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Bach: Complete Edition Box set, Special Edition


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Audio CD, Box set, Special Edition, September 14, 2010
$288.40 $288.40

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Product Details

  • Performer: Holland Boys Choir, Hans Fagius, Pieter-Jan Belder, Peter Schreier
  • Orchestra: Netherlands Bach Collegium
  • Conductor: Pieter Jan Leusink, Nicol Matt, Diego Fasolis, Stephen Cleobury
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 157
  • Format: Box set, Special Edition
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B0040T7CFS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

The previous edition of Bach's Complete Edition featured everything the Baroque master ever composed: chamber music, concertos, cantatas, vocal works, keyboard works, organ works and orchestral works. So how does one improve upon that? Well, Brilliant Classics has redesigned the box, included new recordings of all 200 sacred cantatas on period instruments, expanded the recordings from 155 CDs to 157 CDs, 2 DVDs and a DVD-ROM with all texts, the complete sheet music and liner notes. Recent research has allowed Brilliant Classics to collect the most scholarly correct versions, and you'll hear many superior performances that replace previous versions. That's how!

Customer Reviews

They offer very good recordings by James Kibbie of Bach's complete organ works for free!
A. Thorny Koanz
If you want a complete set of Bach there is really only one alternative to this set and that is Helmuth Rilling's Complete Works of J. S. Bach.
Brian Paul Biswas
The recording engineering preserves incredible details of the sound under a nice atmosphere with a very nice balance of all performers.
Kevin He

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 196 people found the following review helpful By A. Thorny Koanz on September 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD
PRELUDE

This enormous box set is a veritable treasure trove of music by Bach! I've been a devoted Bach fan since my teenage years and have owned recordings of most of the important instrumental works for awhile. But I was still largely unfamiliar with Bach's vast corpus of sacred and secular vocal works (filling 94 CDs or about 60% of this set). I've long wanted to collect all of Bach's works but the task of tracking down good recordings of every piece without too much overlap seemed daunting and expensive. Now I have nearly all of Bach's surviving music at my fingertips, and the feeling is indescribable!

The latest version of Brilliant Classics' Bach Complete Edition (BCE) brings several new recordings and other new material together in an incredibly priced box set. Not every recording in this set is a winner, but there are several really great discs and most of the rest are decent to good. Nearly all of the recordings are good enough to serve as "reference copies" for Bach's music. While most of the set is played on period instruments and using small to medium-size ensembles, there are recordings here for almost every taste in performance style. People who strongly dislike an historical approach to Bach will probably want to consider the Hänssler Bach set instead, but note that it is about twice the cost of this one.

The BCE is reasonably comprehensive but there are some missing compositions and I doubt many people will be content with every recording included here. So, you will still have some collecting to do after buying this set but don't let that alone dissuade you.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By V. J. Phillips on September 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just a warning, this is done on all period instruments. If you really prefer the sound of a piano to a harpsichord [I can go with either one, myself] then don't go with this box.

It comes in a very nice, fairly attractive cardboard box with a table of contents on the inside lid. The CDs are in durable paper covers with track-lists on the back along with performance information. The sections [Orchestral, Keyboard, Vocal, Cantatas, Organ, and DVD] are color coded, which is helpful.

Thankfully for me, all of my CDs are fully-functioning. I had heard some horror stories about CDs not working, but no such thing happened to me. The DVD title lists are a bit slow-moving for me on my computer, but surely that will be different in a DVD player. Also, there is one CD [no.134: Magnificat in D and Chorales] which does not load track information on my computer, but it plays just fine in iTunes [Windows Media Player would not play the last track.] Despite any flaws in a single CD, at less than a dollar per CD, you could easily use your savings [over a hundred dollars, compared to the Hanssler edition which is coming out soon] to replace it.

I highly suggest buying -this- edition to any true Bach lover, it's lovely, affordable, and, for the most part, immaculate.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brian Paul Biswas on August 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
If you want a complete set of Bach there is really only one alternative to this set and that is Helmuth Rilling's Complete Works of J. S. Bach. That set is well-recorded with excellent musicians and soloists--but it is performed on modern instruments with large choruses. I was looking for Bach on period instruments with small choruses--just what this set offers. (If you are looking for the former get the Rilling set.)

I put off buying this set for the longest time because I was concerned about the quality of the performances (from other reviews I'd read). All for naught! I have by now listened to about 2/3ds of the 157 CDs. I'd say 98% are good to excellent with the vast majority being very good.

Specifically, the 17 CDs of organ works (performed by Hans Fabius) are marvelous, as are most of the keyboard works (all performed on the harpsichord) and many of the orchestral and chamber music works. What really surprised me was how good the 60 CDs of religious Cantatas are! The soloists are first-rate, the Netherlands Bach Collegium quite good and very-well rehearsed. And then there are the Masses and secular Cantatas, again very well done.

I'd give this collection 6 stars if I could. Heck, 7 or even 8 (it's Bach, after all!). This is certainly the best purchase I've made on Amazon.

There are other Bach disks I'll want to purchase, and I may even spring for the Rilling set one day, but for now I couldn't be happier.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ed Pegg Jr TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I've bought this twice now, the previous version, and then this new version (when it first became available at Amazon UK at a higher price). I wanted to have a set at work.

I've always been a fan of Bach, and I thought this would be a good set to see if there was anything else I liked. I've listened to the whole set twice now. At least one CD at night, for months.

It is staggering how much great music Bach did. I've also listened to the Beethoven and Mozart sets. In my opinion, Bach wrote much more great music. His Cantata series, over 60 CDs, have something incredible on every CD. Even after four years with this set, I'm still trying to narrow down everything that I like on all these CDs.

There are some boring bits. The Recitarios usually involve someone reading a piece of text in German to very minimal music, and every Cantana has several. However, these are surrounded by incredible instrumental pieces, and equally incredible choruses. I thought the singers were quite good.

Individual pieces, it's easy to find better versions. Bach's Chaconne, for example, is good here, but I've heard staggering greatness elsewhere. Here's what Braham's had to say about the Chaconne: "On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind."

I feel like that with almost every CD in this set. If you generally like Bach, you will easily quintuple the amount that you like with this gigantic set. Highly, highly, highly recommended. Of all my purchases on Amazon, this was by far my favorite purchase, even after four years.
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What's the diffeence between this and the othe one?
The 2010 Bach Complete Edition contains quite a number of changes from the earlier versions of Brilliant Classics' Bach Edition. Yes, the DVDs of the passions are new as is the addition of scores to the DVD-ROM. The 2010 release also includes 2 more CDs for the St. Mark Passion that were not in... Read More
Jan 29, 2011 by A. Thorny Koanz |  See all 5 posts
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