Notes & Reviews:
Bach's music featured early in Ansermet's career and he conducted the fourth Orchestral Suite in his last concert. Playing Bach in the 1960s was not quite the affair it is today, but it would be false to assume that Ansermet's Bach is the bloated, romanticised affair that was current in the 1960s. While his readings have soul, Ansermet keeps his feet firmly planted in the Baroque period, eschewing beauty of sound for beauty's sake. Even with a larger ensemble than Bach would have known, Ansermet doesn't get bogged down; faster movements move along with grace, even if they do so without a typically Baroque lightness of texture. This 2CD set represents Ansermet's complete Bach recordings for Decca, and collectively they are issued on CD for the first time.