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Bach: Concertos For Flute, Oboe & Violin (Reconstructed By C. Hogwood) / Marriner

Bach J.s. / Marriner / Asmf
Release Date: 04/05/2011 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4802202   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Neil BlackRonald ThomasCarmel KaineRichard Studt,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Oboe d’amore Concerto in A (from BWV 1055 1 ). Concerto in d for Violin, Oboe, and Flute (from BWV 1063 2 ). Concerto in D for 3 Violins (from BWV 1064 3 ). Oboe Concerto in F (from BWV 1053 4 ). Concerto in c for Violin and Oboe (from BWV 1060 5 ). Flute Concerto in f (from BWV 1056 6 ). Violin Concertos: in a, BWV Read more 1041; 7 in E, BWV 1042. 8 Concerto in d for 2 Violins, BWV 1043 9 Neil Black ( 1 oba, 2,4 ob); 5 Tess Miller (ob); 2,6 William Bennett (fl); 2,3,5 Carmel Kaine, 3 Ronald Thomas, 3 Richard Studt, 7,8,9 Henryk Szeryng, 9 Maurice Hasson (vn); Neville Marriner, cond; Academy of St. Martin in the Fields DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 2202, analog (2 CDs: 141:49)


Decca Eloquence’s collection of concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach brings together two programs, one comprising concertos creatively reworked by Christopher Hogwood for various instruments (and provided with notes by the arranger) from harpsichord originals, and the other, a set of Bach’s three celebrated violin concertos. The programs come from August 1974 (transcriptions, BWV 1053, 1055, 1056, 1060, and 1063), February 1975 (transcription, BWV 1064), and 1976 (the violin concertos, BWV 1041, 1042, and 1043).


Hogwood’s notes divide the transcriptions into groups, and he identifies the Oboe d’amore Concerto in A Major as coming from harpsichord concertos available in no alternative source. The recorded sound, from 1974, remains vivid and fresh, and Neil Black’s solo flows sweetly and serenely, especially in the slow movement. The Concerto in D Minor for Violin, Oboe, and Flute belongs, according to Hogwood, to the group of concertos for three harpsichords, and Hogwood notes that in the D-Minor Concerto, the first harpsichord played the lion’s share of the solos. In his transcription, the violin, in a stunning performance by Carmel Kaine (with bracing support by Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields), runs free in swirling figuration, reminiscent of that in the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto and far more virtuosic than any in the three canonical violin concertos. Commenting on the unusual structure of the concerto, Hogwood speculates that each of the movements of the three-harpsichord source may have derived from an original for a single instrument (the lyrical second movement, Alla siciliana , seems to him to make this point cogently). The virtuosic violin figurations from the first movement return in the third, again with the oboe and flute playing a subsidiary role (perhaps reminiscent of the two recorders in the Brandenburg Concerto ’s finale?). The other arrangement of a three-harpsichord work appears here as a Concerto for Three Violins (in D Major), with the three more equal solo parts played brightly by Carmel Kaine, Ronald Thomas, and Richard Studt. Hogwood suggests that musicological research points to an even earlier source in an Italian concerto transcribed by Bach himself for the three keyboard instruments. The three violins percolate in the busy first movement, sometimes running parallel and sometimes accompanying each other. The slow movement interweaves the three parts almost seamlessly (think of the celebrated slow movement of the Double Violin Concerto), while the finale engages the three brilliant soloists in prepossessing interchanges. In the Oboe Concerto in F Major, Hogwood claims to have left the tuttis unchanged, although borrowing them from a cantata rather than from the harpsichord-concerto original. Once again, Neil Black provides a brightly lit solo part, although the tuttis almost overpower him in the first movement. The Siciliano flows in both composition and performance with Italianate grace (consider the corresponding movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s concerto, op. 3/11, RV 565, and how much Bach learned from his Italian exemplar).


The second disc’s program continues to present transcriptions, beginning with the Concerto in C Minor for Violin and Oboe, which has achieved a certain popularity in this instrumentation. The soloists, violinist Carmel Kaine and oboist Tess Miller, give a lively account of the first movement that fits with the Academy’s rhythmic springiness and, by contrast, highlights the slow movement’s lyrical beauty (Kaine occasionally seems tonally overbalanced by Miller in this Adagio’s dialogue between soloists, but they generally provide a smooth and eloquent account). The Concerto in F Minor for Flute has also been arranged for violin, transposed into G Minor (and, in fact, Hogwood speculates that the harpsichord version may itself have been transcribed from a violin concerto). William Bennett serves as the flute soloist in a version that sounds darker than its step-higher violinistic half-sibling.


The recorded sound in the three violin concertos seems less reverberant; the soloist, Henryk Szeryng, made a reputation as an interpreter of Bach’s solo violin sonatas and partitas. His tone, more than slightly acid, and his style, patrician and pure, makes him an eminent forerunner of the period-instrument movement; those who enjoy the performances of beefy-toned violinists like David Oistrakh and Isaac Stern in these works (not to mention the molasses-toned Mischa Elman, who made an affecting recording of the Concerto in E Major in 1933 with John Barbirolli) may find his manner comparatively thin in sound and dry in manner. Such an objection seems particularly apposite in the slow movement of the A-Minor Concerto, but those who make it should also note the way in which he allows the lines to soar and the logic with which he leads them. The tempo of the finale sounds sedate, though it’s surprising how rhythmically alive Szeryng’s figuration sounds at that pace. In the E-Major Concerto, Marriner and the Academy lay a lush and suggestive foundation for the solo part that drapes itself over the repeated bass figure. Szeryng matches the Academy’s subtlety in this movement, turning in a performance that, almost stopping time, should nearly stop a listener’s breath. As in the Concerto in A Minor, the finale of this one proceeds at a steady tempo, but again Szeryng makes the solo part dance in spite of it. He and Maurice Hasson serve as the almost perfectly matched soloists in the Double Concerto, giving a sturdy account of the first and third movements and a swiftly flowing, unrippled one of the famous Largo. Overall, urgently recommended as music of impressive depth and vivid timbral variety in the transcriptions, served up in lively performances in well-preserved recorded sound.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Oboe d'Amore in A major, BWV 1055 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Neil Black (Oboe)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
2.
Concerto for 3 Harpsichords in C major, BWV 1064 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ronald Thomas (Violin), Carmel Kaine (Violin), Richard Studt (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Concerto for 3 Violins in D major, BWV 1064 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Carmel Kaine (Violin), Neil Black (Oboe), William Bennett (Flute)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Concerto for Oboe in F major, BWV 1053 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Neil Black (Oboe)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
5.
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Carmel Kaine (Violin), Tess Miller (Oboe)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 1973-74 
Venue:  St. John's, Smith Square, London 
Length: 14 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Violin in G minor, BWV 1056 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  William Bennett (Flute)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 1973-74 
Venue:  St. John's, Smith Square, London 
Length: 10 Minutes 11 Secs. 
7.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Henryk Szeryng (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
8.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Henryk Szeryng (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
9.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Henryk Szeryng (Violin), Maurice Hasson (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 

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