Wendy Carlos - Switched On Bach 2000
I was fortunate enough recently to become high bidder during an eBay auction of a sealed copy of the coolest album of all time, namely Walter Carlos' Switched On Bach (I also picked up a few copies of the equally well received follow-up The Well-Tempered Synthesizer which features the music of composers other than Mr. Bach in all their Well-Tempered glory).
So when we received a copy of Switched On Bach 2000 we were, to say the least, psyched. But can it really be twenty five years ago that I first heard electronic musical instruments bring out the best in Johann Sebastian? A moment in my time that without a doubt changed my life.
Yet here it is, with one Moog synthesizer hidden somewhere among a multitude of Kurzweil's, Yamaha's, high-end recording and editing software, effects processors and an Apple Macintosh IIfx computer.
The entire work is full of colorful tones and timbres, precision tuning, featuring the Circular> and Meantone variety and enough classic Bach elegance and flourish to keep you humming to yourself for years.
But I'm not going to compare it to the original, primarily because there's no comparison.
They're the same scores but approached and dealt with in a completely different way, and with three times as many hours, over three thousand of them put into fine tuning all the millions of elements that are necessary to make the music really come back to life.
Rating: 988,195 (out of a possible 1,000,000)