Calling Johann Sebastian aficionados


Would welcome suggestions as to the best Brandenburg recordings.



Well… thats likely to provoke many options…!!

Not going to claim it is the best, but I currently own -

Previously I think I owned this, but sold it, during a ‘clear out’ -

Both are good. Best…? YMMV.

In my dotage I’m tending to nostalgia. I mean by this I favour the first recordings I heard. The first dates to 1982, and the second 2006; I prefer the older recording, which was one bought with my first serious paycheck.


Damn. No, the version that I used to have was this -

I still sold it…!!!


To further confuse, there is a choice between ‘period correct’ or modern instruments, in the various versions.

Which is best…? Only your ears can decide.

The ECO/Raymond Leppard (Phillips) set was famous in its day - 40 or so years ago, with a stellar cast of musicians.

It’s almost certainly deleted now, replaced by more ‘authentic’, less interesting, versions.

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I still have the Roy Goodman version which I think is excellent.

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I bought it, based on… the Penguin guide, I think…? To replace the Trevor Pinnock version that I sold on, some years ago. Seemed OK to me…

Thanks guys.

I think “best” is a slippery concept in comparing musical performances. That’s especially true with baroque music where the preference for the sound of “original” vs modern instruments is so personal. @graham55 finds authentic performances ‘less interesting’. I find many earlier full orchestral versions of the Brandenbergs unlistenable (not Leppard’s). I much prefer recorders to flutes in No 4, for example. In recent years, music colleges have turned out many extremely fine players of original instruments and I no longer hear a difference in performance standards.

As for a recommended recording, I bought Trevor Pinnock’s earlier version with the English Concert when they first came out and have enjoyed them regularly ever since. But for a lively, even jazzy modern set I’d recommend Concerto Italiano led by Rinaldo Alessandrini:



Also well reviewed in the Penguin Guide of yore:

Telarc CD80412, recorded in 1993-4.
(also available on two separate releases; CD80368 (1 to 3) and CD80354 (4 to 6))

Fabulous natural Telarc SQ and excellent performances too.



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