(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bach was a genius. At moments of this CD, we hear this. I would buy this CD just for "Chaconne", a 17 minute, highly emotive masterpiece which is performed here particularly well. Bach has an intimate understanding of the most profound and advanced depths of music, and it can be heard on Chaconne during its climax. Some other songs, such as "Air on a G String" and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" are also quite exceptional. What makes this CD special is the performances and the sound engineering, which are sweet. Admittedly, some of the organ concertos on this CD may sound a bit banal. But you must buy this CD for "Chaconne" and "Air on a G String"! I find Bach to be incredibly inspiring."
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 01/11/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The prosecution rests. the crimes have been proven, and the jury has reported. Every track on this hideous hodgepodge of extracts from ancient recordings is a crime against the memory of JS Bach. Perhaps the statute of limitations has expired, and the perpetrators can't be suitably punished, but the corpses should be buried.
Fans of the music of JS Bach, please take a moment to listen to the MP3 samples for this CD. It's hard to believe that a compilation of such lame performances could pop up on my ammy recommendations alongside great performances by Helmut Rilling, Harry van der Kamp, or Reinhard Goebel. If some of you wonder why I become so irate at the appearance of yet another anachronistic butchering of Bach on modern piano, just listen to this stuff!
I'll finish this review another time, with a helpful list of excellent performances of each of the Bach compositions desecrated on "Bach: Greatest Hits".
OK, I'm back, as promised. The following may not be my all-time favorites but they are excellent performances available at reasonable prices:
Concentus Musicus Wien conducted by Nikolas Harnoncourt
The English Consort conducted by Trevor Pinnock
Musica Antiqua Köln, Reinhard Goebel (the best ever, but not inexpensive)
The Four Orchestral Suites
complete sets conducted by John Eliot Gardiner and by Christopher Hogwood
[You can get the Brandenburgs and the Suites all in one set, performed by the English Consort with Trevor Pinnock.]
*the organ selections:
Toccata and Fugue/Passacaglia - Ton Koopman
Complete Organ Music (5 CDs) - Hans Fagius [these are the organ disks in the Brilliant Classics complete Bach Box of 155 CDs.]
*Partitas for solo violin
choose between Rachel Podger, John Holloway, Lucy van Dael
*Cantata 147 Herz und Mund -
Bach Collegium Japan & Concerto Palatino, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki
The English Baroque Soloists, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
*Secular Cantata 208 Was mir behagt -
Stuttgart Bach Collegium, conducted by Helmut Rilling
AND! If you just want one itty-bitty CD of highlights from the massive works of JS Bach, well shucks, cousins, I've got one for you:
Mad About Bach, available for $3.34 plus shipping!
The extracts include performances by Trevor Pinnock, Reinhard Goebel, Simon Standage, Kenneth Gilbert, and John Eliot Gardiner."