Released in 1995, Bach for Breakfast is part of an affordable line of Philips compilations designed to introduce classical music as background listening for the day's activities. At first blush, the album appears to be a routine greatest-hits collection, for many of Bach's most popular pieces are represented here. However, the program also includes a few movements from larger works, which, while well-known, are not over-anthologized or excessively played. Certainly, the famous Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and the Air on the G string need no introduction, and the majority of tracks will ring a bell with many casual classical listeners, including movements from the Brandenburg Concertos and the Christmas Oratorio, as well as various concertos and suites. What may surprise, though, is the inclusion of arrangements, for as familiar as the music may be, the instrumentation is in many cases fresh and a welcome change from the expected. One seldom hears Bach on the harp or the panpipes, for example, yet the adaptation is well-suited to Bach, who regularly recycled his pieces for different instruments. On the whole, this is a bright and cheerful album that will give a pleasant start to the day, and the evenly balanced volume levels make it suitable for home listening.
Share this page