Blogging Pachelbel #10 — New Bach Collegium

Based on a close listening, I’m guessing this recording is misplaced in my chronology. The New Bach Collegium of Leipzig was founded by Max Pommer in 1979, and based on this recording, I’d assume they play modern instruments (it’s at 440), but in a historically-informed style. Certainly this performance is quite lovely, in fact — a breath of fresh air after the hackwork of the previous five performances discussed here.

This group is not afraid of playing notes legato when they have no slurs over them. The bass is also refreshingly grouped metrically, so that the 1st and 3rd beats of the measure are stronger than the 2nd and 4th — imagine that!!!

I strongly suspect that this recording post-dates the Musica Antiqua Koeln and Hogwood recordings that come next in this “chronological” review, simply because the earliest date I’ve come up with for this recording is 1989. But I don’t have an exact date.

Also, I’ve classed this as “orchestral” because it’s clear that in some sections at least, more than one violin is playing on a part. But it also seems that there’s some nice use of solo/tutti throughout, in order to make dynamic contrasts. While I don’t think there’s anything in the original that suggests any need for that, if the decision is made to use multiple players on a part, I think it’s a good idea to vary their number. It certainly broadens the potential contrast in terms of both dynamics and tone color.

In short, I’d conclude that this performance is well worth hearing.