Bach: Six Concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"This is not a Brandenburg set that sets out to score points, and all that is needed from us is to sit back and enjoy its relaxed, celebratory spirit." -Gramophone Awards 2008 Baroque Instrumental Record of the Year

BBC Music Magazine
Like Pinnock's earlier set with the English Concert, the newcomer... displays Pinnock's seemingly unassailable ability to choose an effective, just tempo for each movement, and his infectious rhythmic energy both as director from the harpsichord and as accomplished soloist in the Fifth Concerto... In summary, this is a splendid achievement.

Gramophone Magazine
... the players of the European Brandenburg Ensemble include some of the finest of today's Baroque chamber players, and there is a relaxed expertise about their performances which seems to allow them to communicate directly and without technical or ideological hindrance. This is not a Brandenburg set that sets out to score points, and all that is needed from us is to sit back and enjoy its relaxed, celebratory spirit.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
When Trevor Pinnock first recorded the Brandenburgs with The English Concert for Archiv in 1982, period performances of these works were relatively rare; today they abound, and it has become harder to make a mark in music that does not readily admit a wide range of interpretations.

Not that Pinnock need worry about that at this point in his career. This new recording, made with an ensemble hand-picked for the job, is a 60th-birthday present to himself, and is just what such a project should be: talented musicians relishing each other's company in music of truly inspiring greatness.

Unsurprisingly, it reflects the increased playing standards of 25 years of period-instrument growth. Only Pinnock himself remains from that first line-up, and while the players then were a high-class team, the players of the European Brandenburg Ensemble include some of the finest of today's Baroque chamber players, and there is a relaxed expertise about their performances which seems to allow them to communicate directly and without technical or ideological hindrance. A hint of over-exuberant thickness in the texture of Concerto No 1 is perhaps a reflection of this, but elsewhere it is good to hear playing from the likes of violinist Kati Debretzeni, flautist Katy Bircher and the excellent David Blackadder on trumpet that is bold and confident without straying into coarseness. The clarity achieved in Nos 4, 5 and 6 also has a more natural air than the 'studio-y' balance of the Archiv set, no doubt helped by the decision to use a violone at pitch rather than the more usual octave below. The pensive violin improvisation which links the two movements of No 3 is surely a miscalculation, feeling like more of a hold-up than it need be; more lastingly refreshing to my ears were the subtle relaxations of tension in the first movement of No 6, these days so often given the hard-drive treatment.

This is not a Brandenburg set that seeks to score points, and all that is needed from us is to sit back and enjoy its relaxed, celebratory spirit.



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 1 in F major, BWV 1046
  • Performers: Etienne Cutajar (Horn); Kati Debretzeni (Violin); Richard Earle (Oboe); Tim Jackson (French Horn); Frances Norbury (Oboe); Katharina Spreckelsen (Oboe); Eyal Streett (Bassoon)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: European Brandenburg Ensemble
  • Notes: Ballroom, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England / Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/16/2006-12/18/2006)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 3 in G major, BWV 1048
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Tenor Violin); Bojan Cicic (Violin); Kati Debretzeni (Violin); Kati Debretzeni (Violino Piccolo); Catherine Finnis (Viol); Beatrix Hülsemann (Violin); Catherine Jones (Cello); Jonathan Manson (Cello); Peter McCarthy (Double Bass); Sarah Moffatt (Violin); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Jane Rogers (Viola)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: European Brandenburg Ensemble
  • Notes: Ballroom, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England / Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/16/2006-12/18/2006)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050
  • Performers: Katy Bircher (Flute); Beatrix Hülsemann (Violin); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: European Brandenburg Ensemble
  • Notes: Ballroom, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England / Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/16/2006-12/18/2006)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 2 in F major, BWV 1047
  • Performers: David Blackadder (Trumpet); Bojan Cicic (Violin); Robert Ehrlich (Alto Recorder); Katharina Spreckelsen (Oboe)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: European Brandenburg Ensemble
  • Notes: Ballroom, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England / Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/16/2006-12/18/2006)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G major, BWV 1049
  • Performers: Kati Debretzeni (Violin); Robert Ehrlich (Alto Recorder); Antje Hensel (Recorder)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: European Brandenburg Ensemble
  • Notes: Ballroom, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England / Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/16/2006-12/18/2006)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Brandenburg Concerto no 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051
  • Performers: Emilia Benjamin (Tenor Violin); Catherine Finnis (Viol); Susanne Heinrich (Tenor Violin); Jonathan Manson (Cello); Peter McCarthy (Double Bass); Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord); Jane Rogers (Viola)
  • Conductor: Trevor Pinnock
  • Ensemble: European Brandenburg Ensemble
  • Notes: Ballroom, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England / Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/16/2006-12/18/2006)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/24/1721