Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard415
Masaaki Suzuki, conductor
Bach: Mass in B minor
With members of Yale Baroque Ensemble
Friday, april 26 | 8 pm
free; no tickets required
Preconcert talk by Markus Rathey | 7 PM
Saturday, April 27 | 3pm
Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue
5th Ave. at 53rd St., New York, NY
free; tickets available at www.stthomaschurch.org/music/concerts
presented in collaboration with The Juilliard School with support from Yale School of Music
see also International Tour dates in Japan and Singapore.
Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as one of the world’s leading authorities on J.S. Bach. He has an outstanding reputation for expressive refinement and truth of his performances. The Times (London) has written: “it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour”. Recently, Suzuki and his ensemble won the German Record Critics’ Award, Diapason d’Or de l’Année and BBC Music Magazine Award for their recording of Bach motets.
Yale Schola Cantorum, founded in 2003 by Simon Carrington, is a 24-voice chamber choir that sings in concerts and choral services. Supported by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with the School of Music, and open by audition to all Yale students, it specializes in music from before 1750 and the last hundred years. Since 2009 Schola Cantorum has been under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki.
Juilliard’s early music orchestra, Juilliard415, has consistently won critical reviews by the New York Times for their concerts at the Lincoln Center. The orchestra is part of Julliard’s newest degree, Historical Performance, a performance-orientated program open to Masters and Doctoral level students. The rigorous curriculum fosters an informed, vital understanding of the many issues unique to period instrument performance with the level of technical excellence and musical integrity for which Juilliard is renowned.
J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor was assembled and revised in the final years of his life, alongside his monumental works for keyboard (the Goldberg Variations and the Musical Offering) and chamber ensemble (the Art of the Fugue). In all of these late compositions, Bach explores the furthest reaches of musical possibility and produces extraordinary testaments to his life’s work.
It is still not known why the Mass was written, and it was not performed in its entirety until the mid-19th century. Some have theorized that it was intended for the consecration of a church in Dresden. It is just as likely, however, that Bach produced the Mass simply to satisfy his own desire for large-scale musical perfection.