Les quatre Messes brèves de Bach
Soloists, choir, and orchestra
With the St. Lawrence Choir
Directed by Philippe Bourque
We don’t know the occasion for which Bach composed, between 1737 and approximately 1748, the four missæ breves (short masses), also known as his Lutheran Masses. As was the custom, the only texts of the mass they set to music are the Kyrie and the Gloria, the latter which Bach divided into five movements. Because Bach reused arias and chorales from his own cantatas in these short masses, adapting the music to the Latin text, they have been somewhat underrated. But this is to forget that his monumental B minor Mass is also a collage of recycled components… Whatever the case, this is a wonderful chance to discover these magnificent and rarely heard works.