Author Topic: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)  (Read 48024 times)

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Offline Que

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Talking with Premont (thanks for the list  :)) on the Brandenburg Concertos the other day, a thread on Bach's music for chamber orchestra seemed a good idea!

I need some new Brandenburgs - what are your favourites?
I have currently Harnoncourt's second recording:



Put please post also favourites of the orchestral suites and solo concertos!

Q
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 05:18:54 AM by Que »
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Offline rubio

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 12:52:52 AM »
My favourite Brandenburg is by the Linde Consort (Virgin Classics). Sublime! It includes some really delightful flute playing by H-M Linde, and the performance is more chamber-like than say Pinnock. This is one of my favourite classical CD's of my collection. I hope it will be re-issued in the (near) future. It can be tracked down however.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2007, 06:05:26 AM by rubio »
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Offline val

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2007, 03:40:40 AM »
Regarding the Suites, the great version is, in my opinion, the Musica Antiqua Kln with Goebel.

In the Brandenburg Concertos I like Goebel, but also Leonhardt, more detailed, almost in a chamber music perspective.

Regarding the harpsichord Concertos, Leonhardt (with Tachezi in the BWV 1052) and van Asperen with the Melante Ensemble are my favorites.

For the violin Concertos, I prefer the first version of Monica Huggett with Koopman. The second version, with the ensemble Sonnerie has not the same dynamic. In the slow movements of this concertos, Schrder with Hogwood would be a good choice.

Bach Man

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2007, 07:37:37 AM »
I like Jordi Savall's take on the Brandenburgs, but I have Rinaldo Allessandrini's in the mail, so we'll see.

For the violin concertos I love the Andrew Manze/Rachel Podger collaboration, it has just the right amount of freewheeling, which fits these fun-filled concertos.

hornteacher

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2007, 01:00:40 PM »
My very favorite renderings.


Offline Bunny

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2007, 01:26:30 PM »
Talking with Premont (thanks for the list  :)) on the Brandenburg Concertos the other day, a thread on Bach's music for chamber orchestra seemed a good idea!

I need some new Brandenburgs - what are your favourites?

[Snip]

Put please post also favourites of the orchestral suites and solo concertos!

Q

I have so many Brandenburgs!  I have a Harnoncourt recording, but  I'm not sure whether it's the first of second recording.  I also have Savall and Le Concert des Nations, Reinhard Goebel and Musica Antiqua Kln, Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, Christopher Hogwood and the AAM, Tafelmusik (Jeanne Lamon), Il Giardino Armonico, Akademie fr Alte Musik Berlin, Roy Goodman and the Brandenburg Consort, Alessandrini and Concerto Italialiano, and more. The ones that rise to the top are Jordi Savall, AAMB, Alessandrini, and the newest set which is also the most revolutionary sounding: I Barocchisti with Diego Fasolis.  Special mention should also go to Masaaki Suzuki's recording of the Overtures with the Bach Collegium Japan, another faultlessly elegant sacd/hybrid recording from him. (Not Pictured)

All of or any (except Giardino Armonico which I have great problems with) would make a good choice, but I will recommend I Barocchisti because that set is the most fun and is characterized by amazing play and the best, by far sound quality of all of them.  In 10 years, it's still going to sound fresh, and it's also a lot of fun to listen to.  It also includes the Triple concerto BWV 1044.  I enjoy this so much that I've already put in the order for Fasolis recording of the Overtures (orchestral suites)



The other Bach concerto albums that I have been giving the most play time to are those of the Caf Zimmermann and Lars Ulrick Mortensen.  There are 3 volumes available of the "Concerts avec Plusieurs Instruments" by Pablo Valetti and Caf Zimmermann and 2 volumes of "Harpsichord Concertos" by Mortensen and the Concerto Copenhagen.  Both sets are excellent.



 
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 02:33:17 AM by Que »

Offline Norbeone

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2007, 02:04:56 PM »
For the Keyboard Concertos, Gould is oustanding. His D Minor and F Minor concertos are particularly splendid.

I've heard that Perahia's concertos are great, too.


Offline Bunny

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2007, 02:50:11 PM »
For the Keyboard Concertos, Gould is oustanding. His D Minor and F Minor concertos are particularly splendid.

I've heard that Perahia's concertos are great, too.



I have Perahia's Bach concerti and they are indeed fine piano versions of these works. 

Don

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2007, 03:48:40 PM »
For the Keyboard Concertos, Gould is oustanding. His D Minor and F Minor concertos are particularly splendid.

I've heard that Perahia's concertos are great, too.



Every recording from Perahia seems to get many raves, sometimes without merit.  But I do agree that his concertos discs are among his best.

Bach Man

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2007, 04:14:52 PM »
I love Perahia's rendition of the Bach concertos, actually a lot more than i do Gould's. They are full blooded piano versions, and the pianist use a rich palate of colours. The orchestra is quite lush and very sympathetic to the conductor/pianist. Angela Hewitt should also be recommended. Her strengths are the chamber-like textural clarity and the light ease with which she plays, and the Fazioli grand of course.

Offline orbital

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2007, 04:15:06 PM »
Roy Goodman and the Brandenburg Consort,

Although my recordings are few here, I enjoy Goodman a lot. Their Orchestral Suites are very good too.

Offline Que

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2007, 10:20:31 PM »
For the Brandenburgs at least one Italian version seems a good idea - hmmm... Fasolis or Alessandrini? :)

For concertos in general, I'm all with Bunny's recommendations of the "Concerts avec plusieurs intruments" series by Caf Zimmermann (on Alpha). I hope they'll do some more, three issues is not enough. These include beautiful performances of the reconstructions for oboe (BWV 1053, 1055 and 1060), which is a major attraction for me.

For the harpsichord concertos in particular I still enjoy the complete set with Leonhardt, already recommended by Val.



I also bought the first volume with Mortensen on cpo, that Bunny pictured - really excellent, when complete it might even supersede Leonhardt in my mind. Similarity in approach too.

For the violin concertos I have only one favourite - haven't heard any recording that could match it to date! :)
The one and only, and still easily available - grab it!



Q

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anasazi

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2007, 12:12:07 AM »
Currently on my shelf, have Raymond Leppard and the ECO doing the Brandenburgs.  It's just OK, I could stand for a little more crisp recording, but still it is a solid recording.  I have Boston Baroque playing the suites.  Could be better.  The mastering seems to accentuate the accompaniment to the detriment of the solos.  For the violin concertos, I highly recommend the Hilary Hahn disc.  I'm stlil searching for the best piano concerto recording.  I own the Gould recordings.  Mostly good, but sometimes eccentric.

Offline Bunny

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2007, 07:25:04 AM »
For the Brandenburgs at least one Italian version seems a good idea - hmmm... Fasolis or Alessandrini? :)

For concertos in general, I'm all with Bunny's recommendations of the "Concerts avec plusieurs intruments" series by Caf Zimmermann (on Alpha). I hope they'll do some more, three issues is not enough. These include beautiful performances of the reconstructions for oboe (BWV 1053, 1055 and 1060), which is a major attraction for me.


I also bought the first volume with Mortensen on cpo, that Bunny pictured - really excellent, when complete it might even supersede Leonhardt in my mind. Similarity in approach too.



For the violin concertos I have only one favourite - haven't heard any recording that could match it to date! :)
The one and only, and still easily available - grab it!



Q



The Alessandrini Brandenburgs are excellent; they have no negatives.  The set has 2 cds and 1 dvd of "extras" which I've played once and never played again.  The Fassolis Brandenburgs are also excellent, they are every bit as good as the Alessandrini, and more fun!  Their sound quality is SACD/hybrid, and if you have a 5 speaker SACD system then these are the only way to go. The SACD stereo layer is also warmer and more spacious than the stereo layer of the Alessandrini, so if you have a good quality system, then you will certainly prefer the warmer and more dynamic sound quality of the Fassolis.  When evaluating the interpretations, again, reluctantly I have to give the Fasolis recording a slight edge.  Everything that made the Giardino Armonico recording intriguing, the spontaneity, brisk rhythms, emphasis on horns, and irreverent attitude, is there in the Fassolis, but it's done so much better.  In the Fasolis, there is so much pure joy in music making that it blows the competition away.

