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  [Test] Bach : Mass in B Minor



Wimbledon Choral Society      Florilegium Ensemble      Neil Ferris (conductor)
Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano)      Roderick Morris (countertenor)      Greg Tassell (tenor)      Robert Davies (baritone)

, Guildford Cathedral


Bach never got to hear his work performed in its entirety (he died in 1750) and, indeed, its first full performance wasn't until over 100 years later in 1859, although parts of it were performed in the intervening years.  He didn't even give it the title of "Mass in B Minor", which is not surprising seeing as only 5 of the 27 movements are actually in that key.  That said, twelve other movements are in D Major and some in F# Minor, both related to the title key.  When it was finally published in full in 1845, the publishers Nägeli and Simrock gave it the name "High Mass in B Minor", the 'High' being used to put it on a par with the huge impact that Beethoven's Missa Solemnis had when that work was first performed in 1824.  The 'High' element was soon dropped but the 'B Minor' description was kept and today the work is considered as one of the greatest in the choral repertoire.
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Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7UP



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