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As in most things, I also here prefer Klemperer.
 

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The thing that interests me most about performances right now is how the interpretation reflects the meaning of the words. I wouldn't really like to make a recommendation because I'm really still exploring, but I think if you too are interested in the music/meaning relation then you should at least check out Harnoncourt (1986, the second recording he made), Hengelbrock and Herreweghe (all three are well worth hearing.)
 

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I think the CD you have linked (which I own) is the one that Masaaki Suzuki was referring to when he said:

"I think we should define the word authenticity," says Suzuki. "According to one opinion, Helmuth Rilling and Karl Richter were not authentic. Of course they didn't use period instruments, but they were together with the mind and spirit of Bach. I have played with Rilling's orchestra. The way of playing is very different, but it has insight. And when I was at school I listened to the Richter B Minor Mass a thousand times. I have no contradiction in me in enjoying both types." ( http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/the-delicate-harmonies-and-timbres-of-suzuki-697456.html )

This Richter's version is my favourite Mass in B minor.
 

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I like Celibidache's, but I'm almost hesitant to mention it. If you like Celibidache, you already want a copy of it, and if you don't you'll probably hate it.
 

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From what I know Philippe Herreweghe recorded this work more than once (please correct me if I'm wrong). Which one of his recordings of Mass in B Minor is the one to get?
 

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It is almost like being asked, "Which of your children are your favourite?" I have far too many recordings, most of which I like in different ways. However in order of most play counts in the last year:

2015 Sir John Elliot Gardiner
2011 Philippe Herreweghe
2009 Frans Bruggen
2006 Veldhoven
1996 Thomas Hengelbrock
2007 Masaaki Suzuki
2009 John Butt
1986 Harnoncourt
1990 Celibidache
1994 Ton Koopman

That said tastes vary, but the music is so good you can soon find yourself a lot poorer, but with a number of excellent recordings to enjoy. I would not want to be without my Shaw or Klemperer recordings, even if they do not get listened to as often.
 

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It is almost like being asked, "Which of your children are your favourite?" I have far too many recordings, most of which I like in different ways. However in order of most play counts in the last year:

2015 Sir John Elliot Gardiner
2011 Philippe Herreweghe
2009 Frans Bruggen
2006 Veldhoven
1996 Thomas Hengelbrock
2007 Masaaki Suzuki
2009 John Butt
1986 Harnoncourt
1990 Celibidache
1994 Ton Koopman

That said tastes vary, but the music is so good you can soon find yourself a lot poorer, but with a number of excellent recordings to enjoy. I would not want to be without my Shaw or Klemperer recordings, even if they do not get listened to as often.
 

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I just listened to the 80s Gardiner and 2011 Herreweghe back-to-back. If you want a sample of the difference, listen to the 2-3 minute final movement, Dona Nobis Pacem. With Gardiner it is majestic and conclusive, as it is supposed to be. With Herreweghe it is muted and underwhelming.

I do not understand why Herreweghe insists on always putting such a lid on things in his recordings. To me it is a personal affect that ruins his interpretations. It does not present the works in their full glory as they are intended to be heard. Yes, the sounds he creates are beautiful, the choir lovely and well-blended. But this is Herreweghe, not Bach. I feel like I am getting only a sensitive, precious view of the work.

Although the Gardiner is not quite as beautiful sounding and can sound a bit detached at times, I think he understands the work better and presents a more complete picture. As always, the dramatic sections are well-done and the choral work immaculate.

I also have older recordings I will be revisiting soon - Karajan '50, Enescu, Scherchen '59, Giulini BBC, and Jochum EMI.
 

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I am an unapologetic fan of most things Karajan. However, I must say, I find his Mass in B Minor (and most of his Baroque ventures) pretty awful. He is usually great at bringing out the "majesty" of music, especially pieces as grand as the Mass in B Minor. But on this account, I believe he utterly fails.

Now this... THIS is IMO the greatest recording of this marvelous piece of music. Talk about Grandiose, majestic, powerful, Sacred, and every other wonderful adjective that should be associated with a performance of this magnificent piece. I truly believe that if Bach could have heard this rendition even he would have thought, "WOW!!!!!"

Obviously I am not a HIPster, I find most HIP recordings to be thin, tinny, uninspired, and weak. I dislike the mentality that one "must" listen to these older pieces in a HIP to get the "genuine" experience. Fooey!!! Imagine if everyone thought that way about food: "No! How dare you add Lobster sauce in Quenelles de Brochet. It's only supposed to have butter and cream. That's the way it was ORIGINALLY made. We should NEVER make improvements on things!!!" Good lord, what an asinine outlook.

I think the CD you have linked (which I own) is the one that Masaaki Suzuki was referring to when he said:

"I think we should define the word authenticity," says Suzuki. "According to one opinion, Helmuth Rilling and Karl Richter were not authentic. Of course they didn't use period instruments, but they were together with the mind and spirit of Bach. I have played with Rilling's orchestra. The way of playing is very different, but it has insight. And when I was at school I listened to the Richter B Minor Mass a thousand times. I have no contradiction in me in enjoying both types.

This Richter's version is my favourite Mass in B minor.
I completely concur with the emboldened above. I have not heard Suzuki's version yet. Can someone tell me if that is a HIP version please.

I also find Klemperer's Mass to be very good as well.

V
 

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Suzuki's version is definitely HIP and on period instruments - yummy..
Thank you. I will still give it a listen. There are some whom I believe do a good job of not going overboard on the HIP stringency such as Trevor Pinnock. Most of what he does in the baroque I find rather good. Often excellent.

FWIW, I totally disagree with your assessment of HIP recordings of Bach's music.
That's fine. That's what makes a ball game. We all like what we like. For me, it's not so much the actual performance of a HIP, it's the "cult-like" mentality that "IT HAS TO BE DONE ON HISTORICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TUNED TO HISTORICAL TONES IN ORDER TO HAVE ANY VALUE WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" mentality that drives me nuts. I know that there are those who aren't that militant about HIP, but I have met more than my fair share that are that vehement about it.

To each his own.

V
 
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