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Bach: Concertos BWV 1041-1043, 1060 / Kremer, Holliger


Release Date: 05/08/2002 
Label:  Philips Insignia Series Catalog #: 434730   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gidon KremerHeinz Holliger
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Among the most vigorous of Bach performances, of superlative quality from both the soloist and the strings of the orchestra.

This is among the most vigorous of Bach playing, of superlative quality within its chosen style. The quality extends both to the soloist and the strings of the orchestra. It probably would have done, too, to the harpsichordist if he had been audible; but only one or two distant chords in the finale of the Double Concerto suggested, without certainty, that indeed there was one there at all. The deficiency is not wholly decisive in these particular pieces; and anyway the ear is riveted by the propulsive style and strong, rich tone of all the string-players. The propulsive rhythm survives the absence
Read more of a separate conductor, and the ritardandos at cadences are mostly managed very well: just once, perhaps, the ritardando seemed a trifle tentative. And just once, perhaps, the strings seemed actually too strong, with overpowering accompanying detached chords, in F, in the middle movement of the A minor Concerto. But where, in this concerto and elsewhere, the cadences needed decorating Kremer leaps into action most effectively, with stylish, short amplifications of Bach's outline.

The recording is also of splendid quality, matching the strong string tone ideally. Yet in spite of this marvellous sound two questions should be raised before unreserved recommendation is made. One is that the vigour itself, applied pretty impartially throughout, might better have been modified, given way to a more lyrical style in some passages, some movements even. "Twice too fast," some will say of the Double Concerto's first movement; the arithmetic will be exaggerated, but the reaction will be quite a natural one. The other question is more a psychological one; it is whether, in this Double Concerto, the performance (however good) of both solo parts by the same player is not antipathetic to the spirit of the conversation between two living, human beings envisaged by Bach. Music is a marvellous release of the human spirit, for musician and listener alike; and it may be that in an increasingly mechanical world a few rearguard actions in favour of humanity, may here and there be in place.

The Double Concerto is here making its fourth appearance on CD (itself some kind of record) but this is the first version in which the same soloist uses overdubbing techniques to perform both parts. Gidon Kremer is thus able to match phrases and 'dialogue' passages with precision; yet we do lose a sense of interplay between two individual artists. More to the point are the fast tempos and full-toned sound throughout all three works. Our reviewer MM describes the performances above as "vigorous" and there is indeed little relaxation even in the slow movements. Overall sound, however, is of high-fidelity standards with the bright acoustic contributing to a recording of exceptional clarity.

-- John Borwick, Gramophone
reviewing the original release of BWV 1041-1043, Philips 411108
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
4.
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Heinz Holliger (Oboe), Gidon Kremer (Violin)
Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 

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