About that “Big Box”

OK, I admit I’m behind the curve.  I’m usually behind the curve.

There is a huge selection of Big Box collections on Amazon.  Most priced at 99 cents.

There is a critique of the Bach cantatas box pointing out that these are repackaged LPs from the “olden days.”  Yes, that’s true.  The performances are not the latest and freshest.  I disagree with the reviewer’s comment that the box is “almost worth 99 cents.”  It is certainly worth that, and much more.  Still, these are older performances.

For example, the Magnificat in D is now often performed as the Magnificat in E-flat, reflecting the issue of baroque Chorton.  I don’t mind the half step, but I do mind the relentless speed and choppiness I’ve heard in my samplings.  The Vienna State Opera recording on the Big Box is the first one I heard, many years ago, and I still appreciate it.

Speed is not everything and pitch is a moving target.  I appreciate the investigative spirit and the quest to penetrate the heart of Bach.  Still, I don’t think we’ve missed him altogether up to now.

About Jonathan B. Hall

Keyboard artist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and State. Many interests include music theory and history, literature, astronomy, genealogy, philosophy and theology, gardening, and good food. Cat lover, too.
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