Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Bach
Without any reservations this is my favorite recording of this piece. The Soloists and Chorus is nothing short of superb and the whole package as lead by Dr Klemperer is beyond reproach.

I completely understand the attraction of 'period' versions of Bach - it is interesting to hear it like it would have been heard originally. But Bach always wanted 'bigger' and...
Published on 27 July 2011 by J. Vos

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but heavy
Excellent singing from the choir and soloists (what else would you expect) but the slow speeds and heavy interpretation do not give the work justice in my view: it looses some of the life that it should have. Still very impressive unlikely to be to everyone's taste.
Published 15 months ago by K. Goulden


Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Bach, 27 July 2011
By 
J. Vos (Johannesburg, South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
Without any reservations this is my favorite recording of this piece. The Soloists and Chorus is nothing short of superb and the whole package as lead by Dr Klemperer is beyond reproach.

I completely understand the attraction of 'period' versions of Bach - it is interesting to hear it like it would have been heard originally. But Bach always wanted 'bigger' and 'more' so I think this rendition is totally in line with what he would have wanted to hear.

Outstanding and a must for every lover of Choral/Religious music
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Greatest, 19 Jan 2006
By 
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
I must have spent a bucket load on this or that "period"/"original" recordings of this monumental music.
I wasted every penny. Not one of them measures up; worse they under-value the glory of this great music.
Here is a performance with an unmatched set of soloists - like Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda and Herman Prey - who need not fear any of today's competition.
Listen to the closing chorus of the Kyrie - Cum Sancto Spiritu - you know you are in the presence of Western Music's greatest composer, realised by one of its greatest conductors.
Six stars, please Amazon!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Supreme Work, 18 Aug 2006
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
Originally recorded during late autumn of 1967, this supreme work by Bach has been digitally remastered and labelled as one of the Great Recordings of the Century. Composed during mid 18thC, this Bach masterpiece has been performed and recorded many times over the years. I must admit, I was never drawn to Bach due to the fact that being a Mahlerian and a Wagnerian, I didnt think I would take to this music anyway. However, after hearing the Crucifixus (Part III Credo) on a sample disc, I realised that this was something rather different. Listening to this version, I soon came to understand why it has so many admirers around the world. It is a wonderful piece, beautifully played and sung. And the remastering team has achieved wonders with this difficult material for the sound is spacious, the singers clear, and the chorus superb. Otto Klemperer, who died in 1973 holds this superb work together along with the chorus and singers. The music due to consistent tempi throughout, never flags. It just simply flows from one piece to the next. The highlights of the piece can be found in Part III Credo, although I am sure many listeners will have their own favourites. Lasting some 135 minutes, it keeps the listener enthralled throughout. The work ends gloriously with the Chorus rendition of Dona Nobis Pacem. A supreme work which indeed is one of the great recordings of the century.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great in every way, 25 April 2012
By 
Bacchus (Greater London - Surrey) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
All the reviews so far have been uniformly positive and I am just going to add my voice to the throng.

Anyone reading my reviews may have noticed that I have reviewed four other performances by Karajan [2 of them], Gardiner and Munchinger. I also have another three recordings of this sublime work which I have not [yet] reviewed. I am not going to say which one is the best because they all bring individual insights and I would not want to be without any of them. I am not so dogmatic as to say that modern performances are superior to historically informed ones or vice versa. What matters to me is sheer musical excellence and communication.

In my opinion, this performance is really very special. I feared that it would be too slow [I certainly am not a fan of Klemperer's St Matthew Passion] but here the slowness did not worry me. There was so much of interest in the notes and more importantly a sense of great import in the musical direction that I felt compelled to listen.

As well as a wonderful orchestra, Klemperer had the BBC Chorus [in reality the BBC Singers] as his choir. This is a very positively voiced choir [it had Robert Tear among its tenor] and they sing with a richer fuller tone than Karajan's Vienna Singverein Chorus. They are not a large choir and I suspect that the orchestra was smaller as well, so the performance is a bit of a nod to authenticity.

I am impressed by all the soloists, especially Agnes Giebel and Janet Baker. Nicolai Gedda was 15 years older than he was when he recorded the work with Karajan and the voice is not so heady and beautiful as it had been in 1952 but it is still very effective singing.

I am glad to have this recording. It is not quite so effecting as Karajan's earlier recording nor does it display the sheer brilliance that Gardiner brought to the music but it does communicate the grandeur and beauty of Bach's masterpiece and I thorougly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and revelatory, 7 Feb 2012
By 
Musica Vita (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
According to the booklet, Otto Klemperer considered the Mass in B minor to be the greatest music ever written. Accordingly he put all his long experience into the production of this recording, insisting on reduced forces and soloists whose voices would suit the music. The BBC Chorus and New Philharmonia were possibly the best in Britain at the time, and it is hardly possible to imagine a better team of soloists. EMI's engineers also did a good job, although there is some congestion in the loudest passages.

