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JS Bach: Complete Bach Edition [CD+DVD, Box set]

Various Artists Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £322.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Mar 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 154
  • Format: CD+DVD, Box set
  • Label: WCJ
  • ASIN: B006WKDT1E
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,782 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By JoelC
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this fabulous box set with money that I received for my 18th birthday.
The box set came, and I opened it. But what to listen to first?
I elected to listen to something that I already had a copy of - "The Well Tempered Clavier". What I was presented with, upon listening, was a fantastic version of these pieces played, presumably, as Bach intended (or as near as is possible). This is very different to the other copy that I have (Daniel Barenboim).
The cantatas too are fantastic. These performances are rendered in as authentic a way as possible, and as has been said about this boxset, sometimes the voices of the boy soprano soloists are stretched, but this is a small price to pay for the "real deal". I also own a box set of the cantatas conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. This set is very widely regarded. I would say that, considering the cantatas in this set vs. cantatas in the "Cantata Pilgrimage", one is not significantly better than the other - but rather, they are different.
In conclusion, I would wholeheartedly recommend this box set to anybody who is fond "HIP" music, but I respect that my review cannot be considered to be fully justified until I have listened to a good proportion of the music - at over 6 days, this may be a while.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for high-quality performances 6 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I ordered this Teldec set shortly after BBC Radio 3 recommended it, with the caveat that no one organist could be everybody's favourite for all the works.

My elder son is an organist, so far most of the discs be have listened to have been organ-oriented and Ton Koopman's playing is either very acceptable or very good.

I have also checked the Goldberg variations and the violin concertos, these too are at least good, but some will prefer the piano to Gustav Leonhardt's harpsichord.

At less than £2 per disc I think this complete edition represents excellent value, I will be able to give a more informed review in a couple of years!
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No documentation! 13 April 2012
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This set contains some excellent and classic recordings, but some rather excentric ones as well. With Rilling's set (The Complete Works of Johann Sebastian Bach - Bachakademie 10th Anniversary Special Collection) available at $262, and the Brilliant set (Bach: Complete Edition) at $155, I had expected more from this set. For example the complete documentation, which was available in the original release (Bach 2000: The Complete Bach Edition), perhaps on a CD-ROM. With the present set you get only a booklet which gives the contents on each CD. Because of the relatively high price and the lack of documentation, I give the set three stars instead of four.

The Harnoncourt / Leonhardt sacred cantated was the first complete set ever recorded, and many of still sound very good. But the competition is very strong today, and the quality of the soloists are not always the best. Often boys are used for the soprano solos, and a counter tenor for the alto solos. The result is not always convincing, although I find the choral singing attractive. Boy's choirs are used throughout.

For the secular cantatas, the recordings of Ton Koopman are used. They are very fresh, and to be preferred to the recording of Peter Schreier, which is used by Brilliant.

Regarding the B minor mass, Teldec has chosen Harnoncourt's 1986 recording, rather than the classic 1968 recording. I'm not sure that this is a wise choice. The revolutionary 1968 recording (available separately as Bach: Messe in h-moll) has been highly regarded over the years, and still counts as a milestone. The later recording included here, using a mixed choir, sounds much more mainstream. It is not bad, but simply not as interesting.

Harnoncourt has recorded St Matthew Passion thrice for Teldec. This one is recorded around 1970 features Wiener Sängerknaben, and thus was a direct follow-up to the first B minor mass. This is one of the great recordings of this set, awarded with both "Grand Prix du Disque" and "Edison". The only negative side of this recording is that boys and men were used for the soprano and alto solos. (If you want at really fine St Matthew Passion with female soloists, boy's chorus, but with modern instruments, look for Karl Münchinger's recording from 1965, Matthaus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion)).

Again, Teldec has chosen a newer version from 1993 for St John Passion, rather than the classic 1971 set. This is a pity.

Sixteen CD:s are devoted to the organ works, here played by Ton Koopman on different organs. These recordings (most of them from the 1990ies) are very good, but not outstanding. Joel Warren Lidz at [...] finds "the playing is arresting in its originality of conception and very energetic", but "his use of ornamentation excessive at times".

For all keyboard works (22 CDs), a harpsichord (rather than a piano) is used. If you like the harpsichord, these are probably very good interpretations. The players are Gustav Leonhardt, Scott Ross, Michele Barchi, Glen Wilson, Bob van Asperen, Zuzana Ruzickova, and Alan Curtis, amongst others. For my ears the harpsichord gets tiresome after a while, and I much prefer Bach on a modern piano, which also allows more dynamic playing. But many may prefer the original.

