, May 2000
"Bach's D minor Concerto BWV 1052 is one of his very greatest works, whether heard in its arrangements for harpsichord solo, violin solo, or even organ solo (first movement) as the prelude to one of the church cantatas. The music has a brooding, almost tragic intensity, partly the result of the tensely stern melodic material, partly due to the fact that all three movements are set in minor keys. It's also a very large work, at more than 20 minutes one of the largest of all Baroque concertos. Robert Hill gives a stunning performance of the work here, comparable to the great recording by his mentor and teacher, Gustav Leonhardt. Unlike many period instrument people, Hill's refusal to rush the outer movements gives the music an extra measure of grim strength, and his deft passagework allows every Bachian note to register with unforced clarity. He's also excellently accompanied by an orchestra of modern strings, and has selected an instrument that allows the music to cut through the accompaniment without the tone ever turning metallic. The antithesis of BWV 1052 is the sunny E major Concerto BWV 1053. It's equally well done by soloist Christoph Anselm Noll. In fact, all four soloists acquit themselves admirably, making this budget priced issue the equal of any other available version of this music. First rate."