The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists are renowned of their spectacular performances of Bach’s epic masterpiece, which they have toured extensively. During their last tour (in Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Aix-en-Provence and Paris) there was a stampede for tickets and they performed every night in full houses, to spellbound audiences. This album is the culmination of the tour: it was recorded in an open session in London, and captures the special atmosphere of the concerts. It is presented in a 2-CD casebook and contains a booklet featuring original notes by John Eliot Gardiner translated in English, German and French.
"I know of few more engaging first movements of No. 3 and not one version of No. 6 which so lovingly draws the listener into the secret motivic associations of this most marvellous of consort pieces…." ~Grammophone
…It was unusual for composers working in the Lutheran tradition to compose a Missa tota and Bach's motivations remain a matter of scholarly debate. The Mass was never performed in totality during Bach's lifetime; the first documented complete performance took place in 1859. Since the nineteenth century it has been widely hailed as one of the greatest compositions in history, and today it is frequently performed and recorded…
The Teldec recordings of the legendary pianist who rarely went into the recording studio so most of his recordings are live at concerts.
Das Alte Werk was inaugurated in 1958 as part of Telefunken and gained a reputation for well researched, high-quality recordings of early music and the authentic sound of period instruments.
Il Giardino Armonico, founded in Milan in 1985, brings together a number of graduates from some of Europe’s leading colleges of music, all of whom have specialised in playing on period instruments. Many of its members are also in demand as international soloists and have appeared in concert with such eminent artists as N. Harnoncourt, G. Leonhardt, T. Pinnock, Ch. Coin and J. Savall. The ensemble’s repertory is concentrated in the main on the 17th and 18th centuries. Depending on the demands of each programme, the group will consist of anything from 3 to 30 musicians…
The great Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt recorded Bach's "Goldberg Variations" three times:
• in June 1953 at the Konzerthaus, Vienna for Vanguard;
• in 1965 for Das Alte Werk;
• in August 1976 in Haarlem, Holland for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
all three have appeared first time on vinyl, and are really superlative - the 1953 fast and racy, the 1965 poised and polished, and the 1975 smart and cerebral - and any one of them would be a clear first choice if the other two didn't exist.