UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Official certificate presentation for the autograph of Bach’s Mass in B minor

Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor is generally considered one of the all-time greats of the choral repertoire. In 2015 Bach’s autograph which is held in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz was included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

On 27 October Verena Metze-Mangold (President of the German UNESCO Commission) will officially present the UNESCO Memory of the World Register certificate to Barbara Schneider-Kempf (Director General of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz). This presentation will be accompanied by three performances (26, 27 and 28 October) of the Mass given by the RIAS Chamber Choir and the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Ton Koopman at the Berliner Philharmonie.

Bärenreiter has published a high-quality facsimile edition of this work in an effort to record the manuscript, which, in its current state, is endangered and damaged by iron gall ink erosion. In this piece of our cultural heritage, it is particularly moving to see how Bach’s handwriting, in some passages, reflects the effort which this last work demanded of him.

This is truly a fascinating work which rightfully deserves its place in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

More information on the facsimile