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Alan Gilbert on Bach’s Mass in B minor

J.S. Bach

J.S. Bach

Hear the New York Philharmonic and Chorus, Thursday at 8:00 PM

 

Dorothea Röschmann, soprano
Anne Sophie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Steve Davislim, tenor
Eric Owens, bass-baritone

 

The B minor Mass was written over a 35-year period, and never performed as a complete and distinct work during Bach’s lifetime. Bach was a devout Lutheran who spent much of his life composing sacred settings of German liturgy. Why he chose to use Latin for this work is unknown.  The original was preserved by the composer’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who made some editorial changes and had the work copied. In spite of intense curiosity from the likes of Haydn and Beethoven, among others, this work, now considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, was not heard in its completion until 1859.

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert said this:

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