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on 23 January 2016
Really the Amazon.com reviews say it all. Personally I would recommend, as evidence of the scale of Ristenpart's conceptions, CD 8, from 1950-1, where, in less than half and hour, with a chamber choir and chamber orchestra, wholly uninflated, and a recording which doesn't lie about its age, from October 1950, in BWV 79, the Reformation Cantata, he leaves you wondering whether Wagner really needed to write Die Meistersinger at all, and if he did, why he didn't subcontract the final scene to Brahms, given that Bach himself was unavailable. "Wachet auf" is clean and unsentimentally vigourous. The Streit which is erhubt in BWV 19, is, with the aid of second team soloists, majestically reconciled. Giebel and the young Fischer-Dieskau are also festive contributors in the other cantatas on this disc. And you wonder why this series of recordings is only 29 cantatas long. The booklet, however, tells you - the American authorities, who funded RIAS, wondered why the station needed a choir and a separate chamber orchestra, terminated both, and left Ristenpart out of a job. The French-controlled Saar radio snapped him up for its chamber orchestra, which he made modestly famous, but they didn't have a choir. And so Ristenpart's discography became largely instrumental. Audite print the words, which all respectable recorded editions of Bach cantatas should, and often don't. If you have an open mind about sound and style (and that part doesn't need to be very open) and Bach cantatas matter to you, you will probably have bought this set, but just in case you haven't.....
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on 14 January 2013
This collection of Bach's Cantatas is without a doubt one of the most important releases of the Master's works on CD in recent years. Karl Ristenpart's peerless direction of ensembles with many of Europe's top musicians adds up to the leading interpretations of Bach's music on record, most of which has been unavailable for years. The recording standard is very high and the musicianship speaks for itself. A worthy accompaniment to Accord's box set (finally released in 2003) of Ristenpart's Bach Orchestral Works.
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on 20 May 2012
Despite the fact that these mono recordings are more than 50 years old, the clarity of diction and the musical performance of these Bach Cantatas is superb. I particularly enjoyed the arias by the young Fischer-Dieskau - I have never heard better performances of these Bach arias. Agnes Giebel is also outstanding. This 5-CD set is excellently priced.
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