- Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
- Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066
- Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
- Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069
To appreciate J.S. Bach's four "Orchestral Suites" in authentic style on period instruments, one need only turn to the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra for a truly exquisite historical recreation. This double-disc package from Harmonia Mundi offers the scintillating tone colors, lively rhythms, and spontaneous ornamentation that historically informed performances yield, and Bach's music is played with the enthusiasm and expertise that the best early music specialists can provide. Add to this the musicians' extraordinary presence, the spacious and resonant recording space, and audio reproduction that is the best that can be found on standard CDs, and the knowledgeable listener will be quick to snap up this album. The suites -- called Ouvertüren in Germany because each opens with a French overture -- have varied characters, marked by their different keys and instrumentation, and they are equally as popular as the composer's famed "Brandenburg Concertos"; listeners who are familiar with those works will find the suites similarly appealing. In terms of performance, the chamber-sized Freiburg Baroque Orchestra plays with exceptional unity and accuracy, and the group sounds like a gathering of world-class soloists, so personally and distinctively are the parts expressed. There may be recordings of the suites by other period ensembles that match this one for excellence, but it's unlikely that any surpass it.
|Label:||Harmonia Mundi Fr.|