Mass in B minor BWV 232
General Discussions - Part 7
Continue from Part 6
Which Mass in Bm?
Matthew Neugebauer (July 15, 2002):
Sorry about never talking about the cantata in question, but I have regular access to about 10 of them, and all of them have been previously discussed.
What I do have access to is an etrocious rendition of the Mass in B minor, with the New Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra under Carlo Maria Giulini. I can't stand it because first off, the sopranos are out of tune at D (top line in soprano clef), where professional altos shouldn't even be out of tune at, the hyper-active acoustics turn most things into mush anyways, the usually splendid HIP contralto Dame Janet Baker uses vibrato absolutely everywhere (including the rising sixteenth notes in "Laudamus Te"), seemingly mistimed sixteenth notes in "Et in terra pax", and as icing on the cake, an interview from BBC radio between an unintelligible Brit (John Amis) and a further unintelligible Italian (Giulini) about string quartets.
Note: I do not in any way intend to sound crude, racist or prejudiced-I just really don't like this recording and the irrevelevant conversation that follows it.
So that's my rant-now here's what I want your opinions on-
What recording of the Mass would you guys suggest I buy? I prefer HIP (mostly because I'm used to it), but feel free to suggest any non-HIP recordings that you feel are worth listening to (except the Giulini one).
Paul Farseth wrote (July 15, 2002):
Matthew Neugebauer asks for recommendations of a recording of the Bach B minor Mass.
There is a Telarc recording 2CD-80517 in the USA of the Boston Baroque Ensemble led by Martin Pearlman that has clear energetic singing with no annoying quirks in the performance. (That's how it seems to this listener at least.) Singers are: Nicole Heaston (Sop), Theordora Hanslowe (mez.sop.), Ellen Rabiner (contralto), Mark Tucker (ten.), Nathan Berg (bass/baritone).
An earlier performance by Michel Corboz and the Soloists, Chorus, and Orchestra of Lausanne was released first as a phonograph LP by Erato (RCA/Victrola in the USA.). Perhaps it is still available on CD. This is also a very listenable performance though different from the Pearlman disk. Singers were Yvonne Perrin and Wally Staempfli (sopranos), Magali Schwartz (mez. sop.), Claudine Perret (alt.), Olivier Dufour (ten.), and Niklaus Tüller and Philippe Huttenlocher (basses).
Robert Sherman wrote (July 15, 2002):
[To Matthew Neugebauer]
1. Richter's first bm (the one with Maria Stader)
Riccardo Nughes wrote (July 15, 2002):
[To Matthew Neugebauer] here are some suggestions :
- Fasolis (ARTS)
- Harnoncourt (Teldec, 2nd recording)
- Rifkin (Nonesuch Ultima)
- Parrott (Virgin Veritas)
All recordings are on original instruments, the last two are OVPP.I find horrible (and useless) the Giulini recording you mentioned, I hope for you it was a gift.
Gerald Gray wrote (July 15, 2002):
[To Paul Farseth] I was in the chorus of that TELARC recording of the B Minor Mass with Boston Baroque. I have the CD also, and have to say that it is the poorest quality work they have done and the soloists were VERY uneven. listen to Mark Tucker. It sucked. Literally sucked. He muscled through the Benedictus (a no no) and basically oversang. Nathan Berg, also tended to over sing in that concert/recording. The chorus was under prepared and the tempos were so wildly fast at times that the chorus really couldn't sing them. Listen again.
Jane Newble wrote (July 15, 2002):
[To Matthew Neugebauer] My favourite is Herreweghe, but I suppose that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. :o)
Peter Bright wrote (July 16, 2002):
[To Matthew Neugebauer] Like an earlier writer I would also suggest the Richter studio recording of the B minor mass (Archiv) - uniformly dramatic and very moving. For a more historically informed recording I favour the Parrott on Virgin (recently re-released on Virgin Veritas) - for the size of the forces employed it is a surprisingly powerful version and has the most perfect version of "Et in Spiritum..." that I know. Overall, I stick with the Richter, however...
Gerald Gray wrote (July 16, 2002):
[To Peter Bright] Regarding the B Minor, I find the Rifkin fascinating a full 20 years after it's release. The one on a part approach is fascinating. I was introduced to it when I haphazardly attended a concert of the Bach orchestral suites performed one per part with Rifkin directing. The concert was in Alice Tully Hall in NYC about 10 years ago. Having been uninformed of the period instrument movement at the time, I leaned a great deal about balance and period instruments that i now know on a much deeper level.
