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Bach - Brandenburg Concertos CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Bach, J.S.: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6
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Audio CD, CD, 6 Nov 2006
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Nov. 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000I2IUTI
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Concertos n°1 à n°6 (BWV 1046 à BWV 1051) / Swiss Baroque Soloists

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is lively, sharp and true to a 17c Bach sound. I would have like a closer sound (but then I am used to 20c interpretations), however a very good buy and a brilliant price.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine version, and, as usual with Naxos, at a good price 5 Jan. 2013
By M. Bazin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listen to many versions of Bach's Brandenburgs--having become a collector of performances of these endlessly entertaining and beautiful works, and am glad to have added this to those I listen to with pleasure. This is an original instruments performance, but one that can be enjoyed even by those normally wary of such. Easy to live with and very well done, never putting a tempo wrong, for example.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good 3 July 2015
By Corsair - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bach, what else is there to say! Good renditions
10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brandenburg Ctos by Swiss Baroque: Involved, Airy, Almost Improvised, Delightful 26 Jan. 2007
By drdanfee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yet again I found myself facing the new release bins. Asking myself: Do I really need another recording of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos? (No matter how good? My touchstones so far have included Britten's ECO set on modern instruments, prized for its sheer musicality; the Jordi Savall/Hesperion XX; the set by Il Giardino Armonico; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment set; and a very early set led by Gustav Leonhardt - all on period instruments.)

I brought the Swiss Baroque Soloists home, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this note about them.

My first aim was just to use these new Brandenburg's to compare my new Oppo universal DVD player (DVD981-HD) with the older entry-level Sony player that also sits on the same shelf. A comparison project, all about high resolution sound. My Oppo has its own DAC's, and the Sony output is routed through two of the Perpetual Technologies DAC's that reclock the all digital signal, then upsample it, and decode it out in 24 bits instead of the red book 16 bits. After reading through the Oppo manual, it seemed clear that the 981 can scale up video, and ticking through the setup menus on the player also suggested I could pick upsampling for the audio output. Still, I wasn't sure, and the manual wasn't clear either. Maybe listening would suggesting something?

The advantages of using the Brandenburg for this comparison involve their varied instrumentation, allowing for a fair test of challenging tonal qualities read and decoded by the two different players; plus the formal variety of these works, shifting as they do among ripieno, tutti, and concertino-like sections of the music in each concerto. JS Bach's sheer genius in writing this music doesn't detract, either.

So how did it go? Well, surprisingly, I must say.

First off, the Oppo seems to put out as lovely a sound via its internal DAC's as the Sony does via the outboard Perpetual Technologies PT-1A and PT-3A DAC units.

Considering the deservedly high reputation of the Perp Tech DAC's, this is no small surprise. Few would anticipate that the PT DAC's (priced as a package of two at about $1900.00) would not run audible and highly pleasing circles around the internal DAC's of just about any entry-level CD or DVD player currently available on the USA market.

Not so, so far as my own ears could tell.

The Oppo sounded brighter than the Sony, but this was the case three years ago when I compared the rounded off highs of the Sony with the Pioneer universal DVD player which the Oppo newly replaced. That older Pioneer player sounded not only brighter, but just the tad rougher, coming in a clearly audible second to the DAC's in the PT units. Oppo is closing this distance, and while I am not dissing the PT units at all because I do like them, if you want some pretty high quality video and audio at a fair price, well, you know the name now.

As my equipment comparing progressed, I had a good initial chance to give these Brandenburgs a listen, too.

What's up with that? Good surprises, all around. Musical surprises. Very welcome surprises.

Given the soloistic passages in all six of these works, the players get plenty of chance to shine, individually, and in combinations. Yes, a blemish or two holds this set back from hermetically sealed polish and perfection, technically speaking. We hear a passing fluff in intonation and articulation from the horns in the first concerto, and I believe a fluff or two in a couple of other places, mainly involving the woodwinds. But remember, I started off my period instrument love affair with the old Sony/Seon original instrument set led by Gustav Leonhardt. Nothing like a sour note out of care, these small moments are easily taken, subsumed by the lovely and attractive whole that this set of six offers.

What is offered? Well, let us start with involvement. There is not a hint of anxiety in these performances, so full of ease and familiarity and welcome. One just has to guess that these players just love all six of the concertos, full stop. We may continue with verve, lilt, and youthful energy. This liveliness must not be confused with fast tempos per se. Yes, the tempos in this set happen to be fashionably quick as period performances go; but the point is the alertness and lift and swing of the phrasing that happens, innate to those tempos. This is not Il Giardino Armonico, shooting its silvery bullets through our slow and sleepy received notions of legato baroque style.

These folks really know how to relax, how to enjoy the music, how to swing.

Their delightful contribution to the Brandenburgs catalog might just happen to center on this sense of delight, this sense of improvising, even though the music is obviously written in the score as we all already know. As a repeat listener, I suddenly realized I was remembering how near and dear the arts of improvisation - inspired, on the spot, happy and creative and brimming with the Baroque insight into the mysteries of musical form and harmony - were to the heartbeat and spirit of the high Baroque era.

Having crowned JS Bach a great old graybeard of a classical western composer, it is rare that we actually get to hear such a palpable recreation of this Baroque spirit of inspired improvisation. The soloists are not actually embellishing the written score that much, but their involvement is such that after several repeats I realized I was starting to listen and hear and respond to these concertos as if they were being improvised on the spot by the world's greatest jazz combo. This inspired sense of involvement also pays alert attention to the contrasts among ripieno (small ensemble), tutti (full ensemble), and the soloistic narratives of the concertino chapters.

Play. Enjoy. The fluffed notes fade. The joy remains. Stars, yes.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yet another Brandenburg 20 Nov. 2006
By Ross Kennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Bach's 6 Brandenburg concertos are the highlight of the late baroque, there are about 100 versions available in the catalogue, this version is my 7th! And its a pretty good version, too. There are a few minor blemishes, some wobbly notes from the horns in concerto 1, and from the flute in the first movement of no 5, but these are easy to forgive, its what you would expect in a live performance, (which this isn't). My only real criticism is that no 6 is too fast, this is of little concern with the outer movements, indeed after listening a couple of times I came to like it, but , in my opinion, the second movement, which should be a stately 5 minutes, has become a too hurried 3min 45 sec. I would like to give it 4.5 stars, but one can't, and I would feel mean dropping to 4.

So this might not be the best version going, but it is very good, and at the price must be highly recommended.
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Brandenburgs! 20 Jan. 2007
By Pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Naxos always gives you great value for your money, and this 2 CD set containing some of Bach's greatest orchestral work is no exception. Totally worth buying.
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