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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic way to break my B minor Mass Virginity
It is very hard not to be effusive about what is unquestionably one of Bach's greatest works. I am in all likelihood 5 starring the composer more than anything else, but nevertheless I can fully endorse, particularly if one is looking for an inexpensive, yet good quality recording.

Of course, this set of recordings is in the big 'modern' rather than 'period'...
Published on 24 July 2010 by The Ordinary

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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HIPster Wars - News from the Bach Front - Communiqué 34
As if inspired by Stockhausen, I am more than prepared to believe that this 1980 performance of the B Minor Mass by Eugene Jochum was recorded underwater and at full fathom five. Or perhaps it is a mystical appreciation of the One as the Cloud of Unknowing.

Trust me on this: when the infamous Karajan alternative from 1974 - the Festival of Soup (Bach: Mass in B...
Published on 8 April 2012 by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic way to break my B minor Mass Virginity, 24 July 2010
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
It is very hard not to be effusive about what is unquestionably one of Bach's greatest works. I am in all likelihood 5 starring the composer more than anything else, but nevertheless I can fully endorse, particularly if one is looking for an inexpensive, yet good quality recording.

Of course, this set of recordings is in the big 'modern' rather than 'period' style, and you get very much the 'huge grandeur' effect from an orchestra and large choir. If Bach's intention was to inspire awe, then Jochum has done exceptionally well; awe is certainly delivered in spades- there are so many moments which just left me breathless, whether it be the Osanna choruses, or the Cum Sancto Spirito or the Agnus Dei...

There are a few quibbles about the distinctly 'english' pronunciation of the latin, with words 'agnus' and 'excelsis' coming prominently to mind, and I personally am not a huge fan of the voice of the soloist in the Benedictus, but these are minor concerns; this CD is an excellent and inexpensive way to experience truly unmissable music, music that touches the very heavens. I recommend it heartily.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius from Jochum, 11 Feb 2012
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Musica Vita (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
Bach's music, of all composers, is robust enough to be performed in many different ways and still show its greatness. This recording illustrates that it is the musical genius of the director which is all-important in achieving a great performance, and not whether certain types or numbers of instruments and singers are used. The great German conductor Eugen Jochum clearly knows his Bach as do his orchestra and chorus. These sound to be moderately large, and the Bavarian Radio choir has the strength and skill to cope with Bach's difficult vocal writing, even in the six- and eight-part choruses, and not be swamped by the orchestra. The recording places the choir rather distantly, so not all the words are as clear as they might be, but the balance is otherwise very good and gives the feeling of a live performance.

Genius, and possibly love, is what Jochum brings to this. His tempi are ideal, never dragging, never rushed, and without 19th century mannerisms. Throughout he communicates a sense of happiness, even in the serious parts such as "Crucifixus". I was particularly taken by his marked slowing of the tempo at the words "et incarnatus est" towards the end of the duet "Et in unum Dominum", anticipating the following slow chorus. Real inspiration, even if the purists frown. The soloists are all admirable, and I especially liked Brigitte Fassbänder's "Agnus Dei"; there is something about this aria that brings out the best in singers. Highly recommended.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HIPster Wars - News from the Bach Front - Communiqué 34, 8 April 2012
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This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
As if inspired by Stockhausen, I am more than prepared to believe that this 1980 performance of the B Minor Mass by Eugene Jochum was recorded underwater and at full fathom five. Or perhaps it is a mystical appreciation of the One as the Cloud of Unknowing.

Trust me on this: when the infamous Karajan alternative from 1974 - the Festival of Soup (Bach: Mass in B minor) - is streets ahead in terms of clarity, presence, diction and the separation of powers, it is time to complain.

It is impossible to comment on the mettle of the soloists in this EMI performance. They look B-grade on paper (in a non-perfunctory sense) but perhaps on the day they surpassed themselves or fell to the rung below. Who is to know?

I like Jochum's pacing in the work but that's the only surety I have.

This early digital recording should come with a fog-horn: Ooooooooooooooooo-rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Mass in B Minor, Cantata BWV 56
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this CD set, 8 May 2010
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J. Yu "Yvon" (California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
This amazon item was directed to me from EMI website. Amazon has a wonderful collection of classical CDs. This is great for clissical lovers.The delivery time was fast, and the price was acceptable. I highly recommend people to choose amazon as in alternative way of shopping, especially nowadays you cannot find many classicals in local CD shops.
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