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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 Joshua Rifkin



Mass in B minor BWV 232

Joshua Rifkin

(OVPP- No Choir) / The Bach Ensemble

Sopranos: Judith Nelson & Julianne Baird; Counter-tenor: Jeffrey Dooley; Counter-tenor: Drew Minter; Tenor: Frank Hoffmeister; Tenor: Edmund Brownless; Bass: Jan Opalach; Bass: Andrew Walker Schultze



2-CD / TT: 106:29

Rifkin Mass in B Minor

Jan Hanford wrote (March 12, 2000):

Since I have a pile of new cd's in front of me, I thought I'd share my impressions of them in case some members of the list also might find them enjoyable. Rather than send one very long message I will break them up into separate messages.


Mass in B Minor - Josua Rifkin

Nonesuch Records

A re-release of his famous "one voice per part" recording of 1982. I had never heard the Mass in B Minor until I got the Teldec Bach 2000 and the Hänssler Bachakademie editions. Although I tend to avoid religious works, I found the mass to be gorgeous, particularly because it contains no recitatives which I especially don't care for in

the Cantatas and Passions. Of those two versions, I prefer the Rilling on Hänssler.

This version by Rifkin is, apparently, controversial because of his one voice per part interpretation. I'm not interested in HIP politics, so I judged it on whether it sounded good or not. It's wonderful. The result is a more medieval sound than the richer, full choral effect. I found the recording imtimate and lovely and am delighted to have

now finally heard it. I would recommend owning it in addition to one of the traditional performances, since the effect of the solo voices is quite different.

More to come...

Donald Satz wrote (March 12, 2000):

Jan told us of his very favourable opinion of Rifkin's version, using one-voice per part. I recently compared nine period instrument recordings of the Mass in B minor and Rifkin's was highly distinctive and throughly engrossing. Although I was also impressed with the singing, the best aspect for me of the performance was the exquisite wind playing.

Liner Notes Missing?

SW Anandgyan wrote (January 27, 2004):
I've landed the MBM by Joshua Rifkin and The Bach Ensemble on Nonesuch, the first edition.

The discs are originals but I keep thinking that the sleeve is homemade. There is the signature cover on what seems to be regular paper and colours that are quite right if not a bit faded. There is the note from the back of the sleeve with track listings and artist's names but nothing else ! It looks like a very basic scanned and printed superficial job ...

Were there ever some liner notes offered with this CD ? I wish I could read about the date and the location of the recording, maybe some thoughts on the OVPP approach were included. Alas I won't know until one of you answer my question.

But the music is a welcome addition to my collection. It reconciles me with this minimum vocal forces application. It is an elegant rendition that is sharp, holds itself quite well, not pretentious at all and finally I find myself touched by it.

Thanks to positive comments I've read on BCW, the Gramophone choral award in '82 is no deterrent and plain luck at those second-hand record stores.


Uri Golomb wrote (January 28, 2004)
[To SW Anadygan] The original issue of Rifkin's MBM included extensive liner notes -- perhaps the longest liner-note essay in any recording of the Mass. It is indeed a great pity that your own issue does not include them. Rifkin deals extensively with issues relating to the work's history and genesis (including the issue of parody), the edition used, and of course OVPP; but although Rifkin devotes much space to the latter issue, he does not allow it to occupy the spotlight.

The notes very much resemble Rifkin's scholarly articles in their careful, circumspect style. There are very few references to the music's structure, meaning, expressive ambience or aesthetic qualities. In this sense, I prefer the notes he wrote for his Decca Bach recordings (unfortunately, the newer issues of those recordings do not include the original notes) and his recent Dorian CD: in these, he allows himself much more engagement with the music's expressive qualities than he does in the MBM notes. Still, those notes are worth reading.

Uri Golomb wrote (January 28, 2004)
PS to my previous message: Anandgyan asked about the venue and timing of Rifkin's recording. The answer is: Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York; 31 December 1981 - 11 January 1982.

Parrot’s or Rifkin’s MBM
Rifkin’s MBM

SW Anandgyan wrote (February 24, 2004):
Sato Fumitaka wrote: < I have yet to listen to Parrott's MBM, I cannot compare Junghänel's MBM with Parrott's. But I should say that of Junghanel's is not at the top of the list in my impression. Rifkin's MBM is my favorite listening. >
I would simply add my agreement with Fumi (?). Of the three OVPP renditions I can listen to, the Rifkin recording is the one I enjoy the most. It comes out so 'right' to my ears. Even though I could put the volume a bit higher, the Parrott one sounds not as crisp to me.

[ Gosh, only a Frenchman could use syntax like that, no ? ;-) ]

Sato Fumitaka wrote (February 26, 2004):
Jack Botelho wrote: < Thanks for the further tidbits of information on some MBM recordings by those who posted some tips. May someone give the record label and catalogue number for the Rifkin recording, with a list of performers, if possible? Thanks. >
Data of Rifkin's MBM at hand is as follows:

The Bach Ensemble
with original instruments
Joshua Rifkin
Timpany by courtesy of the Rosenbaum Collection

Judith Nelson soprano I
Julianne Baird soprano II
Jeffrey Dooley countertenor
Frank Hoffmeister tenor
Jan Opalach bass
with Drew Minter countertenor,
Edmund Brownless tenor,
Andrew Walker Schultze bass

Recording: December 1981 - January 1982, Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York

(Originally Published 1982 Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records;
Copied 1999 Erato Disques S.A., Paris, France)

Sato Fumitaka wrote (February 26, 2004):
Sorry, I missed the following number requested in the former post:


Jack Botelho wrote (February 26, 2004):
Just a quick note of thanks to Satofumi for providing the details of the Rifkin MBM. I only purchase at my local shop, so if I see it on the shelf there, I will be sure to bring it home.

Many thanks to Brad. Brad, I will go back in the archives of the BRML to read more on the AoF. You have contributed so much information already, even to this list, that I will have to spend a lot more time reading, from which many questions will be answered.

So folks, if you don't hear from me for a while, please know that I will be spending more of my precious little internet time reading, rather than posting.

So for one last inquiry, if Don does not mind answering: Don, what is your opinion of the Koopman/Mathot? If it is not "authentic", is it artistically good in your opinion, or otherwise?

Thanks Don,

Mass in B minor BWV 232: Details
Complete Recordings: 1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Recordings of 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 | Part 18
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
Individual Recordings: 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]

Joshua Rifkin: Short Biography | The Bach Ensemble | Recordings | General Discussions | Three Weimar Cantatas – Rifkin | BWV 232 - Rifkin | BWV 243 - Rifkin | Book: Bach's Choral Ideal [by Joshua Rifkin]

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


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Last update: Monday, June 05, 2017 08:51