First, One per part works on those instruments. Why? The key is in the brass and reeds I think. Baroque trumpets have a much lower fundamental than modern trumpets, and their tome is much more mellow and sweet. They are not as loud or "brassy" in the middle and top. They can actually balance well with a single fiddle if the writing is good. Secondly, a baroque oboe is again, sweeter, a bit more distant and more intimate. Same balance properties. Can balance with a fiddle or trumpet or flute. The timpani (skin heads over copper kettles resting on a tripod of sticks) has much less ringing pitch at it's core and is played with wooden sticks instead of fuzzy felt mallets (there are several types of sticks used though) and serves as percussion more so than a pitched instrument. Also, when a baroque fiddle player is allowed to really uses their full bow the espressivity is remarkable and the palate of colors is greater than that of a moodern instrument (IMO) and the instrument carries (acoustically) quite well.
Those factors given, I sat amazed that three trumpets, two violins, a viola and cello and pass, timpani , oboe and bassoon and flute could all play together so balanced and so musically. But they can. And one singer per part fits in too.
Gerald Gray wrote (July 16, 2002):
Regarding the B Minor, do any of you live in the San Francisco Bay area? I do not, but a friend and colleague will be the bass soloist in the American Bach Soloists Mass in B minor with 2 singers per part. Should be a good B Minor if you are in the area. Check out their web site.
Andrew Lewis wrote (July 16, 2002):
[To Gerald Gray] Who is the bass in SF? I don't live there, though I used to, and I likewise have a friend there and he just sang some cantatas with ABS: Vitali Rozynko.
Andrew Lewis wrote (July 16, 2002):
[To Andrew Lewis] The baritone singing with ABS in the fall is Aaron Engebreth. he's a young baritone who just placed as Honorable mention in the Bethlehem Bach festival vocal competition for young professionals.
David Harbin wrote (July 16, 2002):
Recordings of the Mass in B minor were reviewed on BBC Radio 3 Building a Library. The winner was Parrott, which is now on the superbudget Virgin Doubles label. I enjoy it very much.
Robert Sherman wrote (July 16, 2002):
[To Gerald Gray] Gerald is right about the fundamental of a valveless trumpet in D, which is about three times the wavelength of the piccolo trumpet in A that is now the standard instrument for most Bach. The longer tube does produce a mellower sound. But a modern piccolo trumpet need not be too loud or "brassy." It just takes a player who is not of the "I am loud therefore I am" school of trumpet playing. Properly played, IMO the modern trumpet is the best choice if the objective is music rather than musicology. The modern instrument is better in tune, avoids splatty attacks, has a more heroic tone, can ornament with trills on more note combinations, and can crescendo if needed. In part this is a matter of individual taste, but I strongly doubt that anyone would want to hear a valveless trumpet if they didn't know of its claimed historicity.
On oboes, my listening experience has been different than Gerald's. I'm not an oboist and don't know if "baroque oboes" are actually authentic. ("Baroque trumpets", with finger-holes Bach and Händel never saw, are not authe.) In any case, baroque oboes have larger reeds and to my ear have a coarser, louder, and less refined sound. It is no effort at all for a modern oboe to blend with a single violin or voice.
Philippe Bareille wrote (July 17, 2002):
Franz Brüggen, P Herreweghe 2, Leonhardt, Harnoncourt 1 ,(I have a soft spot for Robert King but it is certainly not to everyone taste)
Gerald Gray wrote (July 17, 2002):
[To Philippe Bareille] I personally like Robert King's work on the Händel Oratorios. I think he really "gets it" when it comes to Händel. I've sung various roles in eight of Händel's oratorios and think that I am finally starting to understand what makes Händel oratorio work dramatically, pacing wise, vocally and even instrumentally. King is great for that. I've never heard his Bach though. Any suggested recordings?
Donald Satz wrote (July 17, 2002):
[To Gerald Gray] I like King in Handel more than any other conductor. Concerning Bach, there's King's recording of the Mass in B minor which uses boy sopranos.I don't think it's one of the best around, but it is a rewarding issue.
Jane Newble wrote (July 17, 2002):
[To Gerald Gray] There is the 'Essential Bach' recording on Hyperion by Robert King.
