I'm generally not enthusiastic about one instrument-per-part baroque works, so I ordered this with some trepidation. In short, I loved it. Wonderfully warmly recorded, just about everything is right, the phrasing, the tempi. The only problems are, as nearly always in the Brandenburgs, the occasional slight misstep in the trumpet part of No.2, but then we are talking about one of the most wickedly difficult trumpet parts ever written, and David Blackadder generally does a superb job. These are performed at a slightly lower pitch than normal, but that changed nothing for me.
My favourite Brandenburgs have always been the modern instrument version by Nev Marriner and the ASMF, with all-star cast (Heinz Holliger, Michala Petri, George Malcolm, Jean-Pierre Rampal). Suddenly, I'm not so sure any more. These are that good. Arise, go forth and buy...now.
I was tempted to enter a title 'Authentic Sound', but as I'm no expert, that would be rather prententious. The lower pitch may well be more authentic, but for me it is a great pleasure to hear these concertos played in a relaxed yet clear fashion. I now find my old 'conventional' recordings harsh on the ear in comparison. The SACD layer sound quality is excellent, I haven't listened in standard CD mode.
An excellent recording by an outstanding group of musicians. I have heard this work being played by The Academy of Ancient Music in a live concert and this CD certainly does it justice. The use of baroque instruments gives an interesting quality and, unlike some recordings, the harpsichord can be heard throughout.