A extremely fine recording from 1997 of the Brandenburg concertos comes from Il Giardino Armonico, Milan. This is one of the gems in this set and also available separately (Bach - Brandenburg Concertos / Il Giardino armonico).

Lastly mentioned here, is a classic recording used for the keyboard concertos, namely Gustav Leonhardt's interpretation from 1968. I welcome this choice, because these recordings belongs to Teldec's classic recordings. Leonhardt's interpretations may be a little "dry" at times, and not so imaginative. Newer recordings may be preferable, such as Koopman on harpsichord (Bach: Harpsichord Concerti BWV 1063, 1055, 1064, 1044 or Angela Hewitt on piano (Bach - The Keyboard Concertos Vol 1 and Bach - The Keyboard Concertos Vol 2. But it is good to have this trendsetting recording here.

Of course, there is much more to be commented on, such as chamber music, the violin concertos and the orchestral suites, but I leave this to others. In short: Buy this set if you are a real Bach fan. For many, it may be preferable to acquire the Brilliant set, in order to have all, or most, of Bach's works, and than to add individual recordings accordning to your personal taste. Again, it is REALLY a pity that the extensive documentation included in Bach 2000 is not included here. For many, it could just have been the additional argument to buy this set!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent accomplishment 29 April 2013
By James A. Altena - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have reviewed this set in Fanfare magazine in considerable detail, including an extended comparison to the rival Haenssler and Brilliant Classics sets. Briefly, this set is easily the pick of the lot. Its high points are the cantatas (the classic Harnoncourt/Leonhardt cycle) and the organ works (with a superlative Ton Koopman). The other sacred vocal works (the oratorios, etc.) and the instrumental ensemble works generally receive very fine performances (mostly led again by Nikolaus Harnoncourt), except for an excruciating perverse set of the Brandenburg concerti by Il Giardino Armonico (why weren't either of Harnoncourt's set used instead?), and non-competitive performances of the solo violin and cello works (by Zehetmair and Harnoncourt respectively). The harpsichord works are a more mixed bag; the major pieces receive performances that are generally good to excellent, but many of the minor ones (those played by Zuzana Růzičkova;) suffer from inflexible, metallic playing. The harpsichord works are divided up as follows:

Alan Curtis: English and French Suites, BWV 806-817;

Scott Ross: Partitas, BWV 825-830; Italian Concerto, BWV 971; Overture (Partita), BWV 831;

Glen Wilson: Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846-893; Aria Variata, BWV 989; 14 Canons, BWV 1087;

Bob Van Asperen: Toccatas, BWV 910-916;

Andreas Staier: Sonatas, BWV 964-966 and 968; Fugue, BWV 954; Fantasy, BWV 918;

Gustav Leonhardt: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988; Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, BWV 903; Capriccio, BWV 992; three shorter works, BWV 823, 895, and 952 (the last-named on the organ);

Olivier Baumont: Concerti after Vivaldi, BWV 972, 973, 975, 976, 978, and 980; Preludes, BWV 846a, 847a, 851a, and 855a;

Michele Barchi: Concerti after various composers, BWV 974, 977, 979, and 981-987; miscellaneous shorter works, BWV 813a, 822, 832, 833, 836, 896, 899, 901, 902, 906, 917, 921-923, 929, 946-951, 953, 961, and 967;

Zuzana Růzičkova: Two- and Three-Part Inventions, BWV 772-801; Suites, BWV 818a, 819, and 821; miscellaneous shorter works, BWV 814a, 818, 819a, 841-844, 894, 900, 902a, 904, 924-927, 929-931, 933-944, 955, 958, 959, 963, 993, and 994.

While the set does not include libretti for the vocal works (one wishes that a CD-ROM of those was included), it does direct purchasers to web sites where those can be found, and the booklet provides copious details on performers, track listings, and various production details. By comparison, the Brilliant Classics set is mediocre to poor (the soloists in the cantatas are simply awful), while the Haenssler set is competitive in most of the vocal works but seriously inferior in its performances of the instrumental and keyboard works. Since the Haenssler set has virtually all of its contents available individually, I would suggest buying this set and supplementing it with individual Haenssler items (see further below).

As just noted, this set is not quite "complete," though it includes some times omitted from the Haenssler and Brilliant Classics sets. Most differences between the three sets occur over inclusion or exclusion of shorter organ and harpsichord works whose authenticity is disputed. Here is a complete list of contents by BWV catalog numbers:

CDs 1-60 (Sacred Cantatas) contain BWV 1-199, and omit 15, 53, 141, 142, 160, and 189; for 190, 191, and 193, see the next set.

CDs 61-71 (Secular Cantatas) contain 200-215, 36c, 134a, 173a, 190, 191, 193, and 207a, and omit 216-224.

