Mass in B Minor
A Masterpiece Seldom Performed in Turku
Minna Nyberg, soprano
Essi Luttinen, alto
Aarne Mansikka, tenor
Aarne Pelkonen, bass
Finnish Baroque Orchestra
Turku Youth Company
Jutta Seppinen, conductor
Despite its huge popularity, Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685–1750) Mass in B minor – the grand masterpiece of his later career – has been performed very few times in Finland Proper. There might be even over twenty years since the last performance. Now, the mass is being performed by Key Ensemble and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra in collaboration. We hope to establish a tradition of performances in the Turku region and Finland Proper that continues for a long time, and also to perform the work in other places in Finland during the coming years.
The mass is often considered to be Bach’s musical last will and testament. It contains themes from Bach’s earlier works since it wasn’t composed in one piece. The first parts, Kyrie and Gloria, were finished in 1724 and 1731, and the rest of the music during the following twenty years. The Mass in B minor was finished during Bach’s last year of life, in 1749.
The Mass in B minor is different from the passions that Bach composed as sacred music. The work follows the mass of the catholic church and the text is in Latin, which wasn’t used officially in the Lutheran church during the 18th century. Because of this, the work wasn’t performed as a whole for a long time. The first complete performance that we know of was only in 1859 in Leipzig, 110 years after the work had been completed.
Duration: 2 h 30 min (incl. intermission)
Tickets 40 € (places in the front part), 25 € (other places), 15 € (students): keyensemble.fi/konsertit and closer to the concert the Cathedral's info