Musica Amphion

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-2-3

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Brilliant's 2006 recordings of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, performed by Pieter-Jan Belder and the Netherlandish original instruments ensemble Musica Amphion, have been reissued several times as two separate discs, though the original release containing all six concertos maintains a separate existence as a budget release. This volume contains the Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046; the Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047; and the Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048, all played in clean and colorful period style and recorded in a resonant church acoustic that gives the music a fresh, lustrous ambience. Because this, like other titles in Brilliant's catalog, has the drab appearance of a poorly produced cost-cutter release, some collectors may pass it by, but that would be a mistake since these are exceptional performances that can give many of the better known authentic renditions a run for the money. As leader of the group and performer on recorder and harpsichord, Belder offers intelligent and expressive interpretations that closely follow accepted Baroque practices, and though he and his fellow musicians aren't widely known outside the circle of listeners interested in early music, they can be respected for their musicianship and scholarly credentials. While these Brandenburgs may not be everyone's favorite performances in the end, they deserve attention from experienced listeners and newcomers alike.

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