Reinhard Goebel / Musica Antiqua Köln

Concertos for 4 Violins

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    10
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AllMusic Review by

When considering Baroque concertos for multiple instruments -- particularly violins -- Vivaldi is certainly the name that comes most quickly to mind. This album proves, however, that many composers were writing for this medium and doing a magnificent job of it. Despite conductor Reinhard Goebel's stated trepidation about the success of concertos for four of the same instruments, he and the Musica Antiqua Köln prove to listeners that not only is the genre successful but utterly captivating. In the five concertos heard here, which are really more like transitional forms between the concerto grosso and what we now think of as a concerto, it is virtually impossible for four violins to achieve equal prominence over the orchestra. The most independence the quartet of soloists can hope to achieve is an active role in energetic fugatos. But the independence of the instruments seems scarcely the point. What is most engaging about these works is the interplay between melody and the many complex layers of harmony and accompaniment. All of this is brought to fruition by truly remarkable, intense, and meticulous playing by every musician on the album. From the fiendishly active continuo playing to the present but not overbearing harpsichord, every detail of these performances is finely tuned music-making it its very best.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Concerto for 4 violins, strings & continuo
1
1:35 Amazon
2
2:01 Amazon
3
1:19 Amazon
4
2:06 Amazon
Concerto for 4 violins in G minor, Op. 4/12
5
3:52 Amazon
6
3:07
7
3:49 Amazon
8
3:05 Amazon
Concerto No. 11 for 4 violins in A minor, Op. 7/11
9
3:51 Amazon
10
5:39 Amazon
11
0:42 Amazon
12
2:57
13
1:27 Amazon
14
3:11 Amazon
15
1:42 Amazon
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 4/12
16
3:27 Amazon
17
4:26 Amazon
18
4:18 Amazon
Concerto for 4 violin & continuo in D
19
2:52 Amazon
20
2:21 Amazon
21
3:20 Amazon
22
4:22 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick