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Does anyone here own all of Bach's canatas?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Zane Charron, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    I recently bought Bach's first 3 cantatas by the Bach Ensemble with Helmuth Rilling on the German label, Hänssler. I think it would be interesting to collect all 200 or so of Bach's surviving cantatas, which are available on the same label, all by Helmuth Rilling recorded between 1968 and 1985. Anyone else have all of Bach's cantatas and do you think it is worth getting them all? (It'll be about 420 Euro for all 60-something discs, about 7 apiece).
     
  2. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    It's definitely worth getting them all. The only problem with buying recordings all done by the artist is that there are bound to be bad performances in there. It's also a lot of money to spend at once. You may be better off outlining some kind of plan to buy them all over a 2 year period.

    I'd actually hold off on buying any though. John Eliot Gardiner is currently talking to with labels about releasing his complete cycle. In 2000 he performed all the cantatas which DG was supposed to record, but they pulled out of the project after 10 recordings, and Gardiner paid out of his pocket to record the rest. I've been told by reps at his organization (www.monteverdi.co.uk) that the cycle could be released as early as this year. So, if you want to buy all the cantatas at once, I'd recommend waiting to see what happens with the Gardiner cycle.
     
  3. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    Hmmm, the Gardiner cycle is certainly a nice thought, although I'm also (of course) concerned about the price. Those few discs that have been released by DG are running $17 apiece. Granted, with a boxed set I'm sure the price per disc would go down, but not by much.
     
  4. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Zane Charron,

    If, as, and when Gardiner's cycle is released, it certainly won't be on DG. I'm sure that purchased as one large set there will be a special reduced price such as his Mozart opera cycle box set - if you buy the 7 operas individually it would cost nearly $300, many retailers sell the box set for $230ish.
     
  5. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    Wow, I was thinking. 200 cantatas at an average of 20 minutes each is 4000 minutes, or over 66 HOURS of music. Truthfully, I don't think I could ever get to listening to each of them even once, let alone the several times that is required to even BEGIN to fully appreciate them. Maybe I should, like you said Seth, collect a disc or 2 at a time, maybe the more well known canatas first.
     
  6. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Zane Charron,

    I think spreading out purchases would make the most sense. I find that whenever I buy a large box set (10+ CDs), I never get to them all because when a new purchase arrives in the mail, I'll move on to that despite how far into the set I was.

    Do you own any of the Cantatas? The best place to start is with BWV 140 and 147 with John Eliot Gardiner/Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque Soloists [​IMG]
     
  7. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    I own only Cantatas 1-3 on the Haenssler label. Very good discs. Cantata 3 is wonderful.

    Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll pick up the Gardiner disc you mentioned and compare it sonically and musically to the one I have and go from there.
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    There are some other complete sets, either in existance or in progress. My Penguin guide lists a set by Harnoncourt/Vienna Concentus Musicus and Leonhardt/Leonhardt Consort on Teldec/Warner that was started in the 1970's. They give it generally a *** rating, and state it's done with boys not women in the soprano parts. There's also a set on Erato under way with the Amsterdam Baroque Chorus & Orchestra under Ton Koopman, with Penguin giving generally a **(*) rating. There is the Karl Richter/Munich Bach Orchestra set on DG **(*). Finally there's the Suzuki/Bach Collegium Japan set on BIS ***. Penguin gives the Rilling set genearally a **(*) rating. The only cantata recording I have at the moment is the Sommary/English Chamber Orch. (80) and Prohaska/Vienna State Opera Orch. (140) single disk on Vanguard. I personally would not get a complete set of the cantatas but would seek out a lending library to try them all.
     

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