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Bach: Orchestral Suites Nos. 1 - 4

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Customer Reviews

Some of JS Bach's best recordings

The Orchestral Suites are some of Bach's most popular works, and with good reason. They are second only to the Brandenburg Concertos in terms of memorable tunes, and this is a lively and clear recording. And for $8, you can't beat it. Once again, Naxos wins!

Can't go wrong with this recording!

My review is based mostly on the interpretation and execution of this particular recording, as Bach's music in and of itself is always a 5 star ;)

But if you're looking for the right recording of the Orchestral Suites 1-4, you can't go wrong with this straightforward, and well-balanced execution. Good tempo, and finely-tuned. The only thing is, I would consider this recording's "character" as modest. But that is not a downside at all. If you've never heard the full suites, I'd start here!

In searching for the best recording, I listened to many others. Would rate as follows:

#1 - Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood, 1998 - A little bit more character, brighter fuller sound. I'd probably default to this choice myself.
#2 - Armonie Chamber Orchestra, 2009 -This is a very fun recording, capturing the "dance" feel of the movements. Very surprised and entertained by this one.
#3 - Bach Collegium Japan, 2005 - Always an attractive sound when I hear Bach Collegium Japan randomly on Pandora. But when you spend time listening to a full album from them, you get the sense that it's "perfect imitation" as opposed to truly playing from the soul. Much like driving a Japanese car, everything works great and does what it's supposed to, but the drive lacks character. Would rather feel like I'm driving a European car here.

Do not pick: Academy of St. Martin in the Field, Sir Neville Mariner, 2002. This is the first recording I had ever heard, and purchased the whole album. Enjoyed it for many years, but always thought something was off with this recording though, maybe slightly off-key throughout. And the violin, winds, and sometimes brass are too shaky to be pleasant. Tempo and orchestra balance are just right, but so is the Istropolitana recording here.

Hope that helps!


Formed: 1983 in Bratislava, Slovakia

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed by members of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Capella Istropolitana has evolved from a chamber group to a full-size orchestra. Under the direction of Richard Edlinger, Capella Istropolitana has performed a diverse range of classical pieces. While their repertoire includes works by Handel, Vivaldi, and Telemann, Capella Istropolitana...
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Bach: Orchestral Suites Nos. 1 - 4, Capella Istropolitana
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