The Complete Sacred Cantatas of Bach

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Location: BC, Canada

The Complete Sacred Cantatas of Bach

Post by 12tone » Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:01 pm

A box set is out from Teldec which has Harnoncourt with various people doing the complete Bach Cantatas on some 60 discs for $548.98 (American dollars I'd guess).

I also think I saw Ton Koopman doing a complete set?

Are these sets worth the money? I've never bought anything that expensive in my life...nevermind a box set of anything. I can't afford it right now, but just for thoughts.

Sure be nice to have it...either the Harnoncourt or the Koopman.


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Location: Singapore

A long Campaign with Pros and Cons

Post by Bengti » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:44 am


I got Haroncourt's cycle in the Bach 2000 edition by Teldec. It was recorded over a couple of decades, and the quality is truly variable. That this presents you with a journey to traverse with Nic is a pro, but the sound and performance quality needs getting used to as you move from piece to piece.

Also to note, the higher voices are taken by choir boys, which is a matter of preference.

Some excitement around Gardiner's Montreverdi/Naive release of all the Cantatas in an on-going series that started earlier this year. Haroncourt is probably more studied in the works, but Gardiner knows how to make them memorable. Worth checking out.


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Location: Northville, Michigan, U.S.A.

Bach Cantatas

Post by C.B. » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:41 am

IMO, the set to get (when it's complete) will be the Suzuki/Bach Collegium of Japan on BIS. Much better choral and instrumental work, and generally better soloists than either the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt or the Koopman. The recorded sound is fabulous, too--obviously several cuts above than the late '70s analogue sound of the Harnoncourt.

If you're afraid of the "Japanese" factor, you needn't be. These are very idiomatic performances, with near-flawless German pronunciation (most of the singers are European-trained). Suzuki is a recognized Bach specialist (who incidentally studied with Ton Koopman) and has made several highly-regarded recordings of Bach keyboard music on BIS.

The only drawback is that the Suzuki/BCJ performances are only available at the moment as individual CDs, not in a set, and at full price. And it may take another two or three years before the cycle is complete.
Musica magnorum est solamen dulce laborum


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