J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Bach Hits Back, A Cappella Amadeus

Main Performer
or Conductor:
The Swingle Singers
Soloists:Helen Massey soprano I - Deryn Edwards soprano II
Linda Stevens alto I - Heather Cairncross alto II
Andrew Busher tenor I - Jonathan Rathbone tenor II
Ben Parry bass I - David Porter Thomas bass II
Individual Works:CD1
Bach Hits Back - A new a cappella tribute
1. Ein' feste Burg is unser Gott, BWV 302
2. Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 "Great G minor": Fugue
3. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude and Fugue No. 18 in G sharp minor, BWV 887 - Prelude
4. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140: Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme
5. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
6. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 754
7. In dulci jubilo, BWV 729
8. In dulci jubilo, BWV 368
9. Sonata for Violin solo No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003: 3rd movement, Andante
10. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048: 1st movement, Allegro
11. Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata": Schafe k*nnen sicher weiden
12. Suite for Orchestra No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067: Badinerie
13. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude and Fugue No.8 in E flat minor, BWV 877 - Fugue
14. Three-part Sinfonia (Invention) No. 11 in G minor, BWV 797
15. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et resurrexit
16. Bist du bei mir, by Gottfried Heinrich St*lzel
17. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: No. 12, Blute nur
18. Fugue in G major, BWV 577 "Gigue"
19. Suite for Orchestra No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air
20. Fugue in G minor, BWV 578 "Little G minor"
21. O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 60: No. 5, Es ist genug

A Cappella Amadeus - A Mozart Celebration
1. Die Zauberfl*te, K 620: Overture
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K 550
2. I Molto allegro
3. II Andante
4. III Minuetto: allegretto
5. IV Finale: Allegro assai
6. Ave verum corpus in D major, K 618
7. Quartet for Strings No. 14 in G major, K 387 "Spring": 4th movement, Molto allegro
8. Cos* fan tutte, K 588: Un' aura amorosa
9. Serenade No. 13 in G major, K 525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik": 4th movement, Rondo
10. Concerto for Horn No. 4 in E flat major, K 495: 3rd movement, Rondo
11. Don Giovanni, K 527: Deh vieni alla finestra [Serenade]
12. Cos* fan tutte, K 588: Soave sia il vento
13. Gigue for Keyboard in G major, K 574
14. Concerto for Piano No. 21 in C major, K 467: 2nd movement, Andante
15. Requiem in D minor, K 626: Hostias et preces tibi
16. Requiem in D minor, K 626: Quam olim Abrahae
17. Sonata for Piano No. 11 in A major, K 331 (300i): 3rd movement, Rondo alla turca
18. Fantasy for Piano in F minor, K Anh. 32 (383C) [Fragment]
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Virgin Classics
Catalog Number:61472
Year Released/Recorded:1991
Total Playing Time:1 Hours 46 Mins.
Comments:Zhu Yifei said:

This recording is by the Swingle Singers in its 1990s' form - the English group, not the original French group in 1960s. So there is something different and fresh in these discs from the ensemble's earlier recording of "Jazz Sebastian Bach". I suppose this later recording to be more mature and stable in style and in quality. It includes both music by Bach and by Mozart, and one short piece formerly attributed to Bach and currently believed to have been composed by Gottfried Heinrich Stūlzel.

As I own the "Jazz Sebastian Bach", this recording surprisingly consists of a good proportion of a cappella transcribed works, that is, without the percussions in the background and faithfully following the tempos of the original pieces. The adaptations is also more diverse and adventurous here, with some real orchestral works such as the first movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, the overture of Die Zauberflūte, four movements of Symphony No. 40, and with the astonishing alla turca from Piano Sonata K. 331. The several pieces overlapping "Jazz Sebastian Bach" are in their better shapes, with "Wachet auf!" in a fuller arrangement adding the extracted chorale in its very pure form, and Air on a G String in the a cappella style.

I love every piece in this recording, especially the Bach transcriptions. In my opinion, these arrangements are not only the creative existences of Bach music, but they are the music in its right way.

The Mozart part is also available separately as Virgin Classics 64798 titled "A Mozart Celebration".

To the Webmaster: For a picture of the cover of this recording please refer to: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=1089

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Zhu Yifei
Date First Submitted:06/02/2007