Many Music lovers think of the J. C. Bach Symphonies as little more than elevator music; sweet, sightly hypnotic, but not especially memorable- good background music and yes, I bought this set for just that purpose.
I was wrong.
Mr. Halstead's interpretation of this music is quick, deft and well-paced. He has his little band moving when it needs to move and breathing when it needs to breathe. It provides a truly entertaining experience. the little orchestra is fantastic in its own right with crystal clear articulation and near perfect intonation.
As for the music itself, the earliest symphonies are staples and will be familiar to many who have heard a fair amount of 18th century music. Opus 6,8 &9 are more of the same, pleasant but not much more. Opus 18 is (Oh my God!) another story. It is complex and profound, and perhaps the finest set of symphonies written up to that time. Please understand this is music in the galant style, not the full-blown classical style that we find in late Haydn or late Mozart. Still I love it.