Following two prize-winning recordings of works by Zelenka, Jan Dismas (ACC24244 and ACC24259) highly praised by the international press, the Prague Collegium 1704 directed by Václav Luks has meanwhile given guest performances at the most important European concert venues. With its new CD recording, the ensemble has now conquered a milestone in baroque choral literature: Bach, Johann Sebastian's B-minor Mass. The enigma of this great Catholic Mass by the Protestant Bach has continued to occupy musicologists to the present day.
In accordance with the current state of research, the ensemble is set up according to the ideals of Bach, Johann Sebastian. The choir – the high-quality Collegium Vocale 1704 – provides not only choral parts, with four singers to each part, but also the soloists, accompanied by an orchestra of 30 instrumentalists all of whom are internationally known specialists in historically accurate performance practice.
This new recording, the first Czech CD recording of this work on historical instruments, captivates listeners through the special charm, lightness and great virtuosity for which this ensemble is noted, together with the extensive knowledge and seriousness with which Václav Luks tackles his projects. Whereas a rather Protestant sobriety dominates other recordings of Bach's great Mass, this recording is impressive for its Catholic-influenced, Bohemian joy in music-making - with a zest for living that can be felt at all times.