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Bach: Violin Concertos 1-2, Double Violin Concerto - Eschkenazy, Top, Boni

Bach: Violin Concertos 1-2, Double Violin Concerto - Eschkenazy, Top, Boni

PentaTone Classics  PTC 5186460

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Bach: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Concerto for 2 Violins, Concerto for violin & oboe

Vesko Eschkenazy
Tjeerd Top
Alexei Ogrintchouk
Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Marco Boni (conductor)

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Review by John Broggio - November 23, 2012

A self-recommending disc to all except the most ardent devotees of HIP who want the 2 solo concertos and the double violin concerto of Bach on one disc.

Indeed, this listener vastly prefers this disc to Bach: Violin Concertos 1-2, Double Violin Concerto - Manze, Podger (identical in programme offered) because Manze's playing is very rough and brutal by comparison with virtually the only grace from a solo violin coming from his partner in the double concerto, Rachel Podger. Podgers accounts of the 2 solo concertos are, as might be expected of this player, very fine indeed (Bach: Violin Concertos 1-2 - Podger) but she does not offer the double violin concerto - hopefully an omission that will be put right before too long!

Back to Eschkenazy; he directs a fairly large string ensemble (for Bach that is: 5/4/3/2/1) and harpsichord with stylistic effect although there are times when the Doopsgezinde Kerk (Haarlem, The Netherlands) conspires to nearly transform textures into late Romantic creations the likes of Bruckner! Fortunately, it never quite happens and the larger numbers, by comparison to Podgers 1-to-a-part accompaniment, serve to highlight the difference between solo and tutti contributions. Tempo choices are somewhat slower than Podgers (it is not recommended to listen back-to-back with her account first) but as the scale is somewhat larger, Eschkenazy and the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra need to allow more time for phrases to breathe; this can, as in the slow movements, be daringly broad without the line suffering. Comparisons with the famous Grumiaux accounts abound and whilst Eschkenazy may not completely erase memories of the great violinist, the CCO certainly does surpass Grumiaux's accompaniment in every possible respect. In the two double concertos, Tjeerd Top (stepping away from the leaders position temporarily) and Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe) are completely attuned to the overall conception.

PentaTone's recording is tangible and as suggested earlier, nearly too accurate in capturing the bloom of the ecclesiastical acoustic and it's inflating effect on the strings! Still, Bach's lines come through as rarely heard in modern performances despite this somewhat "flattering" acoustic and cannot be faulted for honesty.

Recommended.

Copyright © 2012 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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