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on 18 December 2007
This is a most enjoyable recording (made in 1980). The performance by Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields led by Neville Marriner, at the peak of their powers, is very stylish and the tempi are well judged.

Some world-famous soloists participate - Henryk Szeryng (violin), Michala Petri (recorder), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) and Heinz Holliger (oboe).

There are many "period performance" recordings of this work by now, some of which are good. However, when you listen to a performance using modern instruments like this one under review, I wonder if period performance enthusiasts (including myself) are missing something important for the sake of pursuing "authenticity". Here in this performance, there are no problems of edgy tones of gut strings, dubious intonation of wind instruments and (occasionally) excessively fast tempi. All the notes appear to flow naturally.

The recording is very good. Strongly recommended.
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on 8 June 2013
I have recordings of the Brandenbergs, scattered across several CDs, by various orchestras/conductors/quality of recordings. So I decided I'd like to have them all on one disc, so that I may listen to them all, in the right order, similar "style" of performance, etc.

This has to be one of the definitive performances. Beautifully recorded, and performed with commitment, and that wonderful synergy you sometimes get between players and conductor, that, at times, just takes your breath away. There are other, great, recordings that "read" these pieces very differently, and have equal validity. But, to my sensibilities, this recording is "up there" as the best. This is obviously a subjective thing, and you may disagree with me. But, you, the prospective purchaser, reading my review, will have to listen to a vast number of recordings, to find any that come close to this.
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on 2 January 2015
Bought this CD as a Christmas gift for my husband. As I write this review, he is seated by the fire, reading a good book and listening to the concertos. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields have done a fine job, as ever, to absolute classic Bach pieces.
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on 22 May 2007
Well recorded - stellar soloists - but fails to leave the ground. In a competitive market I cannot recommend this at all - for example Leppard's ECO recordings of comparable vintage are more characterised. Try the modern recordings of LA Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of St Lukes, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (on Virgin) recordings for good modern instrument versions - this IS worth 4 stars but there are so many more worth 5 that it should be left on the shelf.
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on 13 January 2013
This recording is a wonderful interpretation of JS Bach's timeless classic concertos, which rank among the most famous and recognisable of the Baroque era. Right from the beginning, you will be captivated by Sir Neville Marriner's sensitive control of the Academy of St Martin in the Field Chamber Orchestra, one of the finest classical recording ensembles in the world at the time of this recording.

The sound quality - this was recorded in the early 1980s, remember - occasionally leaves something to be desired over more recent performances, but this is more than made up for by the feeling which Marriner conjures into the music. This is by far the best recording in existence of these incredible compositions, and I would recommend them to anyone, Bach fan or otherwise.
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on 20 January 2016
The copy I received is a Decca recording ,otherwise identical to the Phillips product illustrated.
Neville Marriner,and the Academy of St Martins in the Fields always produces first class performances,as
they do here,but the quality of the recording in parts does let them down somewhat.
To be fair this is still a good buy at this very competitive price,however.
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on 28 August 2013
Just a bit dry and square, really - it's good to have a pleasant enough recording and the tempi seem just about where I think they should be but that's always a personal taste thing, I guess
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on 15 January 2014
The incomparable Brandenburgs performed sensitively and with panache by the Academy. There are many versions of this concert standard, take your pick really but this is a nice one.
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on 2 December 2013
There is so much choice for the Brandenburgs but this was the one for me. The first person to say Ah Bach was his wife!
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on 12 March 2014
Yes this was a gift for my sister who was over the moon with it and just what she wanted . A good buy
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