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‘I didn’t know Bach wrote any organ concertos,’ you may say – and indeed he didn’t. However, Bart Jacobs provides a compelling case for how Bach may have acted as an organ soloist in the performance of some sinfonias, based on the organ’s use as an obbligato instrument in many of his cantatas. Jacobs has reconstructed four concertos and three sinfonias from cantata movements as well as existing concertos for oboe, violin and harpsichord. Once over the shock of hearing familiar music in very different circumstances, the performances are thoroughly enjoyable and rather convincing. There is rarely a bar’s rest in Jacobs’s organ parts, yet he deftly guides us through some of Bach’s finest moments, ably propelled by intelligent and energetic playing from Les Muffatti (although they occasionally disturb the tempo by pushing forward). Sadly, detailed notes on the reconstructions are only available in French and German.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica


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