Bach v Bach

As I delve deeper into the world of Bach recordings, the subtleties of performances and their recording come to the fore. The efforts of the J.S.Bach Foundation and the Netherlands Bach Society have set a high bar for the production values of their recordings as well as musical excellence.

Sofar, I’ve been reluctant to include part-recordings in our listings, however the above recording of BWV36, featuring the excellent Nuria Rial (soprano) and John Holloway (violin), was just too good. And of course there is an AllofBach version to compare…

While the artistry of Rial and Holloway is hard to beat, the AllofBach video production really shines.  For example, in the video above, the Cello player never appears ‘in shot’ and I found it distracting to have an idle Martin Stadler overlooking the violin solo.

The great joy of attending a live concert is to let your eyes wonder and focus on individual performers at a whim. The AllofBach videos seem to understand my whims… and make me feel I’m there.

The bottom line, however, is that we have a abundance of wonderful recordings to enjoy and that both the ‘Foundation’ and the ‘Society’ are setting a very high bar with the quality of their performances. I love it.


Design, the tough stuff

I love Bach.
I love the All of Bach project.
I’m just not sure about the allofbach website design…

I read with interest this perspective about the design process of the allofbach website. The sting was in its tail, “We designed the website with the iPad in mind“. Shame it wasn’t designed for the Web. Or if the iPad was so important, that it’s not an App.

Here are a few relatively minor things that irritate me about the website:

  • A link to a page needs a different url depending on the device. This link goes to BWV29 on a computer but not on a phone… [now fixed]
  • I can play a video fine in vertical format on my phone, but not on an iPad, where it wants me to orient it horizontally first.
  • Not all the content (eg the interviews) is available on a phone.

More importantly, I wonder how useful the user interface will be with 1080 icons representing the compositions but no facility to search or group them.

On the other hand, when I play BWV29, I forget about the website…

[updated 8 June 2015]