In 1981, Martin Pearlman conducted the ensemble now known as Boston Baroque in the Boston period instrument premiere of the mighty Mass in B Minor by J.S. Bach—at that time, it was only the second such performance to be known in the country. In the Boston Globe, music critic Richard Dyer praised the performance, calling it "…A major reassessment of how this music can sound, and an extension of our vocabulary of feeling as we listen to it." Now Pearlman and his professional ensemble bring the perspective of nearly twenty years of experience with the score, as well as the latest scholarship available, to this recording that culminated the group's 25th Anniversary Season in the Spring of 1999.
Pearlman chose an outstanding cast of soloists to help bring this virtuosic score to life. Nicole Heaston is a recipient of the Richard Tucker Award, and has sung leading roles with the Houston Grand Opera, the Dusseldorf Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. Both Theodora Hanslowe and Ellen Rabiner appear regularly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as well as in distinguished opera houses throughout the world. Tenor Mark Tucker has performed and recorded with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, and Rene Jacobs, and is well known as an interpreter of baroque and classical repertoire. Bass-baritone Nathan Berg has performed in recital, opera and in concert with major symphony orchestras internationally. The current season finds him touring throughout Europe and Asia.
Pearlman and Boston Baroque recently made international headlines with the world premiere Telarc recording of The Philosopher's Stone (CD-80508), in a highly praised performance of a collaboratively-composed Singspiel with music newly attributed to Mozart. Upcoming in the fall of 2000 will be a recording of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, featuring soprano Christine Goerke in the title role.