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J. S. Bach: H-Moll-Messe (Mass in B minor) - Cantus Colln, Konrad Junghanel
Johann Sebastian Bach, Konrad Junghanel, Cantus Cölln
J. S. Bach: H-Moll-Messe (Mass in B minor) - Cantus Colln, Konrad Junghanel
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

OVPP, A Winning Practice
R. Gerard | Pennsylvania USA | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the fourth recording of the Mass in B minor to utilize the one-voice-per-part (OVPP) theory, and again, it pays of beautifully. While Rifkin, Parrot, and Kuijken have all recorded the Mass in such a configuration, Junghanel's rendition seems to be the winner here.

I noted that however fast the Sanctus, Dona nobis, and Gratias agimus tibi are executed, it is not a detriment to the sound. I believe what makes recording this large scale work with small scale forces is that the balance between each line is sounded perfectly.

The recording reminds me of Herreweghe's... reverberant, ecclesiastical sound, suitable to the music. Each soloist functions perfectly as both a soloist and a chorister. I belive that the singers and players of Cantus Colln have the uniformity of voice unmatched by any other ensemble that has attempted to play Bach's concerted church music in such a configuration.

The Mass in B-Minor under Rifkin's baton was the first to be recorded using OVPP. Nearly a 20 year old theory, Junghanel's set seems to be a revelation. It is nearly flawless. While I would appreciate the more "standard" tempos of some numbers, it is no less a revelatory pleasure to listen to.

[Update] The new recording by Minkowski uses virtually the same forces, but Minkowski prefers a more grandiose approach as a whole. Both his set and Junghanel's are excellent and highly recommendable."
If you have got this far, buy this CD IMMEDIATELY!
B. Considine | Ohio | 08/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ever since I acquired Cantus Colln's Early Bach Cantatas CD with Actus Tragicus, Christ LAg in Todesbanden, etc., I have been totally over awed by their approach to the OVPP. A big fan of the practice myself, I am now completely over whelmed by this Mass rendition. Even if you are unsure about the OVPP practice, and your main concern is that, despite the gorgeous clarity and intonation the practice affords, some sections will not sound "full" enough without a chorus- banish all fears and buy this CD. The marvelous recording and engineering of this recording is magical, and the sound is impressively huge. I was initially shocked at the attention the low-end receives, but it never interferes with the delicate textures, or the overall balance. I am the biggest fan of clarity and purity, and volume and presence are of less concern to me- but even I was satisfied and not troubled by this incredibly fat bottom-end.

Also wonderful is the detailed performance notes! For once, the record label has heard our voice and has exquisitely detailed the EXACT performers for each section of the Mass, right down to the bar-numbers for solos within movements!!!! Thank you, Jesus!

Artistically, old Konrad has nailed just about everything spot-on for my nickel, and I love the refreshingly suprising tempos, particularly the 7 part accompanied Credo fugue, Gratias, and Sanctus. They make all other recordings sound six-feet under in these sections, by comparison. This is truly a Mass rendition for the living, not the dead!!!!!!!!"
Absolutely Brilliant: My all-time favorite B-minor Mass
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen | right here | 04/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Out of all the Bach B-minor Masses in my large Bach collection, this is the best of the lot. Junghanel and Cantus Colln use the OVPP model to perfection, not only is the performance top-notch, the recording engineers outdid themselves. A delight to the ears. To those who prefer a more "modern" and "romanticized" B-minor Mass, this might not be a good choice (get either of the Shaw recordings, they are both fantastic modern versions). The Hickox or Gardiner recordings are great if you want period instruments with a larger choir. For the purist looking for a set representing more closely what Bach intended for his B-minor Mass, you won't find a better choice than this. Very highly recommended!"