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4.0 out of 5 stars J S Bach's "Brandenburg Concertos" from the Taverner Players directed by Andrew Parrott, 19 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brandenburg Concerti 1-6 (Audio CD)
Apart from an old EMI "Reflexe" LP copy (I think so, at least) somewhere in my loft (water damaged, alas), I own a copy of this most interesting set of the "Brandenburgs" in a Virgin budget 4-CD set (here, Bach: Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites) that also includes the four Orchestral Suites and some concertos; clearly, that's probably the better buy, but I retain a certain fondness for this recording that was originally released in, I think, 1990, during the height of the "authentic" performance boom.

It's a bright and breezy performance, complimentary to the set released by the OAE (here, Bach: Brandenburg Concertos), the AAM (here, Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6), and the bonkers set form Goebel (here, Bach: Brandenburg Concertos). An old "Penguin Guide" review was (sort of) positive:-

"With light textures and generally fast speeds, Parrott's set of the "Brandenburgs" is one of the more individual of the period-performance versions. It also brings a valuable supplement in works using comparable forces, the "Overture" from the "Cantata No.194" and Duncan Druce's transcription of the "C major Gamba Sonata", for the same forces as Bach adopts in the "Brandenburg No.6". Sometimes Parrott's speeds are so fast that resilience is lost and, with recording slightly distanced and not very sharply focused, the result at times is muddled. Parrott is also more severe than is a rival such as Pinnock (here, Bach: Brandenburg Concertos; Orchestral Suites) and the English Concert over the question of vibrato. The squeezed style of playing sustained notes in slow movements is not easy on the ear, and the viola melody in the slow movement of No.6 is very sour. Yet anyone who wants a radical period performance which does not go to the extremes of Goebel's Musica Antiqua of Cologne will be well pleased."

This set is one of my favourites of the "Brandenburgs" and the distance of time has not lessened the appeal of Parrott's set, although, of course, you can't just have one set of the "Brandenburgs" in your collection!

Recommended.
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Brandenburg Concerti 1-6
Brandenburg Concerti 1-6 by Bach (Audio CD - 1990)
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