CDs 72-85 (Sacred Vocal Works) contain 232-249, 243a, and omit 246 and 247.

CDs 86-92 (Motets/Chorales/Songs) contain 118, 225-231, 250-524, 691, 1084, 1089, and 1122-1126, and omit 231, 441, 442, 444, 446, 448, 450, 455-461, 463, 464, 467, 473, 474, 476, 477, 481, 485, 486, 488-491, 493, 495-497,499, 501, 503, 504, 506, 508, 509, 512, 515, 517, 519-523, 1081-1083, and 1088. [This is where the most serious omissions occur, as Teldec provides only potted versions of the BWV 439-507 and 508-518 chorales.]

CDs 93-108 (Organ Works) include 525-771, 769a, 802-805, 957, 1085, and 1090-1120, and omit 567, 573, 574, 580, 581, 584-587, 597, 631, 634, 692, 693, 695, 710, 711, 723, 744-746, 748, 751-753, 759-762, 764, 765, 771, 1087, and 1121.

CDs 109-30 (Keyboard Works) include 772-801 and 806-994, and omit 820, 824, 834, 835, 837-840, 845, 897, 898, 905, 907-909, 919, 920, 932, 945, 956, 957, 960, 962, 969, 970, 990, and 991.

CDs 131-43 (Chamber Music) include 995-1040, 1072-1080, and 1086, and omit 1020, 1024, 1036, 1037, and 1040.

CDs 144-53 (Orchestral Works) include 1041-1071, and omit 1070 and 1071.

By way of comparison, the Haenssler set offers the complete sacred Lieder and arias, BWV 439-518, instead of the potted version provided by Teldec, plus BWV 231, 1081-1083, and 1088 omitted from the Teldec set. Teldec, on the other hand, has several variant versions of choruses and arias that I do not readily find listed in the Haenssler set.

In the instrumental works, Haenssler includes BWV 573, 574, 585-587, 631, 695, 711, 744, 753, 762, 764, 765, 820, 824, 837, 839, 905, 907-909, 919, 932, 957, 990, 1040, and 1121 omitted by Teldec, but omits BWV 561, 576, 598, 740, 755, 763, 844, 898, 1022, and 1059 included by Teldec. However, Haenssler also offers integral sets of the 1722 and 1725 Klavierbuechlein fuer Anna Magdalena Bach and the 1720-23 Klavierbuechlein fuer Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, whereas Teldec includes only a few excerpts of items that Bach did not recycle into other collected keyboard works. Haenssler offers alternative and reconstructed versions of the BWV 1046, 1052, 1053, 1055, 1056 (two different versions), 1060, 1061, and 1064 concerti, whereas Teldec omits reconstructions of BWV 1053 and 1061 and has only one reconstruction of BWV 1056.

Despite the arguably greater completeness of the Haenssler edition and its superior documentation, the Teldec version is the clear winner when it comes to the performances. And, at a price of about $2.00 per CD, it simply cannot be passed by.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite, but still superb 10 Oct 2012
By K. Feucht - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This set was issued about 10 years ago as Bach 2000 by Teldec but with a pricetag astronomically higher than what I had to pay for this set. It was a major task to listen to the entire set, by 13 GB of music, 6 days, 14 hours, and 23 minutes of music.

The cantatas were produced by the combined efforts of Leonhardt and Harnoncourt. Both men are most accomplisherd in their interpretations of Bach. This set uses almost entirely original instrumentation, and in the sacred cantatas, almost entirely boy's choirs.

I also have the Hanssler set, as well as the set produced by Brilliant Classics. Of the three sets, I preferred the Hanssler set the most. First, though I can appreciate the talent of young kids singing complicated Bach pieces, it still doesn't settle on the ear like mature females singing the soprano and alto parts. Second, while Helmut Rilling has come under attack for lacking the interpretitive luster of other conductors, I find that there is quite a wallop of dryness in many of the Harnoncourt and Leonhardt performances, areas where the tempo dragged, or the singers seemed to have lost interest in the piece. Thirdly, modern instrumentation that is well tuned is always more appreciated on the ear. I can appreciate the challenge of playing a valveless trumpet, but I also realize that it isn't quite as on-pitch as modern instruments. Also, in many of the pieces in this set, the nearly-ok pitches of the woodwind instruments were noticeable. Fourthly, many of the pieces in this set had recording problems. Especially with some of the ensemble instrumental works, recording balance was quite problematic, with one instrument of two playing sounding either disproportionately loud or quiet. To the credit of this set, they maintained some standardization, such as using the harpsicord throughout the keyboard pieces. The organ works were entirely performed by Ton Koopman, and superb.

