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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos, Orchestral Suites / Suzuki


Release Date: 09/29/2009 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1721   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Multi 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $44.49
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


The Orchestral Suites already have been released and received a 10/10 at that time. However, at 3 SACDs for the price of 2, even if you already have the Suites you can purchase this set for no additional money, and give the extra disc to a friend or Bach newbie. It makes a great gift. Certainly these Brandenburgs are every bit as good. Their principal distinguishing quality is a lightness and clarity of texture that, combined with Masaaki Suzuki's ideally chosen tempos (not too fast, but always lively), gives Bach's counterpoint an expressive joy very different from the full-speed-ahead mechanical relentlessness typical of so many period-instrument performances of this music. This is particularly
Read more evident in the First concerto, whose lopsided mixture of horns, oboes, bassoon, and violino piccolo often sounds like a garbled mess. Not here. Even the first movement finds a natural and effortless balance of instrumental lines, and that's no mean feat.

The Second concerto is noteworthy for some very nimble and unscreechy trumpet playing, while the flutes and violin in the Fourth, and the harpsichord in the Fifth, are all outstandingly well played. Best of all, though, is Suzuki's handling of the two concertos for strings, Nos. 3 and 6. He claims to be aiming for less bass-heavy texture by using instruments akin to Bach's viola pomposa instead of the standard cello--that is, a viola-like creature in the cello range played like a violin. Whatever the reason, the result is amazingly lyrical, transparent, and pleasing to the ear (the well-balanced continuo helps too).

In the Third concerto Suzuki interposes a full slow movement between the two quick ones Bach has left us, in the form of a transcription of the second movement of the Concerto for Three Harpsichords, itself thought to have been transcribed from an original triple violin concerto. It works fabulously well, far better than the few bars of cadenza that we often hear. First-class engineering and generous timings (nearly 70 minutes per disc) make this set a prime recommendation if you are looking for this repertoire on period instruments. Outstanding in every way.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717; ?Cöthen, Germany 
2. Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1718; ?Cöthen, Germany 
3. Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711-1713; ?Weimar, Germany 
4. Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; ?Cöthen, Germany 
5. Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720-1721; ?Cöthen, Germany 
6. Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1710; ?Weimar, Germany 
7. Suite for Orchestra no 1 in C major, BWV 1066 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
8. Suite for Orchestra no 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
9. Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
10. Suite for Orchestra no 4 in D major, BWV 1069 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 

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