Created shortly before his death and premiered over 100 years after its completion: Bach's Mass in B Minor

Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach

1749

Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach

— 1749

  1. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) completed the work in 1748/49 shortly before his death

  2. The mass was first performed in 1859 in the midst of a Renaissance that Bach’s music enjoyed in the 19th century

  3. The original manuscript is a milestone of music history and offers an inside glimpse into the work’s development

Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Alternative Titles:
  • Kleine Messe B BWV 232 von Johann Sebastian Bach
Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach  – Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, Germany)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Composed shortly before his death, this rare Latin choral composition by Johann Sebastian Bach is regarded by many as the culmination of his career. The mass would not be performed until more than a century after Bach’s death, but would premiere in 1859 at the height of the 19th century’s so-called Bach Revival. Today it is regarded as one of the finest works in the history of music and is performed in a regular basis.

Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) completed the Mass in B minor in 1748/49 shortly after the Art of Fugue and shortly before his death. This late work is as concentrated and rich in compositional technique as scarcely any other. In many ways, it is the culmination of Bach’s musical career because it largely consists of various vocal music that he composed throughout his life, which was revised and combined with newly composed sections. As early as 1818, Hans-Georg Nägeli (1773-1836) enthusiastically described the Mass as the "greatest musical artwork of all time and all nations”. The mass was never performed in its entirety during Bach’s lifetime, and would not occur until 1859 in the midst of a Renaissance that Bach’s music enjoyed in the 19th century. This is perhaps because it takes the form of a Missa tota, a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy in Latin to music, which was unusual for Lutheran composers. Nonetheless, it has since been ranked as an icon of music history, which continues to be performed with regularity to the present day. The original manuscript offers Bach admirers an inside glimpse into the work’s development. This is a wonderful artifact of a milestone in music history.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Kleine Messe B BWV 232 von Johann Sebastian Bach
Date
1749
Genre
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach “

Mass B minor BWV 232
Mass B minor BWV 232 by Johann Sebastian Bach  – Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, Germany)
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Mass B minor BWV 232

1 volume: This facsimile is not complete.
Publisher
Bärenreiter-Verlag – Kassel, 2010
Commentary
1 volume by Uwe Wolf
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