J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Complete Harpsichord Concertos

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Trevor Pinnock
Accompaniment/Orchestra:The English Concert
Soloists:Trevor Pinnock, Harpsichord (All)
Kenneth Gilbert , Harpsichord BWV 1060, 1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1065
Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Harpsichord BWV 1063, 1064, 1065
Nicholas Kraemer, Harpsichord BWV 1065
Philip Pickett, Recorders
Rachel Beckett, Recorders
Individual Works:Compact Disc 1:

Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in D minor, BWV 1052
Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in E major, BWV 1053
Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in D major, BWV 1054

Compact Disc 2:

Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in A major, BWV 1055
Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in F minor, BWV 1056
Concerto for Harpsichord, 2 Recorders and Strings in F major, BWV 1057
Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in G minor, BWV 1058
Concerto for 2 Harpsichords and Strings in C minor, BWV 1060

Compact Disc 3:

Concerto for 2 Harpsichords and Strings in C major, BWV 1061
Concerto for 2 Harpsichords and Strings in C minor, BWV 1062
Concerto for 3 Harpsichords and Strings in D minor, BWV 1063
Concerto for 3 Harpsichords and Strings in C major, BWV 1064
Concerto for 4 Harpsichords and Strings in A minor, BWV 1065

Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Archiv Produktion
Catalog Number:447709-2
Year Released/Recorded:Recorded/Released: 1979-1981
This reissue: 2002
Total Playing Time:CD 1: 57'50
CD 2: 68'00
CD 3: 73'37
Comments:Jan Hanford said:

At last this fantastic recording has been reissued and is now available again in the U.S. . This is my favorite of all the recordings of Bach's harpsichord concertos. Trevor Pinnock is one of the musicians that I greatly admire. His extraordinary musicianship has given us many treasures and this set of recordings is one of them.

I love everything about this recording, particularly the balance between the strings and the harpsichord, which is recorded closely enough to actually hear in wonderful detail. The strings are perfection. Pinnock's performance is appropriately energetic in the fast movements and beautifully expressive in the slow movements. He is one of the only harpsichords I've heard who makes use of the instrument's stops (different choirs of strings) to vary the tone. The result is wonderful.

This is one of my favorite recordings ever and I highly recommend it.

Maurfcio Esteves Poletti said:

Wonderful recording using authentic instruments.

Wolfgang M.Theunissen said:

Well, I would surely say to these recordings of the complete Harpsichord Concertos that they are a model of its kind among the currently available recordings of these pieces. This certainly not only applies to the sound quality itself but even more so to the style and interpretation as well as to the finely blended orchestral string sheen. As opposed to the traditional approach favoured by such interpreters as Karl Richter and others from some decades earlier there is here a far more appropriated sense of line and style. The technical address of all the illustrous soloists is surely out of question as are their keenest insights in the soul of the music. Outer movements are brisk but never hurried, inner movements aptly contrasted with inner feeling, so missing in some other recordings, especially in those of the French original-playing orchestras like La Chapelle Royale, Orchestre de-la-Champs-Elysees, Il Seminario Musicale, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Concerto Vocale etc. ... which are almost generally failing to produce a well-balanced, and integrated warm orchestral sound. Furthermore, compared with such outstanding British orchestras like Pinnock's, Gardiner's, Robert King's, Harry Christopher's, Goodman's etc., with the French orchestras you will never have such deeper feelings for they are always rushing using their feet all too much. But be assured, not so here. All in all, I am pleased to recommend this issue with the utmost enthusiasm.

Ferdinando Boccazzi-Varotto said:

The technic of pinnock, both in conducing baroque music and playing harpsichord is almost perfect. His orchestra is one of the few playing original instrument with warmth and passion. The 3 compacts are quite expensive, but if you'll buy them in the box set they are in mid-price. A real bargain. What else? Go to a classical record store and ask for listening the first harpsichord concert bwv 1052, probably you'll discover all the epic and the passion of the bach concertos. I can't say it's the best recording ever made, but i think so.

James Shaerf said:

Trevor Pinnock outdoes his competitors and colleagues once again with this resplendent recording. He is a gifted interpreter and makes each concerto a unique piece of music: springy rhythms, fresh and inventive textures and most of all, a cohesive, clean-cut sound that sound entirely under the control of a master.The harpsichords he uses sound bitingly clear and their versatility allows for much contrast in the music. Pinnock makes each concerto not remind the listener of the violin concerto upon which it is based, but rather makes the listener think of it as different piece of music. As far as authenticity goes, Pinnock is entirely accurate and performs in a style that secures authentic performance methods whilst maintaining a modern interpretive flair. This set shall become a standard for any lover of great, tangible harpsichord music who seeks the absolute definitive example of its performance.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Maurfcio Esteves Poletti
  • Wolfgang M.Theunissen
  • Ferdinando Boccazzi-Varotto
  • James Shaerf
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:01/16/1999