J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Concerti for Harpsichord and Strings (Gustav Leonhardt Edition)

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Gustav Leonhardt
Soloists:Gustav Leonhard, harpsichord
Frans Brüggen, transverse flute and recorder
Marie Leonhardt, violin
Anneke Uittenbosch, harpsichord (BWV 1063, 1061, 1064, 1065)
Alan Curtis, harpsichord (BWV 1063,1064)
Eduard Müller, harpsichord (BWV 1062,1060,1065)
Janny van Wering, harpsichord (BWV 1065)
Individual Works:Disc One:
Concerto in A minor for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1044
Concerto for harpsichord in E major, BWV 1053
Concerto for harpsichord in D major, BWV 1054
Concerto for harpsichord in A major, BWV 1055

Disc Two:
Concerto for harpsichord in F major, BWV 1056
Concerto for harpsichord and two recorders in F major, BWV 1057
Concerto for harpsichord in G minor, BWV 1058
Concerto for harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1059
Concerto for two harpsichords in C minor, BWV 1060

Disc Three:
Concerto for two harpsichords in C major, BWV 1061
Concerto for two harpsichords in C minor, BWV 1062
Concerto for three harpsichords in D minor, BWV 1063
Concerto for three harpsichords in C major, BWV 1064
Concerto for four harpsichords in A minor, BWV 1065

Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Teldec
Catalog Number:3984-21350-2
Year Released/Recorded:Recorded: 1968, 1969
This Release: 1998
Total Playing Time:cd1: 72"57"
cd2: 64'25"
cd3: 74'53"
Comments:An individual release that is part of the 21-disc "Gustav Leonhardt Edition."

Review by Jan Hanford:

Performance: Outstanding
Recording: Excellent

This performance of the harpsichord concertos dates from the late 1960's and is as rewarding as any recorded subsequently. In fact, this recording and Gustav Leonhardt himself, were the catalysts for the style in which Bach's music is now performed and recorded. Gustav Leonhardt is one of the first to perform in what is now described as "original instruments" or "historically informed performance" recordings. His use of reconstructions of Baroque harpsichords, rather than the harsh and heavy harpsichords previously being used in the 20th century, led the way to the current instrumentation and performance style. He was an innovator and this recording demonstrates the importance of his influence on how we play and hear Bach today.

His performance is straight-forward with none of the frantic speeds that plague so many recordings of the '90's. His expression is understated and elegant, rather than extreme and overly personal. This is Bach played with energy, beauty and intelligence. An imporant recording that will continue to withstand the test of time.

I should note that BWV 1052 is missing from this set. But it does include the rarely recorded BWV 1059. Only the first nine bars of this concerto have survived. But the first movement had already been used in Cantata BWV 35, from which Leonhard has reconstructed this concerto.

This set also includes the concerto in A minor for flute, violin and harpsichord, BWV 1044, with the excellent Frans Brüggen playing transverse flute, and Marie Leonhardt, violin.

Acknowledgements:From the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:05/02/1996