Most of these performers aren't well known in the US, but they're excellent. Christian Altenburger, the main soloist in the violin concertos, hasn't recorded a great deal, but he's been a soloist with the world's leading orchestras and conductors, and is also in demand as a chamber musician. His playing here is nimble, seemingly effortless, not flashy or self-important, with a sweet tone and occasional discreet, tasteful vibrato. His approach is well matched to that of the chamber orchestra led by Helmut Winschermann, who founded the Deutsche Bachsolisten (German Bach Soloists) in 1960 and made numerous well respected recordings with them. The three violin concerto recordings on this CD date from about 1980, originally issued on Arabesque LPs.
The other soloists are also good, including Bob van Asperen, who brings lots of energy on harpsichord in the Triple Concerto.
The overall style of these performances is somewhere between the current understanding of period performance and the more Romantic approach of older recordings. The instruments aren't period, and there's no effort to produce elaborate Baroque ornamentation, but the playing is light, not ponderous, with a nice spring to it, while preserving a stately quality. It sounds like what I imagine an early Classical performance would sound like, like Bach played in Haydn's day.
The sound quality is quite good, with a natural balance between the instruments, all the parts and musical lines audible. In the Triple Concerto, the strings are favored somewhat over the harpsichord, but that's how it would sound in person--harpsichords aren't as loud as even a small string section. The harpsichord sound is pleasant and remains clear. (Amazon has samples you can check out.)
The very low cost of this CD is no reflection of the high quality of the recording.
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