It has extracts from different works. It starts with a wonderfully fast 'Ehre sei dir Gott, gesungen' from the CO. There is a muddled (imho) Gloria in Excelsius from Mass in B. The highlights for me are the opening and closing chorus of Cantata BWV 1, and the synfonia to BWV 169. An interesting CD for seeing what he does with Bach.
Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 20, 2002):
[To Gerald Gray] Robert King's performance of Bach's Mass in B-minor is released on Hyperion CDA67201/2. The 1996 recording is increasingly difficult to obtain, but Jane's suggestion of King's sampler 'Essential Bach' on Hyperion will get you a taste of it. I think the 'Essential Bach' CD is also budget priced. King's B-minor performance drops the pitch to true Baroque depths of A=415, and significantly, King uses boy altos as well as boy sopranos from the superbly trained Tolzer Knabenchor in Bavaria. The boy altos provide a rare and unique tone quality. If you are not allergic to boy voice, this recording is a rare item you may enjoy. To my knowledge it is the only all male recording of the B-minor. Certainly it is the only one with boy altos. Some critics are not used to baroque pitch and subtler boy alto (instead of a more concentrated countertenor sound due to tonal palette limitations on the head tone range), thus the recording's critics sometimes say it lacks vivacity. I think many people are not aware perhaps that the unique qualities of the boy voice argue for a different listening approach. This is not to say an uncritical approach, only an approach of knowing what to listen for and what to expect. King's B-minor recording
is quite unique, and critically very finely rendered. I would suggest all true Bach collectors have this recording, whether it is played often from the collection, that is another thing. My copy is played often.
Uri Golomb wrote (July 20, 2002):
[To Boyd Pehrson] Just a small correction -- although King's is indeed, AFAIK, the only all-male B minor Mass (all-male vocalists, that is -- he doesn' t keep women out of the orchestra....), it is not the only one to feature boy altos. Andrew Parrott uses boy altos from Toelz as concertists (that is, soloists and choir section leaders) in his recording of the B minor Mass -- alongside female sopranos (and one female alto ripienist). Incidentally, two years ago King conducted the Mass in concert -- with a mixed choir and female soloists, including Magdalena Kozena.
Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 20, 2002):
[To Uri Golomb] Thanks for clearing that up. Since my wife and mother aren't around, you have provided the service of correcting me that they would normally enjoy. When I wrote: "To my knowledge it is the only all male recording of the B-minor. Certainly it is the only one with boy altos." I meant to say the only one with ALL boy altos. Certainly other recordings use boy altos to some degree, not the least the Thomanerchor, Bach's original resource, who still sing Bach to this day using boy altos in chorus.
When I say "all male recording" yes, as you point out, it means all male voice: boy soprano, boy alto, tenor and bass employed as unique sounding instruments. No, the sex of the player makes no difference necessarily when bowing a violin, or blowing a trumpet, since it is not their human voice as an instrument that is being played.
So, thank you Uri for helping to clear up those points.
In the sleeve notes to the CD we mention, Robert King writes about the fact that all attempts to recreate an original performance situation are theoretical, something that everyone from Harnoncourt to Parrott agree to in their writings. Some things we can know with strong certainty, enough treatise on musical instruments and notation were written at the same times as some compositions.(Parrot seems to be completely convinced in absolute terms as to his performance approach.) Harnoncourt often used countertenors, and sometimes women, and King wanted to record the Mass in B-minor with ALL boy altos in order to challenge the performance spectrum. In this he succeeded in creating a unique recording. Robert King went on tour with his same recording ensemble from the CD, giving live concerts.I think it is great that Robert King uses a variety of performance ensembles. While using boys is a luxury that few conductors can afford, using various vocal forces demonstrates the broadness of ability that some exceedingly talented conductors posses.
Toño Perera wrote (July 20, 2002):
[To Boyd Pehrson] I have only listened to 3 differents Bach´s Mass in B minor, not enough to compare and vote for "the best one", if there is one!. But for me no matter how many versions of "Et in unum Dominum" I will hear in my life, Matthias Ritter and Matthias Schloderer duett, will not be ever beaten!..........what wonderful embrace competition!
Robert Sherman wrote (July 21, 2002).
