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Thread: Question on the Koopman Bach cantatas......

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Question Question on the Koopman Bach cantatas......

    I've decided these are the ones I like best.

    Are the re-issues of the early cantatas on Channel Classics just a re-issue or are they new recordings of the same cantatas?
    I am thinking they are new recordings.
    Thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    I've decided these are the ones I like best.

    Are the re-issues of the early cantatas on Channel Classics just a re-issue or are they new recordings of the same cantatas?
    I am thinking they are new recordings.
    Thanks
    They are the same as the Erato volumes

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmathuln View Post
    They are the same as the Erato volumes
    Several of the 3 disc Erato volumes selling for 3 dollars at Amazon. I just bought a few.
    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Complete...s=music&sr=1-1
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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    Shoot, I just finished filling in all my holes in this series a couple months ago.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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    Koopman started his Bach Cantata series with the Erato label in the 1990s. He intended to record the complete sacred and secular cantatas, making it the most complete Bach Cantata survey ever attempted. However, Erato was subsequently bought out by Warner, and although Warner initially committed to Koopman's project, they later changed their mind and dropped it from their catalogue. In order to finish the project, Koopman was then forced to create his own record label, which he called "Antoine Marchand"--a pun in French on his own name, and subsequently recorded the remaining cantatas for this new label, which was distributed by Challenge Classics (not to be confused with Channel Classics).

    What makes the history confusing is that after ending their contract with Koopman & the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, Warner then dumped all of the Erato Bach Cantata volumes onto the discount market, but also allowed Koopman to buy back the tapes to these recordings and reissue them on his new label. Hence, you can find the earlier volumes in Koopman's series on both the initial Erato releases & the later reissues by the Marchand/Challenge Classics label. I believe there were 12 volumes completed for Erato, and the rest were recorded for Koopman's new label, but I'm not absolutely certain of this off the top of my head (it could be less?). While the complete cycle was eventually later released by Marchand/Challenge Classics in a box set when the series was finished, along with individual reissues of the earlier Erato volumes on the new label. But there are no "re-recordings" or 2nd takes in the series--to my knowledge, Koopman recorded each cantata only once.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Sep-07-2019 at 22:10.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    Several of the 3 disc Erato volumes selling for 3 dollars at Amazon. I just bought a few.
    https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Complete...s=music&sr=1-1
    Good call. I just ordered that volume 1 for $3.50+shipping... not bad for 3 discs of Bach.

    I must confess that I'm going in blind, having heard nothing or very little of Ton Koopman's Bach. But I've heard enough great things to justify the small risk.
    Last edited by flamencosketches; Sep-08-2019 at 00:05.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Good call. I just ordered that volume 1 for $3.50+shipping... not bad for 3 discs of Bach.

    I must confess that I'm going in blind, having heard nothing or very little of Ton Koopman's Bach. But I've heard enough great things to justify the small risk.
    Everybody has different opinions but I've listened to enough on YT to convince myself I like his approach to the Cantatas. I'm on a big Bach kick now and I'm trying all kinds of recordings for Cantatas, masses, orchestral suites, and Art Of The Fugue/Musical Offering recordings.

    I listened to the entire St Matthew Passion over the weekend and that is a fantastic work. I really like the Gustav Leonardt recording and the Muller-Bruhl on Naxos is also superb. If the vocalists don't sound really great, I move on to another recording.

    I bought the Orchestral Suites by Hogwood for 3 bucks. His recording sounds beautiful. The Freiburger Barockorchester is great too, but more expensive.
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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    ^I have half of Hogwood's Bach Orchestral Suites. A disc on L'oiseaux lyre with nos. 3 and 4, and the two-harpsichord concerto which is really great! I'm not really a big fan of the orchestral suites frankly, but I don't think it's Hogwood's fault.

    I'm listening to small bits of Bach here and there, but I was on a full-blown kick a couple months ago when I discovered Gustav Leonhardt. He is the best.

    What do you think of Masaaki Suzuki? I listened to some of his Bach St. John Passion earlier today, a disc I got for free. Absolutely great sound and performance.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I haven't listened to any Suzuki. And I haven't gotten to the St John yet. I bought the Naxos St Matthew for 3.50 because the Leonhardt is going for 30 bucks. But I have a library copy and it's a great recording. There's a 14 CD Gustav Leonardt Edition selling for under 9 dollars at Amazon but it's mostly solo organ and harpsichord.
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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    ! I'm not really a big fan of the orchestral suites frankly, but I don't think it's Hogwood's fault.
    Instrumental baroque can be rather monotonous. I prefer the vocal works. But once in a while I like to hear the Brandenburg Concertos or a few other pieces.
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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I haven't listened to any Suzuki. And I haven't gotten to the St John yet. I bought the Naxos St Matthew for 3.50 because the Leonhardt is going for 30 bucks. But I have a library copy and it's a great recording. There's a 14 CD Gustav Leonardt Edition selling for under 9 dollars at Amazon but it's mostly solo organ and harpsichord.
    Under $9! I have to get it... damn it, why did I buy so many other CDs this weekend.

    I have both the Naxos St. John and the Suzuki which I just got recently. I haven't heard all of the St. Matthew but so far I prefer the Johannes, which is much more dramatic. I once read that the only known contemporary reaction to the St. Matthew Passion was a woman in Bach's congregation quoted saying "God help us, it's an opera-comedy" Anyway, I think the Suzuki is way better than the Naxos/Scholars Baroque, but I do really like the Bach Motets CD on Naxos from the same ensemble. I highly recommend that if you haven't heard those works. The Hilliard Ensemble disc is great too, a cappella (the Scholars Baroque disc features light instrumental accompaniment).

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Lucky for me I don't understand German! When I listen to masses, requiems, or operas, I just enjoy the music and singing. I don't fuss over the pious religiosity of the texts, or the crazy plots.

    I'll check my library for a St. John recording.
    Last edited by starthrower; Sep-08-2019 at 20:31.
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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    Lucky for me I don't understand German! When I listen to masses, requiems, or operas, I just enjoy the music and singing. I don't fuss over the pious religiosity of the texts, or the crazy plots.

    I'll check my library for a St. John recording.
    I once heard a great quote "I don't care what language opera is sung in, as long as it's a language I don't understand". And I completely agree. Enjoy the St. John Passion, I think it's one of his best works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    Lucky for me I don't understand German! When I listen to masses, requiems, or operas, I just enjoy the music and singing. I don't fuss over the pious religiosity of the texts, or the crazy plots.
    Just an observation from my experience, understanding the texts (if nothing else than looking at the words as you listen) will help you appreciate Bach's word painting. Of course, the music is great by itself also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    Just an observation from my experience, understanding the texts (if nothing else than looking at the words as you listen) will help you appreciate Bach's word painting. Of course, the music is great by itself also.
    Understood. And the essayist in my Complete Liturgical Year box stresses this. But it's such a chore reading the fine print in these booklets. This winter when I'm stuck in the house I really do want to spend a lot of time getting to know the Cantatas. The music, and some of the history behind it that inspired Bach to build these elaborate musical cathedrals around old hymns and other musical material.
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