J.S. Bach
Four Shorter Masses BWV 233-236
& Sancti BWV 237-240

BACH 70102 available as a 2-CD set.

Agnes Giebel, soprano / Lotte Wolf-Matthäus, alto / Franz Kelch, bass.
Reinhold Barchet, violin / Friedrich Milde, oboe.
The Schwabian Choral Singers and Tonstudio Orchestra, Stuttgart,
Hans Grischkat, conductor.

Bach wrote some 200 church cantatas which have come down to us; most of these were composed in Leipzig where Bach was required to produce one per week. Bach did in fact write a number of important cantatas himself from start to finish. But in many other cases he would write a grand opening chorus reflecting the gospel of the day, a key aria, and perhaps harmonize the final chorale. For the rest, many of the arias and recitatives would be done by his students under Bach's strict guidance. The result was that Bach was spared much of the routine work, and at the same time his students were given useful, practical exercises - which they would hear in performance.

Would it not be interesting if Bach himself could make a selection from his favorite movements and assemble them into one or several composite works? In fact he has done just that.

Count Anton von Sporck was a nobleman with estates in nearby Bohemia. A great music-lover and intellectual, the Count was a frequent visitor to Leipzig. Unfortunately his life in Bohemia was overshadowed by a strict religious censorship, which may explain why Bach presented (disguised?) his selected cantata movements in the form of Catholic Masses.
Read the full, dramatic story: Count von Sporck and Bach's Four Shorter Masses

For the Four Shorter Masses, or Missae Breves, Bach drew on some of the finest movements in his cantata writing. These are splendid and powerful works in their own right, though they are little-known and not much recorded. We have heard all the competing performances and recordings over the years - though in truth, they are few in number - but we have yet to find an equal to these classic performances in their outstanding musical strength and clarity.


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or DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE WORKS
movement by movement.

BACH 701

MASS in F Major, BWV 233
KYRIE:
1. Chorus
GLORIA:
2. Chorus
3. Bass Aria
4. Soprano Aria
5. Alto Aria
6. Chorus

SANCTUS in C Major, BWV 237
7. Chorus

MASS in a minor, BWV 234
KYRIE:
8. Chorus
GLORIA:
9. Chorus
10. Bass Aria
11. Soprano Aria
12. Alto Aria
13. Chorus

SANCTUS in D Major, BWV 238
14. Chorus

Total time 70:21

MUSIC SAMPLES

Music Sample 1: Mass #1, Gloria
Music Sample 2: Mass #2, Alto Aria
Music Sample 3: Sanctus #2

BACH 702

MASS in g minor, BWV 235
KYRIE:
1. Chorus
GLORIA:
2. Chorus
3. Bass Aria
4. Alto Aria
5. Tenor Aria
6. Chorus

SANCTUS in d minor, BWV 239
7. Chorus

MASS in G Major, BWV 236
KYRIE:
8. Chorus
GLORIA:
9. Chorus
10. Bass Ariav
11. Soprano Aria
12. Tenor Aria
13. Chorus

SANCTUS in G Major, BWV 240
14. Chorus

Total time 69:03

MUSIC SAMPLES

Music Sample 1: Mass #3, Chorus
Music Sample 2: Mass #4, Bass Aria
Music Sample 3: Mass #4, Chorus

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