9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2000
You have to wonder why Gramophone or BBC Music haven't reviewed this new "authentic" (as opposed to Rilling on modern instruments) Bach Cantata project by Leusink. Perhaps they are put off by the bargain price? They shouldn't be.
Having listened carefully to Leusink's performances and compared them with Harnoncourt (boy sopranos and altos) and Herreweghe and Gardiner (female sopranos and altos) Leusink does not sound particularly "bargain basement". In fact in some cases his young Dutch soloists and orchestra sound a lot better than Harnoncourt's.
Another surprise: Brilliant have included short English notes and complete German sung texts with each CD. Given that there are nearly 200 of these cantatas - all with some of Bach's genius - the choice between 5CDs of Leusink and 1CD of any of the big name conductors comes down in favour of the Dutch.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This set is one in a series of 23 separate boxes which collectively provide the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach on 160 CDs.
Bach's entire 200 sacred cantatas, which were recorded especially for this set by the Holland Boys Choir, occupy a total of 60 CDs on twelve volumes and represent the first time these works have been performed and recorded in their entirety as a single collection.
The 5 CDs are supplied in a compact box with liner notes showing performers, recording dates, recording venues and background information on the music.
The set is generally offered at a mid-price making it a good value for money collection of Bach's music. However, Bach's complete works (which include this set of recordings) are available in one big box, the `Bach Edition' which is a more cost effective way of buying the individual 23 box sets in this series.
Note: The original 160 CD set `Bach Edition' which was released in 2000 to commemorate the `International Bach Year' (250 years since his death) has been superseded by a new 2006 version which consists of the same recordings but reduced down onto 155 CDs in a slightly more compact box.
In summary, whichever version is chosen, this is great music at an affordable price.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2000
Although 10 months after since the first volumes of this series appeared Gramophone did review Leusink's set in October 2000. The verdict - the soloists not up to the big names on Gardiner (etc.) recordings, but otherwise good choral singing and a few standout performances in each box. Recommended as an economical way to survey Bach's vast output. I think this is the main point, as anyone buying either these boxes or the more pricey Harnoncourt, Koopman, or Rilling sets will no doubt already own premium price individual CDs of famous cantatas like Actus Tragicus and Ich habe genug.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2009
A commendable set at bargain prices.The 'tata's work best with duet's and trio/quartet of singer's.Often I can't stand the tenor while the alto surprises me, or |I suddenly hate/love the bass, and Holton isn't strong enough to cover the whole of No.51.
So I'm putting on my mp4 selected highlights, rarely a complete 'tata, though normally each disk has at least one tata that is worth completely recording.Also some tata's are basically poor works which no avarage unit can bring to light.Bach wasn't always on top form.
However, late at night, some of the works are stunning.I'm into no 63 at the moment.Great for helping one get over a disappointment of the heart, so to speak.
Suzuki's version is the best, pricey but worth the dosh.