26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
So, I bought this one...,
This review is from: Bach: Cantatas, Vol 1 /Gardiner (Audio CD)
...and promptly signed up for the lot. Gardiner's Bach has been a bit of a movable feast, some brilliant, some ordinary, but always played with the Gardiner trademark committment. (To get an idea of this, buy the brilliant DVD Christmas Oratorio that kicked off the Pilgrimage). From this set, it appears that Gardiner's Bach is, to my ears anyway, now completely rounded. Always a good bet for the festive cantatas, where the Monteverdis, the precision machine of choirs, could be let spectacularly loose, his treatment of the more reflective works is now top-notch. Naturally nobody will ever get everything completely "right", especially in a live recording such as this, but the evidence of this disc and the others that have followed it is that this will be an outstanding set, matched only by Suzuki's brilliant BIS set. I already have the complete Rilling and Leusink sets and quite a few Suzukis, and I look forward to adding this one.
The set has the additional advantage of being the most beautifully packed CDs I've seen - little hardbacked books with the CDs in sleeves and the texts and excerpts from Gardiner's Pilgrimage journal in between, and of course Steve McCurry's stunning photos on the cover.