Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:


The Four Orchestral Suites
Camerata Academica Salzburg/Sándor Végh
ORFEO C 537 002 B (2 CDs) [90.39]

As soon as you hear the first bar of the First Suite you sense that this is going to be a compelling set of performances. The acoustic is spacious and clear, the string sound warm and at the same time full. These expectations are met, moreover, across all four Suites. The recordings are live, made at Salzburg during the years 1983-85, and the sound has come up really well in these transfers.

Bach is the most indestructible of composers and it is a fact that he can successfully be performed in many different ways, with larger or smaller forces, original or modern instruments, faster or slower tempi. But the best performance of the Bach Suites is clear: it is the next one. You can't hear this wonderful music too often.

Végh is a real master, and no-one can match his ability to coax and train a string ensemble. The phrasing and tempi seem absolutely appropriate, and when you hear the performances the music sounds as though it could not possibly be done differently. But of course it can. Could it be done better, however? I doubt it.

The expressive music, such as the famous Air in the Third Suite, and the slow introductions in the opening movements, has an eloquent gravitas, while the lively dance movements and the busy fugues have inner vitality. Special praise is earned also by Pamina Flum, who is a distinguished flute soloist in the Suite no. 2.

Terry Barfoot

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: - The UK's Biggest Video Store Concert and Show tickets
Musicians accessories
Click here to visit