• Show TV Channels

    Hide TV Channels

  • Show Radio Channels

    Hide Radio Channels

  • Show Years

    Hide Years

  • Issues

Close group

Close group

B.B.C. Symphony Concert-XIX


We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
(Sole Lessees, Messrs. Chappell and Co., Ltd.)
Bach's Mass in B Minor
THE B Minor Mass of .Bach is acknowledged to bo one of the greatest musical works in the world, but partly owing to the circumstances in which it came to bo written, and partly because of its unusual structure, it is unfitted for practical use as a Mass in churches.
In spite of the power of tho Reformed Church in Bach's day, there were still many, particularly among the ruling families, who remained loyal to the Catholic faith, and though Bach was employed by Protestant authorities and composed his music for Protestant services, his ruler and over-lord, the Duke of Saxony, was a Catholic. Therefore, when Bach chose on one occasion to seek a favour of the Duke, and to protest against petty-minded treatment by the Leipzig Councillors, he thought it as well to enclose a composition with his letter. 'I lay before your kingly Majesty this trifling proof of the science which I have been able to acquire in music,' ho writes as preface to his request, ' the trifling proof ' he refers to being the Kyrie and Gloria of the B Minor Mass.
The rest of the work was composed over a period of some years, and one infers it was written with neither the Protestant nor the Catholic church directly in mind. but from a devotional impulse that moved Bach to complete the music to the Latin of the Roman Mass. In any case, he departed from the usual custom of church composers by setting the words of the Mass with an earnest appreciation of their meaning, and it is this deeply devout attitude that, allied to Bach's genius, lifts the work on to a plane loftier than and different from all others of its kind.
A singular fact regarding the separate movements is that the music of many of them was written in the first place for other works, and was later adapted by Bach for use in the B Minor Mass. The Kyrie and Gloria, as being the movements offered to the Duke of Saxony, were naturally original compositions, but many of the later ones were taken from other works, mostly the Church Cantatas, and skilfully transferred to the Mass, the Latin words, which replaced the German words, fitting both the music and the meaning of the music so aptly as to stultify criticism. In the words of Dr. Sanford Terry, the great Bach scholar: Except in so far as it illuminates the ways of genius, it is of no aesthetic value to discover the proportion of original to borrowed material. The Mass is the design of a superb architect, perfect in proportion and balance.'


Tell us more or contact us

Do you know something about this programme that we have not included above?
Or would you like to ask the Genome team a question?

Tell us more or contact us

About this project

This site contains the BBC listings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009. You can search the site for BBC programmes, people, dates and Radio Times editions.

We hope it helps you find information about that long forgotten BBC programme, research a particular person or browse your own involvement with the BBC.

Through the listings, you will also be able to use the Genome search function to find thousands of radio and TV programmes that are already available to view or listen to on the BBC website.

There are more than 5 million programme listings in Genome. This is a historical record of the planned output and the BBC services of any given time. It should be viewed in this context and with the understanding that it reflects the attitudes and standards of its time - not those of today.

Feedback about B.B.C. Symphony Concert-XIX, National Programme Daventry, 20.15, 6 April 1932
Please leave this link here so we can find the programme you're referring to: http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/4d5cfe66a6e5423cb8a1c918201a6bf3

Welcome to BBC Genome

Genome is a digitised version of the Radio Times from 1923 to 2009 and is made available for internal research purposes only. You will need to obtain the relevant third party permissions for any use, including use in programmes, online etc.

This internal version of Genome, which includes all the magazine covers, images and articles as well as the programme listings from the Radio Times, is different to the version of BBC Genome that is available externally/to the public. It is only available inside the BBC network.

Your use of this version of Genome is covered by the BBC Acceptable Use of Information Systems Policy and these terms.

BBC Guidance

This historical record contains material which some might find offensive
Continue Cancel