SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

BACH: Double and Triple Concertos = Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor; Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute and Violin in A Minor; Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor; Concerto for Three Violins in D Major – Rachel Podger, v./ Brecon Baroque Ens. – Channel Classics

High technology meets high art in these superb performances on SACD.

Published on July 18, 2013

BACH: Double and Triple Concertos = Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor BWV 1043; Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute and Violin in A Minor BWV 1044; Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor BWV 1060R; Concerto for Three Violins in D Major BWV 1064R – Rachel Podger, v. /Brecon Baroque Ens. – Channel Classics multichannel SACD CCS SA 34113, 65:22,  (6/11/13) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****:

SACD high resolution audio seems to always help strings, and this SACD from Channel Classics is an excellent case in point.

This recording features the Bach Double and Triple Concertos in a very well-played performance by Rachel Podger and The Brecon Baroque Ensemble. Podger has made quite a name for herself with highly-praised recordings of Baroque works in the past, and she has the advantage of directing her own ensemble. The works featured here are well known and exceedingly well-performed.

The Bach Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, written between 1717-1723, features subtle and beautiful interplay between the violins. The recording brings this out beautifully against a noiseless background. The disc also contains the Concerto for Harpsichord, Flute and Violin in A minor.  The scoring is similar to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, but the music has a distinctly different character.

We also get a first rate performance of the Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor which Bach adapted from a Concerto for Two Harpsichords. Once again, the recording is crisp, with all instruments clearly defined.

The final work presented is the Bach Concerto for 3 Violins in D major. This work too is a reconstruction from a Concerto for Harpsichord, and that may have been preceded by a piece for three violins, strings and continuo. Once again, the performances are excellent and are aided by the Channel Classics recording team who have captured each work with best in class sonics and very good directionality which makes following the various musical lines easier. While Bach’s music does not contain the high dynamic range that high resolution formats capture so well, this is another superb production by Channel Classics. The recoding took place at St. John’s The Evangelist Church in London.

—Mel Martin




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