Bach: The Essentials

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All Music Guide - James Leonard
Harmonia Mundi's two-disc set called The Essential Bach does indeed provide a clear view of the essential Bach in a compact package even if it cannot hope to represent the fullness of the composer's output. Starting with a suitably sparkling performance of the opening movement of the "Fifth Brandenburg Concerto" by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin is a good move, and following that with an appropriately gloomy performance of the closing movements of the "St. Matthew Passion" by the Choeur et Orchestre du Collegium Vocale Ghent is a brilliant countermove. From there on, things get a bit dodgy: a moody performance of the Prelude from the "C minor Cello Suite" by ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Harmonia Mundi's two-disc set called The Essential Bach does indeed provide a clear view of the essential Bach in a compact package even if it cannot hope to represent the fullness of the composer's output. Starting with a suitably sparkling performance of the opening movement of the "Fifth Brandenburg Concerto" by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin is a good move, and following that with an appropriately gloomy performance of the closing movements of the "St. Matthew Passion" by the Choeur et Orchestre du Collegium Vocale Ghent is a brilliant countermove. From there on, things get a bit dodgy: a moody performance of the Prelude from the "C minor Cello Suite" by Jean-Guihen Queyas followed by a meditative performance of the first Prelude and Fugue from the "First Book of the Well-Tempered Clavier" by harpsichordist Richard Egarr, then followed by a wild and wooly performance of the "Toccata and Fuge in D minor" arranged for solo violin with daredevil aplomb by Andrew Manze. And that's only halfway through the first disc with many more delights and surprises to come. Some may question a few of the choices. Why all of the "Cantata Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen"? Why just the sixteenth variation from the "Goldberg Variations"? Why, after all period instruments performances, close with the "Pastorale in C minor" played on a Steinway grand? These questions are unanswerable to the listener. But to the question "does this two-disc set provide a view of the essential Bach?" The answer is yes. The Bach who emerges here piece by piece and performance by performance is the essential Bach: a virtuoso, a man, a mystic, and a composer of profound greatness.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/10/2009
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • UPC: 794881909025
  • Catalog Number: 2968096

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050: 1. Allegro - Johann Sebastian Bach & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (9:26)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Performed byAkademie für Alte Musik Berlin
  2. 2 St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus, & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b): Part 2. 66a. Und Joseph nahm den Leib. 66b. Chorus - Johann Sebastian Bach & Ian Bostridge (4:29)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byIan Bostridge, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Dietrich Henschel, Philippe Herreweghe
  3. 3 St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus, & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b): Part 2. 68. Chorus. Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nied - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (5:21)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe
  4. 4 Suite for solo cello No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011: 1. Prélude - Johann Sebastian Bach & Jean-Guihen Queyras (6:05)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  5. 5–6 Prelude and Fugue, for keyboard No. 1 in C major (WTC I/1), BWV 846 (BC L80) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Richard Egarr (4:55)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 5Praeludium
    2. 6Fuga
  6. 7 Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor, BWV 565 (BC J37) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Andrew Manze (7:37)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  7. 8 Cantata No. 170, "Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust," BWV 170 (BC A106): 1. Aria. Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust - Johann Sebastian Bach & Freiburger Barockorchester (7:00)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPetra Müllejans
    Performed byFreiburger Barockorchester, Bernarda Fink, Petra Müllejans
  8. 9 Easter Oratorio (Oster-Oratorium: "Kommt, eilet und laufet"), BWV 249 (BC D8): Chorus. Preis und Dank - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (2:33)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe
  9. 10–18 O Gott, du frommer Gott, chorale partita for organ, BWV 767 (BC K95) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Andreas Staier (14:02)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 10Partita 1
