Lately I’ve been obsessed with this work, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Mass in B Minor, BWV 232”; which was his last major work before his death, and taking him years to complete.
Scholars point to this work as one of the greatest achievements (if not the greatest) in all of Western European music and in recorded history.
It was never performed during Bach’s lifetime, and was only performed for the first time in 1858, according to historical records.
From my point of view, I know very little about this work, but I’ve been wanting to get to the heart and soul of this music. I do know it is obviously religious, and about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What brought me into this work was the 2nd movement, the Duetto, sung by two sopranos. I just heard it once somewhere (I don’t actually remember where) and it literally brought me to tears (it still does), it was so beautiful.
Anyway, I have listened to a recording of this work a couple of times, all the way through, listening to it with all my attention. Several times, I have listened to this work as background music, which is how I usually start listening to large works like this. It is pretty massive and a lot to take in, if you actually get into the mood to listen to this.
Nowadays, there is so much music out there. My listening goes backwards every time to much older, archaic music.
This particular video recording from last year at the BBC Proms is pretty spectacular… the first time I’ve watched/listened-to this.
I have the recording conducted by Seiji Ozawa and performed by the Saito Kinen Orchestra of Japan and I have to tell you this recording is mezmerizing. If you are an “audiophile” you are going to love this, if you don’t have it already.
Amazon lists this recording as a Korean Import, and it has no reviews whatsoever. However, I can assure you this is a superb recording. If this is a definitive interpretation of the work, I couldn’t tell you. I still need to listen to more interpretations of this work.
Anyway, if you are into this music, and are more familiar with it than I am, please send me a private message. I’m always interested in learning more about this particular work. Of course, there are online sources like wikipedia, but I’m always interested in people’s personal feelings and experiences with the music.
Okay, I’ve rambled enough. 😉