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On ClassicsToday: Marcin Świątkiewicz’s Recording of Bach Harpsichord Concertos (Channel Classics)

One-To-A-Part Bach Harpsichord Concertos: Great In Detail But Big-Picture Pale

Review by: Jens F. Laurson

Artistic Quality: ?

Sound Quality: ?

Ideology has done much to shape how we listen to baroque music. There was, for one, the one-voice-per-part coterie around Joshua Rifkin that insisted on undernourished performances of cantatas and now-no-longer “choral” works. Analogously, in instrumental works, the concertos have been recast (or restored) as chamber works, also one-voice-per-part. This at least is less controversial, because size-wise that’s exactly what Bach himself did to his earlier, beefier works written in Köthen when he transcribed and down-sampled them for the purpose of performances at Café Zimmerman in Leipzig. [continue reading]

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