Dunedin Consort - J.S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos - The Classical Ear
What can you do that's new with the Brandenburgs? Not a lot really, unless perverse mannerism is your thing. Better to concentrate on playing them accurately, lucidly, and above all with the spirit these brilliant masterpieces deserve. The Dunedin Consort do all of those things, and the result is a recording that straightaway is enjoyable and thoroughly likeable. They play one-to-a-part and at A=392Hz, about a tone lower than today's pitch; neither is a new idea, yet somehow these performances seem to get the best out of both of them. There is wonderful clarity to the textures (typically, Linn's balance helps), while the relaxed pitch allows them to ease the tempo slightly and for beguiling, ear-catching instrumental colourings to emerge. One thing that certainly is new is the use of retuned bass instruments in No. 6, adding extra resonance and warmth to some already exceptionally beautiful viol-playing.