- Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
- Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046
Bach: Brandenburgische Konzerteby Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Among the increasing number of Baroque-style performances on original instruments, this recording of Bach's "Brandenburg Concertos" by the Academy for Early Music, Berlin meets all expectations and is admirable for its precision and authentic period color. But this group seems to do its job almost too efficiently, and offers very little to give this set a distinctive touch. In terms of orchestral scale and technique, the ensemble ranges in size between 7-18 players, conforming to the sizes of groups Bach knew, and the playing is fully characteristic of historically informed practices that have been adopted since the late decades of the 20th century. In terms of timbres, the musicians offer the full range of Bach's varied instrumental colors, so the strings have the glossy tone of Baroque instruments, the winds have their iodiomatic sonorities, and the continuo is fully realized, even extending to an improvised cadenza to fill the gap between movements of the "Concerto No. 3." But one wishes there had been more of that kind of spontaneity, or more surprises like the rustic thumping in the Polacca of the "Concerto No. 1," because most of this recording falls in line too predictably and sounds like many other first-rate but safe Brandenburgs. How much musicians should play around with Bach's music is always dependent on taste, and a scholarly group naturally wouldn't want to go too far in tinkering with these perennial favorites. But the competition between versions of the Brandenburgs is becoming fierce, and many ensembles have to reassess the music for latent possibilities and bring out fresh ideas. The Academy for Early Music, Berlin has done a fine job with this album, yet for as many who will enjoy it for its control, there may be an equal number who wish they'd used less restraint and more playfulness.
- Release Date:
- Harmonia Mundi Fr.
Performance CreditsAkademie für Alte Musik Berlin Primary Artist
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