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Classical Music

Bach


Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin Lowest new price: $9.85
Lowest used price: $2.19
Brand: Philips
Model: 1990461

CD

Arthur Grumiaux was among the most elegant and refined violinists who ever recorded. This doesn't preclude his playing the famous Chaconne with lots of power, which he does. But it means hearing Bach with all technical difficulties minimized to give you a clear view of the music. Sometimes, as in Joseph Szigeti's late recordings (Vanguard Classics OVC 8021/2), there is a sense of struggle between the violin and the music that for more dramatic Bach. Grumiaux allows you to hear everything Bach put into the music, and it all sounds beautiful. --Leslie Gerber

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Bach: The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites Complete

Bach: The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites Complete Lowest used price: $2.47

This is Yo-Yo Ma's first recording of Bach's Cello Suites, digitally recorded in 1983 and first issued on LP. He has since made a second recording of the Suites in 1998, taken from the soundtrack of a video series, so it's interesting that the earlier set remains available. If you've been lucky enough to hear Ma play this music in concert, you'll realize that neither set represents his Bach at its best. This rendition is generally quite straightforward, beautifully played and musically sound but sometimes not very emotional. The second set is more expressive but frequently seems self-conscious. Either of these recordings is a worthy representation of Bach's superb music, but neither attains the mature eloquence of Starker's final recording, a level Ma will probably reach himself in his third recording. --Leslie Gerber

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Classical Kids: Collection

Classical Kids: Collection Lowest new price: $32.99
Lowest used price: $95.95

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Baroque Guitar

Baroque Guitar Lowest new price: $4.88
Lowest used price: $2.24
Brand: CD
Model: 2303858

BACH/SANZ/SOR/BREAM - BAROQUE GUITAR - CD

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Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (The Historic 1955 Debut Recording)

Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (The Historic 1955 Debut Recording) Lowest new price: $8.94
Lowest used price: $1.78
Model: 2011230

In the main, sonic differences between Sony Classical's 20-bit remastering of this landmark 1955 recording and its previous incarnation in the CBS Great Performances series (CBS MYK 38479) are subtle rather than striking. Tape hiss is reduced, while ambient studio noise is heightened, bringing Glenn Gould's trademark humming and squeaky chair more into the foreground. One can also perceive slight changes in microphone setups between certain variations. Gould completists, however, will want this Glenn Gould Edition transfer for two fugues recorded in 1957, drastically different from the pianist's perverse remakes 13 years later for his complete Well Tempered Clavier Book II. Any respectable piano collection, however, should include Gould's debut Goldbergs, at any price. --Jed Distler

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Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier

Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Lowest new price: $12.18
Lowest used price: $10.98

Russian pianist Sviatoslov Richter's performance of one of Western civilizations greatest musical Works is no less astounding today that it was when it was first released. Even more amazing is the fact that Richter learned the second book of this musical collection by heart in only one month! His renderings are true to the pieces as they were originally written, before Glenn Gould revolutionized the way they would be played.

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  • Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier by Sviatoslav Richter (2001-11-06)

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Bach: Mass in B minor

Bach: Mass in B minor Lowest new price: $17.24
Lowest used price: $1.69
Model: 1989766

One of the most frequently mentioned "favorite" works of Bach, the B Minor Mass is not really a functional liturgical work, but an assemblage of movements written over a period of many years. Its grand scale is certainly awesome, but its musical and spiritual unity is more remarkable, considering its origin and the fact that it contains several different compositional styles--not to mention some of Bach's most profound and beautiful music. Performing this work and preserving a sense of its grand design while bringing out the considerable musical details is a challenge that most choirs, orchestras, and conductors are not up to. Almost by consensus, however, John Eliot Gardiner's version is the most successful--and it is indeed a phenomenal recording--at once sumptuous and penetrating, with gorgeous choral and solo singing, and spacious, vibrant sound. --David Vernier

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Switched on Bach 2000

Switched on Bach 2000 Lowest new price: $61.98
Lowest used price: $3.89

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The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World...Ever!

The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World...Ever! Lowest new price: $6.44
Lowest used price: $0.79

Two CD set that lives up to its title - and then some! A perfect soundtrack to wind-down your day. The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World ... Ever! does its best to cover both well-worn classical favorites (Bach's "Air on the G String," Pachelbel's "Cannon," Debussy's "Clair de Lune") and some eclectic left-field choices (an excerpt from Gerick's Symphony No. 3, Jocelyn Pook's "Blow the Wind," and Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings).

You want relaxing classical music that'll soothe your soul but won't lull you into sleep? Here's a double CD for you. The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World ... Ever! does its best to cover both well-worn classical favorites (Bach's "Air on the G String," Pachelbel's "Cannon," Debussy's "Clair de Lune") and some eclectic left-field choices (an excerpt from Górecki's Symphony No. 3, Jocelyn Pook's "Blow the Wind," and Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. The performances of most of these excerpts are top-notch--artists include Sir Neville Marriner, James Galway, Jacqueline du Pré and the Philadelphia Orchestra--and there's enough variety here for everyone. --Edward Garabedian

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Bach: Six concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg

Bach: Six concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg Lowest new price: $12.14
Lowest used price: $8.99
Brand: Avie

Ensemble Brandebourgeois Européen - Trevor Pinnock, direction

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