Ton Koopman conducts Bach – B Minor Mass

Still0927_00002Bach – B Minor Mass, live stream Oct. 28 by Berlin Philharmonic, chorus Rundfunkchor Berlin, conductor Ton Koopman. A superlative performance, with a relatively small chorus (less than 40) for this work (although I have a recording with no chorus at all, only solo voices for each part); usually a fairly massive chorus is used, as in the Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis.

One can quibble with his tempi: he took the Gloria at an almost breakneck pace, also the Cum Sancto Spiritu, the Resurrexit, and the Pleni sunt Coeli; and a somewhat excessive adagio in the Agnus Dei; but those are minor cavils – it was a highly polished, credible performance. Incidentally the chorus all held scores, in contrast to their last week’s performance of the Brahms Requiem when they went scoreless.

Fashion statement: concert at 7 PM in Berlin, and nary a necktie in the audience, much less anything formal. But who knows, I haven’t been to an evening concert in some time, and the same may hold true here.

Thomas Lemann

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.