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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos / Rampe, La Stravaganza Hamburg


Release Date: 09/10/2002 
Label:  Virgin Classics Veritas Catalog #: 45255   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 6 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Robust, honest performances with a vitality and an exuberance which is infectious.

La Stravaganza, under their director/harpsichordist Siegbert Rampe, are a Hamburg-based ensemble as yet hardly known in the UK. I had only once previously encountered their playing in an excellent programme of music by the Bach family on a disc issued in 1995 by Intercord, but alas, not available in the UK. Their performances of the six Brandenburg Concertos, together with the Triple Concerto in A minor (BWV 1 044), and a version of the Fifth Brandenburg which predates by about three years Bach's presentation copy to the Margrave, provide stimulating and mainly satisfying listening. It is perhaps a pity that the earlier version of the
Read more First Concerto was omitted from the recording, since it reveals significant textual variants from the Brandenburg, above all the scoring of the second of the two Trios. But never mind, there are plenty of other features here to divert the listener.

What I like most of all about this set is the sheer vitality of approach to the music, an exuberance which I find infectious, indeed, in one instance I might almost say outrageous. The movement in question is the recurring minuet of the First Brandenburg whose chosen basic tempo is fast enough to take your breath away. That is a pity, for the dance — a particularly graceful one, full of poise — is stripped of all courtly refinement, blurring its lineage. It is, however, the brilliantly executed embellishments of the first and second reprises, that is to say, those which separate the First Trio from the Polonaise, and the Polonaise from the Second Trio, which are most startling of all. These players are having a huge amount of fun and the results are tasteful and undoubtedly virtuosic. At the moment I'm not quite sure what I think of it, but it is certainly wild, recherché and far from boring.

There is little else in the set to shock and much, as I say, that is diverting and thought-provoking. The trumpet-playing in the Second Concerto is in the wonderfully safe hands of Hans-Martin Kothe but I should add that all the brass and woodwind contributions are pretty fluent throughout the concertos which require them. The especially low pitch, about a full tone below standard concert pitch, may take readers some getting used to — it is especially noticeable in the Third Concerto, perhaps, where that brilliance of string tone, familiar from more traditional performances, is absent; but the vigour and sharply focused ensemble playing is such that one is swiftly drawn into this warmtextured, affectionate and stylistically informed music-making.

In short, these robust, honest performances of the six Brandenburgs deserve to be heard. Few, perhaps, will go along with all that is on offer here, but the absence of anything in the nature of musical cant, and the absolute belief in Bach's rhythmic vitality, melodic and harmonic genius, make for an invigorating and joyful encounter.

-- Gramophone [7/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717; ?Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1718; ?Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; ?Cöthen, Germany 
4.
Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720-1721; ?Cöthen, Germany 
5.
Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1710; ?Weimar, Germany 
6.
Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044 "Triple Concerto" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1730; Leipzig, Germany 
7.
Brandenburg Concerto no 5a in D major, BWV 1050a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1719; ?Cöthen, Germany 
8.
Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Siegbert Rampe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711-1713; ?Weimar, Germany 

Sound Samples

Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.1 F-dur BWV 1046: I. [Tempo d'allabreve]
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.1 F-dur BWV 1046: II. Adagio
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.1 F-dur BWV 1046: III. Allegro
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.1 F-dur BWV 1046: IV. Menuetto - Trio - Menuetto - Polacca - Trio - Menuetto
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.3 G-dur BWV 1048: I. [Tempo d'allabreve]
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.3 G-dur BWV 1048: II. Adagio - Allegro
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.6 B-dur BWV 1051: I. [Tempo d'allabreve]
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.6 B-dur BWV 1051: II. Adagio ma non tanto
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.6 B-dur BWV 1051: III. Allegro
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.2 F-dur BWV 1047: I. [Tempo d'allabreve]
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.2 F-dur BWV 1047: II. Andante
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.2 F-dur BWV 1047: III. Allegro assai
Konzert D-dur BWV 1050a (frühe Fassung d. Brandenburgischen Konzerts Nr.5): I. Allegro
Konzert D-dur BWV 1050a (frühe Fassung d. Brandenburgischen Konzerts Nr.5): II. Adagio
Konzert D-dur BWV 1050a (frühe Fassung d. Brandenburgischen Konzerts Nr.5): III. Allegro
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.4 G-dur BWV 1049: I. Allegro
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.4 G-dur BWV 1049: II. Andante
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.4 G-dur BWV 1049: III. Presto
Tripelkonzert a-moll BWV 1044: I. Allegro
Tripelkonzert a-moll BWV 1044: II. Adagio ma non tanto e dolce
Tripelkonzert a-moll BWV 1044: III. Tempo d'allabreve
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.5 D-dur BWV 1050: I. Allegro
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.5 D-dur BWV 1050: II. Affettuoso
Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr.1-6 BWV 1046-1051, Konzert Nr.5 D-dur BWV 1050: III. Allegro

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