The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood, on
Decca LÂOiseau-Lyre. Played on period instruments. Might not have the "speed" that you may be used to hearing for these works, but an otherwise excellent CD vis-a-vis sonics and performance.
Three excellent choices:
(1) Il Giardino Armonico, Antonini
(2) The English Concert, Pinnock
(3) Tafelmusik, Lamon
I second the English Concert/Pinnock version, it has a liveliness that I find necessary for these pieces. An early digital recording, and Archiv to boot, but not bad sounding and the performance makes you forget any preconceived recording deficiencies and enjoy the music.
Also agree with the English Concert/Pinnock recommendation. Rcprince captures my thoughts exactly.
Warchal/Slovak C.O. gets the Gold. Have no recommendations for the Silver nor for the Bronze as of yet(and i've heard enough)...Just curious, why do folks usually go for the big names??? Tweek
Benjamin Britten conducting the English Chamber Orchestra.
If you follow the Penguin guide it's their "Rosette" choice.
Also if you don't want historical instruments.
You should give Jordi Savall and his band on Astree a try. A close second is Pinnock and the English Consort. The Astree has uniformly better sonics, in fact Astree gets my vote for the best early music label because of their interesting repertoire, outstanding performances and state of the art sonics.
Preference for Period Instruments: Roy Goodman conducting the Brandenburg Consort on Hyperion Dyad CDD22001. This is at a bargain price fortunately. Superb sonics also.
Preference for Modern Instruments:
David Shifrin, director of The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center on Delos DE 3185. Superb sonics also.
Alternative: TafelMusik with Jeanne Lamon on Sony 66289. Also with great sonics.
All three choices offer in addition to the fine sound--- wonderfully alive and consumately stylized playing. Additionally, they are all musically and emotionally unmannered performances which touch the soul and heart. Take your pick and enjoy! If one can, buy all three. They are worth every dollar spent for the bountiful joy they will engender time after time.
Please check out the 6 Brandenburg Concertos performed by the Musica Antiqua Koln conducted by Reinhard Goebel under the Archiv label. The performance has speed, energy and discipline without being overly regimented. To me, Trevor Pinnock's interpretation sounds overly technical and lacks a bit of life.
Sometimes I go with the "big names" because they released a good version! It so happens that some "big names" are actually earned/justified.
That being said, one of my recommended recordings is the TafelMusik one (with Jeanne Lamon), as seconded by Arcangelo. There are no "big names" with this one.
Yes the old nonesuch was the Karl Ristenpart/Chamber orchestra Of The Saar, very nice recording, but it is out of print. this orchestra did the DEFINITIVE Art of The Fugue by Bach, but is out of print as well. Yes i did say DEFINITIVE, to set the record straight. However i think this Warchal/slovak C. O. to be nice in all areas, tempo, instrumentation (nice sound), record quality, etc. I like it better than the Ristenpart.
Andante Label has a collection of the Brandenburg Concertos conducted by the likes of Cortot, Mengelberg, Furtwangler, Weingartner... The Cortot Bach is wonderful. So is the Mengelberg. On CD. All wonderful artists, none with "authentic" pretenses. Although I enjoy Pinnock with the English Consort. Sorry, no "good sound" though, all transfers from 78's.
I have enjoyed the Lucerne Festival Strings conducted by Rudolf Baumgartner (Jusef Suk - violin, Max Lesueur-viola, Aurele Nicolet - flute, Manfred Sax - bassoon)...although only on analog. I believe the CD catalog number is RCA Eurodisc 69219-2-RV.
For those who have compared, any opinions of this reading relative to the Pinnock, Goeble and Hogwood cited earlier?