J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Mass in B Minor

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Concentus musicus Wien
Soloists:Rotraud Hansmann, Emiko Liyama sopranos
Helen Watts alt
Kurt Equiluz tenor
Max van Egmond bas
Individual Works:CD1 Kyrie, Gloria
CD2 Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei
Record Label:Teldec
Catalog Number:8.35019
Year Released/Recorded:1968
Total Playing Time:54'11"" + 52'39"
Comments:Tomasz Laskowski said:

Old but probably one of the best recordings of this Mass. Everything is different, instrumentation, soloists even the way of understanding one of the greatest works ever made. If someone could be really close to the original Bach`s performance and understanding of music it is Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Not recommended for people who think they know Bach`s music and they understand it To tell the truth they WILL NEVER understand this performance and Bach`s works at all. The Mass is no longer huge choral work (like most people think) Included Booklet with very interesting commentary by Harnoncourt let the listener open his mind for this performance and all the Bach and baroque music. Highly recommended!!!

Herbert Reichart said:

... The newer one (recording) is of much more brilliance, energy and tension.

Patrick RAOUL said:

Harnoncourt's recording is very bad. It is one of the ugliest interpretations I have heard. The main reason is that he completely misses the spiritual and emotional aspect of the music, for instance the Kyrie is awkardly fast and close to the suite style, which is inappropriate in that movement.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Tomasz Laskowski
  • Herbert Reichart
  • Patrick RAOUL
Date First Submitted:03/08/1998