Rinaldo Alessandrini / Concerto Italiano

Johann Bach: Ouvertures for Orchestra

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AllMusic Review by

Like the Brandenburg Concertos and other instrumental works of Johann Sebastian Bach, the four Orchestral Suites are available in mainstream and period versions, and listeners have a variety of valid interpretations to explore. This 2019 release by Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano definitely belongs to the period category, and fans of original instrumentation and researched historical practices will find this album not only true to Baroque style but also as robust and energetic as any performance on modern instruments. What sets this double-disc package from Naïve apart from other recordings of the suites (also called ouvertures) is the inclusion of comparable works by two of Bach's second cousins, the Ouverture in E minor of Johann Bernhard Bach and the Ouverture in G major of Johann Ludwig Bach, members of the extended family of composers who collectively made their surname a synonym for musician. Because these obscure pieces are positioned between the much more familiar suites of the master, it is clear that Alessandrini wants to draw special attention to them and to avoid any treatment of them as mere curiosities or footnotes. To be sure, Bach held both composers in high esteem, and regarded their music positively, as his performances and preservation of their scores confirm. Listeners might prefer to hear them first, in order to appreciate them with fresh ears, before venturing into the greater suites, which are gloriously rendered in resonant sound at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Rome.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Ouverture No. 3 in D Major BWV 1068
1 09:40 Amazon
2
Air
03:53 Amazon
3 04:06 Amazon
4 01:09 Amazon
5 02:29 Amazon
Ouverture in E Minor
6 06:49 Amazon
7 02:56 Amazon
8 01:24 Amazon
9 02:17 Amazon
10 02:06 Amazon
11 02:48 Amazon
12 01:53 Amazon
13 01:14 Amazon
Ouverture No. 1 in C Major BWV 1066
14 10:31 Amazon
15 02:57 Amazon
16 03:18 Amazon
17 01:08 Amazon
18 02:49 Amazon
19 02:36 Amazon
20 02:42 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Ouverture No. 4 in D Major BWV 1069
1 12:24 Amazon
2 03:03 Amazon
3 01:58 Amazon
4 04:32 Amazon
5 02:50 Amazon
Ouverture in G Major
6 05:14 Amazon
7 01:21 Amazon
8 01:15 Amazon
9 01:14 Amazon
10 02:40 Amazon
11 00:51 Amazon
Ouverture No. 2 in B Minor BWV 1067
12 11:10 Amazon
13 01:17 Amazon
14 02:39 Amazon
15 02:01 Amazon
16 04:09 Amazon
17 00:55 Amazon
18 01:34 Amazon
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