on August 12, 2000
Hurray! Found the Bach I have always been looking for! I Musici...they are simply a marvel. They create the most delightfully natural sounding pacing that I have yet to hear in Bach recordings. The inter-weaving lines sound separate, and they play off one another with so much ease and virtuosity it seems like all the obstacles are joyfully hurdled. This is the FIRST recording I have heard where I am not offended by the harpsichord! In an understated way it adds body to the piece, a colored texture that sounds indispensable. The horns and the woodwinds are in wonderful pitch, and they accent the rhythm until they point out highlights with controlled bravado. The strings are warm and clean sounding and they play beautifully, unsentimental with a very refined elegant line. Listen to them trill. When the music picks up in pace the clarity and warm sound comes flying through. And the slow movements are exquisite, where the legato line is played with taste and feeling.
The Violin Concertos were recorded in '58, the Brandenburg in '65, and the sound is good.
on December 31, 2000
I wanted to get a complete set of the Brandenburg Concertos, and lucky for me, I picked up this bargain-priced two CD set. This recording is great! I Musici plays with an informed baroque style, but not so much so that they get bogged down in the reactionary, scholarly prerogatives of much of the period instrument movement. The horns ring effortlessly, brightly, and clearly, the sound of the flute is enchanting without using excessive vibrato, and the strings are completely unified creating the full effect of Bach's masterpiece. The violin concertos are taken at a slow tempo, and I Musici, it can be argued, is guilty of overdoing the sentimentality. But the performances of the violin concertos, none-the-less, are solid. This recording is a steal.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of recordings of the famous Brandenburg Concertos. Which one should one get? I Musici perform here. Their renown, this great series and the price determined my choice. This is nice light baroque music that will appeal to all. A remarkable performance!
on September 30, 2002
There's the slow, baroque and very medieval sounding playing and then there's the modern, faster paced playing. I think both are laudable, so I would probably recommend you look at this one and the Anthony Newman one. I personally prefer the Anthony Newman one, as it provides very strong horns and harpsichord with an upbeat tempo. Just thought I'd mention this as most of the Brandenburg stuff I hear over the radio or in 90% of CD's is the slow baroque style.