We’ll hear Bach’s B-Minor Mass with a typically deluxe Herbert von Karajan “cast” headed by Kathleen Battle and Agnes Baltsa, paired with Arleen Augér in the title role (!) of Mayr’s San Luigi Gonzaga.

While it’s possible that Battle and Baltsa may have sung the Bach Mass earlier in their careers, I doubt they ever sang it again after this starry Salzburg Festival outing.

Johann Simon Mayr, best known for his Medea in Corinto, composed his oratorio sacra nearly 75 years after Bach completed his Mass. Mayr, though born in Germany, spent most of his life in Italy and is sometimes better know as Giovanni Simone Mayr. This shortish work for three soloists and chorus offers a rare opportunity to hear Augér and her co-stars Trudeliese Schmidt and Bernd Weikl (as the saint’s parents) perform florid bel canto-era music.

J. S. Bach: B-minor Mass

Kathleen Battle
Agnes Baltsa
Gösta Winbergh
José van Dam

Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan

Salzburg Festival
27 August 1985

Mayr: San Luigi Gonzaga

San Luigi: Arleen Augér
Donna Marta: Trudeliese Schmidt
Don Ferrante: Bernd Weikl

Conductor: Günther Wich

Bavarian Radio
7 April 1974

Both works can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a cloud with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.

After highlighting seventeen extraordinary divas this month, Chris’s Cache will take a needed short break.

Watch for a pair of all-Wagner installments next month.