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Bach: Sacred Masterpieces and Cantatas Box set, Limited Edition


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Audio CD, Box set, Limited Edition, April 27, 2010
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Product Details

  • Performer: The Monteverdi Choir, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Olaf Bär, Ruth Holton, et al.
  • Orchestra: The English Baroque Soloists
  • Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (April 27, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 22
  • Format: Box set, Limited 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: Archiv
  • ASIN: B003647BUE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,069 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

22CD of the complete DG and Philips recordings of Gardiner - the first time these full-price recordings have been gathered together in a super-budget box. The acclaimed readings of the major Bach choral works - "Primary choices for these works" - The Penguin Guide - are among the greatest recordings of our time. Here they are joined by 12 CDs of equally distinguished recordings of Bach cantatas, from Gardiner's famous "pilgrimage" in 2000, plus the Magnificat and Cantata no. 51 (originally recorded for the Philips label). YOU GET: the classic recordings of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. Matthew Passion, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor; a wide selection of 37 cantatas, odes and motets covering the whole church year and other occasions, and including favourites such as Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, Wachet auf, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, and Ich habe genug. "Gardiner's choice of soloists is unerring" (Penguin Guide): Vocal soloists include Nancy Argenta, Olaf B r, Barbara Bonney, Michael Chance, Bernarda Fink, Magdalena Ko en Derek Lee Ragin, Sara Mingardo, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Andreas Schmidt and Stephen Varcoe. Providing the essential backbone are The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists: "The musicianship of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists is always imposing"(Penguin Guide).

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
92%
4 star
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3%
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1 star
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See all 36 customer reviews
This is a terrific buy!
ironman
This 22 disc box set includes all of Gardiner's DG/Archiv Bach recordings, as well as a single disc he made for Philips that includes the "Magnificat."
R.D. Monsoon
While I work today I'm listening to this set of Bach sacred music, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
Gary Chapin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

158 of 159 people found the following review helpful By R.D. Monsoon VINE VOICE on April 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The merits of John Eliot Gardiner's Bach have been debated for decades now, so I feel no need to re-litigate the past. The purpose of this review is merely to describe the packaging.

This 22 disc box set includes all of Gardiner's DG/Archiv Bach recordings, as well as a single disc he made for Philips that includes the "Magnificat."

The groupings and track orders are identical to the CDs when they were originally released individually -- so no resorting has been done to squeeze all the music onto as few discs as possible.

The CDs are housed in slip cases.

The box set comes with a booklet that includes the track listings, names of soloists, and recording information.

On the last page of the booklet there is a URL for a DG website where translations for all of the recordings have been posted in PDF format (141 pages total!). The liner notes that came with the recordings when they were originally released have not been posted.

This set is an incredible value, especially when you consider that many of the recordings in it are still being sold at full price. It would have been great had DG posted the original liner notes, but providing all of the translations is more than we typically get with these kinds of budget priced releases.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Kelvin Brown on December 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bach is perhaps the greatest composer that ever lived, but not my personal favorite. However, Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Monteverdi Choir have turned out some of the finest recorded performances of Baroque classical music and done so consistently for at least 25 years. I had heard some of these performances on the radio, purchased the Magnificat in D and a few of the cantatas, but never really committed to having all that much Bach in my collection. Until this box set was released. Every thing presented here on these discs is a standout in the career and collaboration of this conductor and amazing ensemble. This marvelous set includes The Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion, and some of Gardiner's more recent recordings of the cantatas. One of the things that distinguishes these performances and sets them apart from other Baroque recordings is Gardiner's interpretation of the material, the performance of the choir, and the quality of the soloists.

Many conductors plod through Baroque standards like they are conducting to a metronome, sometimes technically perfect but lacking any emotional connection with the material. The first time I heard Gardiner's recording of Handel's Messiah, I was stunned. The man actually put dynamics - crescendos and slight tempo changes - into the Hallelujah Chorus. Simply brilliant. He has done the same thing for each of these recordings, but this is more evident in the later recordings of the cantatas. My personal favorites on the album are "Cantata # 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," the "Magnificat in D," and the "St. Matthew Passion."

As for the Monteverdi Choir, Gramophone Magazine said they are the best choir in the world.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on August 14, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is among the best bargains I've ever encountered in classical music. For something like $60 and shipping, you get:

- Bach - Christmas Oratorio / Gardiner (2 disks; ~ $34)
- Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Rolfe Johnson, Bonney, von Otter, Chance, Crook; Gardiner (3 disks, currently not available directly through amazon)
- Bach: St. John Passion / Gardiner, The English Baroque Soloists (2 disks; ~ $34)
- Bach - Mass in B minor / Argenta, Nichols, Chance, Stafford, Milner, W. Evans, Gardiner (2 disks; ~ $30)
- Bach: Magnificat, BWV. 243; Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (~ $14)
- Bach: Advent Cantatas (~$16)
- Christmas Cantatas (~16)
- Bach: Cantatas, BWV 82. 83, 125, 200 (~ $18)

And so on. I'm tired of doing that. There are yet 9 more disks! Even if you already own MOST of these recordings, this is still a bargain.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is wonderful box of (I think) all the Bach choral recordings made by Gardiner for DG from the early 1980s to 2000. It includes the two Passions, the Christmas Oratorio, the B Minor Mass and the Magnificat, plus 12 CDs of some of Bach's greatest Cantatas. I have listed the works at the end of this review as there isn't a full listing on this page.

The whole set is simply fantastic. Gardiner's recordings of the Passions are regarded as landmarks by many people, as was the B Minor Mass, which for me is the greatest treasure of this set. It has been described as the greatest work of art in any medium ever, and while that may be a rather overblown claim it isn't wholly indefensible. Gardiner's interpretation does it proud. It has intensity, intellectual weight, a deep respect for the work and, above all, radiant beauty. I love it. I also have the Andrew Parrott recording (now available very reasonably on Virgin Veritas) and treasure the two equally. I've heard quite a few others which I don't like as much. There isn't a single correct way to do the B Minor Mass and your taste may not coincide with mine, but if you're looking for a really fine recording I don't think you can go wrong with Gardiner (or Parrott, for that matter).

I'm less qualified to compare versions of the other great works in this box as these are the only recordings I own and listen to in detail. Probably the reason for this is that I'm extremely happy with them. I've heard others which I have liked very much, and the Gardiner versions seem to me to stand up with the best of them. The singers in this set are simply fantastic - Nancy Argenta, Anne Sophie von Otter, Barbara Bonney, Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Stephen Varcoe to name but a few.
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