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This CD is a good introduction to Johann Sebastian Bach at an extremely attractive price. The bulk of the performances featured are from the Mainz Chamber Orchestra, and the musicianship is generally competent, although there is occasionally a weakness in the horn section, particularly notable during the "Mass in B Minor." Still, the performances are pleasant to listen to, and will definitely accomplish the goal of this CD, which is to expose people to a sampling of Bach's works and make it a positive experience.

Musical selection here is interesting, ranging from pieces that nearly everyone has heard, to pieces that are relatively obscure. The best known piece on the CD is without question the "Toccata And Fugue In D Minor," a work for organ that was popularized in Hollywood ("Fantasia" and "Dracula") and is so embedded in American culture as a "horror" theme that it can still be seen on late night television, especially around Halloween. My favorite works on the CD are the "Brandenburg Concerto" excerpts (especially the magnificent "Brandenburg Concerto Number 3 in G," perhaps the most beautiful composition to emerge from the Baroque period), the delicate "Orchestral Suite Number 2 in B Minor," and the "Violin Concerto Number 2 in E." Also well represented for a sampler of this size are several works for harpsichords, of which Bach was the undisputed master.

In general I like the "25 Favorites" series, as they are inexpensive and let listeners explore different composers and musical styles at an extremely affordable price, although the quality does vary between the individual CDs; the Bach CD is better than the Beethoven offering, which is choppy and inconsistent, but not quite up to the Mozart CD, which seems more well-rounded. In general this is a great CD to expose a new listener to Bach, or to simply have handy for pleasure listening. I gave the disc four stars instead of five because most of the works here are edited for time (25 songs in 77 minutes only gives around three minutes for each track), which, while not generally glaring, does detract from the works as originally written.

If you are curious about Bach, this is a good CD to make the introduction.
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on August 27, 2015
Bach is probably my favorite classical composer, so I already own a bunch, but this looked like it would fill in a few holes as well as provide alternate performances of some favorites.

The packaging reminds me a little of some old telemarketing stuff, so I was a little nervous that these would be awful recordings, but I was pleasantly surprised that both the recordings and the performances are typically superb.

So I would highly recommend this either for people looking for a good introduction to Bach or for people like me looking for a good mix from one of the greatest composers who ever lived.
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on May 25, 2014
If one has no musical training and simply enjoys so-called classical music then this cd is fine. I use it as background music because I enjoy the music of the European classical period above all other music. With no training in music it is purely an esthetic appreciation of what they created during that period. I imagine this kind of recording is generally complied from relatively unknown and second class orchestras' performances.
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on September 2, 2013
For the price, this series of CD's is amazing. I teach a music history class for middle schoolers, and I find a great selection of some of the most well-known pieces. I want my students to be familiar with the most well-known and well-loved works, so this is a great series for me. Of course, I enjoy listening to them myself. A nice selection and variety of Bach pieces.
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on July 26, 2014
Like that it came from Germany. Couple of tunes are okay. It is not the best interpretations of the music although it is
likely more historically accurate. Newer renditions have modern trend in it.
I mean the songs are played on instruments that Bach would have used in his day.
Newer renditions sound more hip. It is because we break the rules and try to modernize.
I am not complaining -!
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on October 24, 2017
Great music.
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on May 3, 2017
We are enjoy this CD. Thanks!
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on December 3, 2016
I bought it in 2000 and then lost it. I didn't really know much Bach but I really loved some of the stuff on this. So I recently bought it again. There is nothing better to play in the car in traffic. It keeps you calm. I find other classical music boring but for some reason Bach has clever melodies. There is so much more.
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on November 26, 2013
I bought this to add to a massive classical playlist for my son to listen too. I'm amazed how cheap classical music is compared to other genres. a great value to say the least
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on April 17, 2015
This is a great album. Johann S Bach is one of my favorite composers! It has 25 of his greatest songs.
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