    2. 11Partita 2
    3. 12Partita 3
    4. 13Partita 4
    5. 14Partita 5
    6. 15Partita 6
    7. 16Partita 7
    8. 17Partita 8
    9. 18Partita 9
  10. 19 Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 à 4 voix: thème rectus - Johann Sebastian Bach & Fretwork (3:11)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Performed byFretwork
  11. 20 Cantata No. 122, "Das neugeborne Kindelein," BWV 122 (BC A19): 4. Aria. Ist Gott versöhnt - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (2:21)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe, Mark Padmore, Sarah Connolly, Vasiljka Jezovsek
  12. 21 Cantata No. 21, "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis," BWV 21 (BC A99): Choeur. Ich hatte vile Bekümmernis - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (4:06)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe, La Chapelle Royale
  13. 22 Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air - Johann Sebastian Bach & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (4:27)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Performed byAkademie für Alte Musik Berlin
  14. 23 Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067: Badinerie - Johann Sebastian Bach & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (1:34)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Performed byAkademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Disc 2
  1. 1–7 Cantata No. 12 "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen", BWV 12 (BC A68) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Cantus Cölln (21:59)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byKonrad Junghanel
    Performed byKonrad Junghanel
    1. 1No. 1. Sinfonia
    2. 2No. 2. Coro. Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen
    3. 3No. 3. Recitativo. Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal
    4. 4No. 4. Aria. Kreuz und Kronen sind verbunden
    5. 5No. 5. Aria. Ich folge Christo nach
    6. 6No. 6. Aria. Sei getreu, alle Pein
    7. 7No. 7. Choral. Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
  2. 8 Sonata for viola da gamba & keyboard No. 3 in G minor, BWV 1029: 1. Vivace - Johann Sebastian Bach & Juan Manuel Quintana (5:24)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  3. 9 Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Aria - Johann Sebastian Bach & Kenneth Gilbert (2:18)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  4. 10 Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Variation 16. Ouverture à 1 clavier - Johann Sebastian Bach & Kenneth Gilbert (2:53)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  5. 11 Cantata No. 158, "Der Friede sei mit dir," BWV 158 (BC A61): Aria con Chorale. Welt, ade - Johann Sebastian Bach & Philippe Herreweghe (7:02)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byPhilippe Herreweghe, Peter Kooy, La Chapelle Royale
  6. 12 Magnificat, for 5 voices, 5-part chorus, orchestra & continuo in D major, BWV 243 (BC E14): Choeur. Magnificat anima mea Dominum - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (3:03)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe, La Chapelle Royale, Barbara Schlick
  7. 13 Magnificat, for 5 voices, 5-part chorus, orchestra & continuo in D major, BWV 243 (BC E14): Aria & Choeur. Omnes generationes - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (4:11)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe, La Chapelle Royale, Barbara Schlick
  8. 14 The Musical Offering (Musikalisches Opfer), for keyboard and chamber instruments, BWV 1079: Prélude - Johann Sebastian Bach & Paul O'Dette (5:10)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  9. 15 Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): Am ersten Weihnachtstag: Choeur d'ouverture. Jauch - Johann Sebastian Bach & Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (7:39)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byRené Jacobs
    Performed byAkademie für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin, René Jacobs
  10. 16 Komm, Jesu, komm, motet for chorus & continuo, BWV 229 (BC C3): Chor. Aria. Komm, Jesu, komm - Johann Sebastian Bach & RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin (6:57)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byRené Jacobs
    Performed byRIAS-Kammerchor Berlin, René Jacobs, Sibylla Rubens
  11. 17 Nun danket alle Gott, chorale prelude for organ (Achtzehn Choräle No. 6), BWV 657 (BC K80) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lionel Rogg (3:29)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
  12. 18 Mass in B minor, for soloists, chorus, & orchestra, BWV 232 (BC E1): Sanctus - Johann Sebastian Bach & Collegium Vocale Ghent (5:19)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    Conducted byPhilippe Herreweghe
    Performed byCollegium Vocale Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe
  13. 19 Pastorale for organ in F major, BWV 590 (BC J81): Aria - Johann Sebastian Bach & Alexandre Tharaud (2:36)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
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