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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos, Orchestral Suites / Karl Richter


Release Date: 02/01/2002 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 463657   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hansheinz SchneebergerHermann BaumannHedwig BilgramManfred Clement,   ... 
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Very few conductors have recorded as much Bach as Karl Richter, and none can lay a stronger claim to a legacy based on championing the master. Throughout his prolific though sadly short life (he died at age 54 from a heart attack, though the devoted still steadfastly attribute the burgeoning original-instrument movement for breaking his heart) Richter always returned to Bach and rarely recorded (or performed) the music of other composers. Richter's reverence for Bach is evinced by the simplicity, splendor, and grandeur with which he consistently imbued his performances. Richter understood that the profound underlying architecture of Bach's music was critical to its appreciation, enjoyment, and yes, power. As a long-standing Richter fan, I Read more couldn't be more overjoyed to see these benchmark Archiv performances reissued again (the fourth time for the Brandenburg's!).

The first CD of this three-disc set begins with a performance of Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 that superbly exemplifies Richter's remarkable intuitive grasp of Bach's language. To get an idea of just how ahead of his time Richter was, compare the timing of his first movement (whose "brisk tempos" the Penguin Guide went out of its way to condemn when the cycle was first released in 1987) with the contemporary original-instrument account by Musica Antiqua Köln directed by Reinhard Goebel. Richter's 1967 modern-instrument performance is two seconds slower. The man was no slouch; he understood that in Bach's day this was contemporary orchestral music whose success required vitality as well as authority.

I could go on and cite many more highlights, such as Richter's fiery gestural treatment of the fifth movement Rejouissance of the Fourth orchestral suite, or the brilliant subtlety he elicits from his fellow soloists in the central Adagio, ma non tanto, e dolce of the triple concerto for flute, violin, and harpsichord; but then there is rarely a moment throughout all of these performances where I'm not equally enthusiastic. And rarely will you hear performances of these eminent masterpieces so utterly heartfelt and intelligently conceived.

Archiv's outstanding newly remastered transfers perfectly complement the musical strengths of these performances. While there is a distinct improvement in the overall weight and balance of the ensemble, you can still hear occasional knob-twisting--but unfortunately that was the norm for Archiv at the time. Stefan Siegert's notes are erudite and entertaining. This is cornerstone Bach that should not be missed.

--John Greene, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hansheinz Schneeberger (Violin), Hermann Baumann (Natural Horn), Hedwig Bilgram (Harpsichord),
Manfred Clement (Oboe), Karl Kolbinger (Bassoon), Werner Meyendorf (Natural Horn)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717; ?Cöthen, Germany 
2. Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hans-Martin Linde (Recorder), Hansheinz Schneeberger (Violin), Hedwig Bilgram (Harpsichord),
Manfred Clement (Oboe), Pierre Thibaud (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1718; ?Cöthen, Germany 
3. Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hedwig Bilgram (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711-1713; ?Weimar, Germany 
4. Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Hans-Martin Linde (Recorder), Hansheinz Schneeberger (Violin), Hedwig Bilgram (Harpsichord),
Günter Höller (Recorder)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; ?Cöthen, Germany 
5. Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Karl Richter (Harpsichord), Hansheinz Schneeberger (Violin), Aurčle Nicolet (Flute)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720-1721; ?Cöthen, Germany 
6. Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Ingo Sinnhoffer (Viola), Karl Richter (Harpsichord), Fritz Kiskalt (Cello),
Oswald Uhl (Viola da gamba), Johannes Fink (Viola da gamba), Kurt-Christian Stier (Viola),
Herbert Duft (Double Bass)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1710; ?Weimar, Germany 
7. Suite for Orchestra no 1 in C major, BWV 1066 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
8. Suite for Orchestra no 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
9. Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
10. Suite for Orchestra no 4 in D major, BWV 1069 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
11. Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044 "Triple Concerto" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gerhart Hetzel (Violin), Karl Richter (Harpsichord), Aurčle Nicolet (Flute)
Conductor:  Karl Richter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1730; Leipzig, Germany 

Sound Samples

Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F, BWV 1046: 1. (Allegro)
Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F, BWV 1046: 2. Adagio
Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F, BWV 1046: 3. Allegro
Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F, BWV 1046: 4. Menuet - Trio - Polonaise
Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV 1047: 1. (Allegro)
Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV 1047: 2. Andante
Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV 1047: 3. Allegro assai
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G, BWV 1048: 1. (Allegro)
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G, BWV 1048: 2. Adagio (BWV 1019a)
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G, BWV 1048: 3. Allegro
Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049: 1. Allegro
Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049: 2. Andante
Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049: 3. Presto
Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D, BWV 1050: 1. Allegro
Brandenburg Concerto No.5 In D, BWV 1050: 2. Affetuoso
Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D, BWV 1050: 3. Allegro
Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051: 1. Allegro moderato
Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051: 2. Adagio ma non tanto
Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat, BWV 1051: 3. Allegro
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 1. Ouverture
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 2. Courante
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 3. Gavotte I-II
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 4. Forlane
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 5. Menuet I-II
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 6. Bourrée I-II
Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066: 7. Passepied I-II
Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067: 1. Ouverture
Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067: 2. Rondeau
Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067: 3. Sarabande
Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067: 4. Bourrée I-II
Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067: 5. Polonaise
Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067: 6. Menuet
Suite No.2 In B Minor, BWV 1067: 7. Badinerie

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