BACH: “Bach Concertos” = Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Concerto for Violin and Oboe; 2 Violin Sonatas – Janine Jansen and friends – Decca

by | Dec 25, 2013 | Classical CD Reviews

J.S. BACH: “Bach Concertos” = Violin Concertos No. 1 BWV 1041; No. 2 BWV 1042; Concerto for Violin and Oboe BWV 1060; Violin Sonatas BWV 1017 & 1016 – Janine Jansen and friends – Decca B0019301-02 1:11:55 [10/29/13] ****:

Bach was often at his most prolific after his move to Cöthen while he worked for Duke Leopold. Bach had access to one of the finest orchestras in Germany, and many distinguished musicians.

The works on this CD come from that period. Soloist Janine Jansen is joined by a hand-picked circle of superb musicians including Ramón Ortega Quero, Boris Brovtsyn, Cindy Albracht, Fredrik Paulsson, Julia-Maria Kretz, Tijmen Huisingh, Monika Urbonaite, Nimrod Guez, Pauline Sachse, Maarten Jansen and Rick Stotijn to provide a fresh and dynamic sound to these well known Bach Concertos.

Jansen plays a “Barrere” created by Antonio Stradavari, on loan. Ms. Jansen has won numerous awards, including four Edison Klassiek Awards, three Echo Klassik awards, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the NDR Musikpreis for outstanding artistic achievement and most recently the Concertgebouw Prize. She has been given the VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs for individual achievement and the RPS Instrumentalist Award for performances in the UK. Janine studied with Coosje Wijzenbeek, Philipp Hirshhorn and Boris Belkin.

These works are played with a driving energy, and somewhat faster tempo than I am used to, and it increased my enjoyment of these well-played pieces. Once can sense the excitement of the musicians and their sense of musical style, yet liberties are not taken that deflate Bach’s sense of purpose.

The Decca disc is excellent, with the recording team capturing the acoustics of The Andreaskirche in Berlin. Instruments are well-defined, and on my main music system of Magnepan 3.6 speakers, Oppo disc player and Emotiva electronics, the recording gets just about every nuance a CD is capable of providing.

This disc has the perfect combination of a thrilling performance and a reference class recording, that breathes new life into these familiar pieces. Bach lovers will likely savor this disc and play it often.

—Mel Martin



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