Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Switched on Bach 2000
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Classical
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It's Better Than It's Critics Say
Frank Wortner | 01/31/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not quite sure exactly what it is that some reviewers dislike so much about this album. No, it is not "Switched On Bach." Would it have been worth recording if it were identical to the album Carlos did 25 years earlier? Times change, artists mature, and technology marches on.The principle change -- aside from the switch to digital synthesis -- is Carlos's use of "authentic" tunings popular in Bach's time. The result is that the music does sound different -- less bright, more subdued, with richer harmonies. It doesn't sound the way we are used to hearing it, but most of what we hear now is based on contemporary performance practice. If anything, the works on this album probably sound more like they did in Bach's day. Alright, synthesizers didn't exist back then, but neither did a number of modern instruments that Bach's music is routinely played on today.The performances are still good -- in fact, probably better than those on the original album. Modern technology allows a musician to "clean up" errors and improve raw performances in ways that simply weren't possible back in 1968. There's no tuning drift, no tape hiss, no extraneous 60Hz line noise, and no performance errors.This album doesn't deserve the low marks some reviewers have been giving it. If it suffers in comparison with the original "Switched On Bach," it only suffers because it *is* different. Again, what's the point of doing exactly the same thing 25 years later? If you are after the original experience, then the recently issued "Switched On Boxed Set" is what you want. Still, this CD does make an interesting comparison and companion piece. The music is well done, and certainly doesn't deserve the bashing it's gotten here."
Quit complaining -- get both
matthew clarke | New England | 01/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do yourself a favor, and get BOTH the original album (the new Switched-On Boxed Set is a real bargain with all that's on it) and this 25th anniversary retro look back. They're different in many ways, just like Genn Gould's two versions of The Goldberg Variations: one young and cheerful the other rich and deeper and more introspective.Of course, if nostalgia is your only motive, only the original will satisfy you. But that's okay, it doesn't mean this much more recent visit is no good, as some reactionary listeners claim. It is darker, sure, but the special tunings make it all sound very smooth and rich. I love them both!"
Worth Owning Along with the Original SOB
Dan Sherman | Alexandria, VA USA | 07/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It was interesting to read through the comments on the Amazon site regarding this album. I suppose that reviewers are right to complain, in that if you have the 1968 SOB, you pretty much already have synthesized versions of almost everything on the CD. If you don't listen too carefully, most of the pieces sound pretty much the same. If you truly love the original SOB, you should get the 4-CD box that is now available that includes the performances in excellent sound. You may, however, also want to get this CD which uses more up-to-date synthesizer technology to the pieces, along with somewhat different interpretation. To my ear, they are somewaht more mellow and less "bouncy" than the original CD that was among other things trying to show off the synthesizers of the day.I certainly saw (or heard!) nothing wrong with this recording. I think buying is a lot like buying different perforances of the piece of music by the same performer (say Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations) or even the same piece of music by different performers. There is no one right way to perform any piece of music. Wendy Carlos has not tried to exactly recreate either the early performance (Why would she have?) or its sounds but rather to provide an updated reinterpretation with new synthesizer tunings. My recommendation is that if like these pieces in synthesized form, then get BOTH CDs -- they are complements and not substitutes. One thing about the new CD that I found very interesting was the program notes that explained a lot the technical and performing changes (e.g., the tunings) that went into the CD."