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Customer Review

#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon July 5, 2013
I'm sorry to say that I found this CD a bit of a disappointment. I have enjoyed some of Tafelmusik's other work, and the singing of Daniel Taylor here is excellent, but overall there is something missing from this disc for me.

The programme is an interesting one - two alto cantatas BWV54 and BWV170, a reworking of the second Orchestral Suite BWV1067 transposed into A minor and with violin rather than flute as solo instrument, and the concerto for violin and oboe BWV1060. There are very interesting notes explaining the selections and Joshua Rifkin's work which led to the "reconstruction" of the Suite and it should make for a very interesting an enjoyable CD. The performances of the Cantatas are very good, with superb singing from Daniel Taylor and very fine, engaged playing from the ensemble, but the instrumental pieces don't really work for me.

The transcription of the Orchestral Suite may well be authentic, but for me it loses a great deal by having the violin as a solo instrument in an all-string ensemble. The famous Badinerie which closes the Suite loses much of its impact without the flute, for example, and the whole work sounds a little flat (emotionally, not in intonation) without the orchestral colours we are used to. I also have to say that both instrumental works lack the real pulse which is essential to Bach and are a little sweeter and floatier than is appropriate. It would be a gross exaggeration to say that it sounds like telephone-hold music, but there is a slight air of that about it and I found it hard to relate to.

I am surprised to find this in a disc by Tafelmusik and Jeanne Lamon whose recordings I have enjoyed greatly in the past, but this one really didn't work for me and I can't really recommend it.

(For the Cantatas, for what it's worth, my favourite versions are the John Eliot Gardiner series, and there is a fantastic recent set of the Orchestral Suites by the Freiburg Barockorchester J.S. Bach: Ouverturen / Complete Orchestral Suites (GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER 2012).)
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Product Details

4.0 out of 5 stars
£16.44+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime