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Complete 172 CD Set [Import]

Bach Audio CD


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Complete Works of J.S. Bach (1 Complete Works of J.S. Bach (1 5.0 out of 5 stars (2)
CDN$ 278.27
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Major Accomplishment! Feb. 9 2001
By Frederick Lauritzen - Published on Amazon.com
Here it is...every surviving work attributed to the extremely prolific J.S. Bach. I've lived with these recordings for over a year now and will likely spend the rest of my life (and beyond, God willing) getting joy and pleasure from them. For a project of this magnitude the quality is at a consistantly high level. Of course, Helmuth Rilling's Cantatas and orchestral works have been getting high praise for some time now, and several of his other recordings (the Magnificat, the Motets, the B Minor Mass, and the Passions) get frequent mention on critical "Want Lists." Other highlights include Robert Levin's "Well Tempered Clavier" played on a multitude of keyboard instruments (organ, various harpsichords, clavichord, and forte-piano) making a rich aural treat from this sometimes austere music, eight volumes dedicated to hymns and chorales that are not connected to (existing) larger works which contain some of Bach's most heart-felt music (imagine the "complete" Orgel-Buchlein, but with words) and some rarely heard but fasinating early harpsichord pieces played with style and flair by Robert Hill. My only complaint is that some of the organ recordings tend towards the slow and weighty side (and could sometimes use more timbral variety). But overall I love this set and I'm not sorry I put off getting the new car and vacation to purchase it!
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Bach April 28 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I prefer this set to the Teldec Bach 2000 set because this is not HIP (historic instruments performance). It is performed on modern instruments, including the Flute Sonatas accompanied by piano. A refreshing change. There are many harpsichord recordings for the authentically-minded. The whole set is more consistent in terms of quality level of performance, particularly the organ works (Koopman on Teldec is awful). Orchestras here are lush and warm, not screechy and shrill. I will be listening to this set often; it is the ultimate performance of the most beautiful music ever written.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent set Feb. 13 2006
By Austin Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Sure you could buy individual performances that rate higher, but still this is an excellent set, especially for those who can't stand the Leonhardt-Harnoncourt cycle of Cantatas, which is included in the Bach 2000 complete collection. With respect to that cycle, Jim Svejda noted that Harnoncourt and Leonhards "gleefully take turns mauling the luckless pieces beyond recognition." Svejda noted, however, that the Rilling cycle, which is included here, has "lovely and important things to say." The singers are women instead of boys (which is less authentic, but vastly superior). Penguin stated: "All in all, we have derived much satisfaction in either making or renewing our acquaintance with his cycle, which will suit many collectors in search of a scholarly yet intelligently aware approach with a traditional sound."

Besides the aforementioned Bach 2000 set, your only other choice for a complete set is the Brilliant Classics box, which was, for a long time, only available for 99 Euros on some web sites. It is now available on Amazon.com. That set, while a super bargain, and certainly something to consider for the novice, has not been as well received as the Hanssler set. Like the Bach 2000 set, it also uses period instruments, which I find difficult to listen to when compared to the warmth of modern instrument practice.

As to the other items, these likewise contain some superior performances. For example, The Musical Offering is given the first choice rating by BBC Radio 3, and the English Suites are likewise given high marks. The Harpsichord Concertos are performed on modern instruments and are highly rated by Penguin, as are the Viola da gamba Sonatas, Partitas Nos. 1-6 for harpsichord, The Well-Tempered Clavier, and The Art of Fugue.

The documentation is likewise excellent.

Note that this box is huge (nearly two cubic feet) as the discs are in regular sized jewel cases.

Note also that this contains the same selections as the "Bach Gesamtset in English (Box)," also listed on Amazon. In fact, I can't tell that there is any difference between the two items, except that the sellers seem to price the latter one a couple of hundred dollars cheaper.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Bach... Jan. 27 2005
By Damir Janigro - Published on Amazon.com
...visit here! There are obviously better performances of individual pieces, but on average the quality is impressive. The W-T Klavier preludes and fugue are an unique example of what keyboard instruments can do, the singing in most cantatas is superb, and the Passions are well balanced. You will still love to buy more Bach performances but this set will give you years of pleasure and discovery.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Major Accomplishment! Feb. 9 2001
By Frederick Lauritzen - Published on Amazon.com
Here it is...every surviving work attributed to the extremely prolific J.S. Bach. I've lived with these recordings for over a year now and will likely spend the rest of my life (and beyond, God willing) getting joy and pleasure from them. For a project of this magnitude the quality is at a consistantly high level. Of course, Helmuth Rilling's Cantatas and orchestral works have been getting high praise for some time now, and several of his other recordings (the Magnificat, the Motets, the B Minor Mass, and the Passions) get frequent mention on critical "Want Lists." Other highlights include Robert Levin's "Well Tempered Clavier" played on a multitude of keyboard instruments (organ, various harpsichords, clavichord, and forte-piano) making a rich aural treat from this sometimes austere music, eight volumes dedicated to hymns and chorales that are not connected to (existing) larger works which contain some of Bach's most heart-felt music (imagine the "complete" Orgel-Buchlein, but with words) and some rarely heard but fasinating early harpsichord pieces played with style and flair by Robert Hill. My only complaint is that some of the organ recording tend towards the slow and weighty side (and could sometimes use more timbral variety). But overall I love these recordings and I'm not sorry I put off getting the new car and vacation to purchase it!

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