Bach: Lutheran Masses I

Floral design

Hana Blažíková, Joanne Lunn, Robin Blaze, Gerd Türk, Peter Kooij SScTTB, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki
BWV235-238, 240-242, Anh. 26

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he interest for me in this well produced CD which has all the quality we expect from Suzuki’s forces is not only in the two Lutheran Masses, of which there are already a number of recordings like the recent one by the Sixteen or the earlier and matchless OVPP version by the Purcell Quartet (1999), but in the additional movements which have rarely been recorded – four settings of the Sanctus BWV 240, 241 (after Kerll), 238 and 237 – and the Kyrie in C minor based on Durante with the Christe in G minor BWV 242. These are presented as part of Suzuki’s mopping up operation, and have an interesting blend of scoring. They show Bach exploring styles of writing – some very dense vocally – which illuminate the way he developed the clarity of his mature style from the models which he reworked. On many occasions Bach must have used other composers material either straight or adapted in some way in his regular presentation of Sunday music. Some of this material shows him at work, and I’m grateful for these typically illuminating performances.

David Stancliffe

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