Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043; Concerto for Two Violins in C minor, BWV 1060; Violin Concertos in E, BWV 1042; Violin Concertos in A minor, BWV 1041

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COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: Ondine
WORKS: Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043; Concerto for Two Violins in C minor, BWV 1060; Violin Concertos in E, BWV 1042; Violin Concertos in A minor, BWV 1041
PERFORMER: Jaakko Kuusisto, Pekka Kuusisto (violin); Tapiola Sinfonietta/Tero Latvala
CATALOGUE NO: ODE 980-2
This new release contains the three violin concertos by Bach which have been preserved, either in autograph or copy, in their original form. In addition, the programme includes a transcription of a transcription – the Concerto in C minor (BWV 1060), which has been handed down solely in a version for two harpsichords and strings that Bach prepared at Leipzig, probably during the 1730s. It has long been thought, however, that it was originally intended for violin and oboe; such a piece was listed in the music publisher Breitkopf’s catalogue of 1764. Several reconstructions for these instruments exist, and it is from one of them that the present version for two violins has been made. The performances on modern instruments are lively and warmly responsive to the expressive nuances of the music. Soloists Jaakko and Pekka Kuusisto share out the spoils evenly but, while I enjoyed their incisive articulation and concern for eloquent phrasing, I found a predilection for brisk tempi and an inflexible rhythmic drive tiring after a while. They could well afford to relax without any danger of committing stylistic impropriety. As it is, the slow movements, with a single exception, suffer from the steady, onward march of the metronome beat. The exception is the Andante of the A minor Concerto, which is deeply felt and most beautifully phrased. But, taken together, these works are more lyrically played by the Oistrakh brothers. Nicholas Anderson

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