Anyone who enjoys Mozart opera should hear this disc. Yet quite a few people who'd probably love it to death if they listened are going to pass it by. Why? Well, look at the selections - it's not exactly a 'greatest hits' selection in the truly popular sense. Lucio Silla, Il re pastore, Mitridate, Zaïde - hardly front rank Mozart operas in the public consciousness; with Die Entführung we're getting closer - and suddenly you spot track 2, Pamina's gorgeous lament to lost love from The Magic Flute: 'Ach, ich fühl's' - anyone who hears Sandrine Piau singing this famous number will want to experience the rest of the recording no matter what.
Bach's three well-known Violin Concertos are paired here with a splendid concerto for three violins, reconstructed from the surviving version for three harpsichords, BWV 1064. The composer's fascination with the Italian solo concerto, which resulted in numerous arrangements and compositions, dates to his second Weimar period from 1708 to 1717. However, current research has revealed that Bach wrote the violin concertos around 1720, during his engagement as Kapellmeister in Cöthen. On this recording, soloists Petra Mullejans, Gottfried von der Goltz, and Anne Katharina Schreiber are backed by the matchless Freiburger Barockorchester in dazzling readings of these evergreen favorites.
…In short: the so-called "English Bach" is portrayed here in a very fascinating way; you only really regrets having so few comparisons to the reading of historical conductors.
…The justifiably well known Rondo all’Ungarese is played with superb virtuosity by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with string playing of extraordinary unanimity, with again that wonderful bass. Andreas Staier makes much of the gypsy element and conjures a huge range of colours out of his Walter copy pianoforte. A terrific CD.
Freiburger Barockorchester (Freiburg Baroque Orchestra) is a German orchestra founded in 1987, with the mission statement: "to enliven the world of baroque music with new sounds". They are based in Freiburg im Breisgau, hence the name, and have recently started performed works by later composers such as Beethoven, Schubert and Weber as well as contemporary music.