Aureum perform three attractive concertos by J.S. Bach on
this DHM release. The German ensemble Collegium Aureum,
founded in 1962 by the Freiburg-based record company Harmonia
Mundi, have built a distinguished reputation in the early
music repertoire. Their excellent performances informed
by historical performance practice use period instruments.
In accordance with the convention of the late-baroque Court
Orchestra, Collegium Aureum work without a conductor, being
led by the concert-master, as a primus inter pares.
three recordings have all been previously released from
the extensive Sony/BMG back catalogue. The Harpsichord Concerto
in D minor, BWV 1052 was recorded over forty years ago in
Schwaben, in 1965. Both the Double Concerto in D minor,
BWV 1060R and the Triple Concerto in A minor, BWV 1044 were
recorded a decade later in Jagdsaal.
origins of the Concerto for violin, oboe, strings and basso
continuo in D minor, BWV 1060R remain the subject of speculation.
It is not known for sure when Bach composed it. However,
it is known that he produced an arrangement of it in 1735,
where he replaced the violin and oboe parts with a pair
of harpsichords, as the Concerto for two harpsichords, BWV
1060. The version recorded here is now only available as
a reconstruction extrapolated from the two harpsichords
fine this performance of the adagio has an eloquent
melody for the violin and oboe presented over pizzicato
accompaniment. The outstanding soloists, violinist Maier
and oboist Hucke expertly engage in an intricately woven
interchange with the orchestra. In the two outer allegro
movements they join together impressively in a profitable
conversation with the orchestra.
is known that the two concertos BWV 1044 and BWV 1052 were
the product of Bach’s activities during the time of his
directorship of the Collegium musicum in Leipzig. This post
enabled him to pursue his predilection for composing concertante
is thought likely that the Concerto for harpsichord in D
minor, BWV 1052 uses material from the work of another composer.
Unfortunately the substance of this contention cannot be
assessed since the original version, probably a violin concerto,
cannot be found. The virtuoso part for the harpsichord has
a spacious conception and eminent soloist Leonhardt is highly
convincing and performs splendidly with the players of Collegium
is known that the Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord
in A minor, BWV 1044 is based on Bach’s arrangements from
his own preludes and fugues for solo keyboard instruments.
Contrary to what one might expect, the concertante dialogue
between the three instruments does not take centre-stage
in the Triple Concerto. Bach concentrates on retouching
in greater detail the material of the harpsichord original
with the timbral hues of the orchestra. The three soloists,
flautist Kuijken, violinist Maier and harpsichordist van
Asperen are well matched and provide convincing performances,
responding successfully to the challenge.
The sound quality on this re-release is fresh and clean
and the booklet notes, although fairly concise, are more
than acceptable. Smooth, elegant and thoughtful playing
of these three Bach works from Collegium Aureum.