14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A delightful admixture of novelty and déja vu,
This review is from: Bach: The Complete Harpsichord Concertos (BWV 1052-1058, 1060-1065) /Pinnock (Audio CD)
This must be some of the most unfailingly uplifting music ever written, the apotheosis of elegance, harmony, balance and sentiment.
The endearingly quirky cover design of three plump cherries is somehow wholly apt: they refer to the label and also to how each of these concertos presents a trio of luscious, beautifully proportioned movements as perfectly satisfying and life-enhancing as a feast of fresh fruit. Trevor Pinnock's playing is beyond reproach, even - or especially - when he takes the Allegro of BWV 1055 or the Presto of BWV 1056 faster than at first seems advisable and the strings of the English Concert are as fleet and fluent as he is; their unity is wonderfully precise. Pinnock is joined in the concertos for 2, 3 and 4 harpsichords by equally distinguished musicians and the whole enterprise just exudes a serene confidence and joy in their music-making.
Part of the pleasure of this set derives from recognition of how Bach reworked music more familiar in another guise and key; hence we hear the fourth Brandenburg Concerto and the two surviving violin concertos transposed down a tone and reworked in a way which combines familiarity and novelty. Just when you might start to feel that you'd like some variety in the sonority from a surfeit of twanging harpsichord, no. 1057 gives us two mellow recorders to provide bucolic delight.
The sound is superb, achieving great clarity and depth. It might well be that the balance between the harpsichord(s) and orchestra has been judiciously tweaked but it doesn't sound artificial.
I also very much enjoy the arrangement of some of this music for piano of which there is an excellent bargain Naxos recording but this Trio collection provides a complete and utterly seductive survey of Bach at his most inventive and irrepressibly melodic.
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