A Festival for the Heart.
Pupil | Malkuth | 10/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is priceless music-making. One can really feel that Richter is performing and conducting from his own heart and love for Bach, and all the while the orchestra is inspired to sing and to dance with him. The horns are laughing, the violins singing, and the listener is invited to experience flashes of happiness and joy with the chattering harpsichord.
When celestial music meets the summit of man's creative and loving spark, we lucky amateurs are left with this kind of immortal recording: glorious!"
The Kapellmeister Tradition at its Best
Johannes Climacus | Beverly, Massachusetts | 08/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Karl Richter represents the Kapellmeister tradition at its best. Yes, it does have a best! That tradition's performance practice has little in common with today's period ensembles, and for that reason the musicologically inclined will find little to enjoy in this set. Others will delight in Richter's invigorating, superbly played Brandenburgs (with outstanding soloists, including Richter himself on the harpsichord). The Suites are less satisfying, in part because Richter's well-upholstered textures and inclination toward rhythmic rigidity are more damaging in these dance-inspired works. The "Triple Concerto" could also use a lighter touch, though one appreciates Richter's intense involvement with the score (he takes it more seriously than many conductors). Overall, I enjoyed this set immensely, but I'm of a generation that had to "relearn" how to listen to Baroque music in light of contemporary notions of period performance practice. Younger listeners with an open mind should hear this, however, just to get a sense of how Bach was performed over a generation ago."