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Amandine Beyer - Bach: Concerti a Violino Certato (BWV 1041, 1042, 1052 & 1056)

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Bach: Concerti a Violino Certato (BWV 1041, 1042, 1052 & 1056)

Amandine Beyer, Gli Incogniti

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Here's one of those discs that throws multiple innovations at the listener, any one of which alone might have made sense but which are a bit overwhelming taken together. You may be puzzled to see four Bach violin concertos listed; what's happening is that two of them, BWV 1052 and BWV 1056, were transcribed from harpsichord concertos on the theory that Bach himself made similar transcriptions in the opposite direction. Tempos are quick, with a nervous, slightly pace-bending energy at odds with the usual tempo stability of Baroque instrumental music. Finally, the "orchestral" passages are taken with one instrument per part, in keeping with an approach more often heard in Bach's choral music (where the chorus consists of single voices) but sometimes mooted for concertos as well. This last decision seems especially debateable in music modeled on the concertos of Vivaldi, which were, on the testimony of none less than Jean-Jacques Rousseau, composed to be played by an orchestra of young women. If you grant that the experiment is worth trying, you may still find that it works markedly better in the two actual violin concertos than in the two transcriptions. Despite all of the booklet's claims for the violinistic quality of the melodies of the two harpsichord concertos, the music turns into a shapeless mess here. Violinist Amandine Beyer and the ensemble Gli Incogniti assert the novel approach that the polyphonic element in Bach's concertos ruled over the spectacular soloistic concept of the Italian style, and they reduce the emphasis on the solo part accordingly. It's an odd way to play these pieces, but competently and briskly executed, and the engineering from the new Zig Zag imprint of Harmonia Mundi is sharp. In all, though, anyone considering this disc should sample and compare extensively; the minority of listeners who are thoroughly experiment-minded are most likely to enjoy it.

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Bach: Concerti a Violino Certato (BWV 1041, 1042, 1052 & 1056)

Amandine Beyer

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Concerto for Violin No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052: I. Allegro 00:07:00

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

2
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052: II. Adagio 00:05:54

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

3
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052: III. Allegro 00:07:10

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

Concerto for Violin No. 5 in G Minor, BWV 1056 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

4
Concerto for Violin No. 5 in G Minor, BWV 1056: I. Allegro 00:03:18

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

5
Concerto for Violin No. 5 in G Minor, BWV 1056: II. Largo 00:02:54

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

6
Concerto for Violin No. 5 in G Minor, BWV 1056: III. Presto 00:03:07

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

Concerto for Violin No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

7
Concerto for Violin No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042: I. Allegro 00:06:53

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

8
Concerto for Violin No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042: II. Adagio 00:05:19

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

9
Concerto for Violin No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042: III. Allegro assai 00:02:27

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

Concerto for Violin No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

10
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041: I. (Allegro moderato) 00:03:24

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

11
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041: II. Andante 00:05:50

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

12
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041: III. Allegro assai 00:03:43

Gli Incogniti, Performer - Amandine BEYER, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

Album Description

Here's one of those discs that throws multiple innovations at the listener, any one of which alone might have made sense but which are a bit overwhelming taken together. You may be puzzled to see four Bach violin concertos listed; what's happening is that two of them, BWV 1052 and BWV 1056, were transcribed from harpsichord concertos on the theory that Bach himself made similar transcriptions in the opposite direction. Tempos are quick, with a nervous, slightly pace-bending energy at odds with the usual tempo stability of Baroque instrumental music. Finally, the "orchestral" passages are taken with one instrument per part, in keeping with an approach more often heard in Bach's choral music (where the chorus consists of single voices) but sometimes mooted for concertos as well. This last decision seems especially debateable in music modeled on the concertos of Vivaldi, which were, on the testimony of none less than Jean-Jacques Rousseau, composed to be played by an orchestra of young women. If you grant that the experiment is worth trying, you may still find that it works markedly better in the two actual violin concertos than in the two transcriptions. Despite all of the booklet's claims for the violinistic quality of the melodies of the two harpsichord concertos, the music turns into a shapeless mess here. Violinist Amandine Beyer and the ensemble Gli Incogniti assert the novel approach that the polyphonic element in Bach's concertos ruled over the spectacular soloistic concept of the Italian style, and they reduce the emphasis on the solo part accordingly. It's an odd way to play these pieces, but competently and briskly executed, and the engineering from the new Zig Zag imprint of Harmonia Mundi is sharp. In all, though, anyone considering this disc should sample and compare extensively; the minority of listeners who are thoroughly experiment-minded are most likely to enjoy it.

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