Bach is a legendary composer, and his music continues to shine on, centuries after he lived. This is a landmark compilation, filled with the classics. Let’s dive in and have a listen at the historic music here.
We start off with Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565: Toccata which begins with an eerie church organ type sound to this album. It’s a strange piece to hear alright, especially for classical music. Mind you, it is just under three minutes long. Apart from the odd musical overtones, this is a great and memorable piece by Bach. The playing becomes very intense throughout this piece, and gets very frenetic towards the end. Odd, but brilliant.
Next up is Overture (Suite) No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV: 1067: VII. Badinerie which is an excellent combination of strings, harpsichord and flute in less than one and a half minutes long. Brilliant and joyful listening, this is top notch. Very much classical music, however.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043: II. Largo Ma Non Tanto is a much longer piece with soothing violins, harpsichord and a great sense of melody. This is a very emotional and touching experience to hear, and sounds very brilliant, even today in our postmodern word of computer generated Pop music. Very melodic, this is an excellent listen. Intensely emotional, this piece is well written by Bach and perfectly performed. Good job. The two violins mesh together in an unique and ideal way on this performance. Superb and emotional listening. Towards the end, it becomes a more subtle piece, finishing nicely.
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232: Agnus Dei comes along next, which is a tad shorter. It starts off slowly, with a couple of melodic sections to boot. The piece then bursts into an Opera piece, which is decent. This one does seem a little dreary, however. Still, it is Bach and it is by no means unlistenable, just could have been better done without such a moody sound to it. Good effort, however. The Opera singing is very good, mind you. It builds up to an emotional finish, with the string section alone.
Next is Herz Und Mund Und Tat Und Leben, BWV 147: X. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (arr. M. Hess) which is a really beautiful piano based piece that only last three minutes, but is wonderful and memorable in its delivery. Sounds impressive and amazing, in fact. Classical music can be impressive to hear, and this goes to show that can be the case. Excellent part of this album. The playing gets quite loud and dramatic towards the end, before finishing nicely.
Following is Weichet Nur, Betrubte Schatten, BMV 202, “Wedding Cantata”: I. Adagio which is a joyful sounding piece with Opera vocals. This is another quality listen, although the vocal part is a little melodramatic. Still, decent enough for fans of orchestral classical music to enjoy. This is a great listen, and just goes to show how awesome Bach was as a composer. It changes tempo and structure somewhat in the middle of the piece. Very nice to hear. It seemingly has two sections to boot, which is cool. Good stuff here.
Concerto For Violin And Oboe in C Minor, BMV1060: II. Adagio begins with some awesome harpsichord and other instrumentation that sounds gently melodic. Rather unusual sounding for a western classical music piece, it is a good listen anyway. A lot of emotion is in this performance, which is a good feature of this sort of music. Beautiful mixture of traditional instrumentation and melodic symphony here. The whole thing sounds great. Restrained, but beautiful, this is an excellent listen.
Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme, BWV 140 is an organ led piece that sounds very pleasant and optimistic, at least for an organ part. The only issue is that this would have been far better on piano. Still, it is a reassuring listen, just not recorded on the correct instrument. Clever music however. It does sound well written and thought out, despite its faults. Doesn’t require a backing section this one, making a great statement of its own. The ending is excellent.
Next is Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: I. Preludio begins with a sweet sounding violin and a very great sense of compositional melody here. This is a solo piece that is beautiful, melodic and brilliant to listen to. Done wonderfully, this is a change from piano pieces and Opera that otherwise takes up this recording. A great combination of rhythmic and melodic playing, this is a top piece to hear. If you want to hear one violin piece in your life, this should be it. Excellent.
Following is St. Matthew Passion, BMV 244: Erbarme Dich, Mein Gott is a violin led piece that sounds very sweet indeed. It has a strange melody about it, make it an even more compelling listen. There are some Opera vocals here as well, making it a melodramatic experience. It sounds deep and emotional for classical music, which is unusual. This piece goes on for about seven minutes, but is still a great listening experience. Good, although a little sad sounding.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, BMV 1049: I. Allegro is a more upbeat piece with (what sounds like) recorders, harpsichord and a melodic sense to boot. This is top notch, a great and underrated piece of music with many twists and turns. Great rendition of a classical music piece here. Excellent. Sounds very joyful. A great composition to listen to.
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 846-869: Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I: I. Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 846 is a beautiful piano piece that is very melodic. It is very well played , being a great piece of solo music. A great piece of music with no pretentions about it, this is an excellent listening experience. It stops right in the middle, before resuming into the second section of the song. It is brilliant from start to finish.
