Dunedin Consort - J.S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos - MusicWeb International

John Butt, the Dunedin Consort and Linn have another winner on their hands; not only are performances and recording first-rate, with period horns much more tolerable than most, but the SACDs and downloads are offered as two for the price of one. I've already praised John Butt and his team in the two Bach Passions and B minor Mass, but the new release proves equally desirable. What a long way we have come from the days when we thought Karl Münchinger the last word in the Brandenburgs; now we even have several really good period-instrument versions to choose from and this is by no means the least among them.

Some musicological detective work on period practice has been involved, as explained in the notes, which are included with the download - scholarly but not solely aimed at specialists. The differences from other recordings are less marked than in the case of the recent St John Passion, strikingly set within the context of Lutheran Vespers, and they are certainly not of the obtrusive slap in the face variety. Nothing to frighten the horses, then, but certainly not a bland interpretation, either. I suspect that this may well become one of the versions to which I turn most frequently in future.

MusicWeb International
08 October 2013