J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Brandenburg Concertos

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Thurston Dart
Accompaniment/Orchestra:The Philomusica of London
Soloists:Numbers in () refer to concerto no.
Denis Clift(1,2), Sidney Ellison(1):trumpet
Christopher Taylor(2,4), Richard Taylor(4):recorders
Peter Graeme(1,2),Rosemary Wells(1),Neil Black(1):oboes
Granville Jones(2,3,4,5):violin
Carl Pini(1):violone piccolo
Vernon Elliott(1):bassoon
Thurston Dart(5):harpsichord
Cecil Aronowitz(6),Rosemary Green(6):viola
Desmond Dupre(6),Dietrich Kessler(6):gamba
Bernard Richards(6):'cello
Richard Adeney(5):flute
Violino Piccolo
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
Record Label:L'Oiseau-Lyre
Catalog Number:DPA577-8
Year Released/Recorded:1959 (reissue 1977)
Comments:This is arguably the first attempt at an authentic performance, albeit on modern instruments. This recording has not yet been reissued on CD but was recorded in stereo in 1959. It is notable for the energy of the performance (not current at the time of recording but frequent nowadays in performances on original instruments) and the attention to historical detail by Thurston Dart. Note he argues that the corni de caccia of concerto 1 were hunting horns (Jagdhorn) in F and so pretty high. These were unavailable in 1959, so two trumpets in F are substituted; these stand out above the tutti and make the hunting calls (dotted rhythm - a taverne, and repeated triplets - a ton) easily audible. Also Dart solves the problem of the missing movement and two chords in concerto 3 by interpolating the slow movement of a G major Violin Sonata BWV1021. Also notable is the Dart playing of the harpsichord cadenza in No. 5. Some very nice recorder and oboe playing also. The order of play is different from Bach's intention - this has nothing to do with musicology but was necessary to get all the concerti onto two vinyl discs. This get my vote as one of the top recordings of all time (so far).
Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Glenn Baggott
Date First Submitted:01/12/1996