A two-disc recording of the four “Lutheran Masses” (or Missae Breves) by Johann Sebastian Bach, BWV 233-236. Recorded in November of 2004 and June of 2005 at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York.
Bach’s four Missae Breves or “Lutheran Masses” have sometimes been dismissed by scholars as less worthy than such “warhorses” as the Christmas Oratorio or the Mass in B Minor because they (mostly) contain music that had been previously composed for other purposes, predominantly as movements for cantatas. These glorious “cantata” masses, however, represent some of Bach’s best choral/orchestral writing and contain something for everyone who enjoys the sonic diversity and consummate mastery of style so evident in Bach’s music.
All of the instrumental music accompanies vocal solos of passionate beauty, intimacy and lyricism as well as choruses of great power and majesty.