View Poll Results: Which?

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  • Bach's Mass in B minor

    21 58.33%
  • Handel's Messiah

    12 33.33%
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    3 8.33%
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Thread: the Mass vs. the Messiah

  1. #1
    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Default the Mass vs. the Messiah

    Let's take these two head to head and see what happens.
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    Senior Member DrKilroy's Avatar
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    I usually like Handel and I really enjoy some numbers from Messiah, but it doesn't work as a whole to me. Mass in B minor I find better in this respect (which is strange, given that the movements were basically assembled from very diverse sketches and fragments).


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  4. #3
    Senior Member HaydnBearstheClock's Avatar
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    a tie perhaps? Both are great works, it's difficult to decide. Maybe the Mass in B minor in terms of consistency, and the Messiah in terms of highlights ('And he shall purify', 'For Unto Us a Child is Born').

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    I just love the Messiah because there are so many belters, and hearing it at Norwich Cathedral last Christmas was such a glorious & moving experience. I'm quite ready to concede that Bach's may be the more profound in musical terms.
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    Senior Member HaydnBearstheClock's Avatar
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    F. J. Haydn's Harmony mass deserves to be up there in terms of some of the greatest sacred works ever, imo. So does J. M. Haydn's Requiem in C minor.

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  10. #6
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    I love the Handel. I like the Bach. Pithy, but clear.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HaydnBearstheClock View Post
    F. J. Haydn's Harmony mass deserves to be up there in terms of some of the greatest sacred works ever, imo. So does J. M. Haydn's Requiem in C minor.
    Except that it's not part of the thread title.

    Haydn's masses are pithier than any choral work Bach or Handel wrote, so you know I'm a fan.

    Hey Bach! Hey Handel!! Keep it pithy!! You think all I have to do is sit around all day for hours to listen???

    I will now listen to Haydn's 40 minute Harmony Mass.
    Last edited by hpowders; Jun-07-2014 at 14:04.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  14. #8
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    I think the B minor mass hits me more directly than the Messiah. Handel's work is a presentation of a narrative with word painting, but the B minor mass is a more personal experience that starts in a humble petition and leads to the throne of God.

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  16. #9
    Senior Member Dustin's Avatar
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    My personal favorite to listen to is Messiah. I'm just an absolute sucker for Handel's vocal and choral writing. The Mass in B Minor is a huge favorite of mine too but I enjoy it a tad less than the other.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Handel's Messiah tops all other works for me because not only is it musically wonderful, but also it is the Word of God explaining God's plan of salvation for the world.
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  20. #11
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    Fro starters Bach took a decade to put the B minor mass together, as he had no (single) performance of it in mind.

    Whereas Handel wrote the Messiah in three weeks .... should I say more?

    I love them both

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  22. #12
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    Some composers tortured themselves when composing, like Brahms. Others churned out music very quickly like Mozart. Both great. Proves nothing.

    There are passionate advocates for each of these great pieces. I prefer the Handel. Again. Proves nothing.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  24. #13
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Voted for the Mass. I wonder why almost everyone has heard of Handel's Messiah but I get a blank stare when I mention Bach's Mass or even Mozart's Requiem Mass.

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  26. #14
    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    Some composers tortured themselves when composing, like Brahms. Others churned out music very quickly like Mozart. Both great. Proves nothing.

    There are passionate advocates for each of these great pieces. I prefer the Handel. Again. Proves nothing.
    Very much agreed, hpowders; application of time does not make a work great--let alone a composer. Since judicious people may disagree on whether or not a work is great, and applying such a criterion presupposes that determination... Well, we know the rest.
    Last edited by Novelette; Jun-08-2014 at 02:22. Reason: Typo

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  28. #15
    Senior Member Dustin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Voted for the Mass. I wonder why almost everyone has heard of Handel's Messiah but I get a blank stare when I mention Bach's Mass or even Mozart's Requiem Mass.
    Because Messiah is programmed annually in hundreds of cities across the world. And one of these days I will finally make it to one of these performances here in Houston. Shame on me for not having done it yet when I've been to so many other classical concerts. Same thing with The Nutcracker. Never seen it live.

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