly impressed with the Tölzer performances, saying, "We will now have to rethink the way we perform Bach's music!"

The operahouse performance to which I refer above was a dreadful pastiche of Cantata BWV 21 (Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis) and the Gloria and Credo segments of the B minor Mass, which provided distraction to the balletic twitchings and slitherings onstage, courtesy of the local ballet company. This particular attendee resorted to covering his eyes with hands in order to avoid the spectacle of light bar triangles being lowered in largo tempo to just above an otherwise empty stage in order to be raised and lowered on various sides of the quadrangle, to be joined by dancers skittering here and there in and around the light bars - horrible - but the audience seemed to be enchanted - standing ovations, etc. - but I digress.

Covering one's eyes at least had the benefit of focusing on what the ears were hearing. The modern-instrument orchestra in the pit were directed by Mr. Biller; the cantata was taken, in its entirety, at snail pace - painfully, agonizing slow. The only possible expiation for such a tempo was its application to the hippity-hopping onstage; a faster (i.e., normal) tempo might have induced heart attacks. Eventually, we got to the Mass segments, which were at least within the "normal" range of tempo. The boys and men were massed in the pit, to the left side of the stage, and generally sang well, although it is likely they had a difficult time hearing the orchestra. With the performance bowing to dance, and with modern instrumental accompaniment, the use of massed voices was irrelevant to authentic performance practice consideration.

Oh, and the solo in "Bekümmernis" was sung from the stage by a woman with a wobbly voice - horrible by any standards. She was incapable, apparently, of singing the aria in the key written by Bach (for a boy's voice) and so it was transposed down a third. Painful. One fellow observer called the dancing a "Mark Morris ripoff."

We fled the ballet house as soon as coats could be freed from the garderobe.

We must keep an eye on Mr. Biller. Given the announced difficulties of recruiting for boys, perhaps he should be given more time to develop a new (actually, old) style to his performances. I think that if he is successful, he is young enough to see a distinguished career evolve.

Meanwhile, he would be well advised to avoid further association with the ballet.

Best wishes, and thanks for this thread.

Boyd Pehrson wrote (January 24, 2002):
[To Johan van Veen & Douglas Neslund] It was interesting in that B-Minor DVD to watch a close up of some choirboys rocking and bobbing to the Domine Deus duet. They might like to try singing the duet, if ever given the chance. I agree with your comments Johann, and the same has been my personal experience as well. My experience has been that the Teldec boy soloists provide more interesting, imaginative and emotionally intriguing performances. We should admit that boys live a more vivid imagination than adults; and who is better to tell what happened on the fishing trip with papa than the excited and energetic youngster.

Many adult soprano and alto performances seem to me to fall into a pre-programmed and scripted style that audiences have come to expect. The boy soloists for me provide endless new approaches - often in interesting personal styles that I find
intriguing. Listening to these unique performances is like being able to view the music from many different angles. As for any 'suspect tones,' I have heard plenty of those from adults who 'fudge' their way through a composition that challenges their range.

While following along the score with the Teldec soloists, and especially with the B-Minor recording by the Tolz Boys' Choir, I am continually amazed at their accuracy with time value of various notes, articulation, intensity and sense of musicality. The Laudamus Te aria of the B-Minor of which we spoke, requires the soloist to sing tricky baroque ornamentation. The only recorded soloist I've heard that achieves the sort of baroque ornamentation and a sort of "dissonance" that seems to be required by the composer is the Tölzer boy alto Maximilian Fraas in the Robert King version. I compared Mr. Rexroth's (Biller's) and one Hertha Töpper's (Kurt Redel's) use of a sort of accented vibrato (for lack of a better description) to achieve this goal. Young master Fraas' performance seemed so much more interesting and musical. Ms. Töpper gulped air like a drowning victim and Mr.Rexroth's emanations reminded me of a nervous fruit bat's mating call. Both adults seemed to rely on a sort of imperative vibrato to achieve the ornaments, which made me wonder... "just how many sixteenth notes are in that bar?" Ooops! I forgot, Master Fraas was singing "HIP style," how unfair of me.

Katia Tiara wrote (January 24, 2002):
< The Laudamus Te aria of the B-Minor of which we spoke, requires the soloist to sing tricky baroque ornamentation. The only recorded soloist I've heard that achieves the sort of baroque ornamentation and a sort of "dissonance" that seems to be required by the composer is the Tölzer boy alto Maximilian Fraas in the Robert King version. >
I haven't checked back, but isn't it Manuel Mrasek on the "Laudamus Te"?

