Masaaki Suzuki / Bach Collegium Japan Orchestra

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos; Orchestral Suites

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AllMusic Review by

Listening to this irresistibly joyful and magnificently musical set of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites, one is immediately struck by two thoughts. First, Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan have been wasting their time concentrating on Bach's dour cantatas, and second, Bach himself was wasting his time writing his melancholy church music when he could have been composing infinitely more cheerful secular music. While Suzuki and his crew have turned in superlatively performed, if spectacularly severe recording of the cantatas, they sound just as virtuosic and vastly more comfortable here. The performances are just as musical; from top to bottom, the Bach Collegium Japan is an outstanding period instrument chamber orchestra. The sound is rich but bright, the ensemble tight but relaxed, and the intonation virtually flawless. One can point out any number of felicities: Shigeharu Yamaoka's warm-toned flute in the Second Brandenburg, Natsumi Wakamatsu's keen-edged violin in the Fourth Brandenburg, and Masaaki Suzuki's airborne harpsichord in the Fifth Brandenburg. Recorded in BIS' characteristically vivid super audio digital sound, this three-disc set begs to be heard by anyone who likes the works.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
1
10:22
2
4:44
3
4:27
4
1:08
5
2:58
Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066
6
10:04
7
2:23
8
3:49
9
1:19
10
3:28
11
2:32
12
3:18
Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
13
10:44
14
1:54
15
2:55
16
2:07
17
3:53
18
1:17
19
1:47
blue highlight denotes track pick