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René Jacobs|Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232

Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232

René Jacobs, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor, Robin Johannsen, Marie-Claude Chappuis, Helena Rasker, Sebastian Kohlhepp, Christian Immler

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Without even mentioning the playing styles or instruments, this new version of the Mass in B is clearly a far cry from the grandiose austerity that prevailed in the 1960s and 70s. In fact, it’s almost directly opposed to the mental representation people had of Bach at the time. From the moment the RIAS-Kammerchor enters at the beginning of Kyrie, we’re encapsulated by their angelic, almost naïve tone, which tenderly reaches out to the listener. Not to mention the sheer adaptability of their voices in face of the lengthy, skilful melismas in the vocal score. 


 


The feeling of elation shines through in this performance, recorded near Berlin in August 2021 for Harmonia Mundi. This new recording by René Jacobs follows on from an already established version in 1992 (reissued in 2006), with the same ensembles but with different soloists. The Belgian conductor has made three stark changes. Firstly, with regards to the chamber choir, he has omitted the soloists from the more archaic pieces of this work. Secondly, he retains the chamber choir but reduces its number for the “modern” pieces which require “gentle, moderate and amiable singing” according to the composer and theorist Michael Praetorius (1571-1621). Thirdly, in terms of the “external” soloists, they aren’t part of the choir and are assigned the virtuoso arias and duets, which they sing sporadically during the large choral pieces. 


 


According to René Jacobs, this cast creates a homogenous whole which represents “the choir of believers, the image of humanity in all of its diversity”. In terms of instrumentals, the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin manage to avoid the pitfalls of a score which can be severely testing for soloists. A special mention goes to horn player Margherita Lulli—a name destined for baroque music! As a former countertenor, René Jacobs utilises a female voice (Dutch contralto Helena Rasker) in Agnus Dei, in line with historical practice. There are no trumpets or thundering timpani in these versions, which are entirely focused on worship and the joy of musical collaboration. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232

René Jacobs

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Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
I. Missa (Kyrie, Gloria) - Kyrie eleison I
00:09:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

2
Christe eleison
00:04:50

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

3
Kyrie eleison II
00:03:11

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

4
Gloria in excelsis Deo
00:01:47

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

5
Et in terra pax
00:05:49

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

6
Laudamus te
00:04:13

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

7
Gratias agimus tibi
00:02:12

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

8
Dominus Deus
00:04:56

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

9
Qui tollis peccata mundi
00:02:46

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

10
Qui sedes ad dextram Patris
00:04:06

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

11
Quoniam tu solus sanctus
00:05:05

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

12
Cum Sancto Spiritu
00:04:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

DISC 2

1
II. Symbolum Nicenum (Credo) - Credo in unum Deum
00:02:18

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

2
Patrem omnipotentem
00:02:08

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

3
Et in unum Dominum
00:04:46

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

4
Et incarnatus est
00:02:28

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

5
Crucifixus
00:02:58

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

6
Et resurrexit
00:04:24

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

7
Et in Spiritum sanctum Dominum
00:05:19

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

8
Confiteor
00:04:34

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

9
Et expecto
00:02:24

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

10
III. Sanctus - Sanctus. Pleni sunt coeli
00:03:46

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

11
IV. Osanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei, Dona nobis pacem - Osanna in excelsis
00:02:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

12
Benedictus
00:03:32

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

13
Osanna in excelsis
00:02:44

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

14
Agnus Dei
00:05:00

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

15
Dona nobis pacem
00:02:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - RIAS Kammerchor, Choir, MainArtist - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, MainArtist, MusicalEnsemble - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Christian Immler, MainArtist, VocalSolo - Helena Rasker, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Marie-Claude Chappuis, MainArtist, MezzoSopranoVocals - Sebastian Kohlhepp, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Robin Johannsen, MainArtist, SopranoSolo

2022 harmonia mundi 2022 harmonia mundi

Album Description

Without even mentioning the playing styles or instruments, this new version of the Mass in B is clearly a far cry from the grandiose austerity that prevailed in the 1960s and 70s. In fact, it’s almost directly opposed to the mental representation people had of Bach at the time. From the moment the RIAS-Kammerchor enters at the beginning of Kyrie, we’re encapsulated by their angelic, almost naïve tone, which tenderly reaches out to the listener. Not to mention the sheer adaptability of their voices in face of the lengthy, skilful melismas in the vocal score. 


 


The feeling of elation shines through in this performance, recorded near Berlin in August 2021 for Harmonia Mundi. This new recording by René Jacobs follows on from an already established version in 1992 (reissued in 2006), with the same ensembles but with different soloists. The Belgian conductor has made three stark changes. Firstly, with regards to the chamber choir, he has omitted the soloists from the more archaic pieces of this work. Secondly, he retains the chamber choir but reduces its number for the “modern” pieces which require “gentle, moderate and amiable singing” according to the composer and theorist Michael Praetorius (1571-1621). Thirdly, in terms of the “external” soloists, they aren’t part of the choir and are assigned the virtuoso arias and duets, which they sing sporadically during the large choral pieces. 


 


According to René Jacobs, this cast creates a homogenous whole which represents “the choir of believers, the image of humanity in all of its diversity”. In terms of instrumentals, the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin manage to avoid the pitfalls of a score which can be severely testing for soloists. A special mention goes to horn player Margherita Lulli—a name destined for baroque music! As a former countertenor, René Jacobs utilises a female voice (Dutch contralto Helena Rasker) in Agnus Dei, in line with historical practice. There are no trumpets or thundering timpani in these versions, which are entirely focused on worship and the joy of musical collaboration. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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