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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos / Pinnock, European Brandenburg Ensemble


Release Date: 12/18/2007 
Label:  Avie   Catalog #: 2119   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Tim JacksonEtienne CutajarRichard EarleKatharina Spreckelsen,   ... 
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 34 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Musicians savour each other’s company in inspiring music: happy birthday!

When Trevor Pinnock first recorded the Brandenburgs with the English Concert for DG Archiv in 1982, period performances of these works were relatively rare; today they abound, and it has become harder to make a mark in music that does not readily admit a wide range of interpretations. Not that Pinnock need worry about that at this point in his career. This new recording, made with an ensemble hand-picked for the job, is a 60th-birthday present to himself, and is just what such a project should be: talented musicians relishing each other’s company in music of truly inspiring greatness.

Unsurprisingly, it reflects the increased playing
Read more standards of 25 years of period-instrument growth. Only Pinnock himself remains from that first line-up, and while the players then were a high-class team (Simon Standage, Lisa Beznosiuk and Michael Laird among them), the players of the European Brandenburg Ensemble include some of the finest of today’s Baroque chamber players, and there is a relaxed expertise about their performances which seems to allow them to communicate directly and without technical or ideological hindrance. A hint of over-exuberant thickness in the texture of Concerto No 1 is perhaps a reflection of this, but elsewhere it is good to hear playing from the likes of violinist Kati Debretzeni, flautist Katy Bircher and the excellent David Blackadder on trumpet that is bold and confident without straying into coarseness. The clarity achieved in Nos 4, 5 and 6 also has a more natural air than the “studio?y” balance of the Archiv set, no doubt helped by the decision to use a violone at pitch rather than the more usual octave below. The pensive violin improvisation which links the two movements of No 3 is surely a miscalculation, feeling like more of a hold-up than it need be; more lastingly refreshing to my ears were the subtle relaxations of tension in the first movement of No 6, these days so often given the hard-drive treatment.

This is not a Brandenburg set that sets out to score points, and all that is needed from us is to sit back and enjoy its relaxed, celebratory spirit.

-- Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone [3/2008]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Tim Jackson (French Horn), Etienne Cutajar (French Horn), Richard Earle (Oboe),
Katharina Spreckelsen (Oboe), Frances Norbury (Oboe), Eyal Streett (Bassoon),
Kati Debretzeni (Violino Piccolo)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717; ?Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 
2.
Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Robert Ehrlich (Recorder), Katharina Spreckelsen (Oboe), David Blackadder (Trumpet),
Bojan Cicic (Violin)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1718; ?Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 
3.
Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jane Rogers (Viola), Beatrix Hülsemann (Violin), Bojan Cicic (Violin),
Kati Debretzeni (Violin), Kati Debretzeni (Violino Piccolo), Jonathan Manson (Cello),
Sarah Moffatt (Viola), Catherine Jones (Cello), Catherine Finnis (Cello),
Peter McCarthy (Violone), Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord), Emilia Benjamin (Viola)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711-1713; ?Weimar, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Kati Debretzeni plays her own improvisation in the second movement of this concerto.
City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 
4.
Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Antje Hensel (Recorder), Robert Ehrlich (Recorder), Kati Debretzeni (Violin)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; ?Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 
5.
Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Katy Bircher (Flute), Beatrix Hülsemann (Violin), Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720-1721; ?Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 20 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 
6.
Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Emilia Benjamin (Viola), Jane Rogers (Viola), Susanne Heinrich (Viola da gamba),
Jonathan Manson (Cello), Catherine Finnis (Viola da gamba), Peter McCarthy (Violone),
Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1710; ?Weimar, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 
7.
Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Catherine Finnis (Cello), Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord), Catherine Jones (Cello),
Jonathan Manson (Cello), Kati Debretzeni (Violino Piccolo), Kati Debretzeni (Violin),
Bojan Cicic (Violin), Beatrix Hülsemann (Violin), Jane Rogers (Viola),
Emilia Benjamin (Viola), Sarah Moffatt (Viola), Peter McCarthy (Violone)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  European Brandenburg Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711-1713; ?Weimar, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Kati Debretzeni plays her own improvisation in the second movement of this concerto.
City Hall, Sheffield, England (12/16/2006 - 12/18/2006); City Hall, Sheffield, England (01/02/2007 - 01/05/2007); Henry Wood Hall, London, England (09/29/2007 - 09/30/2007) 

Featured Sound Samples

Brandenburg Concerto no 2: III. Allegro assai
Brandenburg Concerto no 4: III. Presto
Brandenburg Concerto no 6: II. Adagio ma non tanto

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