Johann Sebastian Bach : Violin Concertos
Sinfonias ● Overture ● Sonatas
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Bernhard Forck (violin), Xenia Loeffler (oboe & recorder)
Harmonia Mundi HMM 90233536 (2 hrs 23 mins)
Many aficionados of great music would name J S Bach (other Bachs are available) as their favourite composer. On this lovely 2-CD album, showcasing his three violin concertos, the artists superbly perform equally delightful pieces from harpsichord concertos, trio sonatas for organ, and instrumental movements from sacred cantatas that were originally written or conceived as violin showpieces.
Allegro from Concerto for Oboe & Violin, Badinerie from Overture No.2, and Vivace from Concerto for Two Violins are just a trio of the 35 tuneful tracks that demonstrate the high quality of the musicianship throughout the discs.
Isabelle Faust, born in Germany, has won multiple awards since her debut in 1996 including one from Gramophone magazine for ‘Young Artist of the Year’ in 1997, and another for ‘Best Concerto Recording’ and ‘Recording of the Year’ 20 years later!
She plays a Jacobus Steiner violin dating from 1658 – the CD digipak contains a couple of charming photos of Isabelle with her instrument – and is supported by 28 superb musicians, playing 11 different instruments, directed by Bernhard Forck from the violin.
In his admirable programme notes Peter Woolny tells us that from the start J S Bach’s aim was to create “… music to the glory of God.” Isabelle also adds some interesting observations about the making of the album.
This is truly a joyful release of orchestral/instrumental pieces to put alongside Bach’s great choral Passion works, and is wholeheartedly recommended.