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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful B minor Mass, 23 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 (Audio CD)
I don't think I've ever heard a more beautiful performance of this work. Now beauty isn't everything and there are certaintly performances with more excitement, but if you're open to large-scale performances on modern instruments then there's something rather rather special about this.

I also - and this is inevitably a personal, subjective reaction - found it extremely moving.

The Bav RSO plays beautifully and to my ears the choir sings better than in the (also wonderful) Jochum EMI recording with similar forces.

Given the low price, what's not to like?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful performance, but tempi slow, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 (Audio CD)
This live recording was made in Munich in 1994. The performance is beautiful, and certainly has a devotional feeling. The five soloists are on the whole very good, and the large choir is excellent.

But, the main drawback (to me) is the generally slow tempi chosen by Giulini. Some pieces are played at pedestrian tempi, particularly in "Quoniam tu solus Sanctus" (baritone solo) and "Sanctus" (chorus). The baritone in the former piece seems to struggle because, I suspect, of the slow tempo.

The whole performance lasts more than 127 minutes, and is slower than all the recordings I've listened to so far, except for Klemperer's. Of course, musical performance is not just a matter of speed, but still, the tempo is one of many factors to be taken into account.

For a live recording, there is hardly any noise from the audience. They may well have been awe-stricken by the special occasion.

I feel that this present recording is a useful addition to a record library for those who want to hear a devotional performance of this work when most newer recordings come from the "period performance" camp, most of which sound quite breathless and lack a sense of religious devotion.
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Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 by Carlo Maria Giulini (Audio CD - 2012)
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