Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, Vol. 2 (2021) [FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, Vol. 2 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:01:30 minutes | 2,3 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © PentaTone

Bach’s harpsichord concertos are arguably the first in the history of music designed specifically for this instrument. Composing them, Bach aimed to adapt the string writing of Italian instrumental concertos to a keyboard instrument, while simultaneously enriching this style with typically-German traits such as counterpoint and motivic development. Francesco Corti and il pomo d’oro present concertos BWV 1052, 1053, 1055 and 1058 as the first volume of what should become a cycle spanning four albums. Corti has chosen to combine these four concertos for the full orchestral sound they call for, while later recordings in this series will have a chamber setting in comparison. For tempo choices and melodic variations, Corti has been inspired by treatises from Bach’s time, as well as the composer’s own written-out ornamentations.

Francesco Corti belongs to the most established harpsichordists of his generation. He makes his PENTATONE debut together with the multi-award-winning ensemble il pomo d’oro, who recorded two vocal recital albums with the label: Carnevale 1729 with Ann Hallenberg (2017), as well as Prologue with Francesca Aspromonte (2018).

Few recent versions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s difficult concertos for harpsichord(s) manifest such bubbling polyphonic vibrancy. The reduced size of il pomo d’oro, to one per section, probably had something to do with it, but the listening skill of each musician, the harmonic tension as well as the breathing in the phrasing infused by Francesco Corti, the simple beauty of the sound texture, rich with a thousand cleverly organised details, will remain the great heralds of this second volume.

Listen, for example, to the Largo of the BWV 1056, with its “pizzicatos” strings, which here sound as much like heartbeats as stab wounds. And on this carpet of sound, the Italian harpsichordist rolls out a line with infinite horizons, with soberly tender curves. The Larghetto of the BWV 1054, rarely so poetic and expressive, bears definitive witness – often forgotten – to the fact that Johann Sebastian Bach was a lover of acoustics, and its corollary resonance. The members of il pomo d’oro (especially in the medium and low registers, namely Stefano Rossi, Ludovico Minasi and Paolo Zuccheri) also highlight with acuity the rubbing that Bach used to spread his discourse. Striking, indeed. And the two concertos for three soloists (BWV 1057 and BWV 1044) exude similar beauties.

In the libretto, the Italian harpsichordist testifies that the musicians, during the recording session that preceded, only by a few hours, the strict lockdown of Italy in early March 2020, were no doubt already going through a period of doubt as to their professional and personal futures. Nevertheless, they were fully committed to the company, all of them then focused on celebrating the radiant power of the Leipzig Cantor’s music. This will not escape anyone’s attention.

A record that will quickly become one of your favourites! Let’s hope that Corti continues with the multi-harpsichord concertos. – Pierre-Yves Lascar

Tracklist:
1. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1054: I. Allegro (07:30)
2. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1054: II. Larghetto (06:06)
3. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1054: III. Allegro ma non troppo (02:37)
4. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056: I. Allegro moderato (03:25)
5. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056: II. Largo (02:50)
6. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056: III. Presto (03:42)
7. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 6 in F Major, BWV 1057: I. Allegro (06:46)
8. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 6 in F Major, BWV 1057: II. Andante (02:58)
9. Francesco Corti & il pomo d’oro – Harpsichord Concerto No. 6 in F Major, BWV 1057: III. Allegro assai (04:45)
10. Francesco Corti, il pomo d’oro, Evgeny Sviridov & Marcello Gatti – Triple Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1044: I. Allegro (08:11)
11. Francesco Corti, il pomo d’oro, Marcello Gatti & Evgeny Sviridov – Triple Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1044: II. Larghetto (06:02)
12. Francesco Corti, il pomo d’oro, Evgeny Sviridov & Marcello Gatti – Triple Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1044: III. Allegro ma non tanto (06:38)

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