> BACH Violin Concerto BWV 1052 Zelenka sinfonia METCD1019 [JW]: Classical Reviews- April 2002 MusicWeb-International

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J S BACH (1685-1750)
Violin Concerto in D Minor – reconstruction by K Linder-Dewan from Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052
Brandenburg Concerto No 2
Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745)
Sinfonia in A minor
Kerstin Linder-Dewan, violin
Fiori Musicali
Penelope Rapson, director
Recorded Stationers’ Hall, London 1997
METRONOME MET CD 1019 [54.10]


Experience Classicsonline

BWV 1052 is known today as Bach’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings though it may very well have originated as a Violin Concerto. An earlier speculative reconstruction was undertaken by none other than Ferdinand David in 1837 but this newer one is by the soloist Kerstin Linder-Dewan. It is perfectly idiomatic and a generally convincing undertaking with solo and tutti integration well managed. Throughout she plays with considerable style and understanding and none of the usual troubling doubts cling to a performance that emerges independent of its more accustomed context. Metronome have given us a mixed concert recital here and include the A minor Sinfonia of the Bohemian, Zelenka, who was so admired by Bach that he instructed his eldest son W.F. to copy out Zelenka’s Magnificat in D – and to learn from the experience. It is assuredly Vivaldian in impress but is a buoyant work in five movements. The notes speak of the Aria da Capriccio as possessing a bleakness similar to Bohemia’s mountain regions – not something I can say I noticed – and drawing on some geographical parallel with the slow movement of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto (not a wise comparison really). The recording ends with some spectacular trumpet playing by David Staff in the Brandenburg Concerto. Rather magnificently he modifies dynamics even as he sears the ear with his playing – and it’s probably, with no disrespect to Linder-Dewan’s accomplishments, the highlight of the disc. Fiori Musicali are a fresh and crisp little ensemble of six violins, two violas, two cellos and a double bass and allied instrumentation. They are imaginative, listening musicians if sometimes a little frail and prone to untidiness that would have been lessened with more rehearsal time. Stationers’ Hall has a most appropriate acoustic and never muddies the line. A disc of some pleasures it is assuredly worth investigating for the reconstruction and the enviably assured trumpeting of David Staff.


Jonathan Woolf


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