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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

on 7 June 2017
Thank you for your prompt service , just what I needed.
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on 7 February 2012
The distinguished Bach scholar Karl Richter created his own distinctive path in the rediscovery of J S Bach's music. His Munich Bach Orchestra and Choir were an essential part of this, and their extensive experience of Bach's music was such that they completely overcame the formidable difficulties of the Mass in B minor, and on this recording they play with a fluency and beauty which is rare even today. It is still one of the best available even after 50 years. The recording may not be as good as the best of today's but is perfectly adequate and only in the loudest tuttis is there a lack of clarity. The only "star" soloist is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whom it is wonderful to hear in "Et in Spiritum Sanctum", but the others are very good and well-suited to the music.

I also know the recordings by Klemperer, Münchinger, Jochum, Gardiner and Harnoncourt, and all these are worth hearing, but I find that only Klemperer comes close to matching Richter's achievement - and that is in a very different way. Klemperer brings out the grandeur and depth of Bach's vision, Richter communicates joy and light. Your foot will be tapping in every one of the faster movements when you listen to Richter. Not that it is in anyway lightweight: the majesty is there throughout. Unreservedly recommended.
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on 5 July 2004
Karl Richter's interpretations of music by Bach have made something of a come back in recent years and this recording shows why. Carefully atriculated singing from the choir and excellent playing from the orchestra. There is a great sense of perfection about this performance which seems thoughtfully paced and yet fully exciting. It seems as if every note and rhythm has been crafted to produce an almost faultless performance. The choruses in particular shine through with some fantastically focused and bright singing. In particular, the end of the creed and the following sanctus and osanna build towards a powerfull climax. Even if you like your Bach performed on original instruments you will enjoy this performance which has become one of my favourite Bach performances on CD.
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on 21 November 2009
If you love J S Bach's wonderful Mass in B minor this is one of the best versions you can listen to.
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on 29 January 2017
Techically perfect, although I am not specially fond of Richter's interpretation. But that may be subjective, so here are the five stars.
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on 5 March 2012
"Paleontology has established that Richterasaurus was a placid, warm-blooded, sometimes slowmoving herbivore, hot-blooded when roused and capable of great excitement and inspiration. Its decline was caused by the invasion of its upland grazing by the fast-growing, quick-spreading Giant Hogweed which was highly noxious to the Richterasaurus (and poisonous in general to all forms of life). Starved of its staple food, Richterasaurus fell an easy victim to Raptus Harnoncourtus (a cold-blooded, fast-moving, meat-eating dinosaur with bizarre thought-patterns), the Jeggyador (a near bloodless carnivore, quick on its heels, with vampiric tendencies) and Rifkin Skinnicus (the toothless runt of the litter).

Recent geological excavations have shown that a terrible Ice Age then descended upon the Earth - the so-called Baroque stratum is full of the bones of such unpleasant monsters as Violinus Authenticus (whose high-pitched whine was offensive to ears), Tenorfalsettus (which screeched incessantly, day and night) and Harpsichordus Mangelus (an extraordinary creature with virtually no flesh on its skeleton which caused a frightful clatter whenever it copulated). It is doubtful whether any of these monstrosities could fly: with so many clipped appendages, surely they were earthbound in the extreme.

Amazingly Richterasaurus, thought to be long extinct, survived to give pleasure and comfort to the newly emerged homo sapiens, which domesticated it and thrived on its strangely moving, profoundly musical lowing. Men and women now stare at the bones of the Raptus Harnoncourtus, Jeggyador and Rifkin Skinnicus and wonder what all the fuss was about."

PS, please note, credit where credit is due: I am not the author of this wonderful review though I have added some embellishments. With thanks to S.
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on 2 August 2016
I am sorry to have to say that I was disappointed with Richter's B minor mass.

Bach assembled (from existing compositions) this mass rather than composing it and this performance revealed all too clearly this process of assemblage. Somehow or other, current chefs d'orchestre like Philippe Herreweghe manage to make the mass sound as if it is one unified whole, not an assembly made for a particular purpose (i.e. a CV for Mr Bach).

How do modern conductors make it sound like one composition? At the moment I do not know but I will work on it this year.

Could Richter's problem be that he was a very accurate and precise musician who played the music like the composer wrote it? And could modern conductors know how to distort what Bach wrote in order to make it sound like an integral whole? A modern exception is Steven Cleobury who, like Richter, disintegrates his Bach into its component origins, thereby ruining it in the process.

I have no answers to these questions but I expect to be able to provide sensible answers within a few months.
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on 29 October 2015
Quite boring, bad CD sonic performance.
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