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Bach - Complete Harpsichord Concertos Box set, Classical


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Amazon.com: 15 reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
An "oldie" but a "goodie" Sept. 11 2008
By Steven Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have the original version of this with the original ARCHIV cover featuring a very beautiful photograph of a double manual harpsichord. But consider this one, it is cheap!

The sound on this recording is vivid, even though some of the recordings are analogue (i.e. ADD rather than DDD) but don't let that minor issue deter you. If you want to hear all of Bach's extant harpsichord concertos, then look no further (well, do consider Egarr as well! ;-)). The English Concert play with style, power and panache. Mr. Pinnock is an excellent harpsichordist and he understands this music very well.

Highlights? The very poetic and, damn it!, sexy interpretation of the second movement of the F minor harpsichord concerto and the dazzling "harpsichord galaxy" of the concerto for four harpsichords (ripped off from Vivaldi's quadruple violin concerto, as you know!).

Lovely sounds and music I like to listen to whilst having a glass of wine on a cool sunny afternoon, as I am doing as I write this review.

RECOMMENDED!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A delightful admixture of novelty and déja vu Aug. 30 2011
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This must be some of the most unfailingly uplifting music ever written, the apotheosis of elegance, harmony, balance and sentiment.

The endearingly quirky cover design of three plump cherries is somehow wholly apt: they refer to the label and also to how each of these concertos presents a trio of luscious, beautifully proportioned movements as perfectly satisfying and life-enhancing as a feast of fresh fruit. Trevor Pinnock's playing is beyond reproach, even - or especially - when he takes the Allegro of BWV 1055 or the Presto of BWV 1056 faster than at first seems advisable and the strings of the English Concert are as fleet and fluent as he is; their unity is wonderfully precise. Pinnock is joined in the concertos for 2, 3 and 4 harpsichords by equally distinguished musicians and the whole enterprise just exudes a serene confidence and joy in their music-making.

Part of the pleasure of this set derives from recognition of how Bach reworked music more familiar in another guise and key; hence we hear the fourth Brandenburg Concerto and the two surviving violin concertos transposed down a tone and reworked in a way which combines familiarity and novelty. Just when you might start to feel that you'd like some variety in the sonority from a surfeit of twanging harpsichord, no. 1057 gives us two mellow recorders to provide bucolic delight.

The sound is superb, achieving great clarity and depth. It might well be that the balance between the harpsichord(s) and orchestra has been judiciously tweaked but it doesn't sound artificial.

I also very much enjoy the arrangement of some of this music for piano of which there is an excellent bargain Naxos recording but this Trio collection provides a complete and utterly seductive survey of Bach at his most inventive and irrepressibly melodic.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This changed my mind regarding harpshichords July 26 2014
By travel light and smiling - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have grown to appreciate Bach more and more. Reading the book Godel, Escher and Bach definitely made me more aware of his genius. That said, I was less interested in performances of his music on the harpsichord than other versions. My initial exposure to his harpsichord music as Igor Kipnis playing the Goldberg Variations, and on those CD's, the instrument was brittle to the point of being tinny, at least in my mind. I previewed this album before I bought it. Pinnock's playing is much more assertive, and has shown me that that brittleness I found with that presentation by Kipnis is not mandatory.

Somewhere along the line, I learned that in the French of the day, "baroque" meant crazy. The people who listened to this music weren't effete stay-at-homes. They were opening the world (for good or ill). As elaborate and intricate as this music is, what it isn't is weak, be it on organ, harpsichord, or orchestra.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ahhhh! Bach. May 4 2014
By Augenezum - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Probably one of my most listened to classical recordings over the past 25 years. This is the quintessential recording of some of the best music by JS Bach. This is a fantastic bargain based on the quality of the performances and recordings.
The performance by Pinnock and the English Concert is stellar. Definitely not to be missed of you enjoy Harpsichord music.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Awesome Bach Harpsichord Concertos Re-Released for Today Sept. 16 2014
By Jason Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had this original recording on an album of tape cassettes back in the late 80's. As time wore on, so did the tapes. Thus, I was not able to listen to them anymore. Now, with the advent of iTunes, I was able to purchase them again. It was just so refreshing to see them re-released in digital format. I have enjoyed Trevor Pinnock's work in the past with Baroque music, but in previous formats. Now that I don't have to rely on tape cassettes and CD's anymore, I can just about take this anywhere.


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