J.S. Bach: h-Moll Messe, BWV 232
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner
J. S. Bach: Mass in B minor BWV232
John Eliot Gardiner’s recordings (1985 and 2015) are regularly cited as benchmarks, revealing a changing approach to a work which rewards infinite exploration. Bach put his Mass together at the end of his life, perhaps mindful of creating a lasting legacy, recycling pieces he had written in the previous decades and welding them together with new music, creating a compendium of all the different styles and approaches that he had taken during 30 or 40 years of music-making.
In his setting of the Latin text of the mass, Bach’s resolve was not merely to mime the gestures of belief, and to interpret doctrine via music of his own invention, but to extend the very range of music’s possibilities and through such exploration to make sense of the world in which he lived and whatever lay beyond it. From the opening collective cry of ‘Kyrie’, to the winding fugues and ultimate radiance of ‘Dona nobis pacem’, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists will reveal all the variety of a work which encompasses wild virtuosity, immeasurable pathos and exuberant joy.