By Jim D
The late Bruce Haynes based this project on the fact that Bach often recycled his own compositions into other forms. Imagining a whole series of concertos, lost to modern musicians, which were then used as material for the cantatas, he retrofits some of those movements into "new" Brandenburg concerti. The scoring mimics, but does not exactly duplicate, that of the originals (the third of each set, for example, is just for strings). Does it work? Yes and no. There is a real difference between the way Bach wrote for accompanied voices and for instruments alone--and that doesn't come across here. The results sound more like leftover movements from the suites. But that's a quibble: the pieces are fine, and are well-played by Montreal Baroque (though I can't warm to all the low strings lumbering through Concerto #12). The liner notes explain the rules of the reconstruction, and give the sources for all the music adapted.