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This is an excellent double CD of all four of Bach's Orchestral Suites or Overtures. They are terrific, rich works which shine with radiant joy in places, and dance delightfully or show a meditative loveliness in others. In my view they are among Bach's finest orchestral pieces and this is a very good recording of them.

The Freiburger Barockorchester have been making superb recordings for decades now and this is a worthy addition to their canon. Because of the rich orchestration of the Suites some orchestras can get a bit bogged down in them and I have heard some rather laboured performances, but the Freiburgers have a real understanding of Bach's music and preserve all of its texture and intellectual weight while letting plenty of light and air into every movement. The music has real life to it here and is a joy from start to finish. Even the two very well-known movements - the Air from the Third Suite and the Badinerie from the Second - feel fresh and new.

The recorded sound is excellent and the notes and presentation by Harmonia Mundi are very good. This is a really good set in every way and I recommend it very warmly.

(You may also be interested in a fantastic 6CD set of all Bach's Concertos including the Brandenburgs and these Suites by Café Zimmermann, also in excellent performances J.S. Bach: Concertos with Several Instruments Complete Works Vol. I-VI .)
22 comments|19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Freiburgers play with amazing virtuosity and the recording is very lifelike with the feeling of almost "being there"- I guess however that I am not the only one listener who can hear strange clickig noise throughout several tracks mainly on CD1 - If you think I am crazy or do not beleive me just listen into the sound sample of CD1 track 2 (Bourrées of the D major suite) there is a quieter part in the music where the odd clicking is very audible - once you hear it you can recognize it in the background on several tracks -the same can be heard on the CD copies i bought - I find this noise very strange - If anyone can help me with an explanation I would highly appreciate
22 comments|16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 December 2011
I have had a vinyl copy of Suites 1 and 4 with the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Raymond Leppard since 1975 and have wanted to find this music on a CD for a long time as I absolutely love it but the Leppard is no longer available.
A few weeks ago I caught a snatch of this CD on Classic FM in the car and realised I was listening to the very same and rushed home to order it - I had to wait for its release. I am not knowledgable about music but I now have this regularly filling my house and it is absolutely wonderful. All lovers of Bach must surely agree and I highly recommend it.
33 comments|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 March 2014
J.S. Bach needs no plaudits from me, and I purchased this disc after hearing an extract broadcast on the BBC. Money well spent.
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on 6 December 2014
BBC Radio 3's Building a Library Choice - 5th Dec 2014 "In the Freiburg Orchestra's exhilaraing account, the soft-grained Baroque flute which gilds the B minor Suite certainly fits well with the 'small is beautiful' impulse...Its reading may lack sensational revelations, but it's exuberant and stylish, laced with felicitous insights into Bach's sophisticated take on the French style...the dances leap off the page and overtures crackle with incisive declamation." (BBC Music Magazine)
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on 13 February 2015
At last, a rendition where the players actually sound as though they are enjoying themselves and are not just adding a me-too version to the catalogue, galloping through to finish ASAP or playing a dirge to add false gravitas.

If, as I'm told, playing music releases the love-hormone, the Freiburgers were obviouly loved-up when they recorded this, the naughty people! Subtle and colourful and full of joie de vie as it is, I'm deeply indebted to the Beeb's R3 building-a-classical-music-library survey, for bringing this jewel to my attention.
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on 5 March 2014
The sound quality is more than good enough for my system. The rendition is crisp and lively; something of a novelty for these pieces in my limited experience.
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on 14 July 2013
A super record of well-known and much loved pieces. The Freiburger Barockorchester are very talented musicians, indeed, and they often figure in concerts during musical tours organised by the excellent Martin Randall company. A revelation, compared to my old recording, a delight from beginning to end. An excellent purchase.
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on 21 May 2013
These award winning performances are well worth exploring. Brilliantly performed by this world class ensemble, they bring out the dance like qualities of many of the movements. Many recordings often contain fillers but this one doesn't. However,this was compensated by the extremely reasonable price I paid for it.
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on 30 June 2014
...can anyone tell me why the Suite no. 2 sounds in A minor?
11 comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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