A very different set than Teldec's Bach 2000. The Hanssler Bachakademie, supervised by Helmut Rilling, is not HIP (historic instruments performance). The orchestras are warm and lush (but not huge). The soloists are, in general, extraordinary. The tempos are sane. Hanssler has included fragments of some incomplete BWV's that are not included in the Teldec set; a minor plus but appealing. I found I preferred these traditional instruments and the daring using of forte-piano in place of harpsichord on a few of the recordings (flute sonatas). Highlights for me are The Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 and 2, Musical Offering, Flute Sonatas, The Motets. I also found I prefer these Cantatas recordings to any other, including the new Koopman, Suzuki and the well-known Leonhart-Harnoncourt. While not the newest recordings, the sound is warmer which I prefer to the new state-of-the-art HIP recordings. Although most of the Cantatas are older recordings, much of the Hanssler Bachakademie edition is newly recorded for this project and the sound is consistent and excellent.
A comprehensive survey of classical music - for the casual listener, this might be all the classical music you need in your collection; for others this provides a starting point for further exploration. Unlike many collections of this sort, most of these 30 discs contain performances by some of biggest names in classical music. Included are: Bach's Complete Brandenburg Concertos; Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"; Beethoven's Symphonies 5 and 9, plus the Piano Concertos #4 and 5; Symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Brahms; concertos by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Mendelssohn; music by Ravel, Handel, Gershwin, Debussy, Moussorgsky.