Your clickable banner could be here: details If you cannot see an advert click here.
rotating banners
Early Music

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger

Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782)
Six Wind Symphonies, T285/3 (publ 1782): No. 1 in E flat [11'07]; No. 2 in B flat [8'40]; No. 3 in E flat [11'52]; No. 4 in B flat [7'18]; No. 5 in E flat [11'03]; No. 6 in B flat [9'18].
Consortium Classicum (Dieter Klöcker, Waldemar Wandel, clarinets; Karl-Otto Hartmann, Eberhard Bischmann, bassoons; Jan Schroeder, Rolf-Jürgen Eisermann, horns; Jürgen Normann, double-bass).
Rec. Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen, Germany in 1991. DDD


AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Sheer delight in this reissue of these 1991 recordings (originally on MDG L3434). At the time they were premiere recordings, as the booklet notes attest. They have since appeared at least once more, on Stradivarius. All six are typically life-affirming J. C. Bach. He was the so-called 'London Bach', although the booklet notes claim that he was also known as the 'Milan Bach' at one point a fact new to me due to his activities as Cathedral organist to that city.

This is open-air music, and affirms its origins with every note. Of the slow movements, J. C. Bach forges beautiful cantabiles (No. 1) and even moves towards the interior emotions (Nos. 2, 4). First movements buzz with barely-contained energy, while finales can be varied, from the hunting horns of No. 1, the more laid-back No. 2 or the cheeky and joyous (No. 3). Drama and shadows do appear, but do not last for long Bach's love of life is too great. If the ending of No. 4 doesn't make you laugh or at the very least smile, there is no hope ....

What is interesting is that this composer can take a stock text-book gesture such as the arpeggiation that opens No. 3 and animate it with an internal clean-cut and bracing vigour. Further, he never outstays his welcome not a single movement is over five minutes.

If there is a criticism, both the Andante of No. 3 and the Andantino of No. 5 sound on the slow side to me (some excellent horn playing in No. 5, though). They still sound lovely, though. The Collegiuum Classicum sounds as if it lives and breathes this music. Rhythms are marvellously taut throughout.

Mozart's debt to J. C. in his own music for wind ensemble becomes crystal clear on hearing these works. But let us not forget these are little gems in their own right. Reissuing them has the effect of once more highlighting these marvellous pieces in marvellous performances.

Colin Clarke

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1



Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.