Boyd Pehrson wrote (January 24, 2002):
[To Katia Tiara] Absolutely. You are correct, I apologise for my misinformation. I meant to write Mrasek and got him confused with Fraas who performs the Agnus Dei, who by the way also performs marvellously and in a fascinating style as well. Thanks for helping to clarify this and repairing my error!

 

Review: B minor Mass DVD

Kirk McElhearn wrote (February 25, 2002):
Performed on modern instruments, this recording of Bach’s greatest vocal work has its good and bad points. The musicians are competent, the soloists excellent, but the choir, the real star of this work, disappoints.

The weakest part of this performance is the boys’ choir, which is clearly not cut out for music of this depth. Not only can one hear the occasional voices singing out of tune, the video shows how some of the singers seem to be merely mouthing the words, not at all involved in the music. The recording, made live on 28 July 2000, for the Bach 2000 television broadin Europe, is quite good, but the sound is a bit muddled. The large choir - easily 80 singers or more - overpowers the orchestra, drowning it out and hiding the subtle textures in the largest movements.

Nevertheless, a group of solid soloists makes the non-choral sections a delight. Ruth Holton is at top form, and countertenor Matthias Rexroth is quite good. Their voices marry well in the Christe eleison when they sing a duet. Rexroth shines in the Laudamus te, with a sparkling solo violin performance accompanying him, and gives an excellent performance of the Agnus dei.

Bass Klaus Mertens is excellent as always; he is one of the finest Bach basses currently singing, and rarely disappoints. Here, in his solos, he shows the unique command he has of this register.

Tenor Christoph Genz is a bit of a disappointment, sounding tired and uninterested. He only has one solo - the Benedictus - and one duet with Ruth Holton. He has a fine voice, but doesn¹t sound as if this was one of his best days.

All things considered, this is not an excellent recording. Since the choir has such a central place in this work, a weak choir, as is the case here, leaves the listener wanting more, much more.

Peter Bright wrote (February 25, 2002):
[To Kirk McElhearn] This must be the same Arnold Schoenberg choir that sings on Harnoncourt's recent St Matthew Passion (under Erwin Ortner) - I'm quite surprised that they were disappointing. The choir is primarily made up of students and graduates from the Vienna University of Music and Dramatic Art, and has worked with Harnoncourt for the last 20 years. I don't have many recordings featuring them, but the choral singing on the St Matthew seems very lean and tightly focused - and I enjoy their performance very much.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (February 26, 2002):
[To Peter Bright] Error, error.!!!!

It is the Thomanerchor Leipzig. That's what I get for copying one file and typing over it.

 

New Mass in B-minor

Canyon Rick wrote (February 26, 2002):
"That this Mass was was intended solely as a musical legacy is to my mind unlikely, however. What Bach most probably had in mind when he decided to supplement his 'Missa of 1733' with the sections lacking to make it a 'Missa tota' was the consecration of the new Hofkirche or Court Church in Dresden"--Thomas Cantor Georg Christopf Biller, October 2006

This, from the liner notes of the Thomanerchor's most recent recorded rendition of the B-minor Mass. I'm sure I'm soon to find that I'm the only one who did not know this so I shan't embarrass myself further with comment.

I've not heard the entire recording yet. But the clarity of recorded sound appears far better than in some recent efforts. This recording was made prior to a recent tour where they performed the Mass something like 6 time in 8 days...maybe it was 7 in 9. That seems like too much B-minor in a short period. Fortunately the recording was made prior to the tour.

Interesting too is that the accompanying orchestra is the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra, an original instrument ensemble. Considering the size of the TC, however, this does not seem to make for a particularly HIP performance. The five soloists are all adults with a female alto instead of counter-tenor--a welcome decision.

One thing Biller does--and, yes, I know he's not supposed to--but still to great effect, is to begin the first 'Osanna' right on the heels of the 'Sanctus'. It makes for some exciting music.

I always liked the visual on the DVD of the 7/28/00 performance in the TK. But, as just audio, I would go with this without question.

The real gem among my new CDs is a recording called "Verleih uns frieden" with the Himlische Cantorey and the Hannover Boychoir performing the music of Andreas Hammerschmidt. I most definitely like that B-minor Mass, but it's familiar. Hammerschmidt is not, and it sounds quite spectacular. Sort of Gabrielli-ish.

