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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great set of recordings., 14 Jan. 2013
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Concertos with Several Instruments Complete Works Vol. I-VI (Audio CD)
A wonderful set of recordings, full of subtlety and expressiveness. The performances of the Brandenburg Concertos are the best overall set I've ever heard, particularly Brandenburg Concerto No1. In other recordings of this concerto either the string section or the wind instruments are often lacking, however in this recording there is a great sense of cohesiveness which makes the music sound like a conversation between the instruments.

The performances of the Harpsichord concertos are equal to the English Concert's recordings, the Orchestral suites, violin concertos and Oboe Concertos are better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, balanced performances, 2 Sept. 2013
By 
Kirk McElhearn (Near Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Concertos with Several Instruments Complete Works Vol. I-VI (Audio CD)
Over the past 10 years, Café Zimmerman has recorded Bach's "concertos for multiple instruments" on the Alpha label. These works include the harpsichord concertos, the Brandenburg concertos, the orchestral suites (overtures), as well as the many concertos for violin, oboe, flute or other instruments. Last year, they released this in a 6-CD set: Concerts avec plusieurs instruments.

I hadn't bought any of the individual volumes of this set previously, but when the box came out, I listened to some samples on line and bought it immediately. The 24 works included - four per disc - are all performed with a wonderful lightness and joy, making these some of the most attractive recordings I know of these works.

Each disc is organized as a concert: rather than grouping, say, all of the Brandenburg concertos on two discs, there is one on each of the six CDs. No disc has two of the same type of work; there are not two orchestral suites or harpsichord concertos on any of the discs. This makes each of the CDs a 60- to 70-minute concert that provides a variety of instrumentations.

The sound is excellent, the performances full of vigor, and, while the tempi are on the fast side, nothing sounds hurried. This is a wonderful set of Bach's "orchestral" music. If you like Bach, you should check this out.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic box, 5 Jan. 2012
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Concertos with Several Instruments Complete Works Vol. I-VI (Audio CD)
This is a simply fantastic box of all six volumes of Café Zimmermann's recordings of Bach's "Concerts avec plusiers instruments." These include all six Brandenburg Concertos, the four Overtures or Orchestral Suites and the concertos for violin, oboe and harpsichords in various combinations. I have listed the works below. The music is all magnificent and played with a freshness combined with depth of understanding which is a real joy.

Café Zimmermann are a small ensemble, generally playing with one instrument to a part and this, combined with terrific musicianship and scholarship, gives their interpretations a real zing in the livelier movements and genuine beauty and emotion in the slower passages. To me, this is what Bach should sound like: sometimes dancing, sometimes deeply spiritual, sometimes simply lovely. I have a much-loved set of Bach concertos by Trevor Pinnock (Bach: Concertos) and while these won't replace them in my affections, they will certainly stand alongside them and be played at least as often.

The other great strength of these discs is the programming. Many sets of these concertos group, say, the harpsichord concertos or the violin concertos together, and I find that I often don't want to listen to all of them one after another. Here, each disc has one Brandenburg Concerto, for example, and a varied combination of other concertos, so that playing the whole disc is a varied pleasure and I am always happy to let a whole disc play rather than changing it after one or two concertos.

In short, this box - the fruits of ten years' work - is an unalloyed delight and guaranteed to give immense pleasure for many years. Very warmly recommended.

The works:
CD 1
1. Concerto pour clavecin en Ré Mineur, BWV 1052
2. Concerto pour hautbois d'amour en La Majeur, BWV 1055
3. Concerto pour violon en Mi Majeur, BWV 1042
4. Concert Brandebourgeois No. 5 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1050

CD 2
1. Concert Brandebourgeois No. 3 en Sol Majeur, BWV 1048
2. Concerto pour deux violons & cordes en Ré Mineur, BWV 1043
3. Suite en Ut Majeur, BWV 1066
4. Concerto pour hautbois & violon en Ut Mineur, BWV 1060

CD 3
1. Concert Brandebourgeois No. 4 en Sol Majeur, BWV 1049
2. Concerto pour hautbois d'amour en Ré Majeur, BWV 1053
3. Concerto pour trois clavecins en Do Majeur, BWV 1064
4. Suite en Si Mineur, BWV 1067

CD 4
1. Concerto pour violon en La Mineur, BWV 1041
2. Concerto pour 2 clavecins en Ut Majeur, BWV 1061
3. Concerto pour flûte, violon & clavecin en La Mineur, BWV 1044
4. Concert Brandebourgeois No. 2 en Fa Majeur, BWV 1047

CD 5
1. Ouverture No. 3 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1068
2. Concerto pour clavecin en Fa Mineur, BWV 1056
3. Concerto Brandebourgeois No. 6 en Si Bémol Majeur, BWV 1051
4. Concerto pour trois clavecins en Ré Mineur, BWV 1063

CD 6
1. Ouverture No. 4 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1069
2. Concerto pour clavecin en La Majeur, BWV 1055
3. Concert Brandebourgeois No. 1 en Fa Majeur, BWV 1046
4. Concerto pour quatre clavecins en Ré Mineur, BWV 1065
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding recordings, 4 Dec. 2012
By 
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This review is from: J.S. Bach: Concertos with Several Instruments Complete Works Vol. I-VI (Audio CD)
These are beautiful recordings that will add to your appreciation of this exceptional music. I can also vouch that what the previous reviewer says that the 'the disc metadata simply isn't there' is entirely wrong. I have ripped all the cds into my ipod and all the data is there at the click of a button. EXCELLENT SET.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: J.S. Bach: Concertos with Several Instruments Complete Works Vol. I-VI (Audio CD)
great performance!
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