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This review is from: Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (Audio CD)
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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Initial post: 14 Jul 2015 13:18:21 BDT
A. C. says:
Thanks, I'm glad someone else thinks the second movement in cto. 3 was a mistake. Truly awful, it sucks all the energy generated by the first movement away instantly. Then Gardiner ,unbelievably, trys a similar approach a couple of years later in his recording which I liked otherwise. Though not an unqualified admirer of Egarr at least he showed better judgement than the other two in recognising that stuffing a minute of violin twiddling in was unnecessary.
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