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Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, October 2009

I believe this is the Swiss Baroque Soloists first recording. Wow! What a way to start. They and Gabetta breathe new life in this often recorded orchestral baroque masterwork. The tempos are swift, even fast, the last movement of the 3rd concerto is a great example, but it is not done to excess or to impress, it just simply makes the whole seem better balanced. The period instruments here produce a crisp, fresh tone that is pleasing and not dry like some. The Naxos recording is excellent. This one moves right to the top of the long list of Brandenburg recordings.




Penguin Guide, January 2009

The virtuoso players of the Swiss Baroque Soloists, founded and directed by the Argentinian violinist, Andres Gabetta, fearlessly tackle even the most challenging passages, with the recording admirably clear on detail in such movements as the opening of the Fifth Concerto with the harpsichordist Giorgio Paranuzzi articulating clearly in the virtuoso cadenza. In the Sixth Concerto the violas are admirably tuned, with the performance of the slow movement establishing it as one of Bach’s most beautiful.



Philip Lidbury
Fine Music, July 2007

They are well played, with clear and excellent definition of the various soloists and the group as a whole. The two-disc set is good value because as well as the six concertos the Trio Sonata in C minor from the Musical Offering is included as well as a Concerto in G minor for flute and strings….If you like your Bach with a good pace, then this disc is for you.



Michael Carter
Fanfare, June 2007

"This set increases the number of recordings of the Brandenburgs on my shelves to nine (including the Reger piano transcriptions). It is also the second set available on Naxos, the other being with Helmut Müller-Brühl and his Cologne Chamber Orchestra (Naxos 8.554607 and 8.554608), also part of a set of the complete orchestral works of Bach. "

"This new Naxos release with Andres Gabetta and his Swiss Baroque Soloists is another excellent set, characterized by bright tempos, an unforced joie d' vivre, and fine playing. With rational thought, a thorough grasp of the scores, and appropriate stylistic conventions employed liberally, but not to excess, Naxos has succeeded yet again in producing sonically exceptional recordings that will appeal to many of those whose preference is for period instruments."



Barker
American Record Guide, April 2007

"Add another expert period-instrument ensemble to the European map. Organized in 2004 violinist Gabetta and trumpeter Niklas Eklund, this group sounds thoroughly adept and drilled. If this is their recording debut, they are starting at the top, in the face of daunting competition.....These players are musicologically sensitive and keep the scorings to proper chamber dimensions. Nos. 3 and 6 are done one string-player per part with harpsichord. In Nos. 2 and 4, their string ripieno is 2-3-2-1-1 with harpsichord only. For No.5 the one 'orchestral' violin part is reduced to two players. With lean texture tempos are uniformly fast-and I mean fast. I took some cheer from harpsichordist Giorgio Paronuzzi, who not only offers interesting continuo realizations, but is a facile soloist in No.5, whose famous cadenza he plays with an attractive flexibility characteristic of the rest of these performances. If only for his ability to play the trumpet part in No.2 to perfection despite the speedy pacing, I also had to admire Eklund....This is the second Brandenburg set that Naxos has issued, the earlier one a comfortably intelligent, modern-instrument chamber orchestra presentation under Helmut Müller-Brühl on two single discs (8.554607 & 8.554608), warmly praised by Lawrence Hansen (M/J 2000) and still around. So Naxos offers this set for those who want a reliable period-style recording at bargain prices."



David Patrick Stearns
The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 2006

That latter quality is what puts the Swiss Baroque Soloists set among the best Brandenburg recordings out there. It's a period-instrument effort populated by virtuosos from top to bottom. Though the performances are swift, they're more exuberant than rushed, and filled out with lighter-than-air phrasing. Don't be deterred if you haven't heard of this group; it didn't exist until 2004. Filler repertoire on the two-disc set includes the "Trio Sonata" from The Musical Offering and Concerto in G minor for flute and strings.



Giv Cornfield, PhD
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, October 2006

By and large, these are crisp and energetic performances of this well-recorded repertoire. The set is worth acquiring for its value, although for stylish and elegant renditions I'd look to other interpretations, which do not race for the finish line. It's a matter of (old-fashioned, undubitably) taste, but I believe that Bach has plenty of built-in energy in his works without requiring steroids to get the point across.






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1:48:40 PM, 16 April 2014
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