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J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos / Matthew Halls, harpsichord

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> Keyboard Concerto in F Major, BWV 1057 - I. Allegro
> Keyboard Concerto in F Major, BWV 1057 - II. Andante
> Keyboard Concerto in F Major, BWV 1057 - III. Allegro assai
> Keyboard Concerto in G Minor, BWV 1058 - I. (Allegro)
> Keyboard Concerto in G Minor, BWV 1058 - II. Andante
> Keyboard Concerto in G Minor, BWV 1058 - III. Allegro assai
> Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052 - I. Allegro
> Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052 - II. Adagio
> Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052 - III. Allegro
> Keyboard Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055 - I. Allegro moderato
> Keyboard Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055 - II. Larghetto
> Keyboard Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055 - III. Allegro ma non tanto

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for harpsichord, 2 recorders, strings & continuo no 6 in F major, BWV 1057
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in G minor, BWV 1058
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Having wowed the critics with its 2011 recording of 'J.S. Bach: Easter and Ascension Oratorios' Retrospect Ensemble returns with Bach's Harpsichord Concertos. Director Matthew Halls takes on the role of soloist, having proved both his keyboard virtuosity and affinity with Bach's harpsichord music in his debut solo recording, 'J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations', which International Record Review named 'Outstanding'. Founded by Matthew Halls, Retrospect Ensemble takes its musicians and audiences on an exciting journey, exploring the repertoire of four centuries and embracing the practices, styles and aesthetics of former ages with renewed vigor and a fresh approach. In 2010 the 36-year-old was announced as The Oregon Bach Festival's next artistic director, due to his 'international reputation in the worlds of choral and early music [and] consummate skill as a Bach interpreter.' He shall assume the role in 2013

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Harpsichordist Matthew Halls plays with sparkle and gusto. Bach, a devotee of the French style, surely would have appreciated Halls's Anglebert-like arpeggios and broken style ornamentation in the Andante of the F major Concerto, S 1057. In the andante of the G-minor Concerto Halls adds continuo "foliage". His continuo textures motivate the strings to keep up the momentum of the music. In that movement the strings are like a group of Olympic rowers, steady and graceful.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2012
The choice of one-to-a-part strings, while not confirmed by hard contemporary evidence, would avoid crowding out the coffee-drinking clientele. But such lean forces also create transparent textures, balancing perfectly with the harpsichord...Halls's sparkling articulation, even at quite moderate tempos, generates enormous exuberance.

Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 24th October 2012
All in all, this is a recording that makes you sit up and listen, both for the verve of the ensemble playing and the range of colours and dynamics Halls produces, and for the sheer ear-popping brilliance of their chosen repertoire.

Sunday Times, 18th November 2012
Halls directs the performances from the harpsichord, never dominating the tuttis, but exploiting a free-ranging fantasy in his stylishly decorated solo passages. The concertos sound pristine and revealed anew, like cleaned Old Master paintings. More, please.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2013
The brightness and rightness of the sound is what strikes you immediately...The harpsichord has tone and resonance, yet is not so closely miked that the strings sound like they have been banished to an outer realm; instead they have pleasing presence, offering a rich complementary texture in which you can hear every line...this is a joyful and invigorating release.

The Arts Desk, 9th March 2013
This release fizzes with energy. I've long preferred hearing these concertos played on a modern piano. But listening to Matthew Halls's harpsichord performances have made me completely reassess the music...Here, the music's character is sparkier, more pugnacious. Halls's exuberant solo line sparks and glitters, pitched against the Retrospect Ensemble's immaculate, small-scale backing.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St. George's Church, Chesterton, Ccambridge, UK (09/27/2011-09/29/2011).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for harpsichord, 2 recorders, strings & continuo no 6 in F major, BWV 1057
  • Performer: Matthew Halls (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Matthew Halls
  • Ensemble: Retrospect Ensemble
  • Notes: St. George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, UK (09/27/2011-09/29/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in G minor, BWV 1058
  • Performer: Matthew Halls (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Matthew Halls
  • Ensemble: Retrospect Ensemble
  • Notes: St. George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, UK (09/27/2011-09/29/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052
  • Performer: Matthew Halls (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Matthew Halls
  • Ensemble: Retrospect Ensemble
  • Notes: St. George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, UK (09/27/2011-09/29/2011)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Concerto for Harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055
  • Performer: Matthew Halls (Harpsichord)
  • Conductor: Matthew Halls
  • Ensemble: Retrospect Ensemble
  • Notes: St. George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, UK (09/27/2011-09/29/2011)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738