There are several works by Johann Sebastian Bach that exude more than simply the atmosphere of greatness and reverence associated with a unique creative genius - these compositions are also shrouded in mystery. The Mass in B minor being played at this concert is, without doubt, one of these works.Musicologists have long debated numerous questions about the work's origins, with some remaining unresolved. Why did a Lutheran composer write a so-called missa tota, meaning a complete cycle including the full mass, when Kyrie-Gloria masses were the usual practice in his church? What year does the composition date from? What were Bach's intentions regarding the work? Why did an otherwise pragmatic composer write a work that exceeds the scope of a regular church service in terms of the difficulties involved in performing it and, most of all, its unusual vastness? Enough answers - often profuse in their mutual contradictions - have been provided to all these questions to fill volumes.
One thing is assured: The Mass in B minor is not only one of the most monumental of Bach's works, it is also among the greatest achievements in music history. It is apparent that the work is a compilation, meaning that it originated from different phases of Bach's career and was stitched together from parts that were originally unrelated. If this was the case, however, a new question also immediately arises: how does it create such an impression of perfection and uniformity? This is one of the work's many mysteries. What is certain is that the self-consciously modest Bach intended the work as a demonstration of his skill, a kind of summary similar to several other large compendiums in his oeuvre: The Well-Tempered Clavier, The Art of the Fugue, Musikalisches Opfer and the Clavier-übung.
The concert will be preceded from 6.30 pm by a conversation entitled Prelude, where ticket holders will be invited to get to know the performing musician and the works to be performed more closely.
The Müpa Budapest underground garage gates will be operated by an automatic number plate recognition system. Parking is free of charge for visitors with tickets to any of our paid performances on that given day. The detailed parking policy of Müpa Budapest is available here.
Refreshments – Without the Queue
Thanks to our new catering service at the Átrium Snack Bar, you can forget about waiting in line during intermissions for some refreshments and get your order prepped especially for you by the time the intermission actually starts. Find out more about pre-ordering here.