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Bach: Complete Edition Box set
|Price:||£71.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details|
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142 CDs representing the entirety of Johann Sebastian Bach's oeuvre in historically informed performances.This includes all 200 sacred cantatas recorded for Brilliant Classics on period instruments and sung by the Holland Boys Choir.Big name artists include Thomas Zehetmair,Pieter Jan Belder,Bob van Asperen,René Jacobs,Arleen Auger,Lucia Popp,Edith Mathis,Peter Schreier and Matthias Goerne.For reasons of completeness,pure musical enjoyment,scholarly research,attractive,space saving design and price,you cannot afford to be without Brilliant Classics improved Complete Bach Edition.
About the Artist
Johann Sebastian Bach's stature as a composer of extraordinary talent and widespread influence is so firmly established in Western culture that it is difficult to believe that only 150 years ago his works lay in veritable obscurity,unknown to all but a small group of scholars.It is largely thanks to Mendelssohn,who essentially effected a revival of the composer's music through his rediscovery and promulgation of the St Matthew Passion,besides other pieces,that his works are today regarded as pinnacles of music expression.That they are among the most performed and widely attended is in no doubt;in Holland alone,thousands of singers and musicians are involved in dozens of performances of the St Matthew Passion in Holy Week,with hundreds of thousands listening in churches and concert halls,or gathered around the radio,to what has been described as the Gospel according to Bach.Bringing together all of his works,this dynamic 142CD set offers a resounding impression of this great spirit of our Western culture,presenting dynamic performances many period based,many acclaimed by the international press that are divided according to genre,thus making for a highly user friendly compendium.The set draws on all periods of his career,tracing the development of a style that was much influenced by contemporary and past fashions but which was always adapted to Bach's own purpose,often far surpassing the models on which he drew.The German composer travelled a great deal from city to city,and the different circumstances of his various positions are reflected in the great range of works comprising his output:while his early years are dominated by much keyboard music,on account of the numerous organist posts he held during this period,later positions at various courts accorded him more personal and artistic freedom in Cöthen,for example,Prince Leopold's passion for music making and his renowned resident orchestra resulted in a string of unforgettable works including the great Brandenburg Concertos,the Solo Cello Suites and the Well Tempered Clavier Part 1,beside many others.Bach was a master of all genres,whether sacred,secular,instrumental or vocal,and his oeuvre is a rich mixture of severe Baroque craftsmanship and expressive Romanticism.Thomas Zehetmair,Kristóf Baráti,the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig,René Jacobs,Peter Schreier and Lucia Popp are just a handful of the first class performers and ensembles gracing this set.It is a collection not to be passed up.
Top Customer Reviews
The collection is broken up into six colour coded categories; orchestral works, solo keyboard, as performed on harpsichord, two sets of cantatas, other vocal works of assorted scales and then the organ works. For good measure we have performances on DVD of the Matthew and John Passions, and a DVD ROM that includes, amongst other things, the scores in their entirety.
First thing to say is about the recording quality. I have taken ample samples in most categories now, and it is apparent that the recording quality is uniformly excellent throughout. Not just adequate, but excellent, with each performance placed in a suitable location to guarantee a sympathetic acoustic, and then recorded so as to capture its full depth.Read more ›
I read some damning-with-faint-praise/sniffy (e.g. "good buy for a novice") reviews of the performances, but went ahead and purchased. I haven't listened and watched (yes, watched, as the two DVDs are videos of the St. Matthew and St. John 1725 version Passions) to all of the discs yet, but enough to say "Yes there are some indisputable faux pas in this set but so there are in the Haenssler and the Teldec sets". IMHO Helen Holton has a relatively weak, boyish, somewhat diction-less voice. If I dare say it - a rather Kathleen Ferrier-ish voice. Of course, for Bach, a boy soprano is not an unreasonable choice - the Teldec version uses boys, after all - although the demands made of the boys is one of the problems with the Teldec set. One can learn to live with Ms. Holton.
The instumentalists are really very good. The pleasure of owning and getting to know the various Complete Works is the way the different players bind together. You realise how good value Bach is as these different bindings come through and teach you something new - and they really do. Another marvellous thing here is that there is not enough ornamentation to drive you to distraction, but just enough novelty to give you real "gosh!" pleasure (Koopman - take note).
The technical side is a bit of a curate's egg.Read more ›
The other concertos and orchestral works are really enjoyable with recent performances on period instruments.
Some reviewers have criticised large collections such as this, asking when can you possibly listen to all this music. With Bach (and Mozart) it is not difficult and the more you know the better you appreciate.
As another reviewer has said, these Brilliant sets cost about the same as a tank of petrol but unlike petrol, these will last a lifetime! This set represents incredible value for money.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most CDs are good; I prefer harpsicord to piano, which helps. Unfortunately for the sacred works, some of the soloists don't make the grade. The choir is fine.Published 3 months ago by Dave345
It's a bargain, but I found that I am not a lover of cantatas or a lover of the harpsichord so I enjoy only about a third of the CDs in this huge box. Read morePublished 16 months ago by David King
Absolutely delighted with this purchase. Some excellent performances at an astoundingly low price for such a vast collection.Published 20 months ago by Jane Berry