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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos [Import]

Reinhard Goebel Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £19.95
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Product details

  • Performer: Wilbert Hazelzet, Andreas Staier
  • Orchestra: Cologne Musica Antiqua
  • Conductor: Reinhard Goebel
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • ASIN: B0000057D4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,434 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.1 In F, BWV 1046 - 1. (Allegro)Musica Antiqua Köln 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.1 In F, BWV 1046 - 2. AdagioMusica Antiqua Köln 3:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.1 In F, BWV 1046 - 3. AllegroMusica Antiqua Köln 4:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.1 In F, BWV 1046 - 4. Menuet - Trio - PolonaiseMusica Antiqua Köln 7:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.2 In F, BWV 1047 - 1. (Allegro)Musica Antiqua Köln 4:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.2 In F, BWV 1047 - 2. AndanteMusica Antiqua Köln 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.2 In F, BWV 1047 - 3. Allegro assaiMusica Antiqua Köln 2:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.3 In G, BWV 1048 - 1. (Allegro)Musica Antiqua Köln 5:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.3 In G, BWV 1048 - 2. AllegroMusica Antiqua Köln 3:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049 - 1. AllegroMusica Antiqua Köln 6:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049 - 2. AndanteMusica Antiqua Köln 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049 - 3. PrestoMusica Antiqua Köln 4:15£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.5 In D, BWV 1050 - 1. AllegroMusica Antiqua Köln 9:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.5 In D, BWV 1050 - 2. AffetuosoMusica Antiqua Köln 5:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.5 In D, BWV 1050 - 3. AllegroMusica Antiqua Köln 5:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051 - 1. --Musica Antiqua Köln 4:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051 - 2. Adagio ma non tantoMusica Antiqua Köln 4:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051 - 3. AllegroMusica Antiqua Köln 4:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: Concerto For Flute, Violin, Harpsichord, And Strings In A Minor, BWV 1044 - 1. AllegroAndreas Staier 8:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: Concerto For Flute, Violin, Harpsichord, And Strings In A Minor, BWV 1044 - 2. Adagio ma non tanto e dolceAndreas Staier 5:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: Concerto For Flute, Violin, Harpsichord, And Strings In A Minor, BWV 1044 - 3. Tempo di AllabreveAndreas Staier 6:43£0.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Reinhard Goebel and Musica Antiqua Köln recorded the Brandenburgs in 1986-87 in a style that one can refer to only as punk Baroque. Their readings are characterised by slashing accents, missing articulations, a de-emphasis of melody, and an overemphasis of metrical pulse, with an attendant exaggeration of Bach's otherwise wonderfully enlivening syncopations. Occasionally, the most peculiarly anachronistic cadential ritards get thrown in as well. The result has all the charm of an antipersonnel mine. For an idea of what their "extreme" Bach sounds like, listen to the first movement of Concerto No. 6, which Goebel and his gang take so disastrously fast it's laughable (they dispatch it in 4:25, compared with Boston Baroque's by no means poky 6:10). Makes you want to reach for your brass knuckles. --Ted Libbey

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars in media res 18 Feb 2008
By gabrial
Format:Audio CD
Bach is one of the most conservative of the `great' composers, even more than Haydn. Compare his (sublime) orchestral/sacred works with, say, Telemann and they always sound -`old fashioned' by a generation. This has encouraged a view of him as calm, knowledgeable, `sacred' even in the most eccentric (when viewed from the score/orchestration) of his works, these Brandenburgs.. The same irony would have hit us in the 1940s looking at Vivaldi's Four Seasons ; how could that composer's most bizarre work (that is, based on poems) have been so famous and misunderstood (in terms of recording) until the much-vituperated but brilliant Harnoncourt's Alte Werks of the early 1970s?
Here too we have the paradox of a performance which is built up - as it were - from Biber and Schmelzer `forwards' as the most bizarre consort music ever penned; but sounds `backwards' from, not quite `punk' as the other reviewer puts it cheaply, but some kind of imaginary realm of Locatelli, Valentini, Platti. Bach as performed by a Venetian orchestra of the 18th century - ah, by Vivaldi, allora. Anyhow, this is extraordinary: the readings are often so brusque as to be rude - the weird use of editions `allows' for the most raking highlighting of individual instruments - take the second movement of the 6th were the bass is more or less solo. By no means a starter version, but fantastically rewarding in the end. Solemn reviewers often speak like teachers with their shoes on the table of `blowing away the cobwebs' - no, this sandblasts them.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakneck Bach! 11 April 2008
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Why does Mr. Goebel play his violin so fast, daddy?
Because he can, son.

