The dynamic ensemble Brecon Baroque was founded in 2007 by violinist and director Rachel Podger as resident ensemble at her annual Brecon Baroque Festival.The international line-up consists of some of the leading lights in the period-instrument world,such as cellist Alison McGillivray,flautist Katy Bircher,oboist Alexandra Bellamy and violist Jane Rogers,as well as some of Rachel's former students who now occupy leading positions in many of Europe's finest ensembles:violinists Bojan Cicic and Johannes Pramsohler.Brecon Baroque specialises in the music of J.S.Bach and his contemporaries,mostly as a one-to-a-part ensemble based on the Cafe Zimmerman ensemble which Bach himself directed.They also appear as a small baroque orchestra for Vivaldi,Telemann, Purcell and Handel.More than any other composer of his period,J.S.Bach realised the possibilities of the concerto avec plusieurs instruments.Drawing on the precedents of Vivaldi and others,Bach's probing musical intellect led him down novel paths of invention where the collaborative and antagonistic features of the genre reached unprecedented levels of complexity.(...)The state of the surviving musical sources for Bach's concertos suggests that he produced them for a variety of contexts,whether the courtly milieu of Köthen,the urban setting of the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig,or even for his own domestic entertainment.This was music that he was willing to rework for different occasions,and each of the concertos on this disc existed in more than one version.(from liner notes by Tim Jones).
Experience Rachel Podger's unique brand of Baroque music as she tackles Bach's Double and Triple violin concertos with the Brecon Baroque ensemble.John Suchet's Album of the Week,6 May 2013.An expert in the field of Baroque violin,Rachel Podger is back from the studio with another Bach album.This time,accompanied by the Brecon Baroque ensemble,she's focusing on some of Bach's double and triple concertos - BWV 1043 for Two Violins,BWV 1044 for Harpsichord,Flute and Violin,BWV for Violin and Oboe,and the Concerto for Three Violins,BWV 1064.The small ensemble's mellow sound lends itself well to Bach's well-known Double Concerto,whether they're tackling the sweetness of the Largo,or the frenzied Allegro.But it's not just the Baroque violins that give the album a brilliantly unique sound - the historic oboe,played by Alexandra Bellamy,sounds impressively weighty and adds another dimension to the concertos.The delicate Adagio in the Harpsichord,Flute and Violin Concerto is an unusual highlight,thanks to the beautifully eerie duet between the right hand of the harpsichord and the understated sound of the Baroque flute,accompanied by plucking from the violins.It's living,breathing Bach at its best,warm and exciting at every turn. --Classic FM