JS Bach: Brandenburg Concertos - Zefiro, Alfredo Bernardini (2CD)

Arcana
$49.99
Current Stock:
SKU:
A452
Artist:
Zefiro, Alfredo Bernardini

Following its highly acclaimed album featuring the three most richly scored Ouvertures (Gramophone Editor’s Choice – shortlisted for the 2017 Gramophone Awards and included among the Top 10 recent Bach recordings), Zefiro comes full circle with the famous collection of Concerts avec plusieurs instruments, that kaleidoscope of colours that seems almost tailor-made to highlight the salient qualities of the ensemble founded by the three historical wind specialists, Alfredo Bernardini and Paolo and Alberto Grazzi. Thanks to experience gained in countless performances and recordings with the leading conductors and ensembles, but also to thorough research into the most appropriate instruments and pitch (398 Hz, i.e. the ‘authentic’ French pitch), this brand new recording exudes liveliness, flair and knowledge, and features some of the greatest names on the Baroque music scene, among them Cecilia Bernardini, Gabriele Cassone, Francesco Corti, Lorenz Duftschmid, Marcello Gatti, Gaetano Nasillo and Dorothee Oberlinger. Also included is the more intimate B minor Suite with flute (BWV 1067), thus filling the gap left by the earlier recording.

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Tracklisting:

CD1

JS Bach

  • 1. Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046: I. [¢]
  • 2. Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046: II. Adagio
  • 3. Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046: III. Allegro
  • 4. Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046: IV. Menuet – Trio I – Poloinesse – Trio II
  • 5. Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047: I. [¢]
  • 6. Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047: II. Andante
  • 7. Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047: III. Allegro assai
  • 8. Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048: I. [¢] – Adagio
  • 9. Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048: II. Allegro
  • 10. Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049: I. Allegro
  • 11. Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049: II. Andante
  • 12. Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049: III. Presto


CD2

JS Bach

  • 1. Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050: I. Allegro
  • 2. Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050: II. Affettuoso
  • 3. Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050: III. Allegro
  • 4. Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051: I. [¢]
  • 5. Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051: II. Adagio ma non tanto
  • 6. Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051: III. Allegro
  • 7. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: I. Ouverture
  • 8. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: II. Rondeaux
  • 9. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: III. Sarabande
  • 10. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: IV. Bourée 1 & 2
  • 11. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: V. Polonoise moderato e staccato. Lentement & Double
  • 12. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: VI. Menuet
  • 13. Ouverture [No. 2] in B minor, BWV 1067: VII. Battinerie

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When I grew up, performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos tended to be ponderous and venerable, with full orchestra of modern instruments. Nowadays the default performance style for music of Bach’s era is small groups of original instruments, with as much concern as possible for correct performance practice.

Players today have come to recognise the Italianate quality of Bach’s concertos, not least the Brandenburgs, and Italian group Zefiro’s new recordings imbue the iconic music with a zestful energy and exuberance, tempered by a soulful expressiveness in the slower sections. From the exhilarating tempi to the stratospheric trumpet playing, I don’t think I have ever heard the Brandenburgs sound so freshly-minted and life-affirming.

I imagine that almost everybody already has a favourite performance of these works; even so, Zefiro’s version will offer stiff competition, and possibly even change your perception of Bach.

- The Classical Music Collector, Chris Dench