Masterworks Concert: J S Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 7 pm
West Side Presbyterian Church
6 S Monroe Street, Ridgewood, NJ
Ars Music Chorale returns to the unparalleled acoustics of West Side Presbyterian Church in a performance of the boundary-breaking masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Mass in B Minor. We’re delighted to be partnering with the acclaimed Adelphi Orchestra to present this season’s Masterworks concert. The Mass in B Minor is one of the greatest—perhaps the greatest—musical works of art, a revolutionary tour-de-force of styles, genres, orchestration, and instrumental and vocal virtuosity, and human emotion and understanding.
One of the greatest mysteries surrounding the piece is its purpose - we still don’t really know why Bach wrote it. Parts of the piece were started as early as 1714, and the final movement finished in 1748 or thereabouts. It was never performed in its entirety during Bach’s lifetime (that didn't happen until the nineteenth century, remarkably). It’s possible that parts were written in an attempt—albeit unsuccessful—to secure a new job. It may also have stood as part of a series of encyclopedic works produced by Bach during the last decade of his life. Of maybe it should be seen as a piece in praise of God. At the end of the final movement, Bach writes S.D.G - Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be glory).
“Since performing this work in concert at Bach’s own church in Leipzig several years ago I’ve dedicated more and more time to studying, teaching, and performing Bach’s music. The B minor Mass is truly the mountain peak of Bach’s musical output, showcasing his mastery of every aspect of compositional technique available to him. I’m so excited to be performing this work with Ars Musica!”