Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantus Colln, Konrad Junghanel - Missae Breves

Published Thursday 22nd December 2016
Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantus Colln, Konrad Junghanel - Missae Breves
Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantus Colln, Konrad Junghanel  - Missae Breves

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 163971-25551
LABEL: Harmonia Mundi Heritage HMY292193940

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

While Johann Sebastian Bach wrote hundreds of cantatas he only wrote a handful of masses, most famously the (Catholic) Mass in B minor. The four examples in this attractive box set were all composed in Leipzig between 1735 and 1744 for use in the Reformed liturgy and are therefore limited to the Kyrie and Gloria, making them all brief indeed. Thus we get, in order of appearance, "Mass In A Major" (BWV 234), "Mass In G Major" (BWV 236), "Mass In G Minor" (BWV 235) and "Mass In F Major" (BWV 233). Director Konrad Junghanel keeps things simple with just two singers for each part and a suitably pared down and period orchestra. While I can see a strong case for assembling a mighty multi-voiced choir for the grandeur of the Mass in B minor, the four "Lutheran Masses" on this release benefit from the less is more approach although by this point in his career Bach was exploring counterpoint and while the music may seem joyously simple there is much going on. This is truly toe-tapping music and I often wonder what the worshippers made of it when the music was first unveiled. Perhaps after 250 years we take Bach for granted but these brief masses can still surprise. Listeners who are yet to go beyond the basic best of Bach compilations will find this a very easy way in to his more complex vocal music and anyone who enjoys baroque choral music will also appreciate the fine work from Cantus Colln. Please be aware that this is a re-release of a recording first issued in 2007 in a different cover.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.


Connect with Cross Rhythms by signing up to our email mailing list

Press Forward, Now!
Cross Rhythms Media Training Centre
Artists & DJs A-Z
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
Or keyword search


Watering Hole
Be heard in your pain and needs and cry out to your God in our Prayer Room