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Thread: Bach Musical Offering Recommendations

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    Default Bach Musical Offering Recommendations

    I have a tiny obsession with this work and want to buy some versions but need guidance, HIP preferred.

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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I have a tiny obsession with this work and want to buy some versions but need guidance, HIP preferred.
    I would strongly recommend Musica Antiqua Koln:



    Perhaps you may find more accurate recordings on period instruments, but this one has great/skilled musicians and a lively conducting. Also, Goebel uses a small ensemble (6 musicians), not a big deal considering some parts were written in open score. Personally, I rather prefer small ensembles for works of this nature.
    Last edited by JSBach85; Dec-07-2017 at 20:37.

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    Jordi Savall with Le Concert des Nations
    Savall-J-A02-1a[Alia-Vox-CD].jpg

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    I can attest for the Savall...MAK would be worth a hearing, no doubt

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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I have a tiny obsession with this work and want to buy some versions but need guidance, HIP preferred.

    Top tier

    Linde Consort
    Leonhartdt
    Masahiro Arita and Ryo Terakado
    Mersori on Brilliant


    Exceptional but somehow not quite as special as the above for me, maybe for no good reason

    Savall with Hantai
    Kuijken bros. & R. Kohnen
    Sonnerie
    Meno van Delft
    Harnoncourt

    Very good but not my cup of tea

    Ricercar Consort


    Don't like much any more


    Koopman
    Goebel
    Dantone

    And then there's Gerd Zacher, which is a bit of an enigma.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Dec-08-2017 at 00:21.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Top tier

    Linde Consort
    Leonhartdt
    Masahiro Arita and Ryo Terakado
    Mersori on Brilliant


    Exceptional but somehow not quite as special as the above for me, maybe for no good reason

    Savall with Hantai
    Kuijken bros. & R. Kohnen
    Sonnerie
    Meno van Delft
    Harnoncourt

    Very good but not my cup of tea

    Ricercar Consort


    Don't like much any more


    Koopman
    Goebel
    Dantone

    And then there's Gerd Zacher, which is a bit of an enigma.
    This is precisely how I would estimate the recordings in question (with two exceptions).

    The Sonnerie recording is IMO too special, and I would put it together with the Ricercare Consort recording.

    Secondly I do not know the Dantone recording.

    But there are several other HIP recordings of this work. I am particularly fond of these:

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...ffering-canons

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...sical-offering

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    Fascinating reading, a few of those I have on my shortlist. I think I'll get the Messori set on Brilliant and I'm very tempted by the Savall. The Sonnerie is extremely expensive on Amazon £419! MAK also looks good. Lots to go on there for an incredible work of art by Bach the master.

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    Most recently, I've especially enjoyed Concerto Melante on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, & would recommend it as one of my top choices among period recordings:

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...fering-bwv1079

    In the past, I've most liked the Linde Consort's recording, which was my first Musical Offering on LP. I also recall Musica Antiqua Koln and Sonnerie are good too, but haven't heard either recording in a while. Like Mandryka, I've cooled a bit on Ton Koopman's recording on Challenge classics.

    I've read strong reviews for the Hanssler recording, but haven't heard it yet. Another group that is excellent in this repertory is Florilegium, but I'm not sure if they've done a Musical Offering.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Dec-08-2017 at 11:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by premont View Post
    This is precisely how I would estimate the recordings in question (with two exceptions).

    The Sonnerie recording is IMO too special, and I would put it together with the Ricercare Consort recording.

    Secondly I do not know the Dantone recording.

    But there are several other HIP recordings of this work. I am particularly fond of these:

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...ffering-canons

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...sical-offering
    I hadn't seen the one from Aston Magna before and I agree it sounds good on spotify, John Gibbons is playing the piano, I've never come across him before. I see he played Mozart concertos with Bruggen, and the K491 sounds pretty good to me here


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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I think I'll get the Messori set on Brilliant
    Don't hesitate to get it if it comes with Art of Fugue.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Dec-08-2017 at 12:13.

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    I suppose my view of the work is strongly influenced by the first recording I ever bought many years ago, a DG Archiv LP from an ensemble led by Karl Richter and dating from 1963. I have never done a comparative listening with the two other versions I own - Linde Consort and MAK/Goebel. I would second the recommendation of the Linde Consort as it comes with my favourite set of the Brandenburgs. MAK/Goebel has the coupling of The Art of Fugue. I think both are fine performances of the Musical Offering so it depends which coupling you want and if you favout either ensemble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I hadn't seen the one from Aston Magna before and I agree it sounds good on spotify, John Gibbons is playing the piano, I've never come across him before. I see he played Mozart concertos with Bruggen, and the K491 sounds pretty good to me here
    His discography is relatively small, most of it is participation in PI groups and a few MI groups. F.i. he plays harpsichord on Parrott's BWV 1044 and on Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Brandenburgs. I think he is an eloquent musician.

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    Interestingly, Reinhard Goebel was planning to re-record The Musical Offering with Musica Antiqua Köln when they disbanded (due to Goebel's physical issues). Evidently, he wasn't satisfied with the older MAK recording. All of Goebel's new research into the score was then subsequently redirected towards assisting his former MAK musicians that had now formed Concerto Melante in their new recording of the work. You can find more information on Goebel and his connection to Concerto Melante & their recording of The Musical Offering here:

    http://www.melante.de/assets/bach_mu...ches_opfer.pdf

    Another recent recording that has received strong praise (from the Early Music Review) is this CD from The Bach Players:

    https://www.amazon.com/Musical-Offer...2754586&sr=1-8

    I've listened to it only once, but preferred Concerto Melante (which I had bought around the same time). However, others have disagreed with me, so maybe I need to give it another chance. Here's the review:

    http://earlymusicreview.com/musical-offering/
    Last edited by Josquin13; Dec-08-2017 at 20:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Interestingly, Reinhard Goebel was planning to re-record The Musical Offering with Musica Antiqua Köln when they disbanded (due to Goebel's physical issues). Evidently, he wasn't satisfied with the older MAK recording. All of Goebel's new research into the score was then subsequently redirected towards assisting his former MAK musicians that had now formed Concerto Melante in their new recording of the work. You can find more information on Goebel and his connection to Concerto Melante & their recording of The Musical Offering here:

    http://www.melante.de/assets/bach_mu...ches_opfer.pdf

    Another recent recording that has received strong praise (from the Early Music Review) is this CD from The Bach Players:

    https://www.amazon.com/Musical-Offer...2754586&sr=1-8

    I've listened to it only once, but preferred Concerto Melante (which I had bought around the same time). However, others have disagreed with me, so maybe I need to give it another chance. Here's the review:

    http://earlymusicreview.com/musical-offering/
    I can't say, that I find The Bach Players' version that interesting.

    The latest I have got hold of (but not yet listened to) is Masaaki Suziki's on BIS.

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    Premont writes, "I can't say, that I find The Bach Players' version that interesting."

    I agree, but as I said, I've only listened to it once, so I didn't want to state too negative an opinion (& later find that it had merits I missed the first time around).

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