The three notes B, D and F-sharp form the B minor triad. Butt notes D major as the central key, corresponding to the "atonement of Christ". The first is opened with a chorus followed by an aria, closed in the last section in symmetry by an aria followed with a chorus; the middle section alternates choral music with solo movements. The central duet is in the "lowly" key of G major, referring to Christ as a "human incarnation of God".
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Five months of mourning followed, during which all public music-making was suspended. Bach used the opportunity to work on the composition of a Missa , a portion of the liturgy sung in Latin and common to both the Lutheran and Roman Catholic rites. Upon its completion, Bach visited Augustus III in Dresden and presented him with a copy of the Kyrie—Gloria Mass BWV I early version , together with a petition to be given a court title, dated July 27, ; in the accompanying inscription on the wrapper of the mass he complains that he had "innocently suffered one injury or another" in Leipzig.
It is not known what prompted this creative effort. Wolfgang Osthoff and other scholars have suggested that Bach intended the completed Mass in B minor for performance at the dedication of the new Hofkirche in Dresden , which was begun in and was nearing completion by the late s.
Recent literature suggests: In , Bach composed a Sanctus for six vocal parts for use in the Christmas service. In the mids c. Gregory Butler argues that at the same service which he dates to Christmas , to celebrate the Peace of Dresden , Bach also used the Sanctus,  and that this revisiting of the Missa suggested further development to the composer.
Bach later reported that he performed this Magnificat Wq in in Leipzig "at a Marian festival Instead, he organized the —49 manuscript into four folders, each with a different title. That containing the Kyrie and Gloria he called "1. Missa "; that containing the Credo he titled "2. Symbolum Nicenum "; the third folder, containing the Sanctus, he called "3. Sanctus "; and the remainder, in a fourth folder he titled "4.
Osanna Benedictus Agnus Dei et Dona nobis pacem ". John Butt writes, "The format seems purposely designed so that each of the four sections could be used separately. Further, Butt writes, "What is most remarkable about the overall shape of the Mass in B Minor is that Bach managed to shape a coherent sequence of movements from diverse material. The first overall title given to the work was in the estate of the recently deceased C.
Bach, who inherited the score. It is called that as well in the estate of his last heir in , suggesting to Stauffer that "the epithet reflects an oral tradition within the Bach family".
The opening Kyrie, however, is in B minor, with the Christe Eleison in D major, and the second Kyrie in F-sharp minor; as Butt points out, these tonalities outline a B minor chord. A third oboe is required for the Sanctus. It also appears that the Bach family employed a copyist in Dresden to assist them. Christoph Wolff argues that on July 26, at the Sophienkirche in Dresden, where Wilhelm Friedemann Bach had been organist since June, it "was definitely performed He would again perform a 2-hour Organ recital on 1 December at the Frauenkirche Dresden to inaugurate the new Gottfried Silbermann organ.
The first public performance in the century—of just the Credo section—took place in Frankfurt in March, , with over performers and many instrumental additions. In the same year in Berlin, Gaspare Spontini led the Credo section, adding 15 new choral parts and numerous instruments. A number of performances of sections of the Mass took place in the following decades in Europe, but the first attested public performance of the Mass in its entirety took place in in Leipzig, with Karl Riedel and the Riedel-Verein.
Significance[ edit ] The Mass in B minor is widely regarded as one of the supreme achievements of classical music. This monumental work is a synthesis of every stylistic and technical contribution the Cantor of Leipzig made to music. But it is also the most astounding spiritual encounter between the worlds of Catholic glorification and the Lutheran cult of the cross. Bach scholar Christoph Wolff describes the work as representing "a summary of his writing for voice, not only in its variety of styles, compositional devices, and range of sonorities, but also in its high level of technical polish Bach the autograph has been published in facsimile from the source in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
The Bach Gesellschaft edition, edited by Julius Rietz, was published in based on several sources but without direct access to the autograph. When access was later obtained, the textual problems were so evident that the society published a revised edition the next year.
The edition was the standard for the next century, but was later recognized to be even less accurate than the version due to inadvertent incorporation of C. Peters in ,  uses two copies of the —50 manuscript made before C. Bach and others. Joshua Rifkin argues that, except for the opening four bars, the movement is based on a previous version in C minor, since examination of autograph sources reveals "a number of apparent transposition errors".
Autograph time signature is. George Stauffer points out p. Again, Bach reused the music in the opening chorus of BWV Laudamus te Aria Soprano II in A major with violin obbligato, no autograph tempo marking, time signature of. William H. Scheide argues that Bach based this movement on the opening aria of a lost wedding cantata of his for which we now have only the text Sein Segen fliesst daher wie ein Strom, BWV Anh.
