Memory of the World

Germany - Autograph of h-Moll-Messe (Mass in B minor) by Johann Sebastian Bach

With the autograph of Mass in B minor (BWV 232), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) has presented a classic example of a mass composition. In this respect, the manuscript of Mass in B minor is completely unique: it represents a culmination in multiple ways and is the most outstanding evidence of the compositional mastery of Bach. At the same time, the autograph embodies extensive avowal of religion because it composes the mass text in Latin, which is a universal language. And so one cannot help but think that Bach considered Mass in B minor to be his artistic bequest.

Photos: © Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

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