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Johann Sebastian Bach – Orchestral Suites – Freiburger Barockorchester (2011) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44.1kHz]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Orchestral Suites – Freiburger Barockorchester (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz  | Time – 01:33:25 minutes | 953 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: janvier-février 2011, Freiburg, Paulussaal

Called ‘Ouvertüren’ in Germany, because they began with a large-scale overture à la française, Bach’s Suites for orchestra offer a unique synthesis of the French and the Italian styles. The Leipzig Cantor did not content himself with a mere set of amiable dances for his ‘Collegium Musicum’: he revived the genre in his own manner, accenting the contrasts, refining the orchestration, and introducing a hitherto unknown contrapuntal element. Two centuries later these admirable orchestral works continue to represent an indispensable treasure of the Baroque.

To appreciate J.S. Bach’s four Orchestral Suites in authentic style on period instruments, one need only turn to the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra for a truly exquisite historical recreation. This double-disc package from Harmonia Mundi offers the scintillating tone colors, lively rhythms, and spontaneous ornamentation that historically informed performances yield, and Bach’s music is played with the enthusiasm and expertise that the best early music specialists can provide. Add to this the musicians’ extraordinary presence, the spacious and resonant recording space, and audio reproduction that is the best that can be found on standard CDs, and the knowledgeable listener will be quick to snap up this album. The suites — called Ouvertüren in Germany because each opens with a French overture — have varied characters, marked by their different keys and instrumentation, and they are equally as popular as the composer’s famed Brandenburg Concertos; listeners who are familiar with those works will find the suites similarly appealing. In terms of performance, the chamber-sized Freiburg Baroque Orchestra plays with exceptional unity and accuracy, and the group sounds like a gathering of world-class soloists, so personally and distinctively are the parts expressed. There may be recordings of the suites by other period ensembles that match this one for excellence, but it’s unlikely that any surpass it. –AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Suite no.4 in D major / Ré majeur / D-Dur BWV 1069
for 3 oboes, bassoon, 3 trumpets, timpani, strings and b.c.
1 | I. Ouverture 11’26
2 | II. Bourrées I & II 2’50
3 | III. Gavotte 1’55
4 | IV. Menuets I & II alternativement 4’14
5 | V. Réjouissance 2’29
Suite no.2 in B minor / si mineur / h-Moll BWV 1067
for flute, 2 violins, viola and b.c.
6 | I. Ouverture 10’41
7 | II. Rondeau 1’28
8 | III. Sarabande 2’36
9 | IV. Bourrées I & II alternativement 2’04
10 | V. Polonaise & Double 3’17
11 | VI. Menuet 1’05
12 | VII. Badinerie 1’23
Suite no.1 in C major / Ut majeur / C-Dur BWV 1066
for 2 oboes, bassoon, strings and b.c.
13 | I. Ouverture 9’17
14 | II. Courante 2’18
15 | III. Gavottes I & II alternativement 3’13
16 | IV. Forlane 1’13
17 | V. Menuets I & II alternativement 3’15
18 | VI. Bourrées I & II alternativement 2’42
19 | VII. Passepieds I & II 3’27
Suite no.3 in D major / Ré majeur / D-Dur BWV 1068
for 2 oboes, bassoon, 3 trumpets, timpani, strings and b.c.
20 | I. Ouverture 9’49
21 | II. Air 4’37
22 | III. Gavottes I & II alternativement 4’00
23 | IV. Bourrée 1’10
24 | V. Gigue 2’47

Freiburger Barockorchester:
Flute – Karl Kaiser
Oboes – Katharina Arfken, Andreas Helm, Thomas Meraner
Bassoon – Javier Zafra
Trumpets – Friedemann Immer, Jaroslav Roucek, François Petit-Laurent
Timpani – Charlie Fischer
Violins 1 – Petra Müllejans / Gottfried von der Goltz, Beatrix Hülsemann, Anne Katharina Schreiber, Kathrin Tröger
Violins 2 – Petra Müllejans / Gottfried von der Goltz, Martina Graulich, Christa Kittel, Brigitte Täubl
Violas – Annette Schmidt, Christian Goosses, Werner Saller
Violoncellos – Guido Larisch, Stefan Mühleisen
Double bass – Dane Roberts
Harpsichord – Torsten Johann


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