Another fine recording, again by Robert Hill, shows off the rarely recorded lute-harpsichord. The renditions of the chamber and orchestral works are the other Achilles heel of Hänssler, where the performances on modern instruments are uniformly heavy and stodgy in comparison with their fleet and lively period-instrument competitors on Teldec. Rounding out this section on a somewhat less successful note are renditions of A Musical Offering by Harnoncourt and members of his Concentus Musicus, and the complete The Art of Fugue with Tachezi playing the organ instead of the harpsichord. Fuge Die Kompletten Werke, Volume 26 4103-2 : Orgelwerke feat. He and his colleagues searched for original instruments to throw new light on composers and their works and significantly influenced the history of music interpretation in the second half of this century. Allegro di molto — Andante 09. Click for a larger photo of Bach taken with Mr.
I'd note especially Trevor Pinnock's superlative recording of the Partitas; Peter Watchorn's great Toccatas disc; and the Well-Tempered Clavier recorded by Robert Levin in a unique manner, with different works played on harpsichord, clavichord, organ and fortepiano. Matthew Passion 1970 and Christmas Oratorio 1972 , followed later by the Magnificat 1984 and his second recordings of the Mass in B Minor 1986 and the St. In particular, Rilling's unaffectedly musical, period-performance-influenced but undogmatic approach seems designed to sustain long-term listener satisfaction. This is a mixed bag, with some excellent recordings, but quite a few mediocre discs. As with the organ works, I am dissatisfied with the layout of this section of the set.
If you want the complete Bach, this is the obvious choice. Concerto d-Moll nach Antonio Vivaldi Op. There are nearly 178 hours of music in this box, which is a daunting prospect for anyone. The edition includes Bach's solo violin works performed by Thomas Zehetmair and the violin sonatas performed by Alice Harnoncourt violin , Nikolaus Harnoncourt viola da gamba and Herbert Tachezi harpsichord. I've long been a fan of the latter approach, especially since Brilliant Classics has shaken up the classical music business with their very low priced box sets of complete or collected works of various composers.
The set is divided into subsections by genre, with each subsection color-coded by a bar running across the top of the cardboard sleeve. Although most of the Cantatas are older recordings, much of the Hanssler Bachakademie edition is newly recorded for this project and the sound is consistent and excellent. The Brilliant Classics set is, for the most part, mediocre to awful. It is an inevitable, indeed obligatory choice, for the 2012 Want List; no one who seriously claims to love great music can forego its acquisition at the first affordable opportunity. Much the same can be said of the various works performed by Staier. Period: Baroque Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany Date of Recording: 1970-75 Length: 30 Minutes 2 Secs.
Concerto G-Dur, Wq 43 No. These performances are comparatively old-fashioned in that they are played on modern instruments though to some degree observant of period practice and feature vocal soloists many of them leading international stars who sing with correspondingly heavier voices also suitable for 19th-century operatic and Lieder repertoire. John Passion contains the alternate versions for five sections. Comparing this set to the Brilliant Classics box, I would certainly give higher grades to Hänssler. Instrumental soloists are no less distinguished: Trevor Pinnock, Robert Levin, Evgeni Koroliev, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and many others. By way of compensation, the Hänssler set has several desirable features that the Teldec set lacks. Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Works - H.
Motu contrario e recto 29. No printed texts for the vocal works are provided; the original German texts, along with English and French translations, are available online at bach-cantatas. Speaking of the Cello Suites, cellist Boris Pergamenschikow plays them well, exploiting the dusky lower registers, although his imitation sequences in the Cello Suite 6 lack Rostropovich's keen individuation. The organ and keyboard works are performed by a mixture of artists; in the keyboard works the Hänssler artists employ various instruments—harpsichord, clavichord, lautenwerk, and piano—rather than just harpsichord. The orchestras are warm and lush but not huge. This Bach-itis has led me to collect more than 1,000 discs of Bach, and, while I've slowed down on purchases in recent years, I do pick up some new Bach recordings every now and then, notably the recently concluded set of cantatas recorded by John Eliot Gardiner. Teldec, on the other hand, has several variant versions of choruses and arias that I do not readily find listed in the Hänssler set.
Not a proponent of the period instrument movement, he adopts a spirited modern approach. After releasing them individually, they then sold a box set, at what was then considered a normal price, but since the advent of Brilliant Classics pricing, seemed expensive. Maybe we are at a crossroads where art has exhausted itself as an imitation of life. Allegro ma non tanto 03. Clavier-büchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach 1725: Partita No. One of Germany's largest and most important independent record labels, Hänssler Classic is renowned for having recorded every single piece of music written by J.
The set comes with an attractive coffee table book about Bach's life and a 255-page booklet with two helpful indexes to the works. Period: Baroque Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany Date of Recording: 1970-75 Length: 22 Minutes 46 Secs. Period: Baroque Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany Date of Recording: 1970-75 Length: 15 Minutes 56 Secs. Those by van Asperen and Scott also are gratifying, if not as immediately appealing. Regarding period instruments, the set is inconsistent.
There are treasures within for the most fanatic aficionados. Concerto D-Dur, Wq 43 No. Fuga à 4 Die Kompletten Werke, Volume 33 4130-2 : Das wohltemperierte Klavier feat. By contrast, the works for organ and for keyboard are in a completely non-sequential order dictated partly by attempts to assemble the pieces by genres and partly by the decision to keep together all the recordings made by a particular artist. Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Works. Fourth, with the exceptions to be noted shortly, the choral and instrumental forces likewise make worthy contributions.
And if you don't have a lot of Bach, and want to discover all of his works in recordings that range from very good to excellent you can't go wrong. At the same time, there are also some well-known and oft-noted shortcomings. Period: Baroque Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany Date of Recording: 1970-75 Length: 15 Minutes 18 Secs. I guess it's like leafing through a Bible and the first thing you see is the Lord' s Prayer. Concerto in a-Moll nach Antonio Vivaldi Op. This brings me to the subject at hand:, the Hänssler set of Bach recordings, which the label organized around 2000, during the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.