Bach, Zelenka

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bach,Zelenka
LABELS: Metronome
WORKS: Violin Concerto in D minor; Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F; Sinfonia in A minor
PERFORMER: Kerstin Linder-Dewan (violin)Fiori Musicali/Penelope Rapson
CATALOGUE NO: MET CD 1019
The Zelenka Sinfonia here is a delight. Scored for two solo violins, obbligato oboes, bassoon and strings, it is full of Vivaldian energy – powerfully repeated fragments of phrases, simple static harmony. It’s coloured by Zelenka’s Bohemian imagination, most strikingly in a remarkably inventive Aria da capriccio, beginning with bassoon duetting with cello against a pizzicato accompaniment.

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Kerstin Linder-Dewan’s new reconstruction of the violin concerto from Bach’s extant harpsichord version is marginally cleaner, more tautly drawn, than others I’ve heard. The hypnotic allegro pulse occasionally hurries, breaking the trance. The sound here, if a little astringent, is well-balanced compared to the Brandenburg forces where Bach’s cruelly challenged recorder is too discreetly concealed behind violin, oboe and admirably restrained trumpet. George Pratt