Bach B Minor Mass

Saturday 31 March at 1pm
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House

JS Bach Mass in B Minor

Brett Weymark conductor
Janet Todd soprano
Sally-Anne Russell mezzo soprano
Andrew Goodwin tenor
David Greco bass

At the pinnacle of Bach’s artistry is one of his greatest choral works, the B Minor Mass. Composed over the course of 16 years, it is a compendium of every aspect of Bach’s genius and a profound testament of his faith.

From the choir’s first call for God’s mercy, to its final prayer for peace, the B Minor Mass is trove of musical riches. Weaving together moments of overwhelming majesty with intimate solo arias decorated with intricate instrumental filigree, and outbreaks of dancing joy, the Mass has everything that gives Bach’s music its timeless power.

Bach brings the vividly theatrical language of his passions and cantatas to bear on the ritual of the Catholic mass, discovering ecstatic angelic choruses in the Gloria and piercing dissonances in the Crucifixus. Epic in scope, and all-encompassing, the Mass was never performed in its entirety in Bach’s lifetime – it seems he wanted to create the most perfect example of sacred music. It is a cathedral in sound.

A performance of the B-minor Mass is always an event. Bach calls for large forces for the vibrant and celebratory colours of the orchestra, including the rare oboe d’amore, horns, trumpets and drums. The vocalists must also be virtuosos: some of Australia’s most accomplished early music specialists join the Philharmonia Symphony Chorus and Chamber Singers to make an overwhelming sound. The Choir’s annual Easter-tide Bach celebrations are becoming an essential annual appointment, ‘bringing new insights to old masterpieces’ (Sydney Morning Herald). 

Pre-concert talk: Held 45 minutes prior to the performance in the Northern Foyer, presented in association with Fine Music FM and Sydney Opera House.

Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes including a 20 minute interval.

    Seniors card holders: please use your discount code when booking tickets

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