on 10 October 2002
This disc is as good an introduction to J.S. Bach as any I can think of. As the insightful liner notes indicate, Bach often used parts of earlier compositions while writing his 1730s concertos for harpsichord(s); researches into these concertos suggest that those included on this disc were originally written for oboe, and whether it's ultimately the case or not, this recording shines. Christian Hommel's restrained performance serves the music perfectly: each track features vast melodies and excellent ensemble-playing; meanwhile, the sound quality and balance couldn't have been better. This is pure, abstract music at its best: music whose power doesn't depend on what it might 'suggest' or 'represent', but only on its own language. And like all great music, the pieces on this disc become the springboards for contemplation that French painter Albert Gleizes yearned for in the early 1940s. Strongly recommended.