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Bach: Complete Harpsichord Concertos / Rousset, Hogwood


Release Date: 06/01/1998 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 460031   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe RoussetSimon StandageRachel Brown
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  2 Hours  9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This newly compiled two-CD album from Decca – I’m happy that the lyre-bird logo of Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre has survived, if only to enjoy diminished status on the reverse of the box – brings together Bach’s seven concertos for solo harpsichord and strings, in performances with Christophe Rousset and the Academy of Ancient Music, directed by Christopher Hogwood. Readers will know that much of the programme has been previously released on two separately available discs, but the F major Concerto – Bach’s reworking of the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto – and the Triple Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord, appear for the first time.

The most highly developed of the harpsichord concertos are those in D minor (BWV1052) and E
Read more major (BWV1053). Rousset gives a wonderfully supple account of these unfailingly invigorating pieces, refined, articulate and expressive. The strings of the AAM give him athletic and attentive support, sharing in the myriad subtle inflexions and affective nuances of Bach’s music. Some ears may discern a certain dryness of sound – mine did, at first, but soon became adjusted to a balance that allows more detail than usual to emerge from the playing. Hogwood’s direction, furthermore, seems more expansive than it has done on some previous Bach issues. No doubt that is, in some measure, dictated by Rousset’s unhurried tempos and graceful rhetoric, but all comes together with a convincing unanimity of purpose as you will quickly hear, for example, in the finely poised Allegro finale of the great D minor Concerto. Only in the F major Concerto did I sometimes long for a little more in the way of even dialogue between harpsichord and strings, and a bit more responsiveness from the two treble recorders whose contribution sounds worthy rather than inspired. And surely the poetic Largo of the F minor Concerto does not require such a beefy and resonant bass accompaniment as it is granted in this performance. But the infectious animation of its outer movements is admirable, and I have little but praise for the spirited dialogue that infuses the entire performance of the irresistible A major Concerto, the jewel of the set.

In the Triple Concerto in A minor, Rousset is joined by Simon Standage, who leads the band in the remaining works, and Rachel Brown. All is in safe hands here, though I should have preferred a shade more prominence to have been granted the soft hues of Brown’s flute in the outer movement tuttis. In short, a mainly rewarding issue, and notably for performances of BWV1052, 1053 and 1055. I hope a similar compilation of Bach’s multiple harpsichord concertos with these artists is on its way.

-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [1998]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1995 
2.
Concerto for Harpsichord and 2 Recorders in F major, BWV 1057 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1995 
3.
Concerto for Harpsichord in G minor, BWV 1058 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1993 
4.
Concerto for Harpsichord in D major, BWV 1054 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1994 
5.
Concerto for Harpsichord in E major, BWV 1053 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1994 
6.
Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1994 
7.
Concerto for Harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1995 
8.
Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044 "Triple Concerto" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Simon Standage (Violin), Christophe Rousset (Harpsichord), Rachel Brown (Flute)
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1730; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1993 

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