Pinnock's new Brandenburg set emphasizes function over form, and I can hardly criticize him for that. In the Fourth, he really highlights the triplet figures in the horns as well as the timbral nuisances from the consort of wind players. The recorders in the Fourth have a simply gorgeous tone, showing how far period bands have come. And the sinewy, gutty strings in the Third and Sixth are both "authentic" but tonally satisfying. Indeed, the latter, taken at a spirited tempo, as the modern trends dictate, is particularly fine, Pinnock and his players really showcasing Bach's wonderful polyphonic writing.
Still, which these pieces certainly aren't as heavy as the Passions, I would have liked a tad more weight in the Fifth, where Pinnock's moderate tempo and the somewhat soft-edged playing from the various soloists makes this performance sounds slightly diffuse, where more incisive playing and stronger attacks would have made this performance self-recommending.
Despite this, it is nice to hear Bach played with élan and joy (God forbid it sound as if performers actually enjoy playing this music) rather than sounding like the academic-exercise of so many other performances. And, as no music collector can have only one set of the Brandenburg concertos, I can imagine few listeners not enjoying these releases, even if others like Harnoncourt or Alessandrini, for example, deliver slightly more edge (at the expense of emotional warmth) in this music.