19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Bach: Cantatas | Complete Box Set (Audio CD)
I could just add my words of praise to those of most of the other reviewers here, but if you are a prospective purchaser it might be more useful to explain how I have tackled the set from a practical standpoint. The effort I have put into getting the most out of these recording is, in itself, an indicator of the high esteem in which I hold them.
If you're a dedicated audiophile you will play your CDs again and again on your components. If on the other hand you prefer the convenience of a portable player, where you can easily reference individual cantatas and with the minimum downgrade of audio quality, here's one way to get the most out of your investment (Warning: some further investment may be necessary):
First rip the entire set to a new library in iTunes, preferably using Apple Lossless format. Then create a playlist for each individual cantata, titling each playlist BWV 001 CD12, and so on. This keeps the cantatas in correct numerical order and helps with matching the sleeve notes and so forth. If, like me, you are OCD-inclined when it comes to organising your music collection, you will also want to scan - or download if available by the time you read this - the artwork from each slipcase so you can immerse yourself in the complete product. It took me 3 or 4 evenings to accomplish all of this; time thoroughly well spent in my view (sorry, my artwork scans are too large to upload for sharing). Finally sync the whole lot to an iPod Classic, since it's unlikely they will all fit onto an any other kind of portable player, even in the leanest of file formats.
If you want to follow the scores, you can download them in PDF format (to read on your tablet or whatever) using a link from SDG's Cantata Finder website at [...] an excellent companion resource to the recordings, or from the Bach Cantata Website. The only other thing you may need is a decent set of over-the-ear headphones, such as Bose QC15 noise-cancelling model. No in-ear buds will do justice to the recordings. It's hard to imagine what the great Cantor of Leipzig would think if he knew that future generations would be able to turn on his vast output like a tap to bring them closer to Heaven.
This is a very special item for a music lover to own, a musical treasure trove to last a lifetime. Grab it while you can; being a limited edition, it may not always be easily affordable. I took useful advice from Amazon Customer's review. He (or she) helpfully lists the few works that are omitted from the set, but I must correct him/her on one point: BWV 41, for New Year's Day, is not missing. It's on CD2, and very fine it is too.