The Mass in B minor (German: h-Moll-Messe), BWV 232, is an extended setting of the Mass ordinary by Johann Sebastian Bach. The composition was completed in 1749, the year before the composer's death, and was to a large extent based on earlier work, such as a Sanctus Bach had composed in 1724. Sections that were specifically composed to complete the Mass in the late 1740s include the "Et incarnatus est" part of the Credo.
As usual for its time, the composition is formatted as a Neapolitan mass, consisting of a succession of choral movements with a broad orchestral accompaniment, and sections in which a more limited group of instrumentalists accompanies one or more vocal soloists. Among the more unusual characteristics of the composition is its scale: a total performance time of around two hours, and a scoring consisting of two groups of SATB singers and an orchestra featuring an extended winds section, strings and continuo. Also its key, B minor, is rather exceptional for a composition featuring natural trumpets in D.
Performances & Interviews
- Bach: Mass in B minorhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01td04d.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01td04d.jpg2013-04-01T18:57:00.000ZStephen Johnson explores how Bach, a devout Lutheran, set about producing a Latin mass in the Catholic tradition, and unpacks some of the many musical clues to its meaning.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01rl302
Bach: Mass in B minorStephen Johnson explores how Bach, a devout Lutheran, set about producing a Latin mass in the Catholic tradition, and unpacks some of the many musical clues to its meaning.
- J S Bach: B minor Masshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p017m9mj.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p017m9mj.jpg2017-02-11T14:06:00.000ZBuilding a Library sifts through the available recordings of Bach's B minor Mass.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04sm0bq
J S Bach: B minor MassBuilding a Library sifts through the available recordings of Bach's B minor Mass.