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Bach: Masses Bwv 233 & 236 / Herreweghe


Release Date: 08/31/2009 
Label:  Virgin Classics Special Import Catalog #: 91213   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter KooyAgnès MellonGérard LesneChristoph Prégardien
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium VocaleGhent Collegium Vocale Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the companion CD to Herreweghe's recording of the Masses in A major and G minor (CD VC7 91118-2, 1/91), and it means that at last Bach's four short Masses are available in recordings that do them justice. Justice is what they deserve, too, because thanks to Bach's extensive plundering of earlier works for these settings of the Kyrie and Gloria (the only sections of the Mass required by Lutheran usage) they have come to represent one of the least valued groups of pieces in the composer's entire output. The fact that the B minor Mass and the Christmas Oratorio recycle old material in exactly the same way seems to have made no impression on the generations of Bach scholars—and, it seems, Bach performers—who have turned up their noses Read more at these delightful works, which in every way are thoroughly characteristic of their composer.

The Masses on this disc—those in F major and G major—were not recorded at the same time as the other two, but they were done in the same place with exactly the same forces, and much of what I said in my review of the earlier disc therefore applies this time round as well. The acoustic of the Abbaye aux Dames in Saintes is a reverberant one, even by the standards of those Herreweghe habitually favours, and it offers him considerable assistance in his customary pursuit of a mellow and smoothly blended sound. No doubt, too, it encourages his laid-back and, for these days, generally rather expansive approach; but although a typically attractive performance is the result, it seems on this occasion to be at a high price in immediacy in the solos and textural clarity in the choral movements. There is still a lot to enjoy, however, including some fine singing from all four soloists, a good oboist and, of course, some lovely music: try the masterful counterpoint of the F major's Kyrie, or the dancing soprano and alto lines which open the Gloria of the G major—thrillingly adapted from the horn parts of its model in Cantata No. 79.

-- Gramophone [9/1991]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Missa brevis in F major, BWV 233 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Kooy (Bass), Agnès Mellon (Soprano), Gérard Lesne (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale,  Ghent Collegium Vocale Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/1990 
Venue:  Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes 
Length: 27 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Missa brevis in G major, BWV 236 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), Peter Kooy (Bass), Agnès Mellon (Soprano),
Gérard Lesne (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale,  Ghent Collegium Vocale Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/1990 
Venue:  Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes 
Length: 28 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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