John Barnett

J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos – Keyboard CD review

4:54, 26th May 2020

J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos BWV 1052, 1053, 1055, 1058
Francesco Corti (hpschd), Il pomo d’oro
Pentatone PTC 5816 837 [64:08]

This is the first of two CDs to record the complete cycle of Bach’s harpsichord concertos. Francesco Corti has used the evidence of a separate harpsichord continuo in BWV 1055 to record these concertos with two harpsichords and a fairly large string ensemble (3,3,2,1,1). The ambience of Zimmerman’s coffee-house in Leipzig is well projected through close microphone positions, so that even the players’ breathing and some extraneous sounds are present. However, the fast tempi, rhythmic drive and explosive accents result in performances that are exhilarating. But Corti finds the time for expressive cadenzas, and the middle movements are beautifully controlled.


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