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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete cantatas of JS Bach as realised by Ton Koopman
I am not a musician, just a lover of music of all sorts. However I think I can say with some confidence that during my lifetime (I was born in 1943) the performance of works by JS Bach has been revolutionised. I suspect that this process has probably been driven by scholarship, for example the publication by Dr Wolfang Schmieder in (I think) 1950 of the first...
Published on 22 Mar 2011 by Giovanni

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13 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Daylight robbery
My one star is directed not at Koopman's performances, but at the totally outrageous price being demanded for this set. Like Gardiner, Koopman was caught out by the cancellation by his label (RCA/Erato) of his complete cantata project, and also like Gardiner, he continued with private means, eventually completing it.

If it were not for that price, I'd rate them...
Published on 6 Jun 2011 by Teemacs


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete cantatas of JS Bach as realised by Ton Koopman, 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Complete Cantatas (Audio CD)
I am not a musician, just a lover of music of all sorts. However I think I can say with some confidence that during my lifetime (I was born in 1943) the performance of works by JS Bach has been revolutionised. I suspect that this process has probably been driven by scholarship, for example the publication by Dr Wolfang Schmieder in (I think) 1950 of the first comprehensive list of Bach's works, the Bach Werke Verzeichnis, BWV for short.

As a child the only works of Bach I knew were a couple of transcriptions for piano of short extracts from cantatas. The first genuine keyboard work I encountered at about the age of fourteen was a famous recording of the 48 by Rosalyn Tureck, which started me on a lifetime's exploration of the works of Bach.

The first example of his choral works I knew was the St. Mathew Passion. In those days it was common practice to employ large forces, both choir and orchestra. Today as a result of the work of, for example, Nikolaus Harnocourt and more recently John Eliot Gardner, Philippe Herreweghe and Joshua Rifkin, it is now possible to hear Bach's choral works as I like to think the composer intended them, that is as chamber music, in which the listener can clearly hear each part as well as all of them in combination. It is, as it were, like looking at an old master post restoration, the colours fresh and bright. It is in this new tradition that this collection of the complete cantatas by Ton Koopman belongs.

Despite his work at C'then we may tend to think of Bach primarily as a church composer, the mood of the pieces, sombre or joyful, suited to the liturgical Sunday or festival as required. Yet in many ways the most remarkable experience is to encounter the secular cantatas, with the exception of the Coffee Cantata and the Peasant cantata, all previously unknown to me. They reveal both an interest in ancient myth and a facility to celebrate such mundane occasions as birthdays and name days in a lively and charming style.

The way Bach is played is very much a matter of individual taste. Good value though this set is (it comes without detailed notes) the outlay in buying them is not insignificant. It is worth while therefore sampling them by means of the two CD set of 24 `highlights' also available from Amazon.
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13 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Daylight robbery, 6 Jun 2011
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Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Complete Cantatas (Audio CD)
My one star is directed not at Koopman's performances, but at the totally outrageous price being demanded for this set. Like Gardiner, Koopman was caught out by the cancellation by his label (RCA/Erato) of his complete cantata project, and also like Gardiner, he continued with private means, eventually completing it.

If it were not for that price, I'd rate them as four-star. I have a number of the Koopman cantatas, and while they're nicely played and sung, in my opinion, they are generally outclassed by those of Gardiner and Suzuki. Naturally, nobody ever gets such a varied body of work completely "right" (whatever that may mean), and I'm sure that there will be Koopman cantatas that I will like better than Gardiner and Suzuki, but I haven't heard them.

However, there will be folk who like Koopman better, and it is all to the good to have such a palette of complete versions from which to choose (Rilling, Harnoncourt/Leonhardt, Leusink, Gardiner, now Koopman and eventually Suzuki), considering that, not so long ago, much of it wasn't available. So, welcome, Koopman - but not at THAT price...
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ripp off ok, 22 Oct 2013
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Complete Cantatas (Audio CD)
What a riff off,look at the price as the individual cd is more when cd came in the market.Please ignore it and buy any version such the recent Gardiner complete set.People are there to make money.Hello Wonga
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