JC Bach: Sinfonie concertanti, Vol. 2; Sinfonie concertanti Vol. 3

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LABELS: Capriccio
WORKS: Sinfonie concertanti, Vol. 2; Sinfonie concertanti Vol. 3
PERFORMER: Budapest Strings
CATALOGUE NO: 10 747/10 772
Much of the enchanting music here is recorded for the first time – this is obviously paradise decade for 18th-century music on CD. These are multiple concertos with orchestra – lean, sophisticated and lusciously scored: if you want to sample, try the minuet movements. Marginally, Vol. 3 is perhaps the more arresting of the two here (I’ve not heard Vol. 1). Recording is excellent (but bassoon too close-miked when doubling bass in Vol. 3’s first work), performances are sensible and tempi well-chosen. Buy both at once if you can afford them. You will love the clarinet writing in Vol. 3, which is amazingly Mozartian. The more we listen to the music of JC Bach, the more we realise what a profound influence he had on Mozart’s style, certainly the greatest before Haydn in the 1780s. What, it seems to me, characterises JC Bach’s music is its witty elegance and chic (no accident that he published many of his works in Paris). HC Robbins Landon