Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 26 March 2013
Yet another recording of the Bach violin concertos? Why? After all, we've got plenty to choose from, both on period and modern instruments, many with top-flight soloists in the leading roles: Hilary Hahn, Nigel Kennedy, Menuhin...take your pick.

It doesn't take long into this recording for the listener to understand the answer to the above question: contained here are new and at times revelatory readings of these works. It really feels as though the Freiburgers have absorbed both period and modern concepts of playing and emerged the other side, giving us the best of both in performances which above all let the music speak for itself.

The two soloists (three in BWV1064R) are full-time members of the band, and this is most apparent in the synthesis of solo and ensemble lines: there are no stars here apart from Bach himself. In the faster movements the instruments rebound off each other, the rhythmic elasticity creating an energy which brings a reminder that we're never far from the spirit of the dance.

Gottfried von der Goltz and Petra Müllejans are the soloists in the Double Concerto, alternating for the E major (von der Goltz) and the A minor (Müllejans). They have distinctive and very different qualities, with Müllejans soaring, silvery and aerial whilst von der Goltz is intriguingly bucolic, with a more earthy but equally compelling tone. In the Concerto for Three Violins they are joined by Anna Katharina Schreiber in a work normally heard in its version for three harpsichords.

Did we need another recording? A resounding Yes. An outstanding release.
11 Comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is an excellent recording of the Bach Violin Concertos, and well worth its place alongside the best which are available. There is a very good review here by JB, and although I think I would stop short of "revelatory," I agree wholeheartedly with him about the quality of this disc and have only a couple of things to add.

The Concerto for Three Violins is a more rarely recorded piece than the others, being reconstructed from the of the Concerto for Three Harpsichords BWV1064. I always find the harpsichord version enjoyable but a bit of an indistinct jangle from the solo instruments, and it is a real pleasure to hear distinct solo lines from the violins. It is very well done, and almost certainly a version of the work which Bach himself wrote but which has been lost.

Oddly, I have only recently come across an identical programme to this disc recorded in 1999 by Simon Standage and Colleguim Musicum 90 Bach: Violin Concertos. (Honestly, you wait ages for a violin version of the Concerto For Three harpsichords, and then two come along at once...). This recording by von der Goltz and the Freiburger Baroque Orchestra is perhaps a little brisker and springier of step, while the Standage disc has a slightly warmer, more restrained feel, but both discs are excellent and it's a matter of taste which one you might prefer. (For what it's worth, I love both but probably just prefer this one on balance.)

It was the Freiburgers' excellent disc of Bach Overtures/Suites J.S. Bach: Ouverturen / Complete Orchestral Suites (GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER 2012) which encouraged me to try this and I wasn't disappointed. It's just as good and very warmly recommended.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 August 2013
To characterize this recording I would use the words vitality and interaction. The Freiburgers "attack" these works with astonishing vitality and energy. They literally "throw themselves" into these pieces. One senses their enthusiasm. These are wholehearted performances without fear of taking ricks. As a result they do not apear to aim at elegance and sophistication but are more earthy and "rustical". I imagine that this could have been the way Bach heard them at his Cafe Zimmermann concerts. Some might find this interpretation rather rough (robust is a better term) and a frend of mine found the tone of the soloists "scratchy", which could be the result of recording the instruments very close-up. In German one says: there is more "dirt" to be heard. However,this doesn't prevent me from enjoying their realistically captured sound. In short these are invigorating and stimulating performances. This doesn't imply that the slow movements aren't played with great inwardness and delicacy. They are, and are taken fairly slowly
and deliberately with much feeling.
What however struck me in paricular is the way in which the soloists and "orchestra" interact. In
fact, as one reviewer aptly put it, all the players seem to "rebound from one another". Another reviwer noted that "the soloists emerge from the orchestra" - and recede into it. Constant dialogue! For those who view these works primarily as "concertos" for a solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra I would advise keeping away from this release. What one hears here is a tightly-woven and intricate "knit" of all instruments. The gain in terms of the contrapunctal structure is immense. One literally hears these works with new ears and in this sense I agree that these performances are revelatory. One example: one gets to hear so-called "Liegetöne" (notes that are left lying in the background while others move on) more clearly than one is used to. Of course the soloists are vitally important and all three on this disc play their parts admirably, with subtle articulation and variety of tone. Does one need star-violinists for this music? I think not. These are not very difficult pieces to play - technically. Musicality, knowledge of Baroque performing practice and the ability to interact are more important.
In short this release was a discovery for me although I already owned about ten other versions and had probably heard over twenty. For those who prefer a more soloistic and more elegant approach the new Mullova/Dantone recording can be highly recommended. Viktoria Mullova is a great virtuoso and she plays her part with restraint, more smoothly but with equally fine articulation. She emphasizes longer melodic lines and her tone is definitely more beautiful - nothing "scatchy" here. However she also interacts with the "orchestra" less. Both Freiburger and Mullova are excellent, so why not buy both in order to compare. They are very different and go to show two ways to play Bach. In addition only two of these concertos are to be found on both disc, the other two are different. Mullova included two arrangements of harpsichord concertos, the Freiburger an arrangement of the concerto for three harpsichords. All are interesting works.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is an excellent recording of the Bach Violin Concertos, and well worth its place alongside the best which are available. There is a very good review here by JB, and although I think I would stop short of "revelatory," I agree wholeheartedly with him about the quality of this disc and have only a couple of things to add.

The Concerto for Three Violins is a more rarely recorded piece than the others, being reconstructed from the of the Concerto for Three Harpsichords BWV1064. I always find the harpsichord version enjoyable but a bit of an indistinct jangle from the solo instruments, and it is a real pleasure to hear distinct solo lines from the violins. It is very well done, and almost certainly a version of the work which Bach himself wrote but which has been lost.

Oddly, I have only recently come across an identical programme to this disc recorded in 1999 by Simon Standage and Colleguim Musicum 90 Bach: Violin Concertos. (Honestly, you wait ages for a violin version of the Concerto For Three harpsichords, and then two come along at once...). This recording by von der Goltz and the Freiburger Baroque Orchestra is perhaps a little brisker and springier of step, while the Standage disc has a slightly warmer, more restrained feel, but both discs are excellent and it's a matter of taste which one you might prefer. (For what it's worth, I love both but probably just prefer this one on balance.)

It was the Freiburgers' excellent disc of Bach Overtures/Suites J.S. Bach: Ouverturen / Complete Orchestral Suites (GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER 2012) which encouraged me to try this and I wasn't disappointed. It's just as good and very warmly recommended.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 March 2014
I think this download/CD is now possibly THE best available period instrument recording of these works and I was glad I upgraded from Koopman's sparse but elegant budget rendition :-) Both the performances and sound on this album are truly superb and if purchased, I'm sure you'll agree too!!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 August 2014
I have purchased several versions of Bach's violin concertos 1041-1043, and this is my favourite. Played by a superb orchestra on original instruments with both finesse and energy. I feel that the fast movements neither drag nor are played too fast. The recording quality is also very good.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 March 2014
Sublime. Intricate, yes, but the music wraps itself around you and transports you to another place, especially the Concerto for Three Violins.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 April 2015
Very fine!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse


Customers also viewed these items

£7.99

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)