You’d think everything had already been said about Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos – and yet the Stuttgart Baroque orchestra Il Gusto Barocco and its Musical Director and Maestro al Cembalo Jörg Halubek have ventured upon a new recording. The truth is that Bach’s six concertos, thoroughly different from one another in scoring and character, have never ceased to fascinate music-lovers and musicologists alike. And despite the numerous recordings of these consummate examples of concertante Baroque art, there are always new, interesting ways of approaching them.
Baroque ensemble Il Gusto Barocco aims to make the present state of research audible in historically informed music-making. “As I see it, the spirit of period performance practice means always keeping up to date with the sources of the period in question,” explains Jörg Halubek. The musicians see themselves not so much as a cut-and-dried ensemble, more as a think-tank keen on research, which has gone exploring again for this new project. That leads to unusual results, such as the use of a violino piccolo, a smaller-than-average violin, in the first Brandenburg Concerto.
The recording came about with the close cooperation of the Ansbach Bach Festival, at which the ensemble was the invited festival orchestra in 2019.
Il Gusto Barocco, founded in Stuttgart in 2008 by conductor, harpsichordist and organist Jörg Halubek, is made up of internationally leading virtuoso artists of the younger generation. As required by the repertoire, the early-music ensemble performs in chamber format or as a full orchestra. Its members share the musicianly tradition of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. The early-music specialists launched a new Stuttgart Baroque series in 2020. Their most recent releases were the successful recordings of Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespers of the Blessed Virgin” (SWR 2/cpo) in 2020, Johann David Heinichen’s Flavio (premiere recording SWR 2/cpo) in 2019 and Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello’s Tisbe (SWR 2/cpo) of 2015.