Ret­ro­spect En­sem­ble/ Matthew Halls (harp­si­chord) Linn Records CKD 410

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - MICHAEL DERVAN

Like many an­other com­poser, Bach was an avid re­cy­cler. Two of the harp­si­chord con­cer­tos here – the ones in F, BWV1057, and G mi­nor, BWV1058 – are bet­ter known in their orig­i­nal guises, as the Fourth Bran­den­burg Con­certo and the Vi­o­lin Con­certo in A mi­nor. The oth­ers (in D mi­nor, BWV1052, and A, BWV1055) have at var­i­ous times had “lost” orig­i­nals re­con­structed from them. Never mind. The four con­cer­tos all sound well in the form they’ve come down to us, and Matthew Halls’s per­for­mances, di­rected from the key­board with the sin­gle strings of his Ret­ro­spect En­sem­ble, are not just stylish but also sen­si­tively recorded, so that the harp­si­chord is blended with the other in­stru­ments in a real­is­tic man­ner rather than ar­ti­fi­cially spotlit.

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