- Audio CD (31 Dec. 2008)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Telarc
- ASIN: B0001W8E0A
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,288 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Bach: Complete Orchestral Suites /Boston Baroque · M Pearlman CD
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There is no dearth of recordings of the Bach Orchestral Suites, but Martin Pearlman's Complete Orchestral Suites goes right to the top of the list of recommended performances. Pearlman and his Boston Baroque play on period instruments but there is never any stridency in the strings, none of the odd pressured quality that can creep into "historically informed" readings. The third and fourth suites, the most heavily scored, are given truly rousing readings, with the trumpets and timpani making a joyful noise and the oboes and bassoon audible and very welcome in the mix---the recording is well-balanced. The first suite has prominent wind parts as well, and Pearlman weaves them in and out of the orchestral fibre effectively, as the music indicates. The tricky second suite is often presented as a type of flute concerto, but Pearlman has the solo flute backed up by multiple strings in the grander passages and reduces them to solos when the flute has its own melodic line. Most importantly, he realises that the movements of all the suites are dances, and so the music, in its own, French Baroque way, swings. The recording is as fine as the performances, which is to say, remarkable. --Robert Levine, Amazon.com
Top Customer Reviews
Overall the main characteristics to note are, firstly, the faster than usual outer sections of each of the four overtures. The central sections are more regular in tempo so there is a weighting towards fleetness in the overtures. This is a significant point as the overtures are by far the largest part of each suite and the balance of tempo is thus quite different here.
Another characteristic is the relatively restrained impact of the three trumpets in suites 3 and 4. These are more blended with the rest of the players rather than providing the more dominant effect found in Gardiner's excellent account for example.
The final point worth mentioning is the changed order of the suites to 4, 1 3 then 2. This is in line with latest research which suggests that this is a more like chronological order. If this is a problem, then tracking order on CD players is easy to adjust.
This is a lively and very likeable set of the four suites. I would suggest that is makes an interesting and enjoyable complementary set to that by Gardiner, a set that I would not wish to be without. I would suggest that purchasers might be best served musically by investing in both sets but if only one is possible then both could be safely considered as an 'only' purchase.