Bach: Mass in B Minor
The AAM are thrilled to reveal that for our 2019-20 season, we will be Orchestra in Residence for the Milton Abbey International Summer Music Festival, culminating in a performance of J. S. Bach’s majestic Mass in B Minor with VOCES8 and VOCES8 Scholars, conducted by Barnaby Smith.
Listening to Bach’s Mass, one could have the impression of a culmination of his life’s work – a choral equivalent of The Art of Fugue. Monumental in conception and thrilling in execution, this work was unsurpassed in grandeur and profundity in the mid 1700s, the soundscape combining huge complexity with incredible beauty, enchanting solo writing, glorious celebratory choruses and trumpet-festooned splendour.
Composed – or perhaps assembled – the year before his death, this is an enigmatic work which Bach himself may never have heard in a single sitting. The choruses and solo arias cover the full range of baroque vocal expression and make this one of the most joyful musical experiences in the repertoire.
From the mighty opening ‘Kyrie’ and brilliantly unfurling fugue through to the angelic ‘Sanctus’, this work of many contrasting moods and styles is the ultimate example of Bach’s unrivalled talent and ability to articulate his religious faith through music.
“The singing of VOCES8 is impeccable in its quality of tone and balance. They bring a new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’ with meticulous timing and tuning.” GRAMOPHONE
“VOCES8 are undoubtedly gifted.” THE TIMES
“All conducted with infectious energy by Barnaby Smith” THE OBSERVER