J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Masses in F major and G major

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Philippe Herreweghe
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Chorus and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale; Ghent
Soloists:Agnes Mellon (soprano)
Gerard Lesne (alto)
Christoph Pregardien(tenor)
Peter Kooy(bass)
Individual Works:As above
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Virgin Classics Veritas
Catalog Number:(0777) 7596342 7
Year Released/Recorded:1991
Total Playing Time:55:27
Comments:Two Lutheran Masses (consisting of Kyrie and Gloria only with latin text) from the 4 composed 1735-1744. Only the Kyrie of the F major mass is new music, in that it is not recycled from other cantatas. However, both these Masses are excellent Bach, as we would expect from a devout Lutheran. The performances are excellent, as ever, from Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale, Ghent. Look out for the outstanding contributions from Ageet Zweistra on principal cello, providing the strong rhythmic base, Pierre Hantai on organ, and Marcel Ponseele on oboe. Marcel Ponseele is the only current recording oboeist playing on original instruments that is able to capture the beauty of Bach's oboe writing. Listen especially to the Qui tollis of the F major mass, and the Quonian tu solus of the G major mass. Unfortunately the horns are uncredited in the F major mass, but make a substantial contribution; G major mass has no horns. In addition this recording has the added value of the excellent Peter Kooy (bass) and Christoph Pregardien (tenor): both expressive and clear Bach singers. Both Gerard Lesne (alto) and Agnes Mellon (soprano) do well, but Mellon is badly served in the balance of Qui tollis of the F major mass. Indeed, the balance for the F major seems somewhat strange throughout for chorus, orchestra and soloists.
Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Glenn Baggott
Date First Submitted:01/12/1996