Simon Standage / Academy of Ancient Music

J.C. Bach: Overture, Adriano in Siria; Symphonies; Sinfonia Concertante in C major

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Chandos Chaconne's J.C. Bach: Overture "Adriano in Siria" features the Academy of Ancient Music under Simon Standage in four symphonies (one is an overture; for Bach there was no difference between the structure and function of these two forms) and the Sinfonia Concertante in C major, T. 289/4. The last-named work is the best music here; a loving realization featuring soloists Rachel Brown (flute), Frank de Bruine (oboe), and conductor Standage (violin) combining in pleasing harmony while managing to shine individually. This is exactly what Bach had in mind when he wrote the music, and this performance is to be preferred over the only other recording of the work on Capriccio. The weakest performance on J.C. Bach: Overture "Adriano in Siria" is of the by now familiar Symphony in G minor, Op. 6/6, admittedly a rather unusual entry in Christian Bach's output which may have helped inspire Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G minor. In this instance the Academy of Ancient Music's performance is rather restrained and well behaved, and fails to capture the fiery spirit of this work.

Standage's performances of Johann Christian Bach's orchestral music is quite good, if a little underpowered. The music of Johann Christian Bach, however, is more comparable to that of his friend Mozart than it is to the more turbulent creations of his elder brother, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and so one need not raise the roof in order to raise the level of interest. J.C. Bach: Overture "Adriano in Siria" consists of good, securely made performances and yet remains the best option in the Symphonie Concertante.

This, the original incarnation of the J.C. Bach: Overture "Adriano in Siria," was released in 1993 and has since been deleted. It was reissued in 2004 as J.C. Bach: Overtures and Symphonies.

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