MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Plain text for smartphones & printers

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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Reiner conducts Bach
Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 (ca.1721)
Orchestral Suites 1-4
RCA Victor Orchestra/Fritz Reiner
rec. 1949-52, New York City
ambient stereo
Full track details at end of review
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC425 [3 CDs: 61:24 + 62:47 + 67:20]

I had never associated Fritz Reiner with Bach but this 3 CD set from Pristine certainly changed my mind. As far as I can ascertain, apart from a partial issue of four of the Brandenburg Concertos on Centurion Classics, these recordings have never been transferred to CD. They were available on various Columbia LPs and were indeed the first recordings of this music in that format.

This cycle is in many ways remarkably forward thinking for its era, in that Reiner opted for a smaller, reduced string orchestra of four violins, two violas, two cellos and two double basses. He then had his pick of instrumental soloists active in New York, hence the quality of playing is very high indeed. Reiner was able to call upon the services of distinguished musicians such as flute virtuoso Julius Baker and William Vacchiano, first trumpet with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly thirty years and presumably here playing a B flat piccolo trumpet in the Brandenburg No. 2.

There is a high degree of clarity in the individual musical lines such that their contrapuntal complexity emerges cleanly. In these circumstances it is understandable that some critics of the time found these performances to be slightly mechanical and impersonal and some tempi seem decidedly brisk, challenging the dexterity of the soloists. Modern ears are unlikely to share that view, although they may, on the other hand smile at the little Romantic touches such as the “Mantovani slides” in the famous "Air on a G string" and the touches of portamento here and there. Personally, I don’t mind them at all. I am more bothered by the somewhat ponderous tempi for the second and fourth Overture, although there is considerable compensation in their majestic stateliness and the virtuosity of the playing.

The Overtures are in general more leisurely than the Brandenburg Concertos but that suits their grandeur. They are more public and demonstrative in utterance, whereas the Brandenburgs are more intimate, personal and even playful. Indeed, the crispness, fluency and delicacy of BWV 1048, for example, are a delight; sample the spring and lift of the presto finale.

The sound is superb for its vintage now that Pristine have applied their re-mastering and Ambient Stereo techniques. There is virtually no hiss and plenty of space around the instruments. I thoroughly enjoyed all three discs.
Ralph Moore

Full track details

CD 1:
Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F major, BWV 1046 [22:37]
Hugo Kolberg (solo violin); Weldon Wilbur (solo horn); Robert Bloom (solo oboe)
rec. 28 October 1949
Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F major, BWV 1047 [12:55]
William Vacchiano (trumpet); Felix Eyle (solo violin); Julius Baker (flute); Robert Bloom (oboe)
rec. 2 December 1949
Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major, BWV1048 [10:15]
rec. 26 October 1949
Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G major, BWV 1049 [15:37]
Hugo Kolberg (violin); Julius Baker (flute); Ralph Eichar (flute, tracks 10, 12); Frederick Wilkins (flute, track 11).
rec.21 October 1949
CD 2:
Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D major, BWV1050 [21:02]
Sylvia Marlowe (harpsichord); Hugo Kolberg (violin); Julius Baker (solo flute)
rec. 3 November 1949
Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 [18:59]
William Lincer, Nicholas Biro (solo violins)
Chamber Group/Fritz Reiner
Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City
Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major BWV 1066 for 2 oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo (c1717-23) [26:46]
rec. 14 October 1952
CD 3:
Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor BWV 1067 for flute, strings and continuo (late 1730s) [24:34]
Julius Baker (flute)
rec. 30 April 1953
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV 1068 for 3 trumpets, timpani, 2 oboes, strings and continuo (c1729-31) [21:13]
rec. 8 October 1952
Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major BWV 1069 for 3 oboes, bassoon, strings and continuo (c1717-23) [21:33]
rec. 23 October 1952