Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-3 - English Concert, Pinnock

Johann Sebastian Bach
Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-2-3
The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock
Archiv 410 500-2

On Shakespeare's sceptered isle the approach to Bach has remained fairly consistent among period specialists. Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert were among the first to digitally record the Brandenburgs on period instruments, and their 1982 readings have remained staples of the catalog. Animated, though still very English in their wholesomeness and avoidance of color, these accounts feature predictably good work from violinist Simon Standage and such stalwarts as flutist Lisa Beznosiuk and the ubiquitous Mr. Pinnock. They also boast excellent sound (the venue was Henry Wood Hall), even if the harpsichord in Concerto No. 5 is so prominent as to be dis-concerting.

Ted Libbey,

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