I have owned this recording,originally published in 1983, ever since it first appeared. Unusually for an avid collector, it has not been joined by many others and all of those have finally gone by the wayside leaving this one version remaining.
This is very much a 'period' recording without the fuller tone and extra vibrato used by players with modern orchestral instruments. However it must be stressed that this is not an example for the problems encountered by purchasers of early 'period' recordings as by now problems such as tuning issues and acerbic tone quality had been totally overcome. The English Consort under the guidance of Trevor Pinnock were very much at the forefront of this advance in playing technology. Both the soloists, Simon Standage and Elizabeth Wilcock, were also very much in the forefront of this advance with Standage being a regular soloist.
As a result of all the above we are able to hear this music as close to the original expectations of Bach as we are likely to achieve given sympathetic interpretations. These we have here. These are not played in a metrical way as was sometimes done in the cause of 'period' performances. Instead there is enough flexibility to allow this music to breathe and flow naturally. That, coupled with the technical accuracy, makes for a potent mix and that is why I have not felt any need to replace this recording over many years.
Needless to say Pinnock and his expert orchestra give exemplary support and the whole disc is recorded with clarity and an appropriate measure of acoustic warmth.
I would suggest that this is a fine disc which should give most purchasers considerable satisfaction for years. At the very least it should be considered as one of a very short short-list of possibilities to consider.