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Bach - Conductor's Transcriptions / Slatkin, Et Al


Release Date: 07/27/2004 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5030   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachGottfried H. Stölzel
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

A colourful wardrobe for music’s mightiest master - Superb performances and recordings.

And there’s not a single arrangement by Stokowski! A good thing, I’d say – especially as Stokowski’s own recordings of his Bach transcriptions are so generously represented on CD. Respighi’s Passacaglia and Fugue opens like a lavish sacramental ceremony. Organ pedals add so much thunder though the softer moments are moulded with great care. Just occasionally you sense the Respighi of the Roman trilogy: at 4'02'', for example, where raucous winds lend a touch of tartness to the texture. The Chandos recording is generally superb, even
Read more though momentary overhang obscures the opening bassoon note of the Fugue. It’s a warm, regal statement, quite the opposite of Toscanini’s wild-eyed sermon (which is still tops in my book). Bantock’s Wachet auf uses the brass as a sort of substitute organ, with the strings as decoration. I much preferred it to Honegger’s C major Prelude and Fugue which, like the Schoenberg St Anne that closes the programme, has instrumental lines popping through the surface like so many sore thumbs. The overall canvas favours the sort of primary-coloured palette that Ravel chose for Mussorgsky’s Pictures.

Slatkin has recorded Elgar’s blustery Prelude and Fugue before (RCA, 3/89), to equally good effect (though here the bass drum in the Prelude is particularly striking), and his mastery of string sonorities presents the best possible case for Reger’s beautiful O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sunde gross. Between them, Vaughan Williams and Arnold Foster manage to make the ‘Giant’ Fugue sound like a dead ringer for the first movement of Bach’s Double Concerto for two violins while Holst’s Fugue a la gigue spurts to a sudden and excited full-tutti close.

For me, though, the really big news is Joachim Raff’s Chaconne, where pompous chest-beating is never on the agenda and transparency is a welcome attribute. Just listen to the exultant transition at 6'00'', where full strings take the lead, or the way Raff negotiates woodwinds and pizzicato strings. You could, I suppose, accuse him of making a molehill out of a mountain, but the colour, variety and imagination he brings to bear on the piece are remarkable, and the performance is again superb.

Individual listeners will no doubt squabble about this or that preference, just as I will be doing with my colleagues (a cue for a Take Five follow-up review, perhaps?). For this listener, the Respighi, Elgar and Raff costumes are the principal attractions, although the others also deserve an occasional airing. Stokowski remains in a class of his own but when all has been listened to and you think back at what you’ve actually heard, the most lasting memory is of one man, and one man only: JSB himself.

Rob Cowan, Gramophone [10/2000]
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Works on This Recording

1. Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata": Schafe können sicher weiden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1713; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir John Barbirolli.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
2. Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Malcolm Sargent.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
3. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Eugene Ormandy.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
4. Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Erich Leinsdorf.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
5. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 3 in C sharp major, BWV 848 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Henry Wood.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
6. Partita for Keyboard no 3 in A minor, BWV 827: Scherzo by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Henry Wood.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
7. English Suite no 6 in D minor, BWV 811: Gavotte by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Henry Wood.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
8. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 22 in B flat minor, BWV 867 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Henry Wood.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
9. Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006: 7th movement, Gigue by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Henry Wood.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
10. Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Vittorio Gui.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
11. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 720 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1709; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Walter Damrosch.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
12. Bist du bei mir by Gottfried H. Stölzel
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Notes: Arranger: Otto Klemperer.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
13. Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
14. Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 "Great G minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Dimitri Mitropoulos.
This selection is a stereo recording. 
15. Capriccio in B flat major on the Departure of his Most Beloved Brother, BWV 992: 3rd movement, Adagissimo by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1705 
Notes: Arranger: Sir Henry Wood.
This selection is a stereo recording. 

Sound Samples

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (arr. S. Skrowaczewski): Toccata -
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (arr. S. Skrowaczewski): Fugue
Cantata, BWV 147: Chorale Prelude, "Jesu bleibet meine Freude" (arr. E. Ormandy)
Chorale Prelude, BWV 727, "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (arr. E. Leinsdorf)
Suite No. 6: I. Prelude (arr. from J.S. Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude in C sharp major, BWV 848)
Suite No. 6: II. Lament (arr. from J.S. Bach: Capriccio on the Departure of Hist Most Beloved Brother in B flat major, BWV 992: Adagio)
Suite No. 6: III. Scherzo (arr. from J.S. Bach: Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827: Scherzo)
Suite No. 6: IV. Gavotte and Musette (arr. from J.S. Bach: English in D minor, BWV 811: Gavottes I and II)
Suite No. 6: V. Andante mistico (arr. from J.S. Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude in B flat minor, BWV 867)
Suite No. 6: VI. Finale (arr. from Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006: Prelude)
Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air on the G String (arr. M. Sargent)
Cantata, BWV 208: Schafe konnen sicher weiden (arr. J. Babirolli)
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 (arr. D. Mitropoulos): Fantasia -
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 (arr. D. Mitropoulos): Fugue
Das Orgel-Buchlein: Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 (arr. V. Gui)
Clavierbuchlein, Book II for Anna Magdalena Bach: Aria, BWV 508 (arr. O. Klemperer)
Chorale Prelude, BWV 720, "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott" (arr. W. Damrosch)

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