Both these CDs can found here--with excerpts:
http://www.rondeau.de/webbusiness/query.php?cp_sid=24345415d8d&cp_tpl=main
Then follow the link to the TC. The Hammerschmidt is found right on the front page.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (January 10, 2007):
Canyon Rick wrote:
< Well, Yoel, I like seeing my name online next to posts as much as the next person. But, I was thinking of your observation about the "overabundance of posts".
The Hammerschmidt was something of an afterthought. I don't think I would have gone to the bother of a separate post had I neglected to include it with the the B-minor Mass comment. Indeed, I might not have posted at all had I not read Herr Biller's comment about the reason for the B-minor Mass, which remains new to me.
At any rate, I'd recommend both recordings--this is a very different Mass from what is heard on the TC's DVD--tho the Hammerschmidt is much more likely to fill a gap (albeit a gap most would not know they had), than the BWV232. >
I fully understand, Rick, why you "included" a reference to the Hammerschmidt rather than giving us a separate post on it. However in spite of the hypertrophy of posts here it seems to me that a recommendation of a CD of music by a composer that nobody here (it might seem) outside of you and Barry has heard of severely runs the risk of being missed when simply included in a post with a subject line about a Bach work.

Perhaps a dual subject line might do the trick.

I guess that we have already had this discussion. Although I saved your original post with the link I wonder where this CD is available. I have been buying a few items abroad recently since even when offered by an Amazon seller, they really simply never come.

Yesterday I received by some weird accident three different packets, two from very fast and wonderful service Amazon sellers (old stuff that I simply had to finally have and was delighted to find still available) and some recent stuff (the Deccas 4 CD set of Rousset Bach) and simultaneously something arcane that two Amazon sellers both defaulted on (one claimed to have it in stock) which I finally ordered from mdt.co.uk and which came within a few days.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 10, 2007):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< However in spite of the hypertrophy of posts here >
Is this a reference to *hypertrophy* in the number of posts, or in the size of the individual posts?

I hope the former, because I, for one, eschew the latter!

Rick Canyon wrote (January 10, 2007):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< I guess that we have already had this discussion. Although I saved your original post with the link I wonder where this CD is available. I have been buying a few items abroad recently since even when offered by an Amazon seller, they really simply never come. >
I know you can get it directly from Rondeau http://www.rondeau.de/webbusiness/query.php?cp_sid=2452025a77b&cp_tpl=main
I've ordered from them 3 times and they seem very reliable (tho their "in English" pages seem to be empty. It takes not much more than a week from the time I order. They largely carry recent recordings of German boychoirs. The CD, "Verleih Uns Frieden" is also supposed to be available from iTunes. Amazon.de is another possibility.

I must say I've listened to the CD for several days now and it remains quite exciting overall, with some tracks approaching the "stunning" level. I've wondered if there's any evidence that Bach was familiar with Hammerschmidt's music.

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 10, 2007):
Canyon Rick wrote:
< I must say I've listened to the CD for several days now and it remains quite exciting overall, with some tracks approaching the "stunning" level. I've wondered if there's any evidence that Bach was familiar with Hammerschmidt's music. >
There may be some Hammerschmidt in the collection of motets which Bach's choirs used every Sunday. Was the list of titles in the collection posted to list aa year or so ago when we discussed the non-crepertoire? I can't find it.

Thomas Braatz wrote (January 10, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>There may be some Hammerschmidt in the collection of motets which Bach's choirs used every Sunday. Was the list of titles in the collection posted to list a year or so ago when we discussed the non-cantata repertoire? I can't find it.<<
He is not in the Bodenschatz collection "Florilegium Portense" (60 composers included but no Hammerschmidt). The FP was published in 1608 and 1613. This is much to early for Hammerschmidt(1611-1676). I find a similar problem in trying to connect Hammerschmidt with Bach as I do in trying to make any meaningful connections at all between Bach and Schütz. There are some strong connections between Hammerschmidt and Schütz, however.

Hammerschmidt did visit Dresden and Leipzig. [Not that this has anything to do with his music, but he had a very hot temper (short fuse) and would easily get into physical fighting. One longstanding feud was with the local tavern keeper in Zittau. While on a visit to Leipzig, Rosenmüller (another famous composer who infamously lost the possibility of becoming Thomascantor for other reasons, accused him of 'stealing' phrases from his music and a fight ensued in the Rathskeller in Leipzig. Perhaps his bad reputation kept him from being accepted in Leipzig? Was the excessive consumption of alcohol are problem here?]

