Bach: Mass in B Minor; Cantata BWV 56

Bach: Mass in B Minor; Cantata BWV 56
Neville Marriner
Catalogue No.

Long out of the catalogue, Marriner’s (Philips) recording of Bach’s B Minor Mass, with an array of splendid soloists, returns to circulation. Its coupling is the first release on CD of this recording of the deeply moving Cantata BWV 56 ‘Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen’. It was one of two (extant) Bach cantatas for bass voice alone (the other being BWV 82 ‘Ich habe genug’: Shirley-Quirk’s recording with Marriner appears on Decca Eloquence 476 2684). The two items were recorded thirteen years apart, the Cantata in April 1964 and the Mass in June-July 1977. The partnership of Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is possibly the most recorded of all partnerships in recorded classical music. This pioneering 2CD set was issued in celebration of the Academy’s 50th anniversary this year and these recordings form part of a series of Marriner reissues on Eloquence.


Cantata ‘Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen’, BWV 56
John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
The St. Anthony Singers
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Neville Marriner

Mass in B minor, BWV 232
Margaret Marshall, soprano I
Janet Baker, soprano II/alto
Robert Tear, tenor
Samuel Ramey, bass
Academy and Chorus of St. Martin in the Fields
László Heltay, chorus master
Iona Brown, leader
Neville Marriner

Recording information

Recording Producers: James Burnett (Cantata); Vittorio Negri (Mass)
Balance Engineers: Allen Stagg (Cantata); Vittorio Negri (Mass)
Recording Locations: St. Paul’s, Knightsbridge, London, UK, April 1964 (Cantata); St. John’s, Smith Square, London, UK, June-July 1977 (Mass)


‘This disc is, I would say, the one to have; and, more than any of his previous recordings, it makes apparent beyond doubt, John Shirley-Quirk’s high standing as an artist’ (Cantata) Gramophone

‘I found the solo singing rewarding and in particular Dame Janet Baker’s account of the Agnus Dei very moving … the sound is rich with plenty of bloom … Cum Sancto Spiritu is a real choral tour de force’ (Mass) Gramophone