Matthew Halls / Retrospect Ensemble

Bach: Harpsichord Concertos

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Due to popular preference and convenience, J.S. Bach's keyboard concertos are most frequently presented as piano concertos, and most recordings on the major labels are by pianists. The relative scarcity of renditions on harpsichord makes that option a bit tricky for connoisseurs of authentic period style, and they have to be vigilant for high-quality recordings that show the Baroque instrument to best advantage. Fortunately, Linn Records has recorded the esteemed Retrospect Ensemble in exciting, historically informed performances of the Concerto No. 6 in F major, BWV 1057, the Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058 (adapted from the Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041), the Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052, and the Concerto No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055, featuring Matthew Halls as the brilliant harpsichord soloist and director. Thanks to the superior sound of the mutichannel format, the harpsichord is well-balanced with the strings, and it is prominently placed in the foreground, so every note is crisp and clearly audible. The selection of only four concertos suggests the possibility of additional Bach releases by these musicians, so the wise collector will quickly snap up this SACD and keep an eye peeled for future releases by Halls and his ensemble. Highly recommended.

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