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Undercover Bach - Orchestral Suites & Concertos / Jurgen Gross, Elbipolis Baroque Orchestra


Release Date: 02/11/2014 
Label:  Challenge   Catalog #: 72625   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Overtures: in a, BWV 822; in F, BWV 820; in a, BWV 1067a. Partita in D, BWV 1006. String Concertos: in G, BWV Anh. 152; in G, BWV 571 Jürgen Groß, cond; Elbipolis Baroque O Hamburg (period instruments) Read more class="ARIAL12">CHALLENGE 72625 (70:44)


With humblest apologies to Walter Scott and Charles Dickens: Breathes there the man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said, “Please, sir, I want some more.” More Johann Sebastian Bach, that is. There are 1,080 items in the official Bach catalog, which is not nearly enough, since we know that much that should be there is sadly irrevocably lost. (And not everything on the list is actually by Bach.) So there exists a virtual cottage industry that attempts to fulfill that want. There have been orchestral transcriptions (Stokowski, et al.), and concerto reconstructions, and all manner of arrangements for all sorts of instrumental and vocal combinations. This recording was born of such wishful thinking. Purists may lament this piracy, but there an impeccable precedent was set by Bach himself. And, in fact, this disc allows us to compare the prowess of Jürgen Groß, who prepared most of the transcriptions in the program, to Bach’s own.


If you are familiar with the Bach catalog, you’ll recognize that BWV 1006 is the Third Partita for Solo Violin, arranged by Groß for harpsichord and strings. Bach transformed its prelude into the sinfonia that opens his Cantata 29. The originator’s version is more exciting, partly because of his trumpets and timpani, a luxury that may not have been available to Groß. But Groß’s version sounds authentic, which is what really counts. The same can be said for his other arrangements, except for his curious introduction of percussion (mostly hand drums) into some dance movements in the overtures BWV 820 and 1067a—startling, but strangely compelling. Werner Breig’s reconstruction of BWV 1067a, the only one here not by Groß, responds to an analysis of the surviving score which concludes that it was transposed up to B Minor from a lost A-Minor original and that the flute was probably not its original protagonist. Breig gave the solo role to the violin. It has been recorded as such, as well with an oboe, undoubtedly because of someone else’s wishful thinking. It works well that way, but the violin version is equally convincing, as are all of the other arrangements on disc. Wish graciously granted?


There’s just one hitch—well, actually three. BWV Anh. 152 is a trio sonata that Groß has expanded into a string concerto. That “Ahn. (anhang)” is a red flag. It’s applied to works not included in the standard catalog, and are generally considered to be of doubtful authenticity. BWV 820 is an early organ work, probably authentic, but New Grove says that BWV 822 may be an arrangement of the work of another composer and that BWV 571, an organ fantasia, is spurious. So three of these seven works may not be by Bach at all. But no matter. It’s still a most agreeable disc and earns a favorable recommendation from yours truly.


FANFARE: George Chien
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite in G minor, BWV 822 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Emmaus-Church, Bremen-Gröpelingen 
Length: 10 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Emmaus-Church, Bremen-Gröpelingen 
Length: 12 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for solo keyboard in G major, BWV Anh. 152 (doubtful) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Emmaus-Church, Bremen-Gröpelingen 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
4.
Overture (Suite) for keyboard in F major, BWV 820 (BC L173) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1705 
Venue:  Emmaus-Church, Bremen-Gröpelingen 
Length: 8 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5.
Suite for Orchestra no 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Emmaus-Church, Bremen-Gröpelingen 
Length: 15 Minutes 7 Secs. 
6.
Fantasie in G major, BWV 571 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Jurgen Gross
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Emmaus-Church, Bremen-Gröpelingen 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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