I suppose that's not an adequate answer. Most of the negative reviews of this performance express outrage at Goebel's tempi, but in fact the only movements of the six Brandenburg Concertos that might be considered abnormally fast are the second of #3 and the first of #6. Otherwise Goebel sets consistently playable tempi, with maximum contrast between the allegros and the adagios. To my ear, the breakneck fiddling on the allegro of #3 sounds authentically thrilling; anyone would have to admit that it's very well played. Concerto #6 isn't my favorite. It has been nicknamed "The Scrub Board" and Goebel chooses to exaggerate its gruffness, not only in tempo but also in bowing technique. I would wager it's not his favorite, either.

What's so darn good about Bach, anyway? Some people may never know. To really appreciate Bach, you need to hear all the voices - all the lines - simultaneously. It's a listening skill not everyone has, and an intellectual mode of listening more than an emotional one. Not that Bach can't be appreciated emotionally! That would be an absurd assertion. But to really hear Bach, you need to follow the counterpoint instinctively, to make sense of three, four, five instruments in a conversation where they all play at once. That's what's so very darn good about Musica Antiqua Koeln's performance of the Brandenburgs: all the lines speak clearly. The precision and balance of the ensemble creates an astonishing musical transparency. I know the Brandenburgs very well; I've played the bassoon and recorder parts in concert. I've been buying and listening to new recordings of them since I was a teenager in the 1950s. Even so, when I listen to this performance by MAK, I invariably "hear" exchanges between parts that I never noticed before. I hear the distinct eloquence of the inner voices. In #5, my favorite of all, I hear the incredible harpsichord of Andreas Staier in every measure, even when the full ensemble is blazing away. Thus, when the harpsichord soars into its otherworldly extended cadenza, the most electrifying moment in all Baroque music, it sounds both inevitable and continuous with the musical development of the allegro.

There are at least sixty performances of the Brandenburgs available on CD currently. Some are superb, some are mediocre, and some should be mercifully retired. Even if you already have a favorite, one of the superb sort, you won't regret hearing Reinhard Goebel's bold interpretation. And if it's too fast for you, all I can say is...listen faster!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why these survive - and thrive - on the Autobahn 23 Jun 2008
By I. Loveapiano - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I regard as preposterous the notion that the performer must completely subjugate his/her virtuosity to the putative sanctity of a secular piece. Rather, the player must drive the performance as a gentleman leads his dance partner - with a measured balance of aplomb and audacious verve. This is especially true when both dancers are equally excellent and worthy of each other.

This was (thankfully) my first Brandenburg recording to bond with. Having heard other Brandenburgs here and there, I did have a sense that these were sprightly out of the box, but Goebel and his colleagues exalt them with lithe and dance-like playing - in your mind's eye, you can see their faces of concentration and confidence as they dispatch the material. I have noticed that, when I now hear other Brandenburg performances, I hear less detail and structure despite the slower tempi - it is as if they're weighed down by a giant powdered wig, and I come away unimpressed.

Bach's pieces can easily be likened to well-engineered German machines - elegantly and appropriately complicated, robust, luxurious, etc. I've owned a large, older Mercedes and had a German-born auto technician who worked on it, and he always said to "run it hard because they like it". He was right - it ran fantastically during/after a good (and downright illegal) fast road trip. Similarly, these Brandenburgs do "survive at a higher tempo" where other pieces might not. More to the point, they absolutely thrive - and as much of this has to do with Goebel's talent as with the genius of the composer. It's worth noting that Staier's work is, as usual, commanding (and, unlike many other Blandenburg offerings, you can hear it clearly due to the fine recording).

