Bach – B minor Mass, BMV 232
For two centuries, Bach’s B minor Mass has stood at the summit of human creativity. Conducted by Sir Mark Elder and featuring a star cast of soloists, the Hallé is perfectly placed to do the work justice at The Bridgewater Hall.
Described by its first publisher as “the greatest musical work of art of all times and nations”, Bach’s B minor Mass is a wondrous thing. One of the composer’s last works, it was not completed until 1749, the year before his death. Largely based on his earlier music, we can deduce that Bach intended that the mass be seen as a compendium of his musical life – an amalgamation of his finest work, laid out for inspection by both future generations and by God.
Meeting those intentions, the work has come to stand as one of the pinnacles of the choral repertoire, where it is regarded as a gleaming monument to Bach’s genius. Particularly celebrated is the coherence with which its diverse material is compiled. Divided into four major sections – the Missa, the Symbolum Nicenum, the Sanctus and the Benedictus – the mass is unified by a grand and complex architecture whose thematic building blocks are peace, praise and gratitude. Tender and dramatic, technical and spiritual, it’s one of the composer’s greatest feats of creativity.
The Hallé Choir, on tremendous form of late, should bring out the best in the work. They’ll sing with a star cast of soloists, including Hallé Associate Artist and dazzling mezzo-soprano, Alice Coote, radiant tenor Nicholas Mulroy and thrilling baritone Morgan Pearse. On the orchestral side of things, meanwhile, there are plentiful opportunities for the Hallé Principals to shine, particularly in the instrumental solos that grace the mass’ arias and duets. All in safe hands with Sir Mark Elder, expect great power from these massed forces.
Showcasing a real treasure in Bach’s vocal catalogue, we eagerly await this Hallé concert at The Bridgewater Hall.
Sir Mark Elder – conductor
Mary Bevan – soprano
Alice Coote – mezzo-soprano (Hallé Associate Artist)
Nicholas Mulroy – tenor
Morgan Pearse – baritone