Herbert Blomstedt conducts Bach's Mass in B minor — With the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

A concert of the Bachfest Leipzig 2017

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Christina Landshamer — Soprano

Elisabeth Kulman — Contralto

Wolfram Lattke — Tenor

Luca Pisaroni — Bass

Dresdner Kammerchor

Michael Alber — Chorus Master

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Herbert Blomstedt — Conductor

Program notes

In 2017, the grandeur of Bach's monumental Mass in B Minor resounded once again inside the walls of the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) in Leipzig—the church that holds Bach's tomb, and the one in which he served as music director for nearly three decades until his death in 1750. Herbert Blomstedt—an institution himself in the grand tradition of 20th- and 21st-century conducting—leads this masterpiece of sacred music in a staggering interpretation that gains gravitas and power through Blomstedt's years of experience.

Bach's B Minor Mass has long been studied and admired for its structure and cohesiveness, although it includes material from previously composed works. It can be viewed as a musical testament to Bach's melodic, polyphonic, and rhetorical genius, all united in a single supreme work. For Blomstedt, Bach has always been an essential figure: "I would give everything to meet Bach," he muses. "Maybe that will be possible someday—we both believe in the resurrection, but it might be a while until then…”

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