There are many people who love J.S.Bach's cantatas, and their taste is different. Some only accept HIP performances, others prefer older recordings. Some hold complete sets (Rilling, Leonhardt/Harnoncourt, Leusink, Koopman, Suzuki), others look for separate recordings of selected cantatas.
I think that the two recordings of BWV 140 and BWV 80 made by Wolfgang Gönnenwein in 1967 and included here, belong to the very best ones in the discography of these works. They surely deserve a CD reissue. The orchestra and choir are well-balanced, the conducting is firm without sounding pedestrian. As most conductors, Gönnenwein uses in BWV 80 the orchestration with three trumpets and timpani, likely added by J.S. Bach's son, Wilhelm Friedemann. With Gönnenwein's able conducting it works: the trumpets add the aggression in the noisy and militant first chorus of BWV 80 and are not felt as a pure decoration. The vocalists in BWV 80, 140 are excellent. The most famous of them are Janet Baker and Elly Ameling, but I would specially praise the bass Hans Sotin: so well-trained deep voices are seldom heard in Bach's cantatas.
The recording of BWV 147 made by Geraint Jones (more remembered as an organist than as a conductor) in 1957, is not in the same league, but here you can hear Joan Sutherland in the soprano aria `Bereite dich, Zion'. Although this is not idiomatic Bach singing - many modern purists (not me) would blame Sutherland's vibrato and prefer more thin, boyish sounding voices, it is beautiful. The alto (Helen Watts) and tenor soloists are really good. The baritone Thomas Hemsley has intonation problems.
All three cantatas are based on famous Lutheran chorals, `Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott' (BWV 80), "Sleepers, awake" (BWV 140) and "Jesu, Joy of Man's desiring" (BWV 147).
Gönnenwein's recording of J.S.Bach's motet BWV 227 serves as a filler in this compilation.
The same Gönnenwein's recordings of BWV 140 and BWV 80 are also available in a different package, cf. Bach: Cantatas Nos. 80, 140, 147; Motet and Les Grandes Cantates. BWV 140 has also been reissued in a combination with BWV 106 and 78 on EMI 25 21282 (all with Gönnenwein).