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Customer Reviews

Little known masterworks

After a first album dedicated to polyphonic rarities by the Franco-Flemish composer Philippe de Monte (Claves CD 50-2712), the Ensemble Orlando de Fribourg and conductor Laurent Gendre, escorted for the occasion by the ensemble La Cetra from Basel, have set out to conquer the gigantic Johann-Sebastian Bach, and two of his four “Missa Breve”: Masses BWV 234 and 235. As Etienne Barilier, who wrote the booklet, points out, we know neither their precise destination nor the exact date of composition; we only know that they were written between 1735 and 1744. “If they remain relatively little known, even today, it is because they are not ex nihilo creations, says the author. Virtually all the pieces that make them up (six per mass: the Kyrie, followed by a Gloria subdivided into five parts) were borrowed from cantatas composed ten or twenty years previously, between 1723-1726. It may well even be that the very few “original” pieces of these masses were not in fact orginals, but came from cantatas that have since been lost”. And so what! The genius of the Thomaskirche Cantor is present and there is little chance that anyone listening to these Lutheran masses may get a feeling of déja-vu. As Barilier remarks, “the same pieces, transposed into different key signatures, with different orchestral colours and new texts, are no longer the same pieces.”

J.S. Bach: Missae breves BWV 234 & 235, Ensemble Orlando Fribourg
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Nov 01, 2009

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