Stauffer adds that both may have an earlier common source. Domine Deus Duet soprano I, tenor in G major with flute obbligato and muted strings, no autograph tempo marking, time signature of. The music appears as a duet in BWV In the parts, Bach indicates a "Lombard rhythm" in the slurred two-note figures in the flute part; he does not indicate it in the final score or in BWV Stauffer points out p.
It is possible that Bach added in the parts to appeal to tastes at the Dresden court and that he no longer wanted it used in the s, or that he still preferred it but no longer felt it necessary to notate it. Qui tollis peccata mundi Four-part chorus Soprano II, Alto, Tenor, Bass in B minor, marked adagio in the two violin 1 parts from and lente in the cello, continuo, and alto parts from ; 3 4 time signature.
No double bar separates it from the preceding movement in the autograph. The chorus is a reworking of the first half of the opening movement of the cantata Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei, BWV Quoniam tu solus sanctus Aria bass in D major with obbligato parts for solo corno da caccia hunting horn or Waldhorn and two bassoons, no autograph tempo marking, 3 4 time signature.
Stauffer notes that the unusual scoring shows Bach writing specifically for the strengths of the orchestra in Dresden: while Bach wrote no music for two obbligato bassoons in his Leipzig cantatas, such scoring was common for works others composed in Dresden, "which boasted as many as five bassoonists",  and that Dresden was a noted center for horn playing.
Peter Damm has argued that Bach designed the horn solo specifically for the Dresden horn soloist Johann Adam Schindler, whom Bach had almost certainly heard in Dresden in John Butt agrees, adding as evidence that Bach originally notated both bassoon parts with the wrong clefs, both indicating a range an octave higher than the final version, and then corrected the error, and adding that "oboe parts would almost certainly have been scored with trumpet rather than horn.
Scheide has argued in detail that it is a parody of the third movement of the lost wedding cantata Sein Segen fliesst daher wie ein Strom, BWV Anh. I 14  Stauffer, however, entertains the possibility that it may be new music.
Bach reused the music in modified form as the closing chorus of BWV As to origins, Donald Francis Tovey argued that it is based on a lost choral movement from which Bach removed the opening instrumental ritornello , saying "I am as sure as I can be of anything". Rifkin argues from the neat handwriting in the instrumental parts of the final score that the movement is based on a lost original, and he argues from the musical structure, which involves two fugues, that the original was probably a lost cantata from the middle or late s, when Bach was especially interested in such structures.
Credo "Symbolum Nicenum" [ edit ] Note the nine movements with the symmetrical structure and the crucifixion at the centre.
Stauffer identifies an earlier Credo in unum Deum chorus in G major, probably from — Patrem omnipotentem Four-part chorus Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass in D major, no autograph tempo marking, time signature of 2 with a slash through it in the autograph manuscript. Original version also included "Et incarnatus est"; the two movements were split when Bach put together the complete Missa in — Scheide has argued in that it is a parody of the sixth movement of the lost wedding cantata Sein Segen fliesst daber wie ein Strom, BWV Anh.
Even the most unpracticed eye can see the difference between this and surrounding movements"; one part of the final transitional music is "still illegible Autograph score of the Benedictus , aria for tenor and obbligato flute IV.
Run time is four minutes, 41 seconds Problems playing this file? See media help. Osanna Double chorus both four parts in D major, no autograph tempo marking, 3 8 time signature. Benedictus Aria for tenor with obbligato instrument in B minor, no autograph tempo marking, 3 4 time signature. Butt writes that Bach "forgot to specify the instrument" for the obbligato;  Stauffer adds the possibilities that Bach had not decided which instrument to use or that he was "indifferent" and left the choice open.
Modern editors and performers have preferred the flute; as Butt notes, the part never uses the G-string of the violin, and modern commentators "consider the range and style to be more suitable for the transverse flute. Scheide has argued that it is a parody of the fourth movement of the lost wedding cantata Sein Segen fliesst daber wie ein Strom, BWV Anh. I 14, for which the text begins "Ein Mara weicht von dir"  Stauffer, however, entertains the possibility that it may be new music.
Parody of an aria, "Entfernet euch, ihr kalten Herzen" "Withdraw, you cold heart" , from a lost wedding serenade The music is almost identical to "Gratias agimus tibi" from the Gloria. For selected recordings on period instruments and modern instruments, see Mass in B minor discography. As of [update] , recordings are listed on bach-cantatas, beginning with the first recording by a symphony orchestra and choir to match, conducted by Albert Coates.
Mass in B minor
Mass in B minor structure
Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)