No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 28-MAR-2000
hcf | 04/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to BWV 233-236, the term "Lutheran Masses" is something of a misnomer: there is nothing Lutheran about these masses, and, strictly speaking, they are not even masses (i.e., they are not complete settings of the Ordinary). Because Lutheran aesthetics emphasized accessibility of liturgy to congregation, a true-to-the-word Lutheran mass would have been written in German and would have been based on easy-to-sing chorales meant for audience participation. The masses here, however, were clearly not meant for congregational (or even choral) singing. The choice of the language (Latin) and the intricate vocal and instrumental writing in these masses suggest that they were meant to be experienced on a more disassociated, more individualized, level. Can anything convey this intensely personal approach to worship better than a one-voice-per-part approach? I think not. I am very happy with this recording. It's been playing pretty much nonstop since I bought it a week ago. It is a worthy successor to Vol. 1 (which you should also buy). Some of my friends (including Matthew Westphal whose editorial review appears on this page) complained about the performances of Chance and Argenta on this disc. But I don't think that they were that bad. Sure, they don't sound as good as they once did, but they don't sound bad enough to ruin a group performance which is buoyed by the strong contributions from Harvey and especially Padmore. In fact, the overall blend of voices sounds surprisingly agreeable. All voices are also well balanced in terms of volume (something I didn't think was always the case with Vol. 1, although that was my only quarrel with Vol. 1). The absolute highlight of this disc are solo arias Gratias (Harvey) and Quoniam (Padmore), both from BWV 236. Notice also that the tenor line is frequently doubled by a viol. Can you get that level of detail in a choral performance? I doubt it. Soloists-as-chorus really works!"
If you love Bach, BUY THIS CD!
Barry K Cummings | Delran, NJ | 03/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard a bit of this CD on the new releases program on my local radio station a couple of weeks ago, and I immediately ordered it. It came today. What a great recording! A one-per-part instrumentation, coupled with an excellent recording job, enables hearing every note of every player and singer, and this performance is worthy of that kind of reproduction. I know that my title for this review contains the netiquete equivalent of shouting, but I repeat: If you love Bach, BUY THIS CD!"
R. Gerard | Pennsylvania USA | 04/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Does Joshua Rifkin's One-Voice-Per-Part (OVPP) theory really *sound* as awful as it appears on paper?Not at all. In my perspective, as part of the growing number of OVPP "converts," the theory is not only wonderful to hear but necessary to the music in that all voice lines can be heard clearly.And these performances are a prime example of OVPP: neat and clear. The sound is actually more convincing than the sound of a 12 to 16 voice choir we are used to hearing. The archaic sound is just more believable for the music of Bach, in my mind.Balance is also an important issue regarding OVPP, and I'm glad to say that both Volume 1 and 2 of this edition of Bach masses keeps balance well in mind.The soloists are each top-rate and the authentic, orchestra is likewise great."
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 01/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"CAN A MERE FOUR SINGERS PUT ACROSS A JUBILANT BACH CHORUS? If you doubt it, just listen to this recording for it must convince you that indeed they can! Although this one-per-part recording is a bit slower than some renditions, it attains greater power because of the ardent declamation that soloists can bring.
Martin Luther was himself a singer and luteinist. He made it clear to all that his objections to the Roman church were theological, not liturgical. Therefore Bach was given considerable freedom in his writing as long as the text adhered to correct biblical teachings. His burden was great for he was required to produce music for every Sunday and special holy days; thus the numerous cantatas and organ preludes,Passions etc.
When he finally got around to composing the Mass in G major, he approached it mainly as one of selecting and reworking masterpieces from the cantatas, a process known as 'parody'. And it is indeed fascinating to find Bach choosing earlier compositions whose musical architecture suits his purpose and completely altering their emotional impact by extensive recomposition of the individual lines. On the other hand, in the Mass in F major, one wonders whether the first 3 movements derive from no such models and are original compositions.
The first selection on this disc 'Trio Sonata,BWV529' was written by Bach for organ and here arranged by Richard Boothby (cellist in the Purcell Quartet) for two violins,viola di gamba and harpsichord. I'm sure Bach would have approved for it's quite enjoyable to hear and seems just right!
There are two Masses: Mass,BWV236 in G major and Mass, BWV233 in F major. Although,strictly speaking, there is almost no Lutheran raw material included in them, they are however, deeply Lutheran and Bachian in spirit, music in which it is hard not to be moved by a big and complex resolution of dissonace.
The singing on this recording is truly outstanding. Paul Harvey (bass) and Mark Padmore (tenor)contribute some very fine moments: Harvey's eloquent 'Gratias'in BWV236 is exciting to hear and Padmore's Aria 'Quoniam' in the same work is absolutely stunning!
Nancy Argenta (soprano) brings her characteristic intensity and Michael Chance, his impeccable artistry as well as his very pleasing tone quality. One of the high points of this disc is the opening 'Gloria' of BWV236, in which Chance and Argenta do all of the singing for the first 42 bars. The pair's flawless blend herein coexists with a characterization of each line that is the preserve of the soloists. Their singing of the 'Domine Deus' duet of BWV236 is similarly memorable.
To conclude, Bach's writings have a spiritual power, a solid strength and sincerity that cannot be traced to technique, but to the inspirations of pure genius! Near the end of his life, he was stricken with blindness, his condition further aggravated by an operation, followed by a paralytic stroke; and the invitation of his magnificent chorale 'Komm,Susser Tod' (come sweet death) was accepted."