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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Brandenburgs, 17 Jun 2010
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This second account of the Brandenburg Concertos from Trevor Pinnock is really excellent, I think. There are, as Pinnock says in his notes, many fine recordings already, but I think this stands with the best of them. For this project he gathered a group of some of the finest baroque chamber music players in Europe, including stars like violinist Kati Debretzeni and gamba player Suzanne Heinrich, (whose wonderful solo Abel disc Abel: Mr Abel's Fine Airs - Sonatas for viola da gamba /Heinrich is one of my very favourites). They play together with immense skill and obvious enjoyment of both the music and of each other and the result is an excellent and immensely enjoyable performance.

All the soloists are excellent: David Blackadder's trumpet in Concerto 2 is simply brilliant, as is Pinnock himself in Concerto 5, but even the more minor solo parts are beautifully judged and played, like the fabulous bassoon of Eyal Streett in the finale of Concerto 1. The whole feel of the concerti seems just right to me; the intellectual weight of these great works is all there, but with a bounce and suppleness which really draws you in. As examples, the finale of Concerto 3 is taken very quickly but with no hint of harshness or strain, and the first movement of Concerto 6 is relaxed and crystal clear - nothing like the indistinct dirge of some other recordings.

I loved this from start to finish (perhaps with the exception of the solo violin piece which serves for a second movement in Concerto 3 and rather intrudes there). The recorded sound is excellent (Pinnock's harpsichord sounds just wonderful), it is a well-presented set and the notes are very interesting. It's a very good set indeed and certainly one of the best Brandenburgs I know. Very warmly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trevor Pinnock's dazzling new set of Brandenburg Concertos, 7 Aug 2009
By 
JM Olmesdahl - See all my reviews
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Trevor Pinnock's new set of Brandenburg Concertos on Avie are absolutely fantastic! Die hards will tell you that the classic early 80's versions have not been surpassed. I don't agree. I have lived with versions by both Pinnock and Goebel and find the playing on the new set to be every bit as lively but with a much better, more lucid recording. Interpretatively, the newcomer is slightly faster in most movements giving an added sense of flow. And Mr Pinnock is every bit as amazing on the harpsichord of concerto no. 5. Bravo!
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JS Bach - Brandenburg Concertos, 27 Nov 2007
25 years after his classic 1982 English Concert recording Trevor Pinnock has returned to Bach's famous concerto's with a new ensemble and although his new recording is very good i feel it COULD have been the ultimate set of Brandenburg's.In most of the concerto's on the new recording he has opted to use a small violone instead of the usual 16ft instrument and this deprives the sound of a healthy bass.Who knows if this was Bach's original intention or not but the bass just seems too lightweight in those concert where the small violone is used.There is still some good playing here and Pinnock's new ensemble perform well enough for sure, only in concerto no1 is there a slight instability from the horns.The trumpet part in no2 is better than most other performances i have heard and Pinnock himself is wonderful in no5.A very fine recording overall but the weak bass in most of the concertos does (at least to me ears) have a detrimental effect.
For anybody who is looking for a quality set of the Brandenburg's on authentic instruments this new recording is nevertheless among the finest available as it combines a very high standard of playing and good sound.The only reservation i have about it is the lack of bass in concertos 2,4,5 and 6 where the usual 16ft instrument is replaced by a small violone.

It's difficult to recommend only 1 recording of Bach's famous concertos as there are so many but this one along with the New London Consort/Philip Pickett and Pinnock's earlier English Concert recording are certainly worthy as top spot contenders.

Trevor Pinnock is always a most reliable guide through 17th and 18th century music and he has gauged the tempo's to well nigh perfection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine improvement on Pinnock's already fine earlier recording, 5 Feb 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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For many lovers of this famous music, Pinnock's earlier set of some 25 years ago has remained a benchmark recording. However, Pinnock has felt the need to revisit this work with the intention of celebrating all the advances made in both understanding and performing skills made in the intervening years. This recording made in 2007 was also an opportunity for him to celebrate his own sixtieth birthday.

For this project he drew together an ensemble of players of varying ages and at the peak of their profession in terms of Baroque music playing under the title of the European Brandenburg Ensemble. The intention was to illustrate Bach's 'daring and musical subversion' as opposed to his 'discipline and order.'

The most controversial choice made for this recording concerns the deep bass and which version of the violone to use. The choice lay between the 16 foot and the 8 foot instrument with the 16 foot adding greater depth. In the event, the decision was made to use the 8 foot version for concertos 2, 4, 5 and 6 and the 16 foot version for concertos 1 and 3. This is based on research and consequent opinion put forward by Peter McCarthy. Previously the 16 foot version would commonly have been used for all the concertos so this decision may disconcert some listeners.

In general terms the concertos are played at a faster tempo than in the previous set and, markedly, with a far greater sense of dance. This dance element is an important difference as it brings an altogether lighter and more joyful feel to the music making.

The players are all capable soloists in their own right but, as a previous trumpet player I feel that special mention must be made of David Blackadder's playing in concerto 2 and I also appreciate the fine horn playing throughout concerto 1. Pinnock also shines once more on the harpsichord in concerto 5. The other fine soloists are the recorder players, Robert Ehrlich and Antje Hensel, the oboist Katharina Spreckelsen, flautist katy Bircher and the violinist Kati Debretzeni.

The 2007 recording by Avie is excellent with good range and a warmer but realistic tone quality than can happen in baroque music recordings.

I would suggest that this is an outstanding version of these concertos and an improvement of the earlier set, fine though it undoubtedly was and still is. There can never be an outright best set in works such as these, but this set deserves to be seriously considered either as an 'only' purchase or as part of a collection of versions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastc set!, 19 Mar 2012
And why is this so much better than Trevor Pinnock's revered 1983 period performance?

It's in the music notes: back then, Bach's ''discipline and order was in awe'' was what Pinnock felt, his 1983 set hypnotic and almost robot like. Fast forward some 25 years later with Pinnock being 60 years old and not 35 years old, he now relishes Bach's ''sense of daring and musical subversion''. which means the music sounds like they are all having fun.

These performances will be incredibly hard to beat having an infectious infusion of technical prowess combined with sheer boyancy for joy of the musical score.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good., 12 Feb 2014
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Like the disk very much but I do wonder if the tempo was a bit on the fast side. Blessings
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 8 Jan 2014
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This goes on my list of best recordings of all time. Having lost my set of Pinnock's original recording on DG's Archiv label, I bought this new one, and it's out of this world. Every movement of every concerto is inspired. Sheer love of the music shines through, and the playing is without a fault. Brilliant recording.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So much livelier, 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Bach: Six Concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg (MP3 Download)
I have recordings by Benjamin Britten and Neville Marriner. They were mangled on an upload so I wanted a new recording. Have always rated Mr Pinnock since his Handel Concerti grossi.. The Bach is excellent. It will disappoint no-one.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brandenburghs by European Brandenburgh Ensemble, 10 Jun 2009
By 
N. Gill (NE Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Great recording played with pizzaz. Loved the joyful double bass in the third Brandenburgh
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