Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach 'The Transcriptions of Concertos by Vivaldi'

Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach 'The Transcriptions of Concertos by Vivaldi'

Article excerpt

JS Bach

'The Transcriptions of Concertos by Vivaldi'

Concertos-BWV972; BWV973; BWV974; BWV975; BWV976; BWV978; BWV980; BWV981

Sophie Yates hpd

Chandos Chaconne [F] CHAN0796 (76' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Yates and her Garlick play Bach's Vivaldi arrangements

Sophie Yates offers eight of Bach's 16 Weimar-period concerto transcriptions in performances that outclass most of the catalogue competition. In contrast to the more robust-sounding instruments used by Elizabeth Farr (Naxos) and Peter Watchom (Hanssler) in their Bach concerto transcription cycles, Yates favours an Andrew Garlick harpsichord modelled after a French 1748 Goujon instrument, whose lighter, more transparent sonorities more subtly differentiate the music's solo and ensemble textures. At times one might miss Watchom's tonal heft and tasteful agogics, yet Yates's crisp, direct interpretations satisfy more consistently than Farr's relatively mannered playing.

Compare, for example, Yates's ebullient treatment of the famous main theme of the first movement of the C major Concerto (BWV976) with the way it alternately lurches ahead or lags behind in Farr's hands. …

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