Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bach, Bruggen, Leonhardt|
Brandenburg Concertos 1-3
Listen to Samples
Maybe the best complete Brandenburgs of all time
Peter G. Watchorn | Cambridge, MA USA | 04/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first recording (1977) of the Brandenburgs Concertos which proved what marvellous insights the use of contemporary instruments (with the music, that is) could lend to the musical result (Harnoncourt's first set from 1963 came too early in their discography for the techniques of playing old instruments to have been fully mastered in these most demanding works). In the present set, well-judged tempi and an unerring sense of rhythm are juxtaposed in splendid proportion (most tempos here are moderate compared to some of the performances by next generation performers, the finale to BWV 1048 being an exception). Elsewhere (among these reviews) I read with astonishment the opinion that Leonhardt is "not a good conductor". As one who has experienced Mr. Leonhardt's performances live on many occasions, I can attest to his extraordinary level of achievement as musical director of many ensembles. Leonhardt is, simply, one of the greatest musicians of our time, and, as conductor, whatever he may lack in conventional "stick-technique", he more than makes up for in his extraordinarily authoritative, knowledgable, yet passionate musicianship (the same goes with Frans Bruggen - his conducting looks strange, but any of the musicians in his orchestra - and I know many of them personally - will confirm his mastery, and the enormous debt which all of us owe to him). Anyone with ears to hear will recognize the profound musical truths unlocked by these legendary performances. I also noticed, elsewhere, Leonhardt compared unfavourably with Trevor Pinnock. This is ironic, since Mr. Pinnock would be the first to acknowledge his own profound debt to Leonhardt. Actually, given the range of Leonhardt's achievements, and his unique role in re-discovering many facets of "authentic" performance that are now taken for granted, and copied by almost everyone (including Mr. Pinnock, in fact), what is astonishing to me is how timeless and enduring Leonhardt's musicianship has proved, and how little of substance has been added to what he and his generation discovered. Actually, all of the re-issues in the SEON series (here offered by Sony at a ridiculously low price) are collector's items, important for any one who wants to experience the excitement of discovering early music on period instruments for the first time. Do yourself a favour and acquire this one while you can. Let's not overlook the contributions of all the musicans on this release: Lucy van Dael, Frans Brueggen, Anner Bylsma, Wieland and Sigiswald Kuijken, Paul Dombrecht, Kees Boeke, Bob van Asperen. Many of these luminaries are Leonhardt's friends and students, themselves testimonies to Leonhardt's profound contribution to musical performance in our time. One of great bargains."