Bach B Minor Mass

Friday, February 18, 2011
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm


Friday, February 18 at 7:30 PM
$45 Standard & $35 Student/Senior tickets for open seating (first come first served) at the back, sides, and unreserved sections of the balcony may be bought at the door for cash or check made out to Saint Thomas Church. Doors open at 6:30 PM 

Some days ago I began to study Bach’s Mass in B minor again‚ĶThe Kyrie, the Qui tollis, the Incarnatus and the Crucifixus are among the most divine things ever conceived and realized by the human mind‚ĶEvery day, the human beings who cover the earth’s five continents ought to offer up this invocation to the Eternal Father, a formidable voice, to redeem their sins! What a marvel!
—Arturo Toscanini (1933)

The Mass in B Minor, one of Bach’s greatest compositions, is actually a compilation of his ‚Äúbest‚Äù sacred music compiled during the final years of his life, between 1746 and 1748. The whole is a synthesis of the most important musical styles of the time, ranging from the sixteenth century fugal writing characteristic of Palestrina (
stile antico) to the contemporary galant style of the Dresden court with its coloratura writing. Bach transformed it all into a work of great spiritual significance. It is unlikely that Bach heard a performance of the complete Mass in B Minor.  It was not until 85 years after his death that a performance of the complete work was given by the Berlin Singakademie and not until ten years later, in 1845, that all four sections of the work were published by Simrock in Bonn. The Bach Choir of Bethlehem performed the American premiere of the complete Mass in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on March 27, 1900.

This is your opportunity to hear Bach’s masterpiece in the magnificent Gothic splendor of Saint Thomas Church.