Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Presented by Donald Macleod
Nobody knows why it was written - it's one of the great mysteries of Bach's life. Why did he spend so much of his last two years reworking religious music he'd already written into an enormous setting of the Catholic Mass, in Latin? It's tempting to see the B minor Mass as a drawing-together-of-threads, the great composer's last religious will and testament, a monumental summation of his decades of work for the church... albeit usually for the Protestant Church, in German. Since the nineteenth century the Mass has become one of Bach's best-loved works - though it's almost always performed, as here, in concert halls rather than churches. But the English Concert, conductor Harry Bicket and their starry lineup of soloists are sure to bring new insights: their performance comes fresh from Leipzig, where they closed the 2012 Bachfest with the B minor Mass - in Bach's own church, the Thomaskirche.
J S Bach: Mass in B minor (conclusion)
This Prom will be repeated on Friday 10th August at 2pm.