J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Brandenburg Concertos

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Karl Richter
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Munchener Bach-Orchester
Viola da Gamba
Individual Works:Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046
Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047
Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051


Concerto for oboe d'amore in A major, BWV 1055
Concerto for oboe and violin in C minor, BWV 1060

Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:DGG Archiv
Catalog Number:427 143-2
Year Released/Recorded:1964 1968 1981
Total Playing Time:125' 40"
Comments:Raffaello Braga said:

A digital remastering, on CD, of one of the most celebrated recordings of Bach's Brandeburg Concertos ever made. Although many recordings of these works are present in my CD collection (including those of Leonhardt, Hogwood, Harnoncourt and others) Richter's interpretation is my favourite one for the richness of the sound, the brilliant tempi, the sumptuous performance. These results have been reached by Richter thanks to the use of modern instruments (with no problem of intonation and a more pleasant and full sound compared with original instruments) and to the enlargement of the orchestra, considerably reinforced in the string section. Only the Sixth concert seems to be played by parti reali. An important difference between Richter's recording and the others with modern instruments (for example that made by Karajan with Berliner Philharmoniker) is the following of the original instrumentation, i.e. the use of recorders (flauti diritti) in the Second and Fourth concerts (often replaced, in the past, by transverse flutes) and viole da gamba in the Sixth (instead of cellos). This choice ensure us to be in presence of a true "bachian" performance, not a romantic one. The 2 CD box contains also the concert BWV 1055 for oboe d'amore, strings and b.c. plus the famous BWV 1060 for oboe, violin, strings and b.c.

However, there is some weakness. The sound of the harpsichord is not the best for this type of instrument (this is particularly evident in the Fifth concert) and the quality of the remastering could be more satisfying. The notes attached to the box are poor and generic.

In spite of this, I strongly recommend this wonderful recording, in particular to those listeners looking for a very good interpretation of these masterpieces but "allergic" to baroque orchestras and original instruments.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Raffaello Braga
Date First Submitted:12/19/1999