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Bach: Violin Concertos, Concerto For 3 Violins / Mullejans, Von Der Goltz, Schreiber


Release Date: 04/09/2013 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902145   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Petra MüllejansGottfried Von der GoltzAnne Katharina Schreiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Is there ever a wrong time to listen to the Bach violin concertos? There are no more immediately ingratiating works in Bach’s oeuvre, which easily explains the number of recordings in the CD catalog: more than 150 for each concerto. Although today the “big three”—in A minor, E major, and D minor (for two violins)—tend to be regarded more as advanced student works than as significant concert pieces, violinists know that, while certainly “playable” by competent youngsters, each of these works offers sufficient technical challenges and reams of material, both spirited and lyrical, to engage the virtuoso as well.

Here we have a couple of virtuosos (and a third, Anne Katharina Schreiber,
Read more for the transcription of the three-harpsichord concerto BWV 1064R), who with their expert ensemble colleagues treat us to Bach as it should be done: straightforward, no mussing and fussing with stylistic mannerisms and extremes of tempo, and a magnetic attraction and keen ability to exploit the particular features of each work’s rhythmic/thematic signature, features that are immediately evident from the very first measure. The bold, dynamic opening of the A minor requires a matching confidence and assertiveness from the soloist (and orchestra), and a similar approach to the unbridled, straight-out-of-the-gate surge at the beginning of the D minor that leaves no doubt where it’s headed, unstopped, to the finish. Similar attributes mark the themes and rhythmic character of the E major and the three-violin D major concerto realization.

These are period-instrument performances that make their point simply by reveling in the instruments’ natural resonance and color and attending to the details of clean articulation and rhythm that enliven each movement, whether slow or fast. Petra Müllejans and Gottfried von der Goltz apply vibrato where possible, and add tasteful little touches of ornamentation in places such as the repeated sections of the D minor Largo, an effective variation device in this longest of all the concerto movements. Yes, it seems that almost every notable violinist has recorded one or more of these works, and you can’t go wrong with many of them, including modern versions with Julia Fischer (Decca) and Hilary Hahn (DG). Here’s another sure-fire entry whose performances and production values make it an easy choice among the dozens of contenders.

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

1.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Petra Müllejans (Violin), Gottfried Von der Goltz (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Petra Müllejans (Violin), Gottfried Von der Goltz (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Concerto for 3 Violins in D major, BWV 1064 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Anne Katharina Schreiber (Violin), Gottfried Von der Goltz (Violin), Petra Müllejans (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Petra Müllejans (Violin), Gottfried Von der Goltz (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 

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