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Richter: Bach – Sacred Masterpieces (10 CD box set, FLAC)

Richter: Bach - Sacred Masterpieces (10 CD box set, FLAC)

Richter: Bach - Sacred Masterpieces (10 CD box set, FLAC)

Performer: Hermann Prey, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ernst-Gerold Schramm, Franz Crass, Keith Engen, et al.
Orchestra: Muchener Bach-Orchester, Munich Bach Orchestra
Conductor: Karl Richter
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Audio CD
SPARS Code: A-D
Number of Discs: 10 CD box set
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Archiv Produktion
Size: 3.01 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

# St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), BWV 244 (BC D3b)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Munchener Bach-Orchester
with Antonia Fahberg, Keith Engen, Ernst Hafliger, Hertha Topper, Irmgard Seefried, Max Proebstl, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Conducted by Fritz Rothschuh, Karl Richter

# St. John Passion (Johannespassion), BWV 245 (BC D2)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Munchener Bach-Orchester
with Evelyn Lear, Hermann Prey, Keith Engen, Ernst Hafliger, Hertha Topper
Conducted by Karl Richter

# Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Munchener Bach-Orchester
with Christa Ludwig, Gundula Janowitz, Franz Crass, Fritz Wunderlich
Conducted by Karl Richter

# Magnificat, for 5 voices, 5-part chorus, orchestra & continuo in D major, BWV 243 (BC E14)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Munchener Bach-Orchester
with Maria Stader, Ernst Hafliger, Hertha Topper, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Conducted by Karl Richter

# Mass in B minor, for 5 voices, 6-part chorus, violin, orchestra & continuo, BWV 232 (BC E1)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Munchener Bach-Orchester
with Ernst-Gerold Schramm, Ursula Buckel, Marga Hoffgen, Ernst Hafliger
Conducted by Karl Richter

A glorious bargain.

The notion that to be “authentic,” a Bach performance must be on period instruments and in precisely the style of the day makes as much sense as a claim that the Hammerklavier must be played only on Beethoven’s Broadwood and not on a Bosendorfer.

This is not to say that the Romantic, ponderous, 19th-century performance style epitomized by Klemperer wasn’t due for an overhaul by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, et al. But our 21st-century ears have heard the modern instruments, and we’ve heard the music that came after Bach. We can never truly hear his music exactly as the people of the 18th-century perceived it. And the people of the 22nd century will perceive it differently from the way we do.

So let’s be glad we have the various interpretations, appreciate the insights they provide, and not worry about whether Professor Authentico would approve.

That being said, Richter’s conception of these masterpieces is akin to that of Colin Davis in his 1966 “Messiah”: hardly “authentic” in the narrow sense, but superbly authentic in that it conveys the music deep into the listener’s heart and soul. This to me is the true gauge. I would add that, somewhat surprisingly, the polyphonic nature of the choruses is more evident with Richter than with any other conductor I have heard. Perhaps this was Richter’s intent; perhaps it’s just the recording. But repeated listenings have borne this out.

This 10-disc set costs less per disc than the “Greatest Hits” garbage on the no-label CDs in the $4.99 bin at Wal-Mart. I cannot imagine that anyone would ever regret purchasing it.

14 thoughts on “Richter: Bach – Sacred Masterpieces (10 CD box set, FLAC)”

  1. Reverential thanks! That is what Richter’s Bach is to me: Reverent. I have been “seeing” many truly serious modern readers of Bach who still see the value of their approach to his music but who will kneel down before such moving interpretations as Richter’s, especially, of course, when it comes to the sacred works. Thank you! With this offering you, and Richter, and Bach have contributed to make of this human being a better person.

  2. AWESOME! this website is priceless. I got an account through one of the adverts on the site and started downloading recently. Its just perfect. Thank you very much for all the hard work. The audio, the scans etc. – they’re perfect. Thanks again!

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