Mass in B minor discography

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The listing shows recordings of the Mass in B minor, BWV 232, by Johann Sebastian Bach. The selection is taken from the 237 recordings listed on bach-cantatas as of 2015, beginning with the first recording by a symphony orchestra and choir to match, conducted by Albert Coates. Beginning in the late 1960s, historically informed performances paved the way for recordings with smaller groups, boys choirs and ensembles playing period instruments, and eventually to recordings using the one-voice-on-a-vocal-part scoring first argued for by Joshua Rifkin in 1982.


The work was first recorded by symphonic choirs and orchestras. From the late 1960s, historically informed performances (HIP) tried to adhere more to the sounds of the composer's lifetime, who typically wrote for boys choirs and for comparatively small orchestras of Baroque instruments, often now called "period instruments". Some scholars believe that Bach used only one singer for a vocal part in the choral movements, termed "one voice per part" (OVPP). On some of these recordings, the solo singer is reinforced in choral movements with a larger orchestra by a ripieno singer (OVPP+R).

The first complete recording of the work was conducted by Albert Coates in 1929. Robert Shaw led the first American recording in 1947. Some recordings are documents of live concerts, such as a 1968 performance conducted by Karl Richter at the Moscow Conservatory Grand Hall. The same year, the first HIP recording appeared, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, followed by Johan van der Meer's version with the Groningse Bachvereniging in 1975 which was recorded live in Utrecht at the Holland Festival. The first OVPP recording appeared in 1982, conducted by Joshua Rifkin.

Table of selected recordings[edit]

The sortable listing is taken from the selection provided by Aryeh Oron on the Bach-Cantatas website.

Soloists Bach composed the work for five soloists: soprano I and II, alto, tenor and bass. The soloists are listed in the table in the order SATB.

Some recordings arranged the music for four soloists, the movements in which soprano II (SII) is requested, are divided, sung by soprano I (SI) and alto (A).

Some recordings divide the two bass solos on two singers because of their very different tessitura:

The composition has a movement for two choirs SATB, Osanna. In recordings with one voice per part (OVPP), the soloists are normally listed in the order SSAATTBB. For some recordings, only the singers doing solo work are named.

Choir type

  1. Large choirs (red background): Large (unspecified), Bach (choir dedicated to Bach's music, founded in the mid-20th century, Boys (choir of all male voices), Radio (choir of a broadcaster), Symphony (choir related to a symphony orchestry)
  2. Medium-size choirs, such as Chamber, Chorale (choir dedicated mostly to church music), Motet
  3. One voice per part (green background): OVPP or OVPP+R (with ripienists reinforcing the soloists in some chorale movements)

Orchestra type

  1. Large orchestras (red background): Bach (orchestra dedicated to Bach's music, founded in the mid-20th century), Radio (symphony orchestra of a broadcaster), Symphony
  2. Chamber orchestra
  3. Orchestra on period instruments (green background)


