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Bach: h-Moll-Messe
 
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Bach: h-Moll-Messe

La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken
7 April 2009 | Format: MP3

£15.98 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £17.65 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
9:07
30
2
4:55
30
3
3:36
30
4
1:39
30
5
3:34
30
6
4:23
30
7
2:09
30
8
5:26
30
9
2:53
30
10
4:31
30
11
4:09
30
12
4:05
Disc 2
30
1
2:06
30
2
1:55
30
3
5:01
30
4
2:53
30
5
3:00
30
6
4:09
30
7
5:36
30
8
3:43
30
9
2:15
30
10
4:24
30
11
2:51
30
12
3:58
30
13
2:50
30
14
4:25
30
15
2:13
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 24 April 2009
  • Release Date: 7 April 2009
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Challenge Classics
  • Copyright: 2009 Challenge Classics
  • Total Length: 1:41:46
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002819D2U
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,667 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Ross on 21 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With characteristic wisdom, Kuijken recognises that there is no one right way to perform Bach’s b minor Mass, being, as it is, a work of transcendent sublimity. However he is convinced, for a number of reasons, that it is perfectly valid to perform the piece with a (very) small band of instrumentalists and with one voice to each singing part. He specifically mentions the benefit of clarity this approach brings to the work.

The natural response when one hears the word ‘clarity’ in this context is to think of clarity of line, of polyphonic thread. That form of clarity is certainly in evidence here. But my initial response to Sigiswald Kuijken’s performance was not so much to recognise clarity of texture but rather clarity of tone. The sounds produced in this performance have a glorious and, in my experience, unique luminescence. It is not by chance that the photographer responsible for the photographs in the booklet expatiates in his notes on the quality of light he found in the recording venue. I cannot recall hearing in any other recording of this work (of which I must have heard scores) such a beautifully integrated blending of instrumental and vocal colour. Constantly the ear is captivated by the most attractive and subtle blends of colour and timbre. And both the exemplary recording and Kuijken’s little band, with their characterful instruments, allow this interplay full scope. The playing of La Petite Band is captivating throughout; they produce the most delicious and delicate sounds from their period instruments, a constant delight on the ear, with supremely accomplished tonal and phrasing sensitivity. It is almost as if light of illimitable hue and delicacy streams from the speakers rather than sounds alone!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon on 9 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD
While I enjoy Kuijken's work in Haydn, his traversal of the Mass in B Minor is a shocker.

It's one voice per part all the way. That's not to my taste. Others - usually the thin-lipped variety - enjoy it. To my mind, if Bach had demanded this practice, he would have merged their allocations in the score rather than delineating them as he did. Translated into practice, it means that traditional thumpers such as the Gloria in Excelsis, Cum Sancto Spiritu, Et Expecto Resurrectionem and the Sanctus are sung stylishly and pass ever so uneventfully. It also begs the question: since when has clarity been an antonym of power? Surely any conductor worth their salt can balance the dynamic?

All the soloists are pleasant enough. Vibrato is in use.

La Petite Band blights this endeavour. Listen to the Quoniam Tu Solus Sanctus in its entirety: inadvertently, this is Bach prefiguring Mozart's Ein musikalischer Spaß. The Cum Sanctu Spiritu is equally ramshackle. And is someone using a bottle-top banger at the commencement of the Qui Tollis? The Qattara Depresssion is the lumpy, four-square opening to the Agnus Dei: surely Ma and Pa Kettle's Barnyard Band could have played it with more lustre! How did this pass muster? Even when it plays somewhat in tune, the thinned-down orchestra - in its reverberant rumblings - could be likened to a fatty on a spring mattress. Clipped phrasing is minimal: for that we are grateful.

This is the most subjective of questions but dare one ask: what of the Pascal Mystery? This is Madrigal City, not a Mass.

If you enjoy small-scale, antiseptic Bach which is shorn of grandeur and largely in tune, Christmas - sorry, Yuletide - has come early: this is for you.
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