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Bach: The 5 Keyboard Concertos / Bahrami, piano; Chailly

Audio Samples

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in E major, BWV 1053
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D major, BWV 1054
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in E major, BWV 1053
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D major, BWV 1054
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Without taking anything away from other musician’s achievements, this recording from Ramin Bahrami and Riccardo Chailly is in my opinion now the one to have – if you only seek the five keyboard concerti that is. Even if you already have these pieces in different versions, and even if you have yet to be converted to piano over harpsichord I would urge you to try this one. These performances are both life-enhancing fun, and breathtakingly and movingly beautiful. I have removed all others from my wish lists, and added this one to my very thinly populated Disc of the Year desert-island for 2011." -MusicWeb-International

"Whichever keyboard Bach had in mind for the five concertos here, it wasn't a grand pianoyet the Gewandhausorchester's musicianship is such that we shouldn't get hung up on the medium. The strings are lean and lithe, with sharply etched dynamicsthe F minor Concerto is perfectly judged." -The Independent

"With Chailly’s Bach-ingrained Leipzigers as “historically informed partners”, the Iranian Bahrani delivers crisply articulated, zippy allegros and deeply felt adagios - the Siciliano of the E major concerto lovingly phrased — without sentimentalising the music." -The Sunday Times

Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig follow the international success of their recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, St. Matthew Passion and the critically acclaimed Weihnachts-Oratorium with five of Bach’s best-loved concertos for keyboard – a recording which has already spent 7 weeks in the Italian pop charts. The soloist is young Iranian-born Bach specialist Ramin Bahrami. Well known on the international concert platform, Ramin Bahrami studied with the legendary American Bach pianist Rosalyn Tureck – the artist who perhaps more than any other brought the composer’s keyboard works to the attention of the public through her research and recordings.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany.



Reviews

Ramin Bahrami, pianist; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Chailly.
By JAMES R. OESTREICH

YOU have to wonder whether Riccardo Chailly is poring over the history of the Boston Symphony just now. Mr. Chailly, who makes his debut with that orchestra in January and seems a plausible candidate to fill its music director vacancy, shows an acute sense of place and a lively civic spirit in his programming.

When he used to guest-conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra with some regularity, he performed works by Rachmaninoff and others that had been given their premieres by the orchestra, and music associated with Stokowski or with other aspects of the ensemble’s history. When he took over the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Bach’s adopted hometown, he instituted a series of major Bach recordings, furthered here. And of his two Boston programs this season, one is devoted to the rarely performed Second Symphony of Leipzig’s other favorite son, Mendelssohn.

The Bach series, which previously included the “Brandenburg” Concertos, the “St. Matthew Passion” and the “Christmas Oratorio,” is all the more welcome coming at a time when symphony orchestras are just beginning to reclaim the great works of the Baroque, too long ceded to early-music specialists. And Mr. Chailly’s approach to this repertory is typically vigorous, with reduced scale but no effort to tamp down the sound or, in this case, to treat the piano like a harpsichord. But he does side with early-musickers in favoring mobility over monumentality, with brisk tempos and clear textures.

The concertos here are the first five in the conventional numbering: those in D minor, E, D , A and F minor (BWV 1052-56).

The booklet, with notes bent on uplift (“Raise Your Eyes to Heaven, and Turn Your Attention to the Absolute”), gives little concrete information about the pianist, the Iranian-born Ramin Bahrami, who says that he devotes his “whole life as a performer” to Bach. Elsewhere Mr. Bahrami has said that Bach’s music saved him from suicide after his father had been killed by “Islamic fascists.”

On the evidence here, Mr. Bahrami is returning the favor in fine style. His playing is everywhere strong and fluent. He embellishes lines freely (perhaps too freely in moments of unequal notes in the French style) and with seeming spontaneity.

The orchestra, which sounded stuffy and out of sorts on a New York visit under former leadership a decade or so ago, seems to be thriving under Mr. Chailly. It plays with freshness, commitment and vitality.

It is unlikely that any Bach collector isn’t well covered in these works, but this disc is eminently recommendable to specialists and nonspecialists alike.
Submitted on 10/02/11 by JAMES R. OESTREICH, The New York Times 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052
  • Performer: Ramin Bahrami (Piano)
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Ensemble: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Notes: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (05/28/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in E major, BWV 1053
  • Performer: Ramin Bahrami (Piano)
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Ensemble: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Notes: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (05/20/2009-05/21/2009)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D major, BWV 1054
  • Performer: Ramin Bahrami (Piano)
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Ensemble: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Notes: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (05/20/2009-05/21/2009)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055
  • Performer: Ramin Bahrami (Piano)
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Ensemble: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Notes: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (05/20/2009-05/21/2009)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056
  • Performer: Ramin Bahrami (Piano)
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Ensemble: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Notes: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (05/28/2009-05/29/2009)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738
  • Studio/Live: Live