Recordings of Bach's Mass in B minor, BWV 232
Conductor / Choir / Orchestra Soloists Label Year Choir type Orch. type
Coates, AlbertAlbert Coates[1]
The Philharmonic Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
HMV 1929 (1929) Large Symphony
Shaw, RobertRobert Shaw[1]
RCA Victor Chorale
RCA Victor Orchestra
  • Anne McKnight
  • June Gardner
  • Lydia Summers
  • Lucius Metz
  • Paul Matthen
RCA Victor 1947 (1947) Chorale Radio
Scherchen, HermannHermann Scherchen[2]
Wiener Akademie-Kammerchor
Wiener Symphoniker
Westminster 1950 (1950) Chamber Symphony
Enescu, GeorgeGeorge Enescu[2]
BBC Chorus
Boyd Neel Orchestra
BBC 1951 (1951) Radio Symphony
Karajan, Herbert vonHerbert von Karajan[2]
Wiener Singverein
Wiener Symphoniker
EMI 1953 (1953) Large Symphony
Lehmann, FritzFritz Lehmann[2]
RIAS Kammerchor
Konzerthausorchester Berlin
Urania 1953 (1953) Chamber Symphony
Werner, FritzFritz Werner[2]
Heinrich-Schütz-Chor Heilbronn
Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra
Erato 1957 (1957) Chamber
Scherchen, HermannHermann Scherchen[2]
Wiener Akademie-Kammerchor
Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Westminster 1959 (1959) Chamber Opera
Shaw, RobertRobert Shaw[3]
Robert Shaw Chorale
Robert Shaw Orchestra
RCA Victor Red Seal 1960 (1960) Chorale Symphony
Richter, KarlKarl Richter[3]
Münchener Bach-Chor
Münchener Bach-Orchester
Archiv Produktion 1961 (1961) Bach Bach
Klemperer, OttoOtto Klemperer[3]
BBC Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
EMI 1967 (1967) Radio Symphony
Harnoncourt, NikolausNikolaus Harnoncourt[3]
Chorus Viennensis
Concentus Musicus Wien
Teldec 1968 (1968) Period
Richter, KarlKarl Richter[3]
Münchener Bach-Chor
Münchener Bach-Orchester
Melodiya / Ars Nova 1968 (1968) Bach Bach
Meer, Johan van derJohan van der Meer[4]
Groningse Bachvereniging
La Petite Bande
Teldec 1968 (1968) Bach Period
Karajan, Herbert vonHerbert von Karajan[4]
Wiener Singverein
Berliner Philharmoniker
Deutsche Grammophon 1974 (1974) Large Symphony
Rilling, HelmuthHelmuth Rilling[4]
Gächinger Kantorei
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart
Hänssler 1977 (1977) Chorale Chamber
Jochum, EugenEugen Jochum[5]
Bavarian Radio Choir
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
EMI 1980 (1980) Radio Radio
Rifkin, JoshuaJoshua Rifkin[5]
The Bach Ensemble
Nonesuch 1982 (1982) OVPP Period
Parrott, AndrewAndrew Parrott[5]
Taverner Consort and Players
EMI 1984 (1984) OVPP Period
Leonhardt, GustavGustav Leonhardt[5]
Collegium Musicum of De Nederlandse Bachvereniging
La Petite Bande
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 1985 (1985) Period
Gardiner, John EliotJohn Eliot Gardiner[5]
The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists
Archiv 1985 (1985) Period
Kahlhöfer, HelmutHelmut Kahlhöfer[5]
Kantorei Barmen-Gemarke
Kantorei Barmen-Gemarke 1985 (1985)
Shaw, RobertRobert Shaw[6][7]
Atlanta Chamber Chorus
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Telarc 1990 (1990) Chamber Symphony
Solti, GeorgGeorg Solti[6]
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
London 1990 (1990) Symphony Symphony
Jacobs, RenéRené Jacobs[6]
RIAS Kammerchor
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Berlin Classics 1992 (1992) Chamber Period
Hickox, RichardRichard Hickox[6]
Collegium Musicum 90
Collegium Musicum 90
Chandos 1992 (1992) Period
Beringer, Karl-FriedrichKarl-Friedrich Beringer[6]
Windsbacher Knabenchor
Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss
Hänssler 1994 (1994) Boys Chamber
Koopman, TonTon Koopman[6]
Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Erato 1994 (1994) Period
Giulini, Carlo MariaCarlo Maria Giulini[6]
Bavarian Radio Choir
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Sony 1994 (1994) Radio Radio
Herreweghe, PhilippePhilippe Herreweghe[6]
Collegium Vocale Gent
Collegium Vocale Gent
Harmonia Mundi 1996 (1996) Period
King, RobertRobert King[6]
Tölzer Knabenchor
The King's Consort
Hyperion 1996 (1996) Boys Period
Hengelbrock, ThomasThomas Hengelbrock[6]
Freiburger Barockorchester
Harmonia Mundi 1996 (1996) Period
Funfgeld, GregGreg Funfgeld[6]
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem
The Bach Festival Orchestra
  • Tamara Matthews
  • Rosa Lamoreaux
  • Marietta Simpson
  • Frederick Urrey
  • William Sharp
  • Daniel Lichti
Dorian Recordings 1997 (1997) Bach Bach
Daus, JoshardJoshard Daus[6]
Bach Ensemble of EuropaChorAkademie
Münchner Symphoniker
Arte Nova 1998 (1998)
Rilling, HelmuthHelmuth Rilling[6]
Gächinger Kantorei
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart
Hänssler 1999 (1999) Chorale Chamber
Biller, Georg ChristophGeorg Christoph Biller[8]
Naxos 2000 (2000) Boys Symphony
Kuijken, SigiswaldSigiswald Kuijken[8]
La Petite Bande
Urtext 2000 (2000) OVPP Period
Junghänel, KonradKonrad Junghänel[8]
Cantus Cölln
Harmonia Mundi 2003 (2003) OVPP Period
Bernius, FriederFrieder Bernius[8]
Kammerchor Stuttgart
Barockorchester Stuttgart
Carus-Verlag 2004 (2004) Chamber Period
Rilling, HelmuthHelmuth Rilling[8]
Gächinger Kantorei
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart
Hänssler 2007 (2007) Chorale Chamber
Suzuki, MasaakiMasaaki Suzuki[8]
Bach Collegium Japan
Bach Collegium Japan
BIS 2007 (2007) Period
Kuijken, SigiswaldSigiswald Kuijken[8]
La Petite Bande
Challenge Classics 2008 (2008) OVPP Period
Brüggen, FransFrans Brüggen[8]
Cappella Amsterdam
Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century
Glossa 2009 (2009) Period
Veldhoven, Jos vanJos van Veldhoven[8]
De Nederlandse Bachvereniging
De Nederlandse Bachvereniging
Channel Classics Records 2009 (2009) OVPP+R Period
Minkowski, MarcMarc Minkowski[8]
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Naïve 2009 (2009) OVPP+R Period
Butt, JohnJohn Butt[8]
Dunedin Consort
Dunedin Players
  • Susan Hamilton
  • Cecilia Osmond
  • Margot Oitzinger
  • Thomas Hobbs
  • Matthew Brook
    • ripienists:
  • Nicola Corbishley
  • Katie Tretheway
  • Annemieke Cantor
  • Christopher Watson
  • Christopher Adams
Linn 2009 (2009) OVPP+R Period
Biller, Georg ChristophGeorg Christoph Biller[9]
Freiburger Barockorchester
ACCENTUS Music 2013 (2013) Boys Period


  1. ^ a b "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 1: 1900–1949". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 2: 1950–1959". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 3: 1960–1969". Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 4: 1970–1979". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 5: 1980–1989". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 6: 1990–1999". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Bach: Mass in B minor - Robert Shaw | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 7: 2000–2009". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Mass in B minor BWV 232 - Recordings Part 8: 2010–2019". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

  • Mass in B minor Commentary, musical examples, list of recordings, and other information, on bach-cantatas