One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

in the first division


extraordinary by any standards


An excellent disc


a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.


Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now
RECORDING OF THE MONTH


A Garland for John McCabe


ABRAHAMSEN Quartets


DIETHELM Symphonies


The best Rite of Spring in Years


BACH Magnificat


Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26


Just enjoy it!


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

 

 

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Concerto in D minor for two violins, BWV 1043 [14:20]
Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041 [13:13]
Violin Concerto in E major, BWV 1042 [16:08]
Concerto in D minor for two violins, BWV 1060 [12:45]
Rachel Podger (violin)
The Academy of Ancient Music/Andrew Manze (violin)
rec October 1996, Blackheath Concert Hall, London
HARMONIA MUNDI MUSIQUE D’ABORD HMA1957155 [56:41]

This is a very welcome reissue, mostly due to the wonderful zip to the sound. Any time I listen to a disc of the complete Bach violin concertos I always start with the wonderful E major concerto, and its athletic energy is really compelling here, full of conversational spark and wry energy.  This is put on hold for the elegantly spacious Adagio, before bounding off again in a dance-like finale.

The famous Double Concerto also bounces along with fantastic energy.  It’s very light on its feet and, for me, utterly convincing.  The two violins are separated in the stereo sound, but only very slightly so that they are distinguished from one another, and never so much as to prove distracting.  It’s very subtly done and very effective.  The great Largo might sound a tiny tad on the thin side, but it’s not parched, and it’s a good one to set alongside the (equally valuable) old school wallowers like Zukerman and Perlman.  The ornamentations are also very sensitive: one tends to lead where the other follows and the effect is very convincing.  More serious musical argument follows in the finale, but it wears its contrapuntal skill lightly and it had me convinced.

The other double concerto, more frequently heard in its arrangement for two harpsichords, works very well with two violins, most clearly in the slow movement, but the contrapuntal to-and-fro of the outer movements also sounds marvellous, and the finale is a marriage of the sparky and the slightly edgy. The A minor concerto had me slightly less convinced, the first movement a little too severe for my taste; however, the central Andante makes up for it with playing of unhurried, sensual beauty, as soloist and orchestra weave in and out of one another’s texture beautifully. This is showcase Bach playing, and the cheaper price helps.

Simon Thompson


 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger