Author Topic: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)  (Read 121342 times)

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Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #680 on: January 12, 2021, 12:15:39 AM »
Cafe Zimmermann has been my favorite for a while.
I’m listening to this today and liking it more than Kuijken, Suzuki or Alessandrini. Maybe it’s as good as Zimmermann for me. I can’t say why yet. I think it may be a bad point of mine that I’m partial towards certain recordings soundscapes. But it’s also texture. I’m not quite sure about the finer points of larger ensemble music. I guess this one is on the brisk side:

Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #681 on: January 22, 2021, 04:56:23 AM »
A harpsichord that cuts through the music in an interesting way. It's a slightly different tonal environment that's created. I don't know if it's the instrument, the recording technique, or a little of both.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 07:07:28 AM by Que »

Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #682 on: January 22, 2021, 05:04:05 AM »
Takashi Watanabe organ
Ensemble Cordia


Maybe something to check out.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #683 on: January 22, 2021, 06:03:26 AM »
Takashi Watanabe organ
Ensemble Cordia


Maybe something to check out.

Both (this and the Corti) are already on my wish-list.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #684 on: January 22, 2021, 04:31:13 PM »
Both (this and the Corti) are already on my wish-list.
I found that I didn’t like the way this was recorded. It’s just too distant-sounding.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #685 on: January 23, 2021, 05:16:25 PM »

I’m interested in 1044: triple concerto. It seems like a more complex work and different than the others, not merely for the somewhat unique instrumentation.

This still attracts me as it has Schornsheim on a fortepiano:
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 02:06:22 AM by Que »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #686 on: January 24, 2021, 12:27:37 AM »
The instruments in BWV 1044 are basically the same as in Brandenburg #5.
But it is  a unique work as it was contructed from a trio sonata movement (the middle one) and a prelude and fugue. I am too lazy to look up the BWV numbers of the sources.
I used to find it a bit boring but while not a favorite I find it now a fascinating piece.
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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #687 on: January 24, 2021, 04:20:33 AM »

This still attracts me as it has Schornsheim on a fortepiano:


She only plays a Müthel concerto on that CD. The pianoforte in BWV 1044 is played by Zvi Meniker and the harpsichord in BWV 1052 by Rafael Alpermann. However a nice listenable CD.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #688 on: January 24, 2021, 06:44:15 AM »
She only plays a Müthel concerto on that CD. The pianoforte in BWV 1044 is played by Zvi Meniker and the harpsichord in BWV 1052 by Rafael Alpermann. However a nice listenable CD.
Gosh, I must have known that at some point. But I've not heard much of Meniker. It's an interesting version.

Offline eoghan

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #689 on: April 08, 2021, 09:52:27 AM »
Popping on to this thread for the first time in 7 years. This afternoon I did a little blind test of 11 recordings: Dunedin/Butt; European Bandenburg Ensemble/Pinnock; Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini; AAM/Egarr; Music Antiqua Koln/Goebel; Concentus Music Wien/Harnoncourt;p Le Concert des Nations/Savall; La Stravaganza Hamburg/Rampe; English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner; ECO/Britten; Collegium Japan/Suzuki.

I listened to three movements: first movement of the 6th; slow movement of the 4th; finale of the 2nd.

Perhaps my tastes have changed, but compared to what I wrote back in 2014, I found that the first movement of the sixth wasn't a clear win for Savall. Listening blind, I actually found that Rampe, who takes things at a tremendous lick, was wonderful, great energy, dynamics and textures, and a good ensemble sound. Gardiner also gets things just right. Of the slower recordings, Savall is great but I also enjoyed Egarr and Suzuki. Goebel is ferociously fast and everything is just lost - it loses any individuality. On the flipside Britten's band sound like a school orchestra plodding through a bit of Elgar. Alessandrini, Pinnock, Harnoncourt and Butt all had things of interest without being outstanding.

The slow movement of the Fourth surprised me with how little was done with it. Only Goebel really pushes to make things happen, unfortunately he tries a bit too hard and the sound is rather contrived. Quite a few of the recordings are a little one-dimensional and lacking in magic sparkles (Egarr, Rampe, Savall, Pinnock, Suzuki). Harnoncourt's compound time is distracting and divisive. Britten's recording is absolutely beautiful. Butt is excellent although the recorders grate slightly in the couplets and I'm not sure about the final chords, but otherwise he is very, very good. Alessandrini is wonderful with that wistful sound and Gardiner is also good.

I was surprised to find that the gentler tempi used in the finale of the Second tended to work better. Butt is a fine example here. The balance between soloists is perfect. Alessandrini finds some lines in the music which are not prominent elsewhere and really adds something. Failures are Harnoncourt (comically slow, as if it was a first rehearsal), Gardiner and Suzuki.

After assigning scores to each movement, I came up with a top three of
1. Butt (25/30)
2. Alessandrini (24/30)
3=. Gardiner, Egarr, Rampe (22/30)
(Bottom of the pile was Harnoncourt).

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #690 on: April 08, 2021, 10:50:47 AM »
Popping on to this thread for the first time in 7 years. This afternoon I did a little blind test of 11 recordings: Dunedin/Butt; European Bandenburg Ensemble/Pinnock; Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini; AAM/Egarr; Music Antiqua Koln/Goebel; Concentus Music Wien/Harnoncourt;p Le Concert des Nations/Savall; La Stravaganza Hamburg/Rampe; English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner; ECO/Britten; Collegium Japan/Suzuki.

I listened to three movements: first movement of the 6th; slow movement of the 4th; finale of the 2nd.

