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Complete Harpsichord Concertos
Bach, Leonhardt, Lch
Complete Harpsichord Concertos
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #3

Gustav Leonhardt's way with Bach is uniquely persuasive, and Herbert Tachezi's single performance, that of the great D Minor Concerto, is pretty powerful too. The big question mark in this equation is Nickolaus Harnoncou...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Bach, Leonhardt, Lch, Cmw
Title: Complete Harpsichord Concertos
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Elektra / Wea
Release Date: 7/18/1995
Genre: Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Concertos, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750)
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 745099745226

Gustav Leonhardt's way with Bach is uniquely persuasive, and Herbert Tachezi's single performance, that of the great D Minor Concerto, is pretty powerful too. The big question mark in this equation is Nickolaus Harnoncourt, who can be either terrifically concentrated or willfully eccentric. Fortunately, he's in great form too. Bach actually invented the keyboard concerto during his years in Leipzig, turning many of his works for violin and other instruments into the glorious versions we have today. This set has been the "authentic" instrument standard since it was first issued, and, at budget price, it's a deal that anyone who loves Bach's music will find impossible to pass up. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

The Bach Harpsichord Concertos
Peter G. Watchorn | Cambridge, MA USA | 11/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection was first compiled in 1970 or so from recordings dating as far back as 1961. The set, now remastered and issued on cd, includes performances by three generations of harpsichordists, with Gustav Leonhardt providing the central focus. Leonhardt includes (in BWV 1060, 1062 and 1065) his former teacher from the Schola Cantorum in Basle, Eduard Mueller (the student modestly playing second harpsichord to his mentor in 1060 and 1065) while his own first-generation students Anneke Uittenbosch and Alan Curtis join him for BWV 1061, 1063-1065. Completing the quartet of soloists in BWV 1065 is the generation-before-Leonhardt Dutch harpsichordist, Janny van Waring. Another "star of the show" is Leonhardt's harpsichord, based on the J.D. Dulcken instruments of 1745, and built in 1962 by the great German harpsichord maker, Martin Skowroneck of Bremen. It was with this fine harpsichord (now owned by Bob van Asperen) that Leonhardt finally acquired an instrument which was worthy of his truly formidable gifts. In the same way that Landowska's playing was intimately connected with the sound of the Pleyel harpsichord which she used from 1912 to 1957, Leonhardt now had an easily identifiable "sound" of his own. It was used in the solo concerto recordings except for BWV 1057 & 1058 (which had already been recorded in 1961). In the two triple harpsichord concertos, Leonhardt is joined by Alan Curtis and Anneke Uittenbosch playing two more of Skowroneck's Dulcken models. Needless to say, the producer for all these recordings (and the guiding light of the "Das alte Werk" series) was the redoubtable Wolf Erichson.Leonhardt's performances of six of the seven great solo concerti (BWV 1053-1058), plus his own reconstruction of an eighth (BWV 1059, of which only nine bars were written out by Bach - the rest was assembled by Leonhardt from the instrumental movements contained in Cantata BWV 35), are classics of the recorded harpsichord repertoire. It is true that they show their age in some ways (mostly due to the recording standards, especially in the 1961 recordings), but they still offer the listener the most direct and "authentic" available encounter with Bach's pre-eminent works. Great musicianship is timeless, and I'm sure that future generations of listeners will continue to draw inspiration from these great monuments of the "period instrument" revival. Good music (and music-making) is forever.Those looking for Leonhardt's performance of the d minor solo concerto (BWV 1052) will not find it here (he recorded it both earlier and later, most recently for SEON). However the performance included here, by Herbert Tachezi, playing a magnificent Skowroneck Italian single manual harpsichord from 1957 (which belongs to Nikolaus Harnoncourt) with Concentus Musicus Wien, is just as great in its own way as Leonhardt's. Notice, in this performance, the "meantone" tuning of the harpsichord (and strings!). It's really beautiful, and beautifully recorded, too.Younger generation listeners who have grown up with later versions of these works should do themselves a favour and go straight to the source. Gustav Leonhardt continues amongst us - a shining presence at the age of 74. These recordings will forever document the enormous debt which the world of "authentic performance" owes to him. These performances will never be bettered: perhaps, in time, equalled.Mention should be made of the members of Leonhardt's ensemble, the Leonhardt-Consort, led by his wife, Marie. The string sound is unusually full-bodied for just single strings, and the energy and beauty of the performances are infectious. It's a pity that the present set doesn't include the great performance (with Frans Brueggen and Marie Leonhardt) of the a minor concerto for harpsichord, flute and violin (BWV 1044). And the engineers still haven't repaired the gross editing mistake in the third movement of BWV 1053, where bar 65 is spliced in twice! (Amazing that this hasn't been picked up by somebody - Leonhardt, perhaps?!). However, don't let these small caveats deter you from investigating this uniquely fine set. Like all the greatest old masters, this one's flaws merely remind us of its supremely commanding overall stature.
Strongest recommendation."
Legendary recording!
D. Gammelgard | Falun, Sweden | 03/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I think that Gustav Leonhardt is a fantastic harpsichord player. His interpretations feels fresh even today and there is a feeling of live-performance over these recordings which is very good and in some way relaxing for the music. Though the string-playing on old instruments wasn't so developed at the time of this recording it is still an highly enjoyable disc, mostly because of the baroque-genious Gustav Leonhardt!"
Get this if you still can!
jumpy1 | New York, NY | 01/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Leonhardt, though an exquisite player, is not my favorite musical performer. Still, this album is definitely winning me over. Very conservative rhythmically compared to other current interpretations, but very fine. Lively energy and dumbfounding perfection in everyone's performance. I find myself listening to it over and over."