[f_minor] Complete Bach Collection Review

Anita Monroe rubatoatm at gmail.com
Fri Nov 30 13:08:33 MST 2012

Dear Pat,

You need a better Christmas present - many a huge box of Swiss chocolate.
 Some nice wine, perhaps a creamy Chardonney.  Both go well with listening
to GG.

Happy holidays, fondly,

On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM, Pat <pzumst at bluewin.ch> wrote:

>   Dear all
> Just in case you still wonder wether that new GG Bach box set might be
> summet for Santa to put under the chrissie tree, wonder no more ! I bought
> one and thougnt I’d give you a mini-review:
> Like most of you I already have most of what is in there, and I am fully
> aware that I have been ripped off even before I walked into that record
> store.  But....I...could...not...resist. They had quite a pile of them
> there, strangely in the Pop/Rock section under a fake chrissie tree. When I
> inquired in the classical department the clerk pointed to said section and
> said: “There, is that enough GG for ya, mate ?”.
>  The box has a nice blue color (but why blue ? Battleship grey I say e
> basta) and an embossed logo with GG’s name and the infamous chair. The
> material feels quite nice to hold in your hand.
>  But if you open the box a thick booklet appears and there the trouble
> starts. It is quite thick and hosts a lot of images at least I have not yet
> seen (still need to read the Stegemann essays), but the dimensions it has
> (same as the box itself) are not very ergonomical and makes long reading
> tiresome.
> Below that book/booklet the CDs are housed meaning that each time you want
> to get out a CD you have to take out the book first. Not an elegant
> solution, they should have separate panels.
> The CDs are made of cardboard with the open side looking down, so
> potentially a CD could just roll out of its sleeve. Also I must digitalize
> this box, if you take out one CD just for pleasure and forgot the
> chronological order you are in trouble and have to consult that clumsy
> booklet, but there is no quick reference list. Also not a good solution,
> but could well be me and a luxury problem.
>  The box contains the complete Bach recordings of GG issued during his
> lifetime in chronological order and original jackets. Yet there is one CD I
> have never seen before called The Little Bach Book (Klavierbüchlein für
> Anna Magdalena I think ?), which was previously mixed with other material.
> Eh, how come that never rang a bell with me ?
> The rest is a mixed bag of previously released stuff or material that has
> not been in print for some time. At least to my knowledge there is
> *nothing* previously unreleased. Hey Sony, no sugarcugbes or candy while
> you’re floggin’ the ol’ ‘orse for some chrissie cash ?
> Collectors who skipped the first bunch of those Sony releases with these
> horrible covers back in the 90s will be pleased to see that the
> Salzburg/Moscow recording is back in print, same for the german recording
> GG made in the early 70s, plus some stuff from the CBC that was scattered
> by random force all over these old Sony discs.
> There is one CD full (?) of outtakes from the ‘55 GB Sessions which were
> released on that State of Wonder set methinks, sadly the CD covers do not
> provide timing.
>  The DVDs contain material that was out with the GG on TV box, the only
> new thing are the Montsagenon films that were only available on VHS and
> difficult to find.
>  So much for that. I will check for sound quality, although I think these
> have the same quality in terms of mastering than the previous few releases
> (I mean what is known as Loudness Wars these days), I will also check
> detailed track listings because I think something very significant (apart
> from some unreleased goodies) is missing here.
>  This set is clearly intended for the Christmas market and hardcore
> Gouldians will not find that much new stuff, depending on what they already
> own. And if I wanted to be harsh I could say that it is an absolute bloody
> disgrace that Sony was not able to put some previously unreleased stuff
> like some radio docs or more outtakes on this one. Boo ! Guess their
> favourite piece of classical musi still is the Geldschein-Sonate...
> If you are a proud owner of the GG Original Jacket Collection and its
> subsequent Bach release, the GG on TV box and some other loose ends you can
> spend your ‘unred quid somewhere else. The Montsagenon DVDs are available
> seperately, so are all the individual CDs with a few exeptions I think.
> If you are new to GG and/or Bach, this is definetly a great intro to both
> artists. I know I’d want one if I were new to GG.
>  So got ripped, I knew in advance that I would fall into a trap (7th ‘55
> GB copy by now). But I don’t care, this box has the advantage that some
> stuff is here that previously all over my CD collection, plus the
> Montsagenon DVDs. I haven’t heard some of this stuff (Moscow, Salzburg) in
> ages and I wanted to see the Montsagenon stuff for more than a decade now.
> This box has its problems (storage, design) but what really counts is the
> music. And that is timeless.
> Pat
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