J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Palestrina/Bach - Missa sine nomine

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Concerto Palatino
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Concerto Palatino (2 Cornetts, 4 Trombones, 2 Natural
Horns,Violone, Harpsichord, Positive organ with wooden pipes, A=466)
Soloists:Bruce Dickey, Cornett & direction
Individual Works:Missa sine nomine a 6 - Palestrina
(arranged by J.S.Bach for voices, 2 cornetti, 4 trombones & continuo)
2 Sonatas - Johann Christoph Pezel (1664-1716)
6 Quatricinia for a Cornett and 3 trombones - Gottfried Reiche (1667-1734)
Motetto a 5 voci "Tristis est anima mea" - Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722)
"O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht" BWV118 - J.S.Bach
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:EMI
Catalog Number:CDC 7 54455 2
Year Released/Recorded:1992
Total Playing Time:60'31"
Comments:Steven Langley Guy said:

This recording is an attempt to reproduce the sounds of the Leipzig Stadtpfeifer at the time of J.S.Bach. The Mass (BWV No. unknown to me) is an arrangement of the Palestrina mass in Bach's handwriting. The sound of voices in unison with cornetts and trombones is attractive and even in Bach's time highly valued. The performance of the Mass is successful. The instrumental pieces by Pezel and Rieche (Bach's first trumpeter at Leipzig) are for 1-2 Cornetti and 3 Trombones are the kind of sounds that had been common in Germany for at least 100 years before Bach.

The Kuhnau motet (voices and continuo) is an example of the "stile antico" - a version of this work arranged for voices, 2 oboes, strings and continuo has been doubtfully attributed to Bach. Perhaps the most interesting piece on this CD is the Cantata (really a Motet) BWV 118. Scored for 2 "Litui" (here played on Natural Horns), Cornetto, 3 Trombones (A.T.B.) and choir. The soung of the high hunting horns mixed with the high cornett line is strange and beautiful and a sound that was never repeated in any of Bach's surviving works. Concerto Palatino play at A=466 (a semitone higher than modern concert pitch A=440) and there is a rightness to their sound as a result. This high pitch was very common in Europe in Bach's time and much of his music was played at this pitch.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Steven Langley Guy
Date First Submitted:10/23/1997