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HIPster Wars - News from the Bach Front - Communiqué 95
on 14 July 2014
Much like those `Elvis goes Baroque' or `The Beatles go Baroque' releases on Naxos, this performance of BWV 1046 - 1051 by the Dunedin Consort and my old mate John Seymour Butt could be labelled `the Brandenburg Concertos go ein musikalischer Spaß.' Yes indeed the spirit of Mozart's Musical Joke (K 522) is in the air with the woeful intonation of the Dunedin Consort. Just listen to the opening bars: such as they are (moggies rejoice!) the strings are not in sync with the horns and the latter are insecure in pitch. Such instances are legion. To compound matters, I cannot hear any `line' in the first movement of the Fourth Concerto (et al). Its emotional compass could be sited on a pinhead. In all honesty, this takes us back to the late Seventies when Corporal Hogwood and his Academy of Ancient Music were a byword for `the Village Musicians' Sextet'. Why, any brigands of the hills could show as good a following.
If you seek a seek a fun, non-doctrinaire, musically accomplished Brandenburg Concertos from our HIPster friends, I nominate
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos / Il Giardino armonico.
Even a certain clerical friend of mine - a veritable High Priest of Period Practice - has commented witheringly on the intonation of this set (on Amazon.com). Ignore my advice if you will. Dismiss his at peril.