on 3 September 2014
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.
on 6 June 2012
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!