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Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos Hybrid SACD - DSD

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, September 24, 2013
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Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos + Mozart: Requiem (Reconstruction of first performance) + Handel: Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742)
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Product Details

  • Conductor: John Butt
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (September 24, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Linn
  • ASIN: B009H75B2E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,297 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This recording marks the first instrumental release from Dunedin Consort and includes all of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos which are widely regarded as among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era. Under the direction of John Butts the ensemble has established an enviable reputation as one of the leading exponents of historical performance and is particularly acclaimed for its inquisitive approach, shining new light into some of the best known pieces of the baroque repertoire.


#6 Classical Artist UK Charts

#2 Specialist Classical UK Charts

'No. 2 Classical Album of 2013' The Glasgow Herald

Gramophone Choice:
'Notwithstanding the distinguished Brandenburg discography, this set is nothing short of sensational.'

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Would recommend to anyone who enjoys the wonder of Bach.
My own favorites, at least for period performances, have been those directed by Pinnock and Savall, as well as the vintage recordings by Collegium Areum.
J. R. Trtek
Some might not notice, but it's also presented in original pitch - which adds a great deal of warmth and color to the recordings.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Barnard D. Sherman on October 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In a 1999 essay, "Bach recordings since 1980: a mirror of historical performance," John Butt wrote, "Many recent releases of the Brandenburg Concertos are indistinguishable from one another in many respects... I could not be confident of distinguishing in a blind test the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment from the Linde-Consort, the Taverner Players, the Brandenburg Consort, or La Petite Bande."
But not even a novice listener would have trouble distinguishing Butt's new recording. Its uniqueness does not result from gimmickry (e.g., hyped-up tempos or chopped-up articulation, or attempts to sound Italian or to reveal some hypothetical "program"); nor does it come just from Butt's historically informed decisions about pitch (the low pitch of A=392) or scoring (one player per part), since both have been used before. It's something more. For one thing, these musicians attain a warmth and richness of the sound that I've never heard before. I thought I knew what the Brandenburgs SOUNDED like on period instruments; this recording made me think again.
But sound is a relatively small part of what's so remarkable about the playing, and the explanation lies partly in the topic Butt was considering in 1999, the ongoing maturation of the historical-performance movement. Decades of research and experience with performance practice (tempo, pitch, tuning, temperament, genres, et al.) are here transmuted into a discourse so fluent and natural that it sounds as if the players are speaking a mother-tongue. This not only helps them steer clear of negatives (e.g., overstressed downbeats, over-articulated motifs, over-driven speeds etc. ); it also helps them find their way into the specialness of each movement.
Consider the bass line in the slow movement of the Sixth.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By JB on September 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD
The Scottish Dunedin Consort has often been lauded for its fresh, transparent textures and beautifully proportioned and balanced sound, and following critical acclaim for their Baroque vocal releases, such as Matthew Passion (Final Performing Version, c. 1742), Handel: Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742)) and most recently Bach: John Passion, they've produced what's to be hoped is a curtain-raiser to more recordings of the orchestral works.

In the booklet notes John Butt observes that though the six concertos are highly structured, they are, paradoxically 'among the most carefree, joyous and spontaneous works that Bach ever produced'. Butt is able to create broad washes of colour which, combined with an energy generated from within the textural detail, drives the music onward with an effortlessness and inevitability. This fluidity is striking, possibly because many recent recordings of late have instead focused on producing a more rustic and even jagged sound. The flowing elegance here seems to bring out the French influence, and indeed the temperament which the ensemble have adopted is that of the French Court at the time, the low A-392. This in itself has a knock-on effect in slightly slowing the pace and thereby increasing the articulation of the instruments. It also adds a wonderfully warm glow.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen McLeod on November 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This new recording by the Dunedin Consort is the most interesting and welcome recording I have heard in quite a while. But I didn't like it right away. There are at least two aspects of this recording that deserve attention, the musicianship and the sound quality. As to the former, *sublime* doesn't seem to be adequate. It's as if I were hearing this music for the first time. I don't know how Mr. Butt and his Dunedin players have accomplished this. If you buy the CD version of this, you'll get a very interesting and informative essay in the accompanying booklet, where you'll find out about the latest debates in early music performance practice, specifically for these concertos, and an explanation as to why the musicians made many of the choices they did, with regard to pitch and the limitations of the instruments that were available to Bach in 1720 or thereabouts. But this recording is more than the sum of its parts. These Brandenburgs are the result of an alchemy that defies explanation. Somewhere I read that John Butt, the director of this ensemble, said at one time (I paraphrase) that he would never want to record a performance of this music that was indistinguishable from every other recording out there. Well he certainly has avoided that common pitfall. These are exciting, confident, clear and above all, celestially fresh renditions of music that I really thought I had heard, more or less, enough. This false assumption made it all the more gratifying to hear these breathtakingly intelligent and beautifully realized recordings for the first time (and second and third, etc.).

The recorded sound: I do not have a terribly sophisticated playback system. I live in a small apartment in New York City and couldn't exploit a high quality system, even if I had one.
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