Notes and Editorial Reviews
Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11
Eduardo López Banzo, cond, hpd; Al Ayre Español
CHALLENGE CLASSICS 72548 (2 SACDs: 94:26)
My recordings of these masterworks go back to the still worthy early-60s version led by Yehudi Menuhin. Dedicated listeners will certainly want to hear those recordings, and also the fine recent recordings by the period instrument group the Academy of Ancient Music, and by the Handel and Haydn Society.
That said, I am totally taken by the vivid, full, and realistic sound, the brisk sense of engagement, and the sheer excitement of this new recording led by Eduardo Banzo. It hasn’t been matched in my experience. The clipped precision of the playing in the first
to the Concerto in G Minor (No. 6) is not compromised by the fast tempo, which seems energized rather than rushed. Yet the subsequent movement dances lightly, and the dramatic opening movement is both imposing and touching. The dynamic range is wide, but dynamic changes are subtly applied. The initial movement we hear,
A tempo giusto
from op. 6/1, is stately and powerful. I know recordings where the contrast between the full orchestral statements and the lesser groups is more pronounced. Banzo makes his drama in a different way, through his almost fierce engagement. If there is a disadvantage to this recording, it is that not all the concertos are presented. Perhaps there will be a follow-up. For now, listeners will want to hear the ravishing sound of this recording and, more importantly, the brilliant playing by a group and a leader I have never heard before.
FANFARE: Michael Ullman Read less
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