For the Bach afficionato, this is a must-have set. Many of the works in this set are quite charming, showing brilliance in interpretation and performance. The problems set aside, I think Bach would have been quite pleased had he had a chance to hear any of these performances, and would not have thrown his wig in disgust for lack of performance quality.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not a reissue of the 1999 edition 19 Aug 2013
By lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This box set is advertised in many places on the internet, including misleading reviews here on Amazon, as a reissue of Teldec's 1999 edition. This is not true.
The edition of 1999, called Bach 2000, had a big book, 2500 pages in booklets and the cds were organized in separate boxes, what
is essential in a set with more than 150 cds.

This set here has practically no documentation. The only thing you will get is a booklet with the track listing.
My theory is that passive customers are accepting sets of cds with little or no documentation, writing enthusiastic reviews and giving five stars to
sets of cds that come with nothing more than a track listing ( and many times a lousy track listing with no details of recording etc ).
If more people were to complain and simply return the sets then the recording labels would get the message.

They are selling lousy boxes such as this one because they can as many customers not only buy them but also write five stars reviews about the sets.
The big drop in quality between the extraordinary box set of 1999 and this one is, in part, thanks to customers who accept it. There is no excuse, no justification for
Teldec to do what they did with this box set. Apart from their hungry for easy profits, of course.

Other reasons for the lack of documentation in sets today would be, I guess, a change of people in charge of label records. They are probably MAs today when they where people who genuinely loved classical music in the past.

Don't forget that Teldec is not a small recording company. They started as an independent company working together with Decca but now they are owned by the giant Warner, as they already were in 1999.

That extraordinary set from 1999? You will never see it again. If you like Bach and are relatively new to the classical music market like I am, then be sure that you will never
see a set of Bach cds like that one again. I checked on all Amazons and could only find one set for sale on Amazon Japan for about £1900...Even so, the seller has only 25% of approval, the lowest rate
of a seller that I've ever seen.
5.0 out of 5 stars Please No Unnatural Trumpets 4 May 2014
By James Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I started collecting the cantatas from this set in the '70s on vinyl. This set is the result of years of Teldec Bach on original instruments by some of the pioneers of historical performances. I should state at the outset that I am a convinced proponent of original instruments, not only for strings and natural trumpets and horns but for the use of boy trebles. Yes, a mature woman is more musically-informed than a boy -- the best "Agnus Dei" in the B Minor Mass I ever heard was Catherine Wyn-Rogers, not the countertenor I usually prefer. But in the sacred Cantatas, it is the boy's voice for which Bach wrote, and its timbre cannot be equaled even by the superb Emma Kirkby. This taste may come from my attending too many English choral services, but it does make a very real difference in how one approaches this set. If you don't like boys' voices, this set is not for you. (The only exception in the sacred cantatas in this set is the fine woman soprano M. Qweksilber who sings BWV 51, a tour de force, but even that can be sung creditably by a boy soprano. Check out Clint van der Linde's recording on YouTube.) In short, perhaps my preference for choirs of men and boys comes from too much time in England, but I now want only a choir of men and boys for this music. Even for the most romantically-minded listener I hope will find in time the boys's voices more than acceptable. As for the instruments, yes, I suppose they can seem occasionally "out of tune," though I certainly do not find them so. Tuning is a variable thing in Bach's own age -- the "characterlessess" of equal-temperment might not even have pleased him! Laying that aside, Bach was well aware that natural horns are muffled in their lower registers. In BWV 1, he makes use of that by letting the Morningstar shoot out its rays when the horns reach their upper register. What we see as a disadvantage can actually work for Bach's benefit, and in any case, he knew the instruments his players used and wrote for them. I cannot imagine that he would have written for the piano in anything like the same way he wrote for the harpsichord -- the harpsichord sorts out counterpoint in the way a piano just cannot manage. Yes, Murray Perahia is glorious playing Bach on the piano, but so is Leonhardt on the harpsichord. It is therefore a Good Thing that we don't get some NPR disc jockey in charge who seems to forget that the keyboard concerti were originally meant for harpsichord. Again, you may feel with Thomas Beecham that “the sound of the harpsichord resembles that of a bird-cage played with toasting-forks,” but I would disagree. I even prefer the harpsichord in Mozart recitatives to the forte-piano, though both are "original" in that sense. If you are a Beechamite, stay clear of the Teldec Bach. While more documentation is always desirable, this is a splendid set. Generally all the performances on this set are excellent -- orchestral, vocal, solo instrument. Along with Leonhardt and Harnoncourt, I would also single out Ton Koopman, not only as a director but as an organist. He plays all the Bach organ works in the set, and I find them superb. This music is also available on a flash drive, which would certainly save space on one's CD shelves.
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