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 10, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< He is not in the Bodenschatz collection "Florilegium Portense" (60 composers included but no Hammerschmidt). The FP was published in 1608 and 1613. This is much to early for Hammerschmidt (1611-1676). I find a similar problem in trying to connect Hammerschmidt with Bach as I do in trying to make any meaningful connections at all between Bach and Schütz. >
Is there any Schütz in the Bodenschatz collection? Any chance the index of the collection could be posted to the list? This is the primary repertoire which Bach's choirs sang every week and it deserves to have a higher profile in our discussions.

Thomas Braatz wrote (January 10, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>Is there any Schütz in the Bodenschatz collection?<<
No.

>>Any chance the index of the collection could be posted to the list? This is the primary repertoire which Bach's choirs sang every week and it deserves to have a higher profile in our discussions.<<
I will try to get to this later today. The MGG1 has a long list but I do not know if it is complete. I do not think that all the names of the compositions are given.

Rick Canyon wrote (January 10, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< I find a similar problem in trying to connect Hammerschmidt with Bach as I do in trying to make any meaningful connections at all between Bach and Schütz. There are some strong connections between Hammerschmidt and Schütz, however.
Hammerschmidt did visit
Dresden and Leipzig. [Not that this has anything to do with his music, but he had a very hot temper (short fuse) and would easily get into physical fighting. Perhaps his bad reputation kept him from being accepted in Leipzig? Was the excessive consumption of alcohol are problem here?] >
Perhaps it's curious that Bach, at least, seemed unaware of Hammerschmidt. Even had Ham. been only regionally known--and it appears he was far more than that--one might think Bach, and certainly previous Leipzig cantors, could have missed him as he spent time in Freiburg and Breslau.

One possibility regarding Ham.'s propensity for (yes, then, probably drunken) brawling is that somewhere along the line he came into unfavorable contact with a Bach ancestor and his name became sullied among all the Bachs. Perhaps, he'd became enraged at being called a 'zippel'. Perhaps he'd even extracted the revenge that Geyersbach decades later failed to do.

At a Bach family gathering: "Sebastian, have you ever noticed your great uncle's limp? Well, many years ago, this good-for-nothing, loathsome swine of a composer of bartunes named Hammerschmidt..."

 
 

Mass in B minor BWV 232: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17
Systematic Discussions:
Part 1: Kyrie | Part 2: Gloria | Part 3: Credo | Part 4: Sanctus | Part 5: Agnus Dei | Part 6: Early Recordings | Part 7: Summary
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BWV 232 - C. Abbado | BWV 232 - Anonymous | BWV 232 - G.C. Biller | BWV 232 - F. Brüggen | BWV 232 - J. Butt | BWV 232 - S. Celibidache | BWV 232 - M. Corboz | BWV 232 - A. Eby | BWV 232 - G. Enescu | BWV 232 - E. Ericson | BWV 232 - D. Fasolis | BWV 232 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 232 - C.M. Giulini | BWV 232 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 232 - T. Hengelbrock | BWV 232 - P. Herreweghe | BWV 232 - R. Hickox | BWV 232 - R. Jacobs | BWV 232 - E. Jochum | BWV 232 - Ifor Jones | BWV 232 - K. Junghänel & Cantus Cölln | BWV 232 - H.v. Karajan | BWV 232 - R. King | BWV 232 - O. Klemperer | BWV 232 - S. Kuijken | BWV 232 - G. Leonhardt | BWV 232 - P. McCreesh | BWV 232 - M. Minkowski | BWV 232 - H. Müller-Bruhl | BWV 232 - S. Ozawa | BWV 232 - M. Pearlman | BWV 232 - K. Richter | BWV 232 - J. Rifkin | BWV 232 - H. Rilling | BWV 232 - H. Scherchen | BWV 232 - P. Schreier | BWV 232 - R. Shaw | BWV 232 - G. Solti | BWV 232 - M. Suzuki | BWV 232 - J. Thomas & ABS | BWV 232 - K. Thomas | BWV 232 - J.v. Veldhoven
Articles:
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 [T. Noel Towe] | Bach’s B minor Mass on Period Instruments [D. Satz] | Like Father, Like Son [B. Pehrson]

Georg Christoph Biller: Short Biography | Recordings | BWV 232 - Biller
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Last update: ýJanuary 10, 2007 ý21:34:34