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Gustav Leonhardt Jubilee Edition [Box Set]
Johann Sebastian Bach, Anthony Newman, Elias Nikolaus Ammerbach
Gustav Leonhardt Jubilee Edition [Box Set]
Genre: Classical


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CD Reviews

What a Price!
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 11/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"FIFTEEN CDs for $34.98, or a good deal less! I repeat, what a price! I almost overlooked this Jubilee Edition, thinking it contained a few re-released recordings that I'd have on vinyl anyway. But this is too good a deal to ignore, virtually a career retrospective on the Prometheus of the harpsichord, the man who did more than anyone to rescue Bach and whole Baroque era from the malted schmaltz tyranny of the Steinway and the Wurlitzer! Gratias tibi Gustavo agimus deo musicae!

What's in the box?
1) Goldberg Variations, recorded in '78 but very cleanly remastered and sounding better than remembered.
2) Organ works by JS Bach
3) Organ works by various 17th C composers, most prominently Pachelbel
4) Organ works by Buxtehude, Weckmann, Sweelinck, & others, including Bach
5) Harpsichord works by Weckmann and Froberger
6) Harpsichord Works by Georg Böhm
7) Nine sonatas by D. Scarlatti
8) Harpsichord suites by Louis Couperin
9) Harpsichord Suites by Rameau, Le Roux, Royer, Duphly
10) Three concertos by Bach, BWV 1060R, 1044, 1052, Leonhardt conducting
11) Concerto BWV 1052 by Bach, Concerto Wq 23 by CPE Bach, Leonhardt playing
12) Corelli sonatas, Brüggen on recorder, Bylsma on cello, Leonhardt on cembalo
13 French: Marais, d'Anglebert, Forqueray, two Kuijkens and a Leonhardt
14 Telemann, Paris Quartets, three Kuijkens and a leonhardt
15 Three cantatas by Bach BWV 27, 34, 41 with Markus Schäfer tenor, Harry van der Kamp bass --
Cantata 41 (Jesu, nun sei gepreiset) is especially fine under Leonhardt's steady, understated baton. It's performed with the Tölzer Boys' Choir, and several arias and recitativos are sung by boy sopranos. The aria Lass uns, o höchster Gott, das Jahr vollbringen features some very able bassoon obbligato playing.

Leonhardt is quoted in the accompanying notes as saying that the musician should "perform, not interpret" a great work of music. "...he should show the music the respect it deserves. To me, 'to interpret' also means 'to translate', and we should avoid translating music; the musician's task is to present the work, to play it as the composer intended." That's an admirably clear manifesto for 'historically informed' performance, and one many younger performers have begun to dispute. But the interpreters of the current generation, those who are modest enough, realize that they are taking their stand on Gustav Leonhardt's shoulders."
A good, inexpensive baroque collection
C. W. Sheard | Gainesville, FL | 06/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For those who enjoy early music, particularly baroque, this set of fifteen discs should be self-recommending. A fair range of styles and composers is presented here. At the price, this would be a good place to start investigating the baroque repertoire for those who are tempted to do so but don't want to shell out too much money. Those with an aversion to the sound of the harpsichord should perhaps look elsewhere. The performances are well-recorded and engaging. Recommended."