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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you have a favorite version of the Bach Mass in B Minor? Each time I look to purchase it and read reviews and can't decided what CD to buy.

Any recommendations? Please post your thoughts, reviews, links.

Thanks
 
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I've been curious about this as well...I bought the EMI Classics reissue of the B Minor Mass with von Karajan/Vienna..and it definitely is a gorgeous recording. (I bought it was available for a decent price at a smaller store that doesn't really have much classical, so I would've bought it automatically) However, I am interested in something like the Gardiner - to give the period recording a representation in my collection.

I don't have any other recordings with which to compare von Karajan's, but if you're not a serious collector and are easily satisfied with musical beauty, you will not be let down with this reading.
 

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Among the HIP recordings, which one is the HIPest? :)

I'm really interested because all of the versions I own and hear - Klemperer, Enescu and Karajan - are nowhere near HIP!

Thanks
 

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I own the Gardiner, and I can safely say that I have never been disappointed. It's a healthy balance between the puritanism of Rifkin and the giganticism of Celibidache. Not that those interpreters don't have anything to say about it. I tend to prefer my Bach somewhere in the middle.
 

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Gardiner is good and so is Herreweghe in this second recording with a gorgeously slow Agnus Dei from Scholl. I don't go for the one a part castrated singing type, however, nor do I buy the line that it's what Bach did originally so we must do it. Bach no doubt had limited resources and possibly inferior singers. But that doesn't mean we must.
 

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My 2 top performers for the Mass in B Minor are definitely both Philippe Herreweghe: Collegium Vocale Gent or Harry Christophers: The Sixteen Choir & Orchestra these two are just right in every way, especially the Agnus Dei part by Philippe Herreweghe & Andreas Scholl is beyond perfection!
 

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I wouldn't be caught dead without my Enescu, Ferrier's singing of the Agnus Dei is the very essence of this music.

Karajan's rendition, not too fond. But Christa Ludwig's extremely slow Agnus Dei... transcendental. I always go back to this.

Klemperer is probably the best balance among the ones I have, certainly the best performance but, in my opinion, tough Janet Baker is ALWAYS perfect, and I mean PERFECT, this music isn't quite as human with her as it is with Ferrier or Ludwig.

The Jochum is also a good recording, somewhere in the middle. Fassbaender, like Janet Baker, perfect and, again, not as human as Ferrier nor as transcendental as Ludwig.

I forgot to mention I also have the Gardiner, most definitely not my favorite, but I want something more HIP! Mostly for comparison/curiosity.

I'm also not fond of men singing the Alto parts but I know there's no way around it with HIP recordings of the mass.

Men singing Vivaldi's Stabat Matter also bother me ;)

Thanks!
 
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Masaaki Suzuki with Bach Collegium Japan. Simply heavenly. If you want the others, by all means buy them as well - it is impossible to have too many recordings of this work. But start with Suzuki.
 

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I forgot to mention I also have the Gardiner, most definitely not my favorite, but I want something more HIP! Mostly for comparison/curiosity.
The most HIP you can probably get is Rifkin as his one voice per part rendition helped get HIP shaking and was quite controversial for its time (probably still is). Suzuki or either of Kuijken's are probably the closest to the HIP aesthetic of those readily available. Suzuki uses male altos Kuijken uses female. Rifkin is my favourite mass of all i've heard although I do love wallowing in huge romantic Bach as well.
 
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Thanks, I will! Any idea if it's available as a lossless download somewhere?
Eclassical.com carries much of the BIS catalog, and it does carry Suzuki's recording. Here is the website:
http://www.eclassical.com/conductors/suzuki-masaaki/js-bach-mass-in-b-minor.html
You have the option to purchase it in MP3 format, or 16-bit or 24-bit FLAC. The prices are usually pretty good - the cost is directly proportional to the duration, and unlike many others, you can purchase individual tracks - which is good when you only want a particular work on an album.
 

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I prefer the Herreweghe, he has outstanding soloists, that I find to have more expression and are a better match for the orchestra then Suzuki's. I have not heard the one by the Dunedin Consortium - as someone have mentioned - but I have all their other cd's (Mattheus, Messiah, Johannes, Handel's Esther, Handels's Acis & Galathea) and they can not possibly be bad.

Listen to them all, it is one of Bach's greatest works.

Enjoy!
 

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I prefer the Herreweghe, he has outstanding soloists, that I find to have more expression and are a better match for the orchestra then Suzuki's. I have not heard the one by the Dunedin Consortium - as someone have mentioned - but I have all their other cd's (Mattheus, Messiah, Johannes, Handel's Esther, Handels's Acis & Galathea) and they can not possibly be bad.

Listen to them all, it is one of Bach's greatest works.

Enjoy!
Yes and the Dunedin Consortium's Messiah is the Dublin version. As I recall Messiah initially was not well received in England ("sacred music should not be for entertainment"), but then Handel took it to Ireland and they loved it!
 
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