Notes and Editorial Reviews
Orchestral Suite No. 1.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.
Concerto for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord,
Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C
Jaap ter Linden, cond; Claire Guimond (fl); Chantal Rémillard (vn); Hank Knox (hpd); Luc Beauséjour (hpd); Arion (period instruments)
Based in Montreal, the Arion baroque orchestra was founded in 1981 by Claire Guimond, Chantal Rémillard, Hank Knox, and gambist Betsy MacMillan, the only founder not featured on this recording. Claire Guimond is their conductor, but habitually they have imported key figures to lead their group, in this case Jaap ter Linden. At first I wondered why this particular grouping of Bach orchestral pieces: they seem to have been chosen to feature the group’s founders. They are a talented bunch. Listening to the
, which I first heard under Alfred Busch, I am impressed by the not-so-inevitable zest of the band, and by Hank Knox’s dramatic harpsichord playing. They don’t linger over the movement marked Affettuoso: here I think other recordings, such as the Pinnock, are preferable. And I have to confess that the First Orchestral Suite is not my favorite. Yet this is stylish Bach playing on early instruments, recorded exquisitely in 2001 and reissued here. I still admire Marriner’s orchestral suites, the Busch
(as well as Pinnock, Marriner, and others). This recording, though, is a wholly pleasing modern recording of a unique collection of Bach’s music.
FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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