This review is of the multi-channel SACD layer listened to in 5.1 surround sound.
The performance of Bach's Brandenburg concertos with I Barocchisti directed by Diego Fasolis is by far the best performance I've ever heard on original instruments and I've all of the following:
English Chamber - Raymond Leppard
The English Concert - Trevor Pinnock
Musica Antiqua Koln - Reinhard Goebel
La Petite Bande - Sigiswald Kuijken
Concentus Musicus - Nikolaus Harnoncourt (both the early analog recording and the newer digital recording)
Leonhardt Consort - Gustav Leonhardt
The Academy of Ancient Music - Christopher Hogwood
Le Concert Des Nations - Jordi Savall
Good as these groups are, none of them quite capture Bach's Brandenburgs with as much passion as I Barocchisti infuses into these performances. I Barocchisti's dramatic arches, inflections and phrasing are new and extraordinarily right on, making the Brandenburgs even more exciting and joyful. For example, in concerto No. 1 final movement, the variations never become monotonous as they do in some of the other recordings especially Harnoncourt's. I Barocchisti's melodic lines are extremely well etched and varied. I don't want to give you any more detail so you can discover the many joys yourself. One gets the sense of PURE JOY in these performances, the essence of Bach!
The original instruments sound so gorgeous in this 5.1 SACD (an original 5.1 channel 24-bit 96kHz recording converted to DSD for the SACD format) it was truly like having them in my room with me. The details of the performance and the earthy textures of the original instruments (especially the viola da gambas in No. 6) made for an experience I'll never forget. The engineers have captured the reverberation and ambience of the medium size recording venue, the Auditorium RSI, Lugano Switzerland, beautifully!