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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 26 September 2017
Probably the best version I have heard. Love the tempi and the sound. A great addition to anyone's collection
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on 7 March 2016
Classic fans will love this, superb recording very relaxing whilst still upbeat.
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on 15 January 2014
The incomparable Brandenburgs performed sensitively and with panache by the Academy. There are many versions of this concert standard, take your pick really but this is a nice one.
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on 8 June 2013
I have recordings of the Brandenbergs, scattered across several CDs, by various orchestras/conductors/quality of recordings. So I decided I'd like to have them all on one disc, so that I may listen to them all, in the right order, similar "style" of performance, etc.

This has to be one of the definitive performances. Beautifully recorded, and performed with commitment, and that wonderful synergy you sometimes get between players and conductor, that, at times, just takes your breath away. There are other, great, recordings that "read" these pieces very differently, and have equal validity. But, to my sensibilities, this recording is "up there" as the best. This is obviously a subjective thing, and you may disagree with me. But, you, the prospective purchaser, reading my review, will have to listen to a vast number of recordings, to find any that come close to this.
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on 18 December 2007
This is a most enjoyable recording (made in 1980). The performance by Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields led by Neville Marriner, at the peak of their powers, is very stylish and the tempi are well judged.

Some world-famous soloists participate - Henryk Szeryng (violin), Michala Petri (recorder), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) and Heinz Holliger (oboe).

There are many "period performance" recordings of this work by now, some of which are good. However, when you listen to a performance using modern instruments like this one under review, I wonder if period performance enthusiasts (including myself) are missing something important for the sake of pursuing "authenticity". Here in this performance, there are no problems of edgy tones of gut strings, dubious intonation of wind instruments and (occasionally) excessively fast tempi. All the notes appear to flow naturally.

The recording is very good. Strongly recommended.
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on 24 January 2017
Having heard about the virtues of this set for many years (decades actually), I finally bought it. After all, I thought I knew what I'd be getting with Marriner--the same thing I got in his Haydn symphonies nos. 44 and 48, his William Boyce symphonies, or his Prokofiev Classical symphony or Bizet in C: performances brimming with energy, drama, and high spirits, but which are never rushed and never become tense or breathless in the slightest. The performances in this set are good--make no mistake about that--but they're not what I expected. Marriner's Bach seems respectful and rather staid at times, avoiding too strong a sense of energy or too much rollicking good humor. (In fact, "elegant and courtly," as used in reviews above, would most likely be read as "boring" if used to describe performances of Beethoven or Mahler. Why do we imagine Bach's music is so different?) The 3rd and the 5th in particular here disappointed me slightly in this respect, with opening-movement tempos a little too much on the reserved side. But this set does have the virtue of being consistently good throughout, whereas so many others have one or two outstanding performances and others that are flawed in some respect.

I think the best thing about buying this set was that it got me to listen again to the set by Richard Egarr. While that set features period instruments, it is anything but thin and dry-sounding, and in fact sounds more colorful and richly textured than this Marriner set. And the tempos are livelier but again without ever seeming tense or breathless. That one has my highest recommendation.
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on 2 January 2015
Bought this CD as a Christmas gift for my husband. As I write this review, he is seated by the fire, reading a good book and listening to the concertos. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields have done a fine job, as ever, to absolute classic Bach pieces.
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on 22 May 2007
Well recorded - stellar soloists - but fails to leave the ground. In a competitive market I cannot recommend this at all - for example Leppard's ECO recordings of comparable vintage are more characterised. Try the modern recordings of LA Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of St Lukes, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (on Virgin) recordings for good modern instrument versions - this IS worth 4 stars but there are so many more worth 5 that it should be left on the shelf.
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on 13 January 2013
This recording is a wonderful interpretation of JS Bach's timeless classic concertos, which rank among the most famous and recognisable of the Baroque era. Right from the beginning, you will be captivated by Sir Neville Marriner's sensitive control of the Academy of St Martin in the Field Chamber Orchestra, one of the finest classical recording ensembles in the world at the time of this recording.

The sound quality - this was recorded in the early 1980s, remember - occasionally leaves something to be desired over more recent performances, but this is more than made up for by the feeling which Marriner conjures into the music. This is by far the best recording in existence of these incredible compositions, and I would recommend them to anyone, Bach fan or otherwise.
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on 20 January 2016
The copy I received is a Decca recording ,otherwise identical to the Phillips product illustrated.
Neville Marriner,and the Academy of St Martins in the Fields always produces first class performances,as
they do here,but the quality of the recording in parts does let them down somewhat.
To be fair this is still a good buy at this very competitive price,however.
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