About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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Essentially the Missal of St. Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise “De Sacramentis” and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

Bach Mass In B Minor • Robert Shaw, 1947
published 30 October 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

733 Bach Shaw OT ALL sacred music is appropriate for use during the liturgy. For example, some pieces are too long (cf. Pius X Tra le Sollecitudini, §23) or too theatrical (idem §6). Examples would include Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Even though it cannot be used during the liturgy 1 it remains glorious music.

For me, one of the greatest masterpieces ever written is Bach’s Mass in B Minor. My favorite recording, in spite of a few minor flaws, has always been the 1947 version conducted by Robert Shaw. (see below)

I cannot convey to you how highly I value this music and how much joy it has brought me through the years, so I won’t even try.

The following mp3 files are courtesy of archive.org. Enjoy!


01 Kyrie eleison (Chorus)

02 Christe eleison (Duet: Sopranos I and II)

03 Kyrie eleison (Chorus)


04 Gloria in excelsis Deo (Chorus)

05 Laudamus Te (Aria: Soprano II with Violin obbligato)

06 Gratias agimus (Chorus)

07 Domine Deus (Duet: Soprano I and Tenor)

08 Qui tollis pecata mundi (Chorus)

09 Qui sedes ad dexteram (Aria: Alto with Oboe d’amore obbligato)

10 Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Aria: Bass with Corno da caccia obbligato)

11 Cum sancto spiritu (Chorus)


12 Credo in unum Deum (Chorus)

13 Patrem omnipotentem (Chorus)

14 Et in unum Deum (Duet: Soprano and Alto)

15 Et incarnatus est (Chorus)

16 Crucifixus (Chorus)

17 Et resurrexit (Chorus)

18 Et in spiritum sanctum (Aria: Bass with Oboi d’amore obbligati)

19 Confiteor (Chorus)


20 Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus (Chorus)

21 Osanna in excelsis (Chorus)

22 Benedictus (Aria: Tenor with Violin obbligato)


23 Agnus Dei (Aria: Alto with Violin obbligato)

24 Dona nobis pacem (Chorus)

J. S. BACH: Mass in B minor, BWV 232

Anne McKnight, soprano I
June Gardner, soporano II
Lydia Summers, contralto
Lucius Metz, tenor
Paul Matthen, bass

RCA Victor Chorale and Orchestra
Robert Shaw, Conductor
Recorded in 1947


1   Bach’s Mass in B Minor was probably never intended for use during an actual Catholic liturgy. If this seems strange, consider the cultural importance of the Catholic Mass going back 1600+ years. Even during the 20th century, non-Catholics like Igor Stravinsky composed Masses.