Perhaps my tastes have changed, but compared to what I wrote back in 2014, I found that the first movement of the sixth wasn't a clear win for Savall. Listening blind, I actually found that Rampe, who takes things at a tremendous lick, was wonderful, great energy, dynamics and textures, and a good ensemble sound. Gardiner also gets things just right. Of the slower recordings, Savall is great but I also enjoyed Egarr and Suzuki. Goebel is ferociously fast and everything is just lost - it loses any individuality. On the flipside Britten's band sound like a school orchestra plodding through a bit of Elgar. Alessandrini, Pinnock, Harnoncourt and Butt all had things of interest without being outstanding.

The slow movement of the Fourth surprised me with how little was done with it. Only Goebel really pushes to make things happen, unfortunately he tries a bit too hard and the sound is rather contrived. Quite a few of the recordings are a little one-dimensional and lacking in magic sparkles (Egarr, Rampe, Savall, Pinnock, Suzuki). Harnoncourt's compound time is distracting and divisive. Britten's recording is absolutely beautiful. Butt is excellent although the recorders grate slightly in the couplets and I'm not sure about the final chords, but otherwise he is very, very good. Alessandrini is wonderful with that wistful sound and Gardiner is also good.

I was surprised to find that the gentler tempi used in the finale of the Second tended to work better. Butt is a fine example here. The balance between soloists is perfect. Alessandrini finds some lines in the music which are not prominent elsewhere and really adds something. Failures are Harnoncourt (comically slow, as if it was a first rehearsal), Gardiner and Suzuki.

After assigning scores to each movement, I came up with a top three of
1. Butt (25/30)
2. Alessandrini (24/30)
3=. Gardiner, Egarr, Rampe (22/30)
(Bottom of the pile was Harnoncourt).

Interesting comments, even if I would be careful about rankings based upon only three movements.

My ranking (only taking the versions you listened to into consideration) based upon listening to all the concertos would be:

First tier: Rampe, Suzuki, Alessandrini, Egarr
Second tier: Gardiner, Göbel, Butt, Harnoncourt, Pinnock, Savall
Third tier: Britten

I suppose that you listened to Harnoncourts first version (1962) with Walter Holy on the trumpet. Yes, he plays the piece rather slow, but he was actually the first to record the concerto on a natural trumpet (natural except for three fingerholes, which are a modern invention by Otto Steinkopf to facilitate intonation). This instrument was constructed only a few years before the recording in question by Helmut Finke (1959), so Holy didn't have much time to learn to master this very difficult instrument. From that point of view his effort must be considered admirable.

The second to record the concerto on a natural trumpet was Edward Tarr with Collegium Aureum (1966). But then eleven years passed before the natural trumpet again was used for recordings of this concerto by Friedmann Immer (with Fuller 1977) and Claude Rippas (with Leonhardt 1977). So Holy was a kind of a pioner.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 11:01:09 AM by (: premont :) »
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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #691 on: April 08, 2021, 11:13:22 AM »
A harpsichord that cuts through the music in an interesting way. It's a slightly different tonal environment that's created. I don't know if it's the instrument, the recording technique, or a little of both.


I was heavily underwhelmed by Corti's earthbound and unimaginative playing. Surprising for him who uses to have much more to say.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #692 on: April 08, 2021, 07:45:37 PM »
Interesting comments, even if I would be careful about rankings based upon only three movements.

My ranking (only taking the versions you listened to into consideration) based upon listening to all the concertos would be:

First tier: Rampe, Suzuki, Alessandrini, Egarr
Second tier: Gardiner, Göbel, Butt, Harnoncourt, Pinnock, Savall
Third tier: Britten

I suppose that you listened to Harnoncourts first version (1962) with Walter Holy on the trumpet. Yes, he plays the piece rather slow, but he was actually the first to record the concerto on a natural trumpet (natural except for three fingerholes, which are a modern invention by Otto Steinkopf to facilitate intonation). This instrument was constructed only a few years before the recording in question by Helmut Finke (1959), so Holy didn't have much time to learn to master this very difficult instrument. From that point of view his effort must be considered admirable.

The second to record the concerto on a natural trumpet was Edward Tarr with Collegium Aureum (1966). But then eleven years passed before the natural trumpet again was used for recordings of this concerto by Friedmann Immer (with Fuller 1977) and Claude Rippas (with Leonhardt 1977). So Holy was a kind of a pioner.
How do you feel about Cafe Zimmermann and about Hofkapelle Munchen?

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #693 on: April 10, 2021, 02:06:15 AM »
How do you feel about Cafe Zimmermann and about Hofkapelle Munchen?

Cafe Zimmermann's version is a brilliant and high voltage Bach with lots of direction. I acknowledge its virtues, but also admit that I only sometimes want my Bach played in that way.

Hofkapelle München's version is softer in approach and more ear friendly, sometimes I find its effect a bit anonymous etwa like Tafelmusik's version.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach's Orchestral Music (Brandenburgs, Suites & Concertos)
« Reply #694 on: April 10, 2021, 03:13:26 AM »
Cafe Zimmermann's version is a brilliant and high voltage Bach with lots of direction. I acknowledge its virtues, but also admit that I only sometimes want my Bach played in that way.

Hofkapelle München's version is softer in approach and more ear friendly, sometimes I find its effect a bit anonymous etwa like Tafelmusik's version.
Thanks for sharing these observations. Zimmermann has very fine sound quality too, just as a technical matter. It sounds great. Maybe I should spend more time with Egarr.