Next is Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: II. Air, “Air On A G-String” which, odd name aside, is a grand and beautifully melodic piece of music that is one of Bach’s best pieces. It definitely sounds magical, and has a wonderful quality to it. A mixture of melody and intense emotion makes this piece sound excellent. A nice harpsicord and violin section drives this one, and sounds wonderful. Great and wonderful music is here. Nice to hear this piece.
Following is Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: I. Aria which is an excellent piano piece that sounds great. It is a solo piano piece that sounds top. It is expressive, perfectly played and emotional, taking the mind to a more intellectual state. Top music for this sort of mood, Bach wrote great music. It sounds unlike most music out there, making it an essential listening experience. Excellent.
Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prelude is a lone cello piece that sounds rather dark and unusual. It is definitely one of the more eerie classical pieces that Bach made during his lifetime. If you don’t like this sort of thing, then you can easily skip this one. Still, an interesting listen nonetheless.
Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: VII. Gigue is a continuation of the previous piece that also sounds rather dark and gloomy. Obviously, this is a mood setter for a rather bad headache. Still, it is okay, but not terrific. It sounds out of place on this collection of Bach pieces, but is over before you know it.
Next is Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048: III. Allegro is a far more cheerful and upbeat piece that is up tempo and with harpsicord. It is a very famous piece that is around five minutes long, and is well structured and delivered for this compilation. It does sound top for a piece of music of its kind, and is well played. Good listen, and very melodic.
Following is Clavierbucklien for Anna Magdalena Bach, Book 2, BWV Anh. 113-132: Anna Magdalena Notenbuch: Minuet in G Major, BWV Anh 114. This is a very short piano piece obviously devoted to Bach’s wife. It sounds upbeat and beautiful, being a great showcase for the sort of music Bach wrote. Joyful and brilliant from start to finish.
St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden is an opera vocal led piece that is short, yet good listening from the catalogue of Bach. There are no other instruments here, just wordless melodies. Good to hear, but otherwise limited in appeal.
Oboe Concerto in G Minor, BWV 1056: II. Largo is a good piece of instrumentation with specific focus on the Oboe, a classical music wind instrument. It is good, with some interesting backing instruments as well. This is really top music from Bach, and sounds very mellow. A soothing listen.
After that is Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052: Harpsicord Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052: I. Allegro which is a much longer piece at over seven minutes long. The harpsicord goes central here, and does sound well played and performed, along with a string section throughout. This is definitely attention grabbing, and the playing throughout is, as usual, superb. There are many catchy melodies throughout. It sounds very interesting for this sort of music. The harpsicord solo in the middle is awesome. A brilliantly constructed piece that sounds top. Super melodramatic towards the end, this is really good to hear.
Following is Ich habe genug, BWV 82: III. Schlummert ein comes next. It is nine and a half minutes long, but begins with beautiful string sections, before a male Opera voice emerges into the mix. It is a superb and wonderful sounding piece that is a strong listen, especially emotionally. The string section here is really beautiful as well. This is a great piece of music, and sounds like a wonderful rendition of a classical piece. Very good. The opera section finishes about two thirds of the way through, before re-emerging towards the end. Great listen. It ends with a nice string section.
Concerto in the Italian Style, BWV 971, “Italian Concerto”: I. Allegro is a piano led piece that sounds really terrific. It is a much shorter piece than what came before it, but is interesting listening and fantastically performed. Top notch music, and sounds like a genuine piece of artistic merit. Good to hear, and wonderfully refreshing.
Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243: Magnificat is a great string section led piece that sounds terrific. This is super good, even today in the world of postmodern music. There is an Opera section here that sounds really interesting and is good for those who dig this sort of thing. Magnificat must be one awesome cat, as the piece indicates. Great to hear.
Next is Violin Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041: III. Allegro assai which is a great violin based piece that is really good quality and top notch. The violin playing here is excellent, and this whole piece is really awesome. A nice break from the Opera stuff, this is really quite good. A nice string section drives this throughout, and it does sound brilliant. Good job.
Following is Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BMV 1050: III. Allegro which is a different sounding piece with a variety of different instruments and melodies throughout. It sounds like solid gold, and is a beautiful listen all the way through. A five minute piece that is top to hear and sounds really refreshing. This is a nice listen towards the end of this compilation. A really good listen.
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Jauchzet, frohlocket is the very last piece here, running at over seven minutes. It begins with crashing percussion and racing string sections that are great listening and interesting as well. There are Opera vocals here too. This is a superb way to finish off this compilation. A good mix of Classical and Opera.
This is a unique and interesting take on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and sounds awesome. The main downside is the mixture of different types of classical music that seems all over the place, and the fact that this runs well over two hours. Still, a good listening experience for those who like his music, and Classical Music as well.