on 2 December 2003
Absolutely, stunningly, mind-blowingly brilliant. If you want a great cantata record, this is IT, even more so than the Gardiner pairing of The Big Two BWV140 and 147. Like the 140/147 pairing, these were recorded before the Cantata Pilgrimage of 2000, so are not the live recordings (hopefully soon to appear on Gardiner's SDG label). BWV 11 is especially marvellous, and worth having because it may not appear in the SDG set (some cantata editions omit BWV 11 because they consider it a separate "oratorio", rather than a cantata). However, Gardiner is including BWV 190, also omitted by many cantata editions because the first two movements are reconstructions, so I'm hopeful that BWV 11 will appear in SDG form. If not, this one is great. The other cantatas are also wonderful. Arise, go forth and buy, and enjoy the sublime genius of one of the world's great composers.
on 3 October 2015
These cantatas are the ones that hooked me on Bach when I heard these recordings reviewed on Radio 3 a few years ago. Since then I've been gradually building up a collection of the Bach cantatas recorded by a wide range of ensembles, but now at last I've been and gone and bought what are some of the finest, magnificently performed by Gardiner & Co. They are to me simply the most uplifting and exhilarating choral works there are........Bach wrote many, many cantatas, & each one is different, each one a unique gem. These are among the very best.