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Thread: Recordings of JS Bach - Orchestral Suites

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    Kuijken lacks of good vocal cast, his singers are just average and worse than his competence: Suzuki, Herreweghe, Gardiner, Pierlot, etc... Petra Noskaiova is not an excellent soprano, lacks of projection/volume, especially in highest tessitura, and her pitch is not good enough. Christoph Genz is a good tenor, but for an OVPP approach it is required to have an excellent vocal cast. In the other hand, in my opinion, instruments and conducting are good enough to consider this box set as an option considering there is not other alternative using OVPP approach. If we consider single recordings of OVPP cantatas I would rather go with Philippe Pierlot in Mirare, he has the best vocal cast ever recorded with an OVPP choir: Carlos Mena, Hans Jörg Mammel, Stephan MacLeod, + Ricercar Consort, an excellent ensemble specialized in german baroque sacred works using reduced (chamber) choirs. His recordings of Buxtehude and Schütz are among my favourites regarding german sacred baroque works. I consider Milnes as a good option as well, I have 3 recordings of his cantatas and revealed me an outstanding bass: Stephan MacLeod. In terms of OVPP performances, for cantatas we have 3 options: Kuijken, Milnes and Pierlot.
    Yes, I agree, the quality of Kuijken's singers is mixed, and that's not optimal in OVPP performance, where they sing both the choral & solo parts. In contrast, Milnes has chosen his singers more thoughtfully, and they're clearly better rehearsed. Monika Mauch is my ideal Bach soprano! I also like Jan Kobow. Yes, I've enjoyed Pierlot & the Ricercar Consort's Bach too, & agree, he chooses his singers wisely.

    But there are more than just three OVPP options out there (you mention Kuijken, Milnes, Pierlot). In addition, there is The Purcell Quartet, Joshua Rifkin, Cantus Cöln & Konrad Junghänel, Andrew Parrott, and The Theater of Early Voices, led by Daniel Taylor (and possibly Alfredo Bernardini's recent CD?), and others. Conductors Marc Minkowski & Jos Van Veldhoven have also been won over by the OVPP argument, though I don't believe they've recorded any cantatas yet. But, so far, Milnes is my favorite.

    Traverso is correct, Koopman's Erato recording is his 2nd. As I wrote above, the DHM recording is excellent too, but the Erato recording has better sound quality (unless DHM remasters). So, I'd most recommend the Erato recording. Ludwigii doesn't like it, which is fine. We're all different, and bring different expectations to music, especially early music. Besides, it would get boring if we all agreed on everything. Which is why I normally try to give an overview of good recordings rather than single out one or two as "the best", as I don't think 'definitive' recordings really exist.

    And yet, I'm a huge Jordi Savall fan too! I just don't think he's always at his best in Bach (as a conductor, not as a viola da gamba player). Though I certainly would never try to talk someone out of buying a Savall recording, as he's too good a musician & always gets first rate musicians around him.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Nov-23-2017 at 02:55.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    Any thoughts on Hogwood? That's what I have, and I was thinking of expanding to Pinnock, but so far, Hogwood sounds good enough for me.
    I just ordered the Hogwood set for 3 dollars. If the Air movement from No.3 doesn't really soar then it's a deal breaker. Only Hogwood, and Freiburger Barockorchester sounded right to my ears. Both of those recordings sound glorious!
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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  5. #33
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    I believe the old Harnoncourt on Telefunken was the first HIP album I ever bought. About 1973 I think. I loved the sound. When it came out on CD I bought it immediately. I now have Pinnock as well and several recordings of individual suites.

    I also have a version by the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, which is nice as background music.

  6. #34
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    Marriner is pretty good, his first version originally on Argo with Thurston Dart rather than the various remakes, is a pretty good version. It was made when full orchestra Bach played in a stately manner was being replaced by chamber orchestras with less moderate speeds. Munchinger, Leppard and Menuhin together with Marriner were at the front of this revival and all brought life to the music which had previously been lacking. My personal favourite is Menuhin, his Bach is always heartfelt, but all are worth listening to. And to tell the difference they made to the music try Furtwangler in the famous air from the 3rd suite and endure a dirge.

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  8. #35
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I have two sets: Hogwood/AAM and Richter/Münchener Bach-Orchester. They're about as different as you could get but I really enjoy both. Hogwood wins out on account of I like the faster tempi better, but I do enjoy Richter's more stately approach (very different from his fast Brandenburgs).

  9. #36
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    Not fully relevant but....
    I recently bought a set of early soviet recordings of Kurt Sanderling with the Leningrad Philharmonic. A great Rachmaninov 1, Yudina interesting in Beethoven 4th Concerto and Zak in Brahms 2nd amongst other good interpretations. Then there was the Bach 1st orchestral suite. It was stodgy, slow and heavy. it has no life in it. I couldn’t hear a keyboard continuo which doesn't of course mean that there wasn’t one. It reminded me of all the reasons I didn’t like Bach as a kid. In a previous post I mentioned the coming of the chamber orchestras in the fifties and the great changes it had wrought to the performances of Bach but I never expected to be proved right so soon after posting.

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