[To Boyd Pehrson] I wonder if, in Bach's time and place, the prejudices of politics and religiosity also extended to barring women instrumentalists. It seems probable, considering that the barrier against female first chairs in major orchestras extended into quite recent times. While it's true that the differences in sound between male and female instrumentalists are not nearly so great as for singers, and in fact it may not be there at all, still if we are going to be antiquarian doesn't this mean that HIP practice requires women to be barred from the orchestra as well as the chorus? And of course from administrative positions as well.......
Ludwig wrote (July 21, 2002):
[To Robert Sherman] Thanks Bob; you have brought up an interesting point.I can say that in the time of Bach, the place for a woman was in the home (unless she were a sea captain's wife and then she might have the freedom to be captain of the ship if he were injured or died) and if we are speaking of professional musicians then in all probability there were no women in orchestras but that did not prevent them from doing such things in the home--in home situations women often played in chamber groups going back to the 10th century and even composed music (Hildegaarde van Bingen). It was not just religiousity etc that kept women out of churches and workplace of the day but also the Chivalry and gallantry of men who placed women on a pedestal. On the other hand, the Church permitted women to do things that they otherwise could not do without being frowned upon such as Vivaldi's female Orchestra.
The 17th and 18th centuries can not be judged by the values of the 20th and 21st century. First of all, a 17th and 18th century woman would never show any part of her legs in the 17th and 18th centuries which was tantamount to pornography and immorality--only women like Daniel Defoe's novel charecter Fanny Hill did such things.
Today, we think nothing of seeing the exposed female leg. Slavery was perfectly acceptable and justified by the Bible in the 16tearly 19th century but beginning in the 19th century slavery began to not only fall out of favor but also to be viewed as immoral and tantamount to robbery which in contemporary times we also see it thus.
The documentation which we have of women in orchestras indicates that they only began to appear more regularly in orchestras during Mozart's and Haydn's time except in special cases as in Vivaldi's nearly all female group and since this was a convent orphanage nothing could be seen here as 'inappropriate or immoral'.
To sum matters up; women were not completely forbidden from musical matters but in general as far as the Church and Society of the times as concerned: music was generally a Man's world but there were exceptions as we know from Churches that allowed Bach's wife to sing.
Now as far as using boys in the place of female voices---there is a true difference of sound. One need only to hear the boys of Kings College at Cambridge or Oxford or even the famed Vienna Boys Choir in a recording and then compare the same work and passage in which females are singing the boy's parts. Whether one uses boys or females depends on the sound qualities that is desired.
I personally feel that a woman or anyone else should be able to do anything legal that she wants to do whatever it is but there are somethings that she as a woman and I as a man can not hope to achieve no matter how hard we try.
Robert Sheman wrote (July 21, 2002):
[To Ludwig] LVB raises some interesting points, and no doubt his account is accurate. The only point I disagree with is the idea that it was "chivalry and gallantry of men who placed women on a pedestal" that kept women out of public performance. I am no raving feminist but I don't think subjugation can fairly be described as anything other than what it was. Today in fundamentalist Islamic (and Jewish) cultures the place of women is described (by men, of course) as placing women on a pedestal, creating a special revered place for them, and things like that but it's clear to all of us what this really means. The fundamental test, clearly, is who makes the rules, and in Bach's time the place of women was determined by rules made by men -- as it is in cultures based on fundamentalist religiosity today.
All that being said, it is certainly true that adult females, countertenors, and boys all have distinctly different vocal sounds, and it is worth experimenting with them all. I strongly prefer adult females, while others have different tastes.
Consider now, though, the possibility that we are missing something by not doing baroque performances in which GIRLS sing the upper parts. Listening to Charlotte Church's earlier recordings, her many vocal problems notwithstanding, suggests that girls have a unique sound, darker and fuller than boys. It would be interesting to hear this possibility explored by a conductor not afraid to follow musical rather than antiquarian principles.
Charles Francis wrote (July 21, 2002):
< Robert Sherman wrote: I wonder if, in Bach's time and place, the prejudices of politics and religiosity also extended to barring women instrumentalists. It seems probable, considering that the barrier against female first chairs in major orchestras extended into quite recent times. While it's true that the differences in sound between male and female instrumentalists are not nearly so great as for singers, and in fact it may not be there at all, still if we are going to be antiquarian doesn't this mean that HIP practice requires women to be barred from the orchestra as well as the chorus? And of course from administrative positions as well....... >
Quite so! Moreover, we should expect our HIP cantata performances to take place in unheated churches, with minimal rehearsal and extraneous coughs (an artefact of the poor sanitary conditions in Bach's day). The occasional crying baby and a few angry curses from the conductor also enhance authenticity.
Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 22, 2002):
[To Charles Francis] Yes, these conditions exist yet today in some performance venues around the world that shall remain nameless. If Bach noted a cough or a baby's cry in the score, I am certain it wouldn't be difficult to locate a bawling infant for the cause, there seems to be at least one in every crowd.
Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 22, 2002):
[To Toño Perera] I too enjoy Robert King's great performance of Bach's B-minor. The duet you mention is exquisite! I wonder, what do you think of the Agnus Dei solo by Maximilian Fraas? Listen to this one at high volume (headphones) under candlelight. It is difficult to believe a little round Bavarian farm boy sings with such a luxuriously rich voice. Amazing. Also credit Bach for great duet composition. The Domine Dues duet with boy soprano Matthias Ritter and Tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson is also superb, what a great intuative performance between the two, such give and take, this is a great picture of the Father and the Son working in unison. The historic performance approach in this instance "hit one out of the park" (as we say in Dodger Baseball Stadium land).
As far as other performances of the Mass in B-minor, for historical approach, I like Rifkin's recording, even though it is minimalist, I like Herreweghe and of course Leonhardt is strong. In the modern/romantic camp, Marriner and Shaw aren't bad, Enescu is always for me *the* quintessential modern performance, distilling all modernist tendancy to its purest sense. I like to burn any copy of the Von Karajan I can get my hands on.
Anyone else have thoughts about the B-minor recordings? I still would like to know what Toño thinks of the Agnus Dei sung by Fraas!
Ludwig wrote (July 23, 2002):
Robert Sherman: "I am no raving feminist but I don't think subjugation can fairly be described as anything other than what it was'
Would you be surprized if I said that I agree with you? Allow me to explain the thread thought on this. What I stated was based on the course of European History from the time of the Fall of Rome to the early middle ages when the cult of the Virgin Mary took root. An outgrowth of the veneration of the Virgin Mary was the placing of women on pedestals. In Rome, women were fully subjugated to their husbands(with
some exceptions) who were absolute dictators of their homes. St. Paul reinforces this custom with his telling women that they should obey their husbands. One of the feminine benefits of the rise of Christianity was a more humane treatment of women and children by men.
Toño Perera wrote (July 23, 2002):
[To Boyd Pehrson] You ask my opinion about Agnus Dei solo by Maximilian Fraas, but first of all, allow me to start telling you that I have two handicaps to make an "objective critic". The main one (as you probably have noticed!) my lack of musical background, so my opinion on certain themes are only base on.what I feel! And now, how to translate or rewrite "poetry" back into words?.. when my "heart" encounter a masterpiece (music-book-cinema) my own nature simply silence, transforming thoughts into a "new fragile vibrating-world" until it fade it away :-( . My second handicap is (as you have noticed too!) MY ENGLISH, enough to buy a flute but not to play it!.Now!..I did wait till late last night to listen to that piece (it had a dot in my booklet) that I have enjoyed so much too! I also did light the candle, although I always listen music with my eyes close, the smell of my favorite Japanese incense companion me as well. Maximilian´s voice and interpretation was superb (played it at least 10 times) ..But! But something.... (This is difficult to explain!) .I think that a necessary inner part of Maximilian had to much attention in "the slow tempo" used by King's baton, not leaving him to "fly away" and making that interpretation a piece sung in heaven!.(Sorry, I can not explain myself better! :-( ) I like it very very much thoughˇ. As for The Domine Dues duet with boy soprano Matthias Ritter and Tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson I complete agree with you! Very touching!.....what about the duet, soprano-bass cantata BWV 152 - Wie soll ich dich, Liebster der Seelen?.It melts my hea! How much Love had to have Bach in his Heart to create such.....
Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 25, 2002):
[To Toño Perera] Your English is quite readable and you express yourself very well indeed! If you use your heart to assess music, you are using the true basis for judgement in my opinion. The classification of knowledge can be as narrow as anyone wants it to be. Yes, there are strong standards of judgement, but where music is concerned, critical standards, prudent as they be, should not over-rule the heart. One must have critical judgement with enough prudence to have good taste, this is something that can produce musical & social advancement; this I would call a "sound heart" for good music.