With respect to the Mortensen: The second set of the concertos is actually  better than the first set!  It sounds better and the play is slightly more fluent, as if the ensemble has finally reached a comfort zone where they can be in the music rather than merely performing it.  It's a very slight difference, but if you hear the two cds together, you cannot miss it.

For the violin concerti, my favorite non hip version has always been the one with Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman on Sony.  It's usually a budget choice, but those guys really had chops when they were fiddling and although it's unabashedly romantical play, it's very satisfying Bach.  My other favorite non HIP recording is Akiko Suwanai's recording with the COE.  The Suwanai recording wasn't released, unfortunately, in the USA but it is available from JPC. 

 

For other HIP recordings, there is the 1990 recording by Hogwood with Jaap Schroeder, the Pinnock concertos with Simon Standage, and the newer, fresher interpretation, and better sounding release by the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, which is the one I now prefer.   

   

Please note: Simon Standage has recorded these concerti a number of times, with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert; with the Collegium Musicum 90 (Chandos); with the Academy for Ancient Music (as director and soloist -- Harmonia Mundi).  I have both the Pinnock and the Harmonia Mundi recordings, both of which are fine, if not in my top tier.  Note: The Harmonia Mundi recording was also released in SACD, but I have the regular stereo recording so cannot comment as to it's sound quality.

Edit: The Harmonia Mundi recording is not with Simon Standage, but with Andrew Manze.  I must have gotten a bit confused bouncing between threads.  Which ever soloist, it still isn't in my top tier of favorites. 

 

Edit: I pulled out the Violin concertos recording by Akademie fur alte Musik Berlin last night and was shocked to hear that it wasn't the recording I had been thinking of!  Not that it isn't a very fine album, but it wasn't the one I was thinking of.  For one thing, the AAMB's album had only one violin concerto, the triple concerto and the harpsichord transcription of the violin concerto.  So, this morning I started pulling apart my collection trying to locate the album I had been thinking of, and after long (and enjoyable) searching and listening, I finally realized that the album I had been thinking of was actually Fabio Biondi's recording of Bach Violin Concertos, pictured below.



« Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 08:11:04 AM by Bunny »

Offline Que

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2007, 07:36:34 AM »
Great and interesting post, Bunny. 
Thanks for the feedback on the Fasolis/Alessandrini!  :)

Q
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George

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2007, 07:38:41 AM »
In the Brandenburg Concertos I like Goebel...

We agree again, Val!  :)

Offline Bunny

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2007, 07:46:02 AM »
I wonder sometimes why Standage keeps recording this repetoire.  I do have to say that having the Pinnock Concertos box set (which includes the violin concertos) that it was not really necessary to get the Harmonia Mundi recording.  Standage's take on these works has not really changed that much.  For completion's sake, I have, perhaps, too many recordings of these works, but it's given me the insight to really understand just which recordings I prefer and why.  For someone just starting out with these works, I think the best choices might not be any of the Standage concerti, but rather the Akademie fur alte Musik Berlin which has the benefit of excellent sound quality.  I also have the Kuijken recordng on the Denon label (with a different cover), but don't give it as much play because the sound quality is very dated and the deficiencies are very apparent on my speakers.  The volume has to be bumped up and some distortion sets in.  I wonder if that's because of the mastering or just the result of early digital recording technology; I do think of updating the recording every so often.

Offline Bunny

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2007, 07:47:42 AM »
We agree again, Val!  :)

Have you heard any of the others?

Offline Que

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2007, 07:55:47 AM »
I also have the Kuijken recordng on the Denon label (with a different cover), but don't give it as much play because the sound quality is very dated and the deficiencies are very apparent on my speakers.  The volume has to be bumped up and some distortion sets in.  I wonder if that's because of the mastering or just the result of early digital recording technology; I do think of updating the recording every so often.

Bunny, maybe Denon has been fiddling with it (if it's the same recording?)
On the DHM issue the recording with Kuijken (from 1981) is clean, without distortions (as far as I can tell), though a bit more "bare" / less opulent than presentday recordings.

Q
« Last Edit: May 20, 2007, 08:09:42 AM by Que »
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George

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2007, 08:04:33 AM »
Have you heard any of the others?

I have heard the dull I Musici, that's it. I love the Goebel, though and haven't wanted to look elsewhere.

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