"Narrated and written by the erudite musical scholar Jeremy Siepmann, this four-CD set is full of the color, beauty, and the awesome genius of Bach's compositions while giving a fuller picture of him as a man. The richness of actor John Shrapnel's voice ? best known for his role as Gaius in Gladiator ? is perfect in conveying the many incarnations of a composer who was valued for the most part as an organist during his lifetime but who also managed to fit in school teaching, directing choirs, and fathering 20 children. As little of Bach's correspondence survives today, we inevitably hear more narrator than actor, but this is still the most rounded portrait yet of "the greatest composer ever" and a welcome addition to Siepmann's expanding Life and Works series."
"Clearly told and warmly narrated, the four and a half hours on the four CD set are generously interspersed with extracts from his work. The superb accompanying booklet is full of concise details about Bach's career and contemporaries along with a very useful graded listening programme that takes an intelligent approach to building up your own library of works. This boxed set will have you rushing to hear more Bach and your listening pleasure will be greatly enhanced. Highly recommended."