Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach is one of those rare novelty recordings that never gets boring. In the capable hands of Carlos, Bach's keyboard masterpieces sound like they were made for the otherworldly blurps, farts, and chimes of a Moog synthesizer. And, in a sense, they were. Bach's inventive music doesn't lose any of its contrapuntal punch in these complicated arrangements and, novelties aside, the playing is great on this Grammy Award-winning classic. Whether performing Bach's "Two-Part Inventions," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," or "Wachet Auf," Carlos offers one-of-a-kind interpretations, her synthesizers still sounding as otherworldly as they did in 1968. This is one of those weird and wonderful classical releases that anyone--classical scholar or pop enthusiast--can enjoy. A Switched-On box set exists, capturing most of Carlos's baroque-gone-berserk output, but this is the disc that started it all. In a word, fun. --Jason Verlinde
Top customer reviews
When the music was written well over 200 years previously, J. S. Bach was at the forefront of musical endeavor - new tuning systems were being experimented with, and for the first time in history, pieces could be transposed to virtually any key and played by any instrument within range.
Carlos continued this tradition, but used contemporary electronic equipment to faithfully reproduce and enhance the original arrangements in ways which would have been hitherto impossible.
To me, this album (first listened to on 12" LP in the early 1970s) provided a gateway to baroque counterpoint, it's not immediately obvious that the synths at the time were "monophonic" - ie could only play one note at a time, and its testimony to the production this is only apparent in hindsight.
This recording spawned many - far less successful - so called "classic crossover" so called "easy listening" albums - with a few notable exceptions, this should always be your starting point.
I fell in love with this recording almost three decades ago. I maintain that there is no nicer performance of Bach. The genius of Ms. Wendy Carlos sparkles. It makes me reflect on the human achievements. It is wonderful that she has produced something so great, and that so many people have benefited from her talent.
My favorites are Symphonia to Cantata #29, Prelude and Fugue #7 in E-Flat Major and Prelude and Fugue #2 in C Minor (both from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier), and also the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major.
The recording is enhanced and it has a delightful addition of about 8 minutes in which Ms. Wendy Carlos tells us about the early beginnings of this project. The CD comes with a very attractive booklet that is artistically designed and has several informative write-ups about the history and development of this project.
This recording is a must!
The previous reviewer, I believe, was quite mistaken and didn't understand what this CD represented. This is NOT simply a re-do of the original "Switched on Bach".
Rather, this is a completely new, mature interpretation. The most important thing to understand is that the pieces are performed in Bach's original scales and temperaments.
This is NOT, in other words, performed in "equal temperament"-- what does that mean? Equal Temperament is "the ubiquitous 12-note" scale that we have become used to in Western music. This was not standardized in Bach's time. Wendy Carlos has (using scholarship which she does not discuss in the notes) used Bach's tunings.
This results in seriously fantastic versions of familiar pieces. If you want to expand your understanding of the pieces or just hear them in a way you have never heard them before, this CD is for you. It is hauntingly beautiful.
I find it very unfortunate that virtually all of the remastered, enhanced sound CDs produced by Wendy Carlos only, in some cases a few years ago are all out of print. This is a huge loss to music.
A final note: be sure you get the newer, remastered "enhanced sound" version of this CD (and all of her work when possible) not the older CDs.
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category
- CDs & Vinyl > Classical > Forms & Genres > Concertos > Concerto Grossi
- CDs & Vinyl > Classical > Forms & Genres > Fugues
- CDs & Vinyl > Classical > Forms & Genres > Inventions
- CDs & Vinyl > Classical > Forms & Genres > Suites
- CDs & Vinyl > Dance & Electronic > Electronica
- CDs & Vinyl > New Age
- CDs & Vinyl > Opera & Classical Vocal > Vocal Non-Opera > Cantatas