Magazine article Gramophone

Johann Ernst * JS Bach: 'The Complete Violin Concertos'

Magazine article Gramophone

Johann Ernst * JS Bach: 'The Complete Violin Concertos'

Article excerpt

Johann Ernst * JS Bach 'The Complete Violin Concertos' JS Bach Harpsichord Transcriptions after Johann Ernst, Prince of Saxe-Weimar-BWV592a; BWV982; BWV987 Johann Ernst Eight Violin Concertos Anne Schumann vn Sebastian Knebel hpd Ensemble 'Fursten-Musik' CPO [F] CP0777 998-2 (78' * DDD)

'His Highness lived only a little more than 18 years,' wrote Georg Philipp Telemann in the preface to Prince Johann Ernst of Weimar's Six Concertos, Op 1, published in 1718, three years after his death. 'Admire in him that in the few years granted to him he developed such a mastery in an art as difficult to learn as music ... Even after his death he shall always remain the joy of us all through his works.'

Telemann's words would be enough to pique the interest of anyone with a predilection for Baroque rarities, and when you listen to this recording--the first to present all of Ernst's concertos in complete form, meaning those aforementioned six, plus two further G major ones--you do get a sense of why they were considered to be musically valuable in their day. Full of Italian influence, youthful in tone but sophisticated in thought, dance-like and virtuoso, they make for immensely pleasurable listening. …

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