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  Chandos -
  CHSA 5030
  Bach: The Conductors' Transcriptions - Slatkin
  "The Conductors' Transcriptions" Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565 (orchestrated by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski), Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring No. 1 from Three Choral Preludes Chorale Prelude from Cantata BWV147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (orchestrated by Eugene Ormandy), "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" Chorale Prelude BWV727 (orchestrated by Erich Leinsdorf), Suite No. 6 for Full Orchestra: Prelude - Prelude in C sharp major BWV848 from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, Lament - Adagio from Capriccio on the Departure of His Most Beloved Brother in B flat major BWV992, Scherzo - from Partita No. 3 in A minor BWV827, Gavotte and Musette - Gavottes I and II from English Suite No. 6 in D minor BWV811, Andante mistico - Prelude in B flat minor BWV867 from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, Finale - Prelude from Partita No. 3 in E major BWV1006 (orchestrated by Sir Henry Wood), Air on the G String from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV1068 (orchestrated by Sir Malcolm Sargent), Sheep May Safely Graze -"Schafe konnen sicher weiden" from Cantata BWV208 "Was mir behagt ist nur die muntre Jagd!" (orchestrated by Sir John Barbirolli), Fantasia and Fugue in G minor BWV542 (orchestrated by Dimitri Mitropoulos), "Ich ruf' zu dir Herr Jesu Christ" No. 1 from Tre Preludi Corali Chorale Prelude BWV639 from Das Orgel-Buchlein (orchestrated by Vittorio Gui), "Bist du bei mir?" Aria BWV508 from Clavierbuchlein Book II for Anna Magdalena Bach (orchestrated by Otto Klemperer), A Mighty Fortress Is Our God - "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott" - Chorale Prelude BWV720 (orchestrated by Walter Damrosch)

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recorded in: All Saints' Church, Tooting, London - 7 & 8 October 2003
Producer: Brian Couzens
Sound Engineers: Ralph Couzens, Michael Common (assistant)

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Related titles: 10 show all

Reviews: 5 show all

Review by darkroommd February 17, 2007 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
As others have posted, this is a fun disc to hear. Many of our favorite Bach classics are given the Hollywood treatment, turned into big orchestral showstoppers. Since each track is arranged by a different conductor-musician, each one has its own flavor, and some are better than others.

The ubiquitous Toccata & Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) is transcribed here by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. Those familiar with Leopold Stokowski's benchmark version will enjoy comparing the two. I find Stokowski's arrangement to be more musically coherent and less indulgent. Skrowaczewski throws in lots of percussion, xylophones, dramatic pauses, and drawn out decrescendos... all very fun and to good effect, but the piece sounds like a collection of disjointed episodes as a result.

On the other hand, Eugene Ormandy pulls no punches in this premiere recording of his Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. The arrangement is for strings only and is tender, warm, and satisfying. Another standout is the Air on the G String by Sir Malcolm Sargent, again not straying far from the original. From a musical perspective, the finest arrangement IMO is Sheep May Safely Graze by Barbirolli.

Sonically, it is over-reverberent and too distant for my liking. The recording lacks separation and transparency. This SACD doesn't sound any better than a good quality RBCD. At the loudest moments, there is some unpleasant distortion in the middle and upper voices. If you can listen beyond your audiophile convictions, you will enjoy this disc.

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Review by thepilot December 4, 2004 (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
What a splendid sound Slatkin gets from this fabulous orchestra! And what glorious playing! Only Stokowski had managed to play Bach transcriptions in such a magical way. The transcriptions are really memorable, especially the ones of the better known stuff. The recording only misses the last degree of transparency because of the conversion from 24/96 PCM to DSD, but is otherwise extremely realistic. Bravo Chandos, keep up the good work.

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Review by tream January 30, 2005 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is a fun disc. In my dogmatic youth I would have considered this disc to be an abomination. "Bach transcriptions? Horrors! Inauthentic! Keeps us from knowing the real Bach!" Blah, blah, blah. Johann Sebastian will survive transcription, and recomposition of classic works is at least as old as Mozart's version of Handel's Messiah. The Skrowasczewski transcription of the Toccata and Fugue in d-minor and the Mitropoulos version of the Fantasia and Fugue in g minor are the most obviously original items-the former feels to me to be in the same league as the Ravel transcription of "Picture at an Exhibition". It may come as a surprise that Bach composed SIX orchestral suites-of course, two of them are by Sir Henry Wood, and the Sixth is on this SACD. No Bach-Stokowski-apparently either Slatkin or Chandos felt there are already many recorded examples. the performances seem exemplary-hard to tell when many of these are premiere recordings. The sound is typical for Chandos-slightly distant and over reverberent, at least for my taste-you are in the balcony at a hall with a longer than normal decay time. I prefer a cleaner, more analytical sound, but it is not terrible.


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Works: 10  

John Barbirolli - Sheep May Safely Graze (after Bach's BWV 208)
Walter Damrosch - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (after Bach's BWV 720)
Vittorio Gui - Ich ruf' zu, dir, Herr Jesu Christ (after Bach's BWV 639)
Otto Klemperer - Bist du bei mir? (after Bach's BWV 508)
Erich Leinsdorf - Herzlich tut mich verlangen (after Bach's BWV 727)
Dimitri Mitropoulos - Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (after Bach's BWV 542)
Eugene Ormandy - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (after Bach's BWV 147)
Malcolm Sargent - Air on the G String (after Bach's BWV 1068)
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski - Toccata and Fugue in D minor (after Bach's BWV 565)
Henry Wood - Suite No. 6 for Full Orchestra (after Bach's BWV 811, 827, 848, 867, 992, 1006)