I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Café Zimmermann, Concertos volume 2

#alttext# I've been auditioning this recording in my car, and today I listened to the finale to Bach's double violin concerto multiple times (BWV 1043). Pablo Valetti leads the Cafe Zimmermann in their examination of a variety of Bach's orchestral works. In this case, the third Brandenburg Concerto is featured, alongside the first orchestral suite (BWV 1066), and two concerti (BWV 1060, BWV 1043). I favored this ensemble after their artistic reading of Avison's concertos on the Alpha label, and here, as some are alumni of Goebel's Musica Antiqua, Köln, you might expect that technical tightness and athletic playing they made famous. BWV 1048 has great energy, and the ensemble works well together to bring about dynamic interest. The recorded sound isn't first rate, but is still good; it's a great rendition of the concerto. They rush through the two chords between movements (ala Goebel), and their finale is fast and toe-tapping. The double violin concerto opens with a tighter-sounding ensemble (the mikes are definitely in a different place around the ensemble), and the opening Vivace is just that: plenty swift, bringing a wide smile to this fan's face. The solo parts aren't particularly fussy or affective, they're simply played strongly, and the string sound, as with the earlier work, is very cohesive. I was surprised they included the orchestral suite (which includes oboes and bassoon, of course, but dispenses with the loud stuff added later by Bach). This comes off as more of a chamber work by CZ, and the tempi in large are a hair faster than what we typically hear. A great example is the pair of Bourées, they are definitely fleeting. In all, it's a fresh reading. BWV 1060 is a harpsichord concerto, but here, it's re-orchestrated for solo violin and solo oboe. I really like the version Europa Galante has recorded with Fabio Biondi, and it's a good comparison here. In some ways, I prefer Biondi's more affective playing on the violin, and even his phrasing. CZ, in the opening, choose a good tempo, but sometimes it just sounds rushed to me. The last movement too is rushed, but it somehow sounds more deservingly at this speed, and the technical virtuosity between the two soloists is to be applauded! In short, this is a strong release of a variety of works by Bach that deserves to be purchased alongside their others in the series.

Bach Clavierübung 1 and 2

Art of Fugue - Pierre-Laurent Aimard