Portsmouth Baroque Choir’s summer concert, at St Paul’s Church, Chichester, on Sunday 7 July at 6pm, features J S Bach’s colossal Mass in B Minor. This has been called the ‘greatest musical artwork of all times and peoples’, and is also very difficult to sing! The choir are delighted to be collaborating again with the Consort of Twelve – http://www.consortoftwelve.co.uk – for this performance.
The Mass in B minor is a huge work. The setting of the Nicene Creed alone has nine separate movements; it opens with a five-part fugue based on the traditional plainchant. Another highlight is the 6-part Sanctus, described by the musicologist C S Terry as follows: ‘For glory of utterance, the Sanctus stands by itself … The movement is of overwhelming sublimity.’ It was originally composed for performance on Christmas Day 1724 at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach is buried.
The Consort of Twelve on this occasion will include three trumpets and a ‘Baroque horn’, an unusual instrument which features in just one movement.