Notes and Editorial Reviews
Concerto Köln (period instruments)
BERLIN 0300061 BC (2 CDs: 85:59)
This release has no amazing revelations to offer—only exceptionally fine performances of this familiar and beloved music. Concerto Köln has no conductor, taking direction from members of the ensemble—Werner Matzke (cello) in BWV 1066, Cordula Breuer (the traverso soloist) in BWV 1067, and Sylvie Kraus (violin) in BWV 1068 and 1069—who evidently share a vision for these rather disparate scores. There is
grandness in the overtures, vivacity in the dances, and carefree virtuosity in the flute suite, BWV 1067. And then there is the famous Air in BWV 1068, always an interlude of ineffable serenity, done to virtual perfection here. The orchestra varies in size. It’s a chamber ensemble in the most intimate suite, BWV 1067, but expands to 3-3-2-1-1 (plus winds) in BWV 1066 and to 4-4-3-2-1 (with woodwinds, trumpets, and timpani) in the others. The harpsichordist throughout is Gerald Hambitzer. I expect to return often and gratefully to these superior recordings.
Concerto Köln is not to be confused with Camerata Köln, Musica Antiqua Köln, the Köln Soloists Ensemble, or Kammerorchester Köln, all of which also have admirable recordings of Bach and/or Baroque repertory in their catalogs (all but the last played with period instruments). Do the good burghers of the cathedral city add some special ingredient to the Rhine water when it reaches their shores?
FANFARE: George Chien
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