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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 lives with his wife and two children.
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“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod.”
— Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431)

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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!

KYRIE

01 Kyrie eleison (Chorus)

02 Christe eleison (Duet: Sopranos I and II)

03 Kyrie eleison (Chorus)


GLORIA

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)


CREDO

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)


SANCTUS

20 Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus (Chorus)

21 Osanna in excelsis (Chorus)

22 Benedictus (Aria: Tenor with Violin obbligato)


AGNUS

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




NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

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.