You wrote: < what about the duet, soprano-bass cantata 152 - Wie soll ich dich, Liebster der Seelen?.It melts my heart! How much Love had to have Bach in his Heart to create such..... >
Indeed. I suppose J.S. Bach might perhaps say he had God's love in his heart. It must be that Bach's ideas for what the Cantatas were to communicate have been successful.
I will listen to the Cantata duet you mention (from BWV 152) as sung by Thomas Hampson and a Tölzer Knabenchor soloist. The Vol. 37 CD of the Teldec doesn't give the boy soprano's name, but the Teldec sampler of Hampson's performances of "J.S. Bach Arias and Duets" lists Tölzer sopran Christoph Wegmann. I can compare with a couple of other recordings;notably with an HIP performance from over 50 years ago conducted by Dr. Karl Haas!
Andreas Burghardt wrote (July 28, 2002)
< Boyd Pehrson wrote: ... solo by Maximilian Fraas? Listen to this one at high volume (headphones) under candlelight. It is difficult to believe a little round Bavarian farm boy sings with such a luxuriously rich voice. Amazing. >
Despite Maximilian Fraas sometimes fumbling occurrence (I remember one incidence when he stumbled on the stage and scared the audience), his singing was indeed quite stunning. I have uploaded another sound file of him for your enjoyment. Unfortunately I haven't found any recording of him singing Bach, but it is an aria of the oratoria "Messiah" by G. F. Händel in the version of W. A. Mozart using the German text by Klopstock:
Denn sieh! Eine Jungfrau wird schwanger, gebiert einen Sohn und nennet ihn Immanuel: Gott mit uns!
O du, die Wonne verkündet in Zion,
steig' empor zu der Höhe der Berge,
o du, die Wonne verkündet in Jerusalem,
heb' auf die Stimme der Macht,
den Gesang schalle getrost,
verkünde den Städten Juda:
er kommt, eu'r Gott!
O du, die Wonne verkündet in Zion,
mach' dich auf, strahle freudig einher,
denn dein Licht kommt, und die Herrlichkeit
des Herrn geht auf über dir.
Sorry, the sound quality of the recording isn't very good and moreover Maximilian had problems with the very deep notes on this day, but I think it is worth listening anyway!
Münchner Bachsolisten, directed by Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden. Privat live recording made in Kloster Waldsassen in July 1997.
Boyd Pehrson wrote (July 30, 2002):
[To Andreas Burghardt] Thank you for providing the solo by Master Fraas. It is exquisite. It is wonderful to hear Fraas' voice in full bloom. How very rare is your recording! I would encourage all members who can, to listen to this file, it is of exceptional rarity, and it is a great example of true boy alto sound, and one singing from 'deep in the chest'.
The file is titled "MFraasMessias.mp3" Also, thank you for supplying the libretto!
Andreas, you are the King of ultra rare recordings. I am so very grateful for what Gerhardt and the Tolz choir are doing! May their tribe increase! Please keep up with them Andreas, the choir is too busy perfecting their quality to concern themselves with electronic gear!
I think Master Fraas' performance style is more like it could have been in Bach's day, as it seems close to the descriptions of singing style of Bach's age. That is my speculation though. I do think Master Fraas displays extraordinary connection with the music.
I like Fraas' singing of the Agnus Dei in the B-minor Mass performed by Robert King, and one can compare it with that of Tölzer boy alto Panito Iconomu singing the Agnus Dei in Andrew Parrott's OVPP recording of the B-minor Mass. I think I wrote in one of my last posts that I like the Rifkin B-minor recording, but that should read the Parrott, B-minor recording instead, for I continually mix up these two conductors. Sadly, the Rifkin recording is ubiquitous and the Parrott cannot be located anymore. Parrott used boy alto soloists, and some women in a ripieno choir, while Rifkin merely stuck with a quartet of adult singers. The effect of the Rifkin is rather boring IMO, and the Bass singer is often drowned out by the instruments. Parrott's recording sounds fuller due to the added choir, and the boy altos provide a very unique sound.
Someone also asked me which Von Karajan Mass in B-minor I hated, and I had forgotten he recorded more than one. I dislike the one he recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic...you know- the "experimental" approach performance which, of course, can still be purchased everwhere.
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