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Edition Bachakademie Vol 138 - Reconstructed Violin Concertos


Release Date: 07/25/2000 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 92138   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Isabelle FaustMuriel CantoreggiChristoph Poppen
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A novel but lively miniature with three old friends dressed in unfamiliar clothes. Fine performances with appealing virtues.

None of these reconstructions are included in Teldec’s Bach 2000, although the better-known ‘originals’ obviously are. The real newcomer is the Sinfonia, BWV1045 (5'34'') ‘to an unknown cantata’ which – as befits a BWV number that immediately precedes the First Brandenburg Concerto – is rumbustious, festive and thematically likeable. Time and again I could sense allusions to other Bach instrumental pieces, though the soloist’s ceaseless arpeggiating is sometimes a distraction. We’re told it’s authentic (the manuscript source suggests a violin concerto in the making) but something about its
Read more harmonic language doesn’t quite ring true, though that reaction might well be due to lack of familiarity.

This is not, of course, the first recording of the great D minor Clavier Concerto in a violin version – older alternatives include at least two by Joseph Szigeti (in A major) – but it’s well worth hearing. Scholarship tells us that much of the original may well have been conceived originally for violin. The relentless solo line tends to fall ungratefully on the ear, certainly in comparison with the keyboard version, which accommodates the music’s fiercely driving rhythms far more effectively. Granted, Szigeti infused the faster music with more expressive intensity than Isabelle Faust does here, but Faust’s relative lightness of touch is an appealing virtue.

Both the D minor and G major concertos are thought to date from Bach’s last years in Weimar, though some have questioned their authenticity. But while the violin version of the D minor is said to replicate a lost original, the G major is a transcription from the Fifth Clavier Concerto. Again, Szigeti set a recorded precedent with a fabulous pre-war 78 version of the slow movement, though Isabelle Faust’s warmly inflected reading makes as strong a case as any for hearing the entire work as a violin concerto. Unlike the D minor, the G major offers ample opportunity for the soloist to phrase expressively, with plenty of breathing space between solo and tutti. If all we’d ever known of the work was this version for violin, I doubt anyone would have questioned its authenticity.

The concerto variants commented on so far have all survived in Bach’s own hand, but not the Concerto for three violins. Here I happily confess to preferring the original. True, textures are less cluttered, there are some interesting harmonic blends in the slow movement and a spot of lively solo work towards the end of the finale (from 3'08''), but elsewhere the arrangement seems consistently to sacrifice the richer aspect of the three-clavier concerto’s musical appeal.

I’m assuming that Isabelle Faust plays all three solo works. Hanssler marks no typographical differentiation between Faust and her colleagues and the booklet gives equal pictorial and biographical weight to Christoph Poppen. Furthermore, Poppen and Muriel Cantoreggi are credited as playing BWV1064 (which is correct) whereas the track listing claims that BWV1064 is for solo violin and 1056 (in G) is for three violins (which it isn’t). All rather confusing, but not enough to compromise the musical value of a fine programme, excellently performed. Good sound, too.'

-- Rob Cowan, Gramophone [4/2001]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto movement in D major, BWV 1045 "Sinfonia" [fragment] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Isabelle Faust (Violin)
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1743-1746; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, BWV 1052 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Isabelle Faust (Violin)
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, BWV 1056 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Isabelle Faust (Violin)
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
4.
Concerto for 3 Violins in D major, BWV 1064 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Muriel Cantoreggi (Violin), Christoph Poppen (Violin), Isabelle Faust (Violin)
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The Concertos October 2, 2012 By K. Kermer (New Westminster, BC) See All My Reviews "This recording is simply amazing - the artistry of the soloists and the orchestra is superb." Report Abuse
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