The first Kyrie is taken at about crotchet/quarter-note = 40, which seems painfully slow at first, but have patience and listen to the gradual unfolding of this magnificent fugue. Klemperer had the ability to convince the listener that his way was right, no matter how unconventional. Thereafter, the tempi are generally more as usually heard, and in those other sections which are taken slowly, again listen and be convinced.

The possible downside of this performance is that in some movements the players sound to be unfamiliar with Bach's style (perhaps they were at that time) and there is, to me at least, a certain sense of struggle. It is possible that this is what Klemperer wanted, but nowhere is there an easy fluency such as Richter achieves with his Munich orchestra. The choir is excellent and the soloists are beyond reproach.

This interpretation has depth, grandeur, majesty in abundance and magnificent solo/duet singing, Janet Baker's Agnus Dei especially. Recommended, but if you like more vitality and joy in your Mass, listen to Richter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but heavy, 20 April 2013
By 
K. Goulden "KLG" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
Excellent singing from the choir and soloists (what else would you expect) but the slow speeds and heavy interpretation do not give the work justice in my view: it looses some of the life that it should have. Still very impressive unlikely to be to everyone's taste.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach - full strength!, 31 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
I do not believe it an overstatement to say that Bach's sublime, B Minor Mass is one of the greatest artistic achievements of mankind. This expression of religious faith and devotion spiritually elevates and ennobles the listener, adding immeasurably to civilisation as we understand it. Bach's B Minor Mass is his gift to the world! Alas, Bach, himself, never heard the whole Mass complete and after his death it was forgotten until its revival in the early 19th century. Those early audiences failed to grasp the true genius of the work, but eventually its greatness and sheer profundity proved irresistible and Bach's Mass is now recognised as being a work of genius!

Klemperer's is good, old-fashioned, solid conducting - Bach without the over-ornamentation, emasculated forces and brisk tempi favoured by the period instruments' lobby. "Authentic" baroque music played on original instruments? Who needs it! Klemperer's soloists and chorus are very fine indeed - the power, precision and clarity of the fugal choruses leave little to be desired. The opening Kyrie, a vast fugue, is shaped and moulded by Klemperer who never once falters during its 13 minute span! The dynamic opening of the Credo and Donna nobis pacem - which builds to a tremendous climax - benefit from Klemperer's iron grip and slower tempi which allow the music space in which to develop its full dynamic contrasts. Klemperer generates plenty of energy and excitement, with thrilling crescendi in the Gloria.

Orchestra and chorus are well-defined and incisive with instrumental soloists giving good accounts of themselves - there is much delicacy, beautiful phrasing and deft articulation from the obbligato players. It goes without saying that Janet Baker's Agnus Dei is sublimely beautiful. The magnificent Sanctus features some impressive playing from the brass section and Nicolai Gedda's aria "Benedictus" is incredibly moving. There are many instances of brilliant playing and singing too numerous to mention - all concerned do justice to Bach's monumental, masterpiece. This is one of the greatest recordings in the catalogue and its purchase WILL bring spiritual enlightenment, intellectual enrichment and enhance your life - you can bank on it!

The sound quality of this recording (1967) has considerable dynamic impact, breadth and depth. Balance between soloists, chorus and orchestra is spot-on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 31 Oct 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
This is just the best recording of the B Minor Mass ever, with a superb bonus for Janet Baker fans. Probably not for the minimalist or fans of authentic instruments. But for sheer gut-wrenching power and fidelity to the feeling driving the score - not to mention virtuosity - this can't be beat (except perhaps by a live performance conducted by someone like Andris Nelsons), I bought this to replace a 1968 Nikolaus Harnoncourt recording (with authentic instruments) on vinyl which has given great pleasure over four decades although have always thought the tempo a little fast (but no expert). I much prefer the Klemperer performance. Impossible to say whether this preference is due to my own advancing age or other factors.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 15 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
I know nothing about the technicalities of music and couldn't understand the significance of a written note. But I can hear the beauty in music. This is a glorious piece of music and to my ear, superbly performed. Since buying it I have listened to it many times and cannot seemingly tire of it. If you are reading this review presumably you are thinking about purchasing the Mass. Don't hesitate, you cannot fail to get untold enjoyment from it. I delayed far too long!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach: Mass in B Minor, 29 April 2013
By 
Mr. E. Hughes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor (Audio CD)
I first heard this when I was choirboy, some 50 years ago. As with all great masses, it is a performance piece that is moving and contemplative, at the same time. The principles' voices are magnificent and the whole work is an acoustic miracle. Bach? He knew how to use instruments and voices - magnificent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bach: Mass in B Minor
Bach: Mass in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach (Audio CD - 2005)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews