Bach: Harpsichord Concertos


Retrospect Ensemble/MatthewHalls (harpsichord)Linn Records CKD410 ****

Like many another composer, Bach was an avid recycler. Two of the harpsichord concertos here – the ones in F, BWV1057, and G minor, BWV1058 – are better known in their original guises,
as the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto and the Violin Concerto in A minor. The others (in D minor, BWV1052, and A, BWV1055) have at various times had “lost” originals reconstructed from them. Never mind.

The four concertos all sound well in the form they’ve come down to us, and Matthew Halls’s performances, directed from the keyboard with the single strings of his Retrospect Ensemble, are not just stylish but also sensitively recorded, so that the harpsichord is blended with the other instruments in a realistic manner rather than artificially spotlit.

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