"I can't say enough about Pinnock performances. His interpretations of Bach's Harpsichord concertos are sprightly and energetic. These recordings are absolutely beautiful with the perfect balance of detail and ambience. Even thou Pinnock uses multiple instruments per part, these recordings come across as well balanced. I'd still like just a touch more volume to the harpsichord, but the sound is in perfect proportion to the number of instruments used. I especially like Pinnock phrasing of the melodic lines. The bouncy and well articulated violin playing compliments the solo harpsichord beautifully which is reminiscent of Leonhardt's historic and still superb recordings from the 1960's (still avialable on Teldec now Elektra/Asylum - #97452 ISDN B000000SPD. I've played these Pinnock recordings over and over again and they are still immensely enjoyable with every repeated listen!Extremely recommended!"
Wonderful period-instrument performances
Cowboy Bill | Omaha, NE USA | 03/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, the performances are first rate. Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert rarely disappoint. Although the ensemble uses interpretations and instruments from the 18th century, their recordings are never overly dry or self-consciously antique (which can happen in other authentic-instrument groups' collections).The sound is still great, especially when you consider that some of these tracks were recorded 20 years ago. The fine original recordings -- all digital -- help keep these CDs sounding fresh. The aural balance is superb -- the sound projection is not too close, not too distant."
A Premier Bach Series Recording
Ray | 03/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased these recordings nearly 20 years ago, when Deutsche Gramophone was still selling them as five individual discs, and at over $20 per disc. With the re-release of the set of all five discs in a single, price-reduced "Collectors Edition" box set, the price has fallen by more than half, making this one of the outstanding values for high-quality Bach recordings on today's market.
But what about the performances? Here's the best way I can sum it up. Having listened to these disks for some two decades, in the car, on the main home stereo system, on portable equipment, on the boom box, and etc., etc., it is, I imagine, inevitable that one ends up memorizing nearly every note. And with that familiarity comes the ability to detect flaws in the performance, missteps, missed beats, the occasional off-tone instrument. Here's the rub: it is difficult to locate any significant flaw in the performances. These performances are about as perfect as one can get, but having said that, there is more. The sound reproduction of this recording remains near or at the top of any Bach recordings with which I've become familiar, and remains in my own thinking the de facto standard by which other performances should be measured.
Sound too good to be true? Pick up a set and see for yourself. And then relish the thought that you paid $40 for a set worth far more. "
Neil Ronan C. | 12/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set offers unbeatable value. The performances are uniformly excellent. Pinnock's Bach is brisk and sprightly when it should be, but also tender and relaxed when it must be. He is not afraid to slow down and savour the music, unlike many period-performance specialists. He is one of the world's great harpsichordists and his partners in the multiple concerti are also excellent. Simon Standage yields nothing to better-known soloists in the violin concerti.
The sound is clear, deep, and only a little bit on the bright side.
While you're at it, buy the Pinnock/English Concert complete Mozart symphonies. Sure, Mozart's first fifteen or so aren't anything special, but the set is superb and the price unbelievable."
A nice way to complete your collection of Bach's concertos..
Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo | Boston, MA USA | 02/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set of concertos, paired with the Brandenburg Concertos/Overtures compilation from Arkiv (also featuring Pinnock and the English Concert), gives any new Bach fan a fairly complete account of Bach's instrumental orchestral output. This package includes all of Bach's harpsichord concertos, violin concertos, and assorted concertos for two and three soloists. Highlights are the D Minor Harpsicord concerto BWV 1052, the C Major concerto for 2 Harpsicords BWV 1061, the A Major Harpsichord concerto BWV 1055, the A Minor triple concerto BWV 1044, the C Minor double concerto BWV 1060, and the violin concertos. As with all of Pinnock's Bach recordings, tempi are swift but never sound rushed; phrasing and accenting are ideal. Pinnock and the English Concert clearly have great respect for Bach's works, and they obviously enjoy playing them. This set is a mix of analog and digital recordings. However regardless of the recording format, everything sounds excellent and you most likely will not be able to tell the difference. Strongly recommended for those who loved Bach's Brandenburg concertos and Overtures and are looking for something new to sink their teeth into."