This performance of the B minor Mass has everything: great playing, sensational singing from the soloists and chorus, ideal pacing, and a powerful feeling for the character of each movement as well as for the architecture of the whole massive musical edifice. Although Suzuki uses relatively small forces (18 singers, 11 strings), he never compromises the grandeur of such movements as the Sanctus, the opening of the Gloria, or the Credo's final Et expecto--and the concluding Dona nobis pacem must be accounted one of the most satisfying ever recorded. Taken a touch slower than the Gratias, whose music it shares, Suzuki's conception has a rhetorical splendor that caps the performance like the dome on aRead more cathedral.
The soloists are uniformly strong, and are major names in Bach perfomance. Carolyn Sampson leads the sopranos with a tone at once rich but still pure, and teams up with Rachel Nicholls for a gorgeous Christe eleison. Countertenor Robin Blaze is in excellent voice on this outing, and his Qui sedes hasn't a trace of the hollowness that sometimes mars his vocal production. Bass Peter Kooij is a veteran of this series. His dry-ish timbre and focused intonation (aided by gutsy horn-playing) make the Quoniam a highlight of the performance.
BIS's engineers wisely put a good bit of space around the players, which allows the big choruses to fill the room while giving just the right prominence to the trumpets and drums. The result, whether in stereo or multichannel formats, gives the music tremendous physicality and impact. Make no mistake, this is one of the great versions of Bach's masterpiece.
Mass in B minor, BWV 232by Johann Sebastian Bach Performer:
Peter Kooy (Bass),
Gerd Türk (Tenor),
Carolyn Sampson (Soprano),
Robin Blaze (Countertenor),
Rachel Nicholls (Soprano),
Gerd Türk (Tenor)
Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque Written: 1747-49; Leipzig, Germany Date of Recording: 03/2007 Venue: Chapel, Kobe Shoin Women's University Length: 106 Minutes 19 Secs. Notes: This selection is sung in Classical Greek and Latin.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Gratia et Gloria DeiDecember 21, 2013By George Thompson (Gonzales, LA)See All My Reviews"From the album cover we understand that Bach's Mass in B Minor belongs in the cathedral and not the concert hall. Suzuki offers a compelling reading of this supreme masterpiece of Christian worship that stands in awe at the grace and glory of the Triune God. The recording is excellent."Report Abuse