Bach: Brandenburg Concertos

Neumeyer Consort, Felix Koch
92:06 (2 CDs in a wallet)
Christophorus CHR77400

Besides being a professional baroque orchestra (or part of being one in the 21st century?), The Neumeyer Consort is involved in a number of educational initiatives, one of which is offering students the chance to join such an ensemble while still studying. Their take on the Brandenburgs is directed by the cellist, Felix Koch (though he is only listed as playing in the sixth concerto). The playing is very good, and there are nice moments of spontaneous ornamentation. As always, I am puzzled by the fact that the gap in the third concerto is filled by the harpsichordist, and with a not entirely convincing segue into the “Phrygian half-cadence”, either. The booklet note re-visits the possibly links between these six concertos with mythology – not that it really matters, but I remain unconvinced.

Brian Clark