Various Artists

100 Best Bach

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Bach 100 Best is a broad survey of the music of J.S. Bach, drawn from the master's choral works, concertos, keyboard pieces, and other compositions that are regarded as his greatest music. Bearing in mind that these selections date from the late decades of the 20th century, there is some reason to be concerned over the age of the recordings and the slight variability of sound quality, which is inevitable in a six-disc collection. However, the preponderance of historically informed performances by leaders in the field of early music and the extremely high quality of the playing make other considerations small. The list of works sampled here include the Mass in B minor, the cantatas, the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion, the Brandenburg Concertos, the violin concertos, the orchestral suites, the Goldberg Variations, the cello suites, and other pieces that have long been the most popular of Bach's oeuvre. EMI's roster of artists includes Jordi Savall, Ton Koopman, Gustav Leonhardt, Fabio Biondi, Monica Huggett, Christian Tetzlaff, Lionel Rogg, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Andrew Parrott, Jonathan Rees, Ralph Kirshbaum, Bob van Asperen, and several other distinguished performers, so this is a fine introduction to both Bach's music and the excellent musicians represented here.

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