J.s. Bach: Lutheran Masses Vol. 2 / Sixteen
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers
J.S. Bach: Mass in G major BWV 236 / Cantata 79 - Gott der Herr ist Sonn BWV 79 / Mass in A major BWV 234
Volume II completes The Sixteen’s mini-series and features Bach’s Lutheran Masses in G major (BWV 236) and A major (BWV 234) plus the Cantata BWV 79 ‘Gott der Herr ist Sonn’ und Schild’. This cantata was written in Leipzig in 1725 for Reformation Day and parodies from it appear in both of the featured Masses. Bach was a Lutheran church musician devoted to the composition of sacred music in German. He wrote more than 200 cantatas for the liturgy, most of them in Leipzig. Despite their name, the four Lutheran Masses feature almost no Lutheran material. Sometimes called ‘Missa brevis’, musically they are almost entirely made up of movements borrowed from Bach’s Cantatas but, while they are often overshadowed by the more famous Mass in B minor, the beauty of these short Masses is that they represent Bach’s own choice of his finest Cantata movements. Despite their exquisite beauty, featuring splendid choruses and deeply moving arias, there are relatively few recordings of the Lutheran Masses. On this new collection just eight singers from The Sixteen perform the Masses allowing the beauty of the virtuosic vocal lines to be heard with absolute clarity.