JS Bach B Minor Mass May 19th 2019

Considered to be one of, if not the greatest work in the Choral repertoire, Johann Sebastian Bach’s B minor Mass was only performed in its entirety in 1859 despite Bach having composed some of it as his ‘CV’ in 1733 when applying for a post as Court Composer to Friedrich August III in Dresden. He did not complete the work until 1749, the year before his death. Long considered too difficult, it was not until Felix Mendelsohn rekindled interest in Bach’s music by performing the St Mathew Passion in 1829 that the ‘High Catholic Mass’ was ‘rediscovered’. The Mass was described in the 19th century by the editor Hans Georg Nägeli as “The Announcement of the Greatest Musical Work of All Times and All People”

JS Bach (1685-1750)

Born into an intensely musical family Bach is known for his variety of Baroque compositions including the Brandenburg Concertos, Goldberg Variations, the St Mathew Passion and of course the B Minor Mass. He also composed organ music, cantatas, oratorios and motets and concertos for stringed instruments. This prodigious output was helped by his employment as organist at the Weimar ducal court, Kantor at St Thomas in Leipzig, followed by his period as Court composer for Augusts III. Much of his output involves four part harmony and the canon and fugue form.

After a period of obscurity at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, Bach is now considered by many to be one of the greatest composers of all time. More information can be found here:


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