Bach, Johann Sebastian
Mass B minor BWV 232
Facsimile of the autograph score in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Edition no.
BVK 2194
ISBN
9783761821947
Editor
Wolff, Christoph
Language(s) of work
German, English, Japanese
Product format
Facsimile
Comments
Formerly see BVK 1911
Binding
Linen
Pages / Format
XLVI, 208 S. - 35,5 x 24,5 cm
In response to a continued interest in a scholarly facsimile of the Mass in B minor, a new cloth-bound facsimile edition (BVK 2194) has now been published. This replaces the original BÄRENREITER FACSIMILE edition (BVK 1911).

Johann Sebastian Bach completed the Mass in B minor in 1748/49 shortly after the Art of Fugue and shortly before his death. This late work is as concentrated and rich in compositional technique as scarcely any other work. As early as 1818, Hans-Georg Nägeli enthusiastically described the Mass as the "greatest musical artwork of all time and all nations”. Since then it has been ranked as an icon of music history.

One of the primary functions of a facsimile is the preservation of such a cultural heritage, particularly when the manuscript (as is the case with the Mass in B minor) is endangered and damaged by iron gall ink erosion. Furthermore, it is moving for Bach admirers to see how in some passages Bach’s handwriting reflects the effort which this last work demanded of him.

The facsimile documents and records the present condition of the complete autograph score. Older reproductions have substituted a few individual folios where the content has become difficult to read in recent years.
The renowned Bach scholar Christoph Wolff describes the work’s significance in his introduction, gives an overview of the history of composition and draws attention to particular distinguishing features of the manuscript.

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