Frans Brüggen / Cappella Amsterdam / Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century

Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B minor (Live in Warsaw)

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Recorded in March 2009, this is a magical, mystical, and altogether magnificent performance of Bach's B minor Mass. Twenty years after their first appearance in Warsaw performing this work, Frans Brüggen and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century have returned to it, and the sense of occasion and affection is palpable. With sopranos Dorothee Mields and Johannette Zomer, alto Patrick van Goethem, tenor Jan Kobow, and bass Peter Kooij, and with the Cappella Amsterdam choir, Brüggen delivers a truly great B minor Mass. One could take his performance apart, pointing to his deft handling of the work's color, textural, emotional contrasts, and discussing his lines' clarity, his harmonies' lucidity, and his forms' balances. But as with any great art, Brüggen's B minor Mass is far more than the sum of its parts, and any technical discussions would fall far short of describing the performances' many and manifold glories. Suffice it to say that his account is both deeply human and highly spiritual, and anyone who loves the work should hear it. Recorded live in Warsaw's Lutoslawski Radio Studio, the digital sound is big, bold, direct, and very, very vivid. For some listeners, it may be too vivid, but others may find the immediacy bracing and exciting.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mass in B minor, BWV 232
1 9:29
2 5:11
3 3:53
4 1:44
5 4:57
6 4:15
7 3:17
8 6:05
9 3:00
10 4:25
11 4:23
12 4:05

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mass in B minor, BWV 232
1 1:51
2 1:47
3 4:16
4 3:02
5 3:07
6 3:55
7 5:02
8 3:57
9 2:15
10 4:43
11 2:32
12 4:09
13 2:31
14 5:13
15 3:02
blue highlight denotes track pick