J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Brandenburg Concertos

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Ross Pople
Accompaniment/Orchestra:London Festival Orchestra
Soloists:Anna Pyne, Fiona Howes, Edward Beckett
Malcolm Messiter, oboe
Mark Bennett, trumpet
Steven Smith, violin
Sarah Jane Bradley, Marina Ascherson
Mark Levy, Catherine Finnis
viola da gamba
Marilyn Sanson, cello
Michael Freyhan, harpsichord
Viola da Gamba
Individual Works:Brandenburg Concerto no. 1, BWV 1046
Brandenburg Concerto no. 2, BWV 1047
Brandenburg Concerto no. 3, BWV 1048
Largo from Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in G Major, BWV 1019
Brandenburg Concerto no. 4, BWV 1049
Brandenburg Concerto no. 5, BWV 1050
Brandenburg Concerto no. 6, BWV 1051
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Arte Nova
Catalog Number:74321 34031 2
Year Released/Recorded:1995
Total Playing Time:Two CD's: 43'59" and 55'15"
Comments:Hieu Tran said:

There is something about this recording that makes the Brandenburg Concertos sound . . . like fun--less serious than in other recordings. Much of that quality could probably be accredited to the cozy feel of the sometime brisk playing. Some of the slow movements sound somewhat like little meditative jaunts, such as the second movements of Concerto no. 1, 2, and 5, not the really sweeping and gliding sounds that others may be more accustomed to hearing. The performances sound intimate, sometimes a bit closer to chamber music, with the different parts heard pretty distinctly from one another. In that regard, the color of the second concerto is especially nice. While a few other recordings can't seem to find the balance for the soloists and orchestra (especially with the trumpet sometimes sounding bombastic and sometimes a mere whisper), here, the orchestra and solo trumpet, violin, oboe, and flute are well proportioned, without one drowning out the other when playing tutti. The cadenza of the fifth concerto doesn't quite build as energetically as in other recordings but is still pretty. The first movement of the third concerto doesn't sound as elegant as most other recordings of it, probably because the different parts stand out so clearly. The continuo harpsichord defines itself a bit more like the solo harpsichord from the fifth concerto, and that slightly gets in the way. The lack of blending of the colors in this case loses the graceful quality. The second movement of the third concerto is, interestingly, the Largo from Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in G Major, BWV 1019, leading into a moderately fast third movement. Still, for the most part, there's nothing big or distracting here--pretty straightforward and delightful interpretation by the musicians.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Hieu Tran
Date First Submitted:02/20/1999