Bach: Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Bach’s collected output may be one of the mainstays of Western music, but the question of how his works are performed remains the subject of fierce debate. His major choral pieces are a case in point. Here, conductor René Jacobs makes a compelling case for mixing things up in the Mass in B Minor, Bach’s late, great masterpiece. Jacobs swaps between smaller and larger forces, depending on the style and mood of the movement. Some of the tempos might surprise: the opening “Kyrie” skips along, while the “Sanctus” puts aside its majestic mantle and all but dances, but it’s all arrestingly performed.