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Complete works of Bach on 172 CDs for $191


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#1 of 11 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted November 13 2004 - 01:16 PM

This is all Brian E’s fault…..Posted Image :P)

The Hanssler Classics set of the complete works of J.S. Bach is available on 172 CDs from Amazon for $1,800. http://www.amazon.co....ce&s=classical There are some reviews at this link.

But a much better deal is to order it from a store in Frankfurt called “2001” http://www.zweitause...e/indexengl.htm for the price of 119.99 Euros. With shipping to the US this comes to about $191 US. This set is a budget re-release of the original year 2000 Hanssler set, manufactured under license by Bohemian Music Service in the Czech Republic www.bmscompany.cz . It’s packaged 4 discs per jewel case. Included are an additional 2 CD-ROMs that contain notes and lyrics for the vocal works.

Your $191 buys you every single work Bach wrote: all the cantatas, all the other choral works, all the keyboard works, all the orchestral works, all the organ works, and all the chamber works. The set is anchored by the set of the cantatas recorded 1970s - early1980s by the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart under Helmut Rilling. These are good solid works, getting 2.5 to 3 stars (out of 3) in the Penguin guide. These same forces do most of the other vocal works. Rilling uses modern instruments but in the faster tempi usually seen with “period” instruments.

Rilling also conducts most of the orchestral works. The set of Brandenburgs and Orchestral Suites sees him with the “Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra”. Not the best set of either but more than adequate.

Some of the solo keyboard works are great. Trevor Pinnock on harpsichord for the Partitas is excellent. The English and French suites are played on piano by Robert Levin and Edward Aldwell, respectively, and are very good. The same is true with the organ works. My touchstone organ work is the Toccata and Fugue in F major, BWV 540. Here it receives a great performance by Bine Katrine Bryndorf. I had recently purchased the SACD of E. Power Biggs performing the same work, and am amazed that (1) the Bryndorf performance is far superior and (2) the cheap recording in this set sounds better than Sony’s SACD (!).

The solo string players aren’t as good. The cellist for the cello suites, Boris Pergamenschikow, is pretty good. But the violinist for the sonatas and partitas, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, is second rate. Then again, I’m spoiled with the wonderful set by Szeryng. After his performance all others aren’t competitive.

In short, a mostly recently-recorded set with generally very good sound quality and generally very good performances. Not perfect, but you don’t get to pick and choose in a boxed set like this.

THIS IS AN UNBELIEVEABLE BARGAIN. YOU SHOULD BUY IT. IT’S WORTH FAR MORE THAN $191.

Heck, I’m going to give away some of the 4 disc items as presents. For example, I have a set of the Brandenburgs and Orchestral Suites performed by Neville Marriner which I prefer. So the Hanssler set will form a generous gift. Same with the violin and cello solo works. I’ve got a CD of Szeryng, and the SACD of Starker, so off goes the Hanssler discs to some worthy nephew. My existing performance of the harpsichord partitas will be given away as I prefer the Pinnock performance of this set (!). And the same is true of the Biggs SACD organ performance.
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#2 of 11 alan halvorson

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Posted November 14 2004 - 04:08 AM

Unfortunately, not in stock at the moment. But, my stars, what a bargain! If you're into Bach, that is. And you should be.
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#3 of 11 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted November 14 2004 - 06:20 AM

I'm hoping that Brian shows up so I can see what's his take on this deal.
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#4 of 11 Seth--L

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Posted November 14 2004 - 11:10 AM

The Hanssler Classics set of the complete works of J.S. Bach is available on 172 CDs from Amazon for $1,800.


I'm 80% sure that the packaging is actually radically different than the version sold on Amazon. Another label released the set with no liner notes -- they have all been shoved on two CD-ROM's -- and the discs are packaged in as few jewel cases as possible (meaning that in a jewel case you could have two unrelated CDs). Just FYI.

Berkshire too was selling the set for the same price. I suspect that the set is going OOP and stores have begun liquidating their stocks.
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#5 of 11 Brian E

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Posted November 14 2004 - 01:18 PM

Hey Dennis, what I've listened to so far has been really good IMO. There are some mix ups with some of the sets. My second disc of Partita's with Pinnock while disc is labeled as Partitas disc 2 is actually disc 2 of WTC Book II. Also the Christmas Oratorio Discs 2 & 3 are backwards. Disc 2 should be labeled disc 3 & disc 3 is really disc 2.

Other than that & some busted cases I'm real happy with my set. 2001 responded quickly & are sending me new cases (these cases are kind of unique) when they get them from the mfg & are sending me a correct Partita's disc 2. Both of the boxes that hold the jewel cases are pretty much trashed too, but I'm not so worried about that & I'm sure I could get replacements on those too.
~Brian

#6 of 11 Brian E

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Posted November 14 2004 - 01:26 PM

Quote:
Unfortunately, not in stock at the moment. But, my stars, what a bargain! If you're into Bach, that is. And you should be.
They are supposed to get more in a few weeks.


This set is packaged differently than the one Amazon offers & has. The discs do have liner notes, but the Amazon set has a booklet with it (500 pages I think) which is on 2 CD-ROMS in this set. This has been the price on this version of the set since it came out. Didn't know Berkshire had been offering this set. I know they had the Brilliant Classics set for around $300 a while back.
~Brian

#7 of 11 Marc Colella

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Posted November 14 2004 - 01:31 PM

Is this set available in Hi-Rez? Posted Image

I just couldn't resist. Posted Image

#8 of 11 Garrett Lundy

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Posted November 14 2004 - 03:11 PM

Yes, but it costs $24,000 and is only playable in region 7 & 1/3
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#9 of 11 GeorgePaul

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Posted November 15 2004 - 08:12 AM

Isn't this set available under the Archiv label conducted by Karl Richter?
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#10 of 11 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted November 15 2004 - 11:09 AM

Yeah but you feel like an earthquake when he plays the Richter scales.
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#11 of 11 ThomasC

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Posted November 15 2005 - 02:55 PM

I can finally afford the set, but the German site originally linked to doesn't have it anymore. However, they've got another complete set on 160 CDs for 99.99 Euros. Here's a review of the set: http://www.musicweb-....lliantBach.htm