BACH all'italiano

Author: 
Charlotte Gardner

BACH all'italiano

  • Keyboard Concerto in F (after Vivaldi), BWV978

Perhaps the highest form of Baroque flattery was all-out copying, and with Bach all’italiano the young recorder player Simon Borutzki has taken this concept and expanded it further, selecting a clutch of JS Bach’s harpsichord transcriptions of violin concertos by Vivaldi and Marcello, along with Bach’s own Italian Concerto in F, BWV971, and with harpsichordist Clemens Flick rearranging them once more, this time as recorder concertos backed by a continuo ensemble consisting of cellist Lea Rahel Bader, lutenist Magnus Andersson and Flick on harpsichord and organ. The result is one of the most exciting albums to have landed on my desk all year, not just because of the way in which the various recorders’ timbres lend further timbral spice to the untampered-with Italy-meets-Germany flavour of Bach’s first arrangements, but because of the combination of showstopping virtuosity and singing conviction on display, obviously from Borutzki himself but also notably from Flick, who frequently shares the spotlight to delightful effect.

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