52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


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

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Concerto for violin and oboe in C minor BWV1060R [12:59]
Violin Concerto in E major BWV1042 [15:52]
Cantata Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis BWV21: Sinfonia [2:41]
Violin Concerto in A minor BWV1041 [13:26]
Concerto in D minor for two violins BWV1043 [14:31]
Cecilia Bernardini (violin), Huw Daniel (violin), Alfredo Bernardini (oboe)
Dunedin Consort/John Butt
rec. Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, UK, 17-20 November 2014
SACD/CD Surround/Stereo; reviewed in surround
LINN CKD519 SACD [59:00]

Recordings of Bach's violin concertos appear with great regularity. The problem for the marketing men is how to fill the disc up to a saleable length. There are only three surviving concertos for violin, the E major, A minor and the Double Concerto in D minor. This disc from Linn adds the Concerto BWV1060R (R means 'reconstruction') which, though only coming down to us in a version for two harpsichords, has for a long time been accepted as being originally for oboe and violin, as played here. Linn also give us a more unusual choice, the short opening Sinfonia from Cantata No.21 which features the oboe. The notes go into some detail about the cantatas as the source for several instrumental pieces now better known as 'concerto movements'. The soloists and ripieno group going under the name of the Orchestra of the Dunedin Consort are all well established musicians with first rate international credentials. It is one of the joys of attending a baroque concert that one recognises a lot of the participants having seen them elsewhere with other groups. The range of experience on offer here explains why one can simply recommend this disc unreservedly on all musical fronts. These are beautiful and lively performances second to none. If this particular set of musicians has to be characterised it is their sense of being a performing group. The soloists are simply the players with the solo line; they are never celebrities as would have been the case in earlier decades when such as Isaac Stern stood in front of a top-name orchestra as a star soloist. As a convinced listener to period performances this ensemble playing is the characteristic that makes the disc special. One feels as if one is eavesdropping on a private jam session. It would be misleading to suggest that any one performance is 'the best'. Most collectors will happily continue to play, say, Rachel Podger's performances for that jazzy improvised flavour, or Jaap Schröder and the AAM for that pioneering feel back in the 1980s, or even David Oistrakh for his creamy and wholly inappropriate violin sound. Cecilia Bernardini and her father, baroque oboist Alfredo Bernardini sound like musicians among musician friends. Some of the publicity speaks of Cecilia revelling in the spotlight as soloist. Thankfully there is none of that.

The recording sounds close-miked and as a result the high harmonics are more prominent than they would have been at a more typical concert-seat distance. I did not get much sense of a space as large as that of Greyfriars Kirk. This does contribute to clarity of detail and certainly these musicians can withstand the close inspection. The harpsichord is clear in a way it never is from an audience seat. I still suspect that the harpsichord is there to help the musicians stay together because in my local churches that are used for baroque performances it is almost inaudible even from the front pews. Linn engineer Philip Hobbs writes at length about the complexities of recording in this church with this group when making their recording of the St John Passion in 2013. I was amused to note, after I wrote the words above, that Philip says, "They're quite hard to spot-mic, harpsichords. They're either too close or too far away!" He also talks about aspects of microphone placement that go a long way to explain why the present recording sounds as it does. I believe recordings are not a representation of concert hall reality but a balance for home listening and in that situation this one is very informative.

Dave Billinge
Previous review: Brian Wilson



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger