JS Bach Violin Concertos Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

...fresh, lively, up-front, open and honest - and with no distortions or mannerisms...

Matt Fernand 2002

"Aren't there already enough fine performances of the Bach violin concertos?" you may well be asking. Of course there are...but then again, there should always be space for playing like this. The Kuusisto brothers are from Finland (in case the spelling hadn't already given it away!); they're in their mid-twenties, Jaakko a couple of years older than Pekka, and you'd expect a youthful approach to Bach. You get it: fresh, lively, up-front, open and honest - and with no distortions or mannerisms masquerading as 'interpretation'.

Some people might argue that these performances are characterless, even bland - don't take any notice! Bach's music is allowed to speak for itself, straightforwardly, with poise and elegance, and the Tapiola Sinfonietta (built as a Viennese classical orchestra of about 40 musicians, we're told) responds beautifully to the two soloists.

Pekka has the biggest international reputation, but older sibling Jaakko is at least as good in the A minor Concerto...and when the two of them tackle the Double Concerto they're perfectly matched. As a bonus you get them together again in the C minor Concerto usually heard for oboe and violin, but here reclaimed for fiddle players with some style. Proof once again that performers on modern instruments have learned a lot from the period instrument movement, and that we're all better off as a result.

Like This? Try These:
Corelli: Violin Sonatas op 5 (Andrew Manze)
Vivaldi: La Stravaganza (Rachel Podger)
Mozart: Violin Concertos (Viktoria Mullova)

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