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Brandenburg Concertos [DVD]

 Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Format: Classical, PAL
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Tdk Mediactive
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Mar 2002
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056BYE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,952 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


From Amazon.co.uk

The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra are a class act, and their performances here of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos is indisputably high quality. Though the formal concert garb of the players (even the intricately decorated harpsichord conforms to the black-and-white dress code) might suggest otherwise, these are not live performances but offer a kind of private concert for us, the home viewer. The setting is suitably impressive--a magnificently marbled and parquet-floored room in Cöthen Castle (Bach was in the employ of the court of Cöthen when he wrote these concertos). And the virtuosity of the setting is matched by the playing, though sometimes the speed suggests that the players are anxious to catch the last train home.

So much for the audio; how about the visuals? Well, options are admittedly limited but the cameraman seems to have something of a fixation with the (male) first horn-player's earring throughout the First Concerto. And close-ups of oboists as they tackle taxing solos rarely show them to their best advantage. That's a small gripe, though, as an introduction to one of the masterpieces of the Baroque repertoire, and as a demonstration of virtuoso playing of period instruments, this certainly has strong appeal. Best, however, to avoid the additional brief video clips tagged onto the end. The second reduces a movement from Bach's Coffee Cantata to badly sung kitsch, while the third features a Pythonesque cut-out Bach (complete with pink wig) prancing round Cöthen Castle.

On the DVD: there are little in the way of extras. Subtitles are provided in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Japanese and of course you can pick and choose tracks. The booklet provides some basic but useful information about the works. The picture is anamorphic widescreen (16:9). --Harriet Smith

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars J.S.Bach's most joyful chamber music! 20 Aug 2002
An excellent dynamic production.
Well thought out setting and musical choregraphy.
The separate tonal groups combine with such vitality and clarity they attain the natural progression which Bach achieved in these these joyful pieces; to the extent you feel you are being carried along!
As with Bach's organ and clavier works, the better the playing, the slower the tempo can be and the rich polyphony best appreciated.
These concertos are for intimate settings and should be treated as separate works with their contrasting colour and moods.
Check out some of the themes Bach employed in his Cantatas and vice versa.
For me an excellent buy earning 5 stars!
Following on from this production I hope TDK will "pull out more stops" and give us for the first time on DVD, a taste of J.S.Bach's organ music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brandenburg concertos 9 Jan 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Absolutely magical.

I bought this for my seven-year old son so that he could see which instruments make each sound. He was captivated.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class Music, performed in Top Class Style 13 Sep 2004
There's no doubt that the Brandenburg concertos are monumental works for so many reasons. For the listener, one could listen to each of these concerti consecutively and not get remotely bored due to the broad contrast in their styles in instrumentation.
There are many excellent and even more average recordings of these concerti. This is the first time I've seen them on DVD and what a fantastic edition!
The Freiburger Barockorchester have some fabulous musicians around the stand. Some of them have some fairly questionable haircuts (especially one of the Double Bass players)but that kind of adds to the fun.
All of the tempi in these performances are bright and brisk, as they should be. The slow movements don't dwell too much and the virtuoso soloists are given their chance to shine but without stealing all of the limelight, exactly as you would expect from such a high quality orchestra.
Further to this, if you're a trumpet player, I must especially recommend that you buy this recording just to see Friedemann Immer's awesome rendition of the 2nd Concerto. Try watching it without your jaw hitting the floor!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant DVD! 17 May 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Only recently discovered this music by hearing a small piece of it on Classic FM. It is brilliant. How did Bach do it? And to see it performed in this way is marvellous - great to see skilled musicians at work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First-class period performance. 17 Feb 2011
This DVD presumably features the same performances as the 2006 DVD (with a different sleeve), also on offer on Amazon.

FREIBURGER (Amazon: please note the CORRECT spelling, you get it wrong TWICE) Barockorchester under Gottfried von der Goltz is one of the very best period instrument groups. Tempos are all fairly brisk but not excessively so. The musicians are a really good-looking bunch to boot (lots of close-ups, and the picture is excellent), the location is absolutely lovely, all in all, buying the DVD as opposed to a CD is very much worth the money. Also, it's very interesting to see how principal violinist Gottfried von der Goltz combines playing his instrument with conducting, which he does with his eyes and with body language. Instrumentation and scale are quite different from one concerto to the next; soloists are named at the start of each concerto (e.g. harpsichordist Michael Behringer at the start of number 5), but not every musician gets credited (e.g. the regular harpsichordist), which strikes me as a shame.
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