Café Zimmermann – J.S. Bach: Concerts avec plusieurs instruments, vol.5 (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 58:15 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz.com | Digital booklet
Bach’s suites and concertos have long been part of concert repertoires. It is however interesting to mentally replace their first executions in the context of the time, so different from what we see on present day stages. Apart from at the courts, whatever their size, there were no permanent orchestras in Bach’s time and age. Café Zimmermann has brilliantly recreated the spirit of these orchestras, allowing each musician (chosen among the best on the European baroque scene) to express himself.
The ensemble Café Zimmermann, lead by violinist Pablo Valetti, is one of the new breed of Baroque groups offering lean, high-energy performances on historical instruments. The name refers to a Leipzig coffeehouse where Bach’s Collegium Musicum instrumental ensemble might have performed in the 18th century. Imagined in that setting, the one-instrument-per-part performance here is plausible, although evidence that such performances occurred in Bach’s time does not indicate that such performances were desirable. Bach himself requested an orchestra of 24 players from the Leipzig city council, and a piece like the Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068, echoes French ensembles of that size. For those down with the small-group approach, this release offers a very high level of musicianship and some fresh readings from Valetti. Tempos are quick, with the suite’s famous Air on a G string taken at an unusually brisk clip, but the textures remain unusually transparent, and the overall feel is lively and clear. The Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1063, the most troublesome of the set of six with its unusual double-viola scoring, gets a rich, complex reading. Another attraction comes from the Alpha label’s practice of pairing musical works with detailed art-historical essays on a painting of the period; the work by Antwerp artist Peter Jacob Horemans, though only tangentially related to Bach, is full of fascinating details such as a cup of coffee or tea being dumped into a bowl, perhaps to be given to one of the four dogs appearing in the painting. As always, buyers of Alpha’s series can give themselves a decent grounding in art history at no additional cost. Notes are in French and English.
01 – Ouverture No. 3 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1068: I. Ouverture
02 – Ouverture No. 3 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1068: II. Air
03 – Ouverture No. 3 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1068: III. Gavottes I et II
04 – Ouverture No. 3 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1068: IV. Bourrée
05 – Ouverture No. 3 en Ré Majeur, BWV 1068: V. Gigue
06 – Concerto pour clavecin en Fa Mineur, BWV 1056: I. Allegro
07 – Concerto pour clavecin en Fa Mineur, BWV 1056: II. Adagio
08 – Concerto pour clavecin en Fa Mineur, BWV 1056: III. Presto
09 – Concerto Brandebourgeois No. 6 en Si Bémol Majeur, BWV 1051: I.
10 – Concerto Brandebourgeois No. 6 en Si Bémol Majeur, BWV 1051: II. Adagio ma non tanto
11 – Concerto Brandebourgeois No. 6 en Si Bémol Majeur, BWV 1051: III. Allegro
12 – Concerto pour trois clavecins en Ré Mineur, BWV 1063: I.
13 – Concerto pour trois clavecins en Ré Mineur, BWV 1063: II. Alla siciliana
14 – Concerto pour trois clavecins en Ré Mineur, BWV 1063: III. Allegro