If it is true that Bach chased after choir girls and test-drove pipe organs by pulling most/all of the stops, then I'm comfortable in assuming that he might have relished a faster tempo to liven things up from time to time. The naysayers here should get out into the sun more, perhaps. I'm guessing that, if I asked a Koln basher to tell me his/her favorite Vivaldi Four Seasons recording, and I then proceeded to listen to it, my brain might seep out of my ears from the insipidness of the presentation (and material!).

Wir fah'rn auf der Autobahn...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite 18 Jun 2006
By Arnout Koeneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't see the need in collecting many performances of the Brandenburg Concertos, because simply put every single (authentic) recording I heard was great and the differences not that big to look at it as an (interesting) interpretation - something I do have with Bach's Mass in B or even more obvious in Mahler symphonies, there I do find the need to collect diiferent recordings/interpretations

If you see budget priced recordings by Tafel Musik (Sony Vivarte), Hugget (Virgin), Koopman (Erato), Il Giardino Armonico (Teldec) Suzuki (Bis) Pinnock (Archiv) and Parrott (Virgin) don't hesitate to buy a copy if you don't own one already...an extremely small chance you're not gonna like the performance.

Did I really hear all those recordings?
Yes, but to be honest only a few for a longer, evaluative period...so my opnion hasn't any weight at all and must not be taken that seriously.
I was only curious (maybe obsessed a while ago) why there are still new recordings made and if they added anything new to an already large library of Brandenburg Concertos and if some recordings were really that different.

There are 3 recordings that stood out of the rest for me and which I didn't mention yet:

Savall's recording (Auvidis)
Akademie fu Alte Musik Berlin (Harmonia Mundi full price and a budget release on Harmonia Mundi's "musique d'abord" which I have)
And this one, Musica Antiqua Koln with Goebel.

Savall's recording has a unique atmosphere, rather "rustic"
The Akademie fur alte Musik has a sumptious, warm timbred sound, not found in other recordings and finally my personal favorite Goebel has the fastest tempi and most tight ensemble playing.

I love Goebel's Brandenburg Concerto's, obviously because it were the first Brandenburg Concertos I heard, my first encounter with Bach's concertos.
But also because the playing is extremely fine: in those really fast tempi the ensemle still finds enough time and room to articulate accurately and finish every note and line at ease, there's no sense of hurry, it sounds completely natural.
Goebel's violin playing is excellent too.

I obviously do not agree with the editorial review by Ted Libbey: "The result has all the charm of an antipersonnel mine. For an idea of what their "extreme" Bach sounds like, listen to the first movement of Concerto No. 6, which Goebel and his gang take so disastrously fast, it's laughable"

These are livey performances and they sound fresh and spontaneous, but aren't actually that spontaneous at all: the playing is highly concentrated and tight - the Akadmie fur alte Musik and Il Giardino Armoncia for instance are more spontaneous in this respect.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't make this your only recording of the Brandenburgs! 22 May 2004
By Matthew Mendlik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a fantastic recording. But while Musica Antiqua Koln's technical skill outmodes that of nearly any other ensemble I've heard, Goebel's exaggerated tempi occasionally force these beautiful pieces to border on the non-musical. Yes, it's impressive to hear Brandenburgs 3 and 6 performed at lightning speeds, but simply playing "fast" doesn't necessarily mean "exciting" or even "listenable." Occasionally it's like speed-reading poetry. Having more than 10 sets of Brandenburgs in my collection, I'd certainly place this set in the upper half, but there are many other interpretations that allow the intricacies of these pieces to shine, rather than the virtuosity of the group performing them.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refined recording with a powerfull interpretation 26 Nov 2002
By André Cunha Leal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Before I start doing this review I must ask for your comprehension because I don't speak a very good english, but I'll do my best. This recording is one of the best recordings of any kind I know. The quality of the sound is impressive, but most important is the interpretation. This is the fastest interpretation of Brandenburg Concertos, wich gives power to this recording. Other decisive factor to turn this recording so special is the refinement of the instruments sound and the quality of each member of the orchestra. For that I recomend you to hear the second and third concerts.
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