Bach Violin Concertos: The Freiburger Barockorchester

The mission statement of Germany’s Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1987, is to “enliven the world of Baroque music with new sounds.” Listen to their exceptional 2013 recording of J.S. Bach Violin Concertos on the Harmonia Mundi label and you’ll hear this philosophy on display. Yes, these performances feature period instruments, sparkling Baroque style, and occasional ornamentation. But they go far beyond historical performance practice. We’re reminded that, first and foremost, this is fun, …

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Grumiaux’s Cosmic Bach

When NASA launched the unmanned Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977, it included a Golden Record featuring a sampling of music from Earth. One of the recording’s excerpts is J.S. Bach’s Gavotte en rondeaux from Partita No. 3 in E Major, performed by legendary Franco-Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux (1921-1986). Regarding the record, astronomer Carl Sagan said: The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this …

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