This performance by Florilegium is a rarity in the overwhelming proliferation of accomplished recordings of these masterworks. Not only is it full of all the joy that Bach was capable of writing, but it displays all the detailed, sensitive interpretative consideration and technical perfection that can forge a lifelong relationship with a single recording.
The Guardian -
I can’t stop playing the last movement of this recording. (...) what a fine Mahlerian he is: this account is superb for the orchestra’s deep, old-world sound, for a generosity of expression that clinches the work’s turmoil but draws radiantly life-affirming conclusions. (...)
(...) another outstanding set of period-instrument Brandenburgs from a crack British group. (...) One revelation is the chamber-scale Sixth Concerto which can too often sound mushy and ill-defined. Not here; you'll never hear the individual lines so clearly delineated, and the first movement moves at an ideal pace; bouncy, alert, but never forced. (...) A winner (...) a first choice in this repertoire. Beautifully recorded too.
"A substantial achievement that should find many admirers."
American Record Guide
"This is one of the few [Brandenburgs] that I have truly enjoyed—and they take up two feet of my shelf space... this new recording by Florilegium is just that much closer to the 'very peak of that mythical Brandenburgian Everest'."
On period instruments, this new one by Florilegium on Channel Classics hybrid multichannel SACD goes at the top of the list. This set contains fleet performances that are at the same time scholarly informed and passionately performed. (...) All of the Florilegium readings are breezy and bright – happy Bach, if you will. (...) Not only are these the best period instrument performances, they are recorded in the best sound of any set. The CD layer is excellent, but the SACD is a marvel (...) the front channels are transparent and crystal clear. Warmth and clarity combined – a winner.
Één van Engelands beste barok ensembles heeft ons hun unieke, solistische kijk op Bachs Brandenburgse concerten geschonken. Hemels. (...) De dialogen onder de solisten getuigen van een zelden gehoorde partorale rust. (...) Schitterend! Niet te missen.
(...) Een mooie bezonken uitvoering door Florilegium onder aanvoering van fluitist Ashley Solomon, met een prachtige warme strijkersklank en ingetogen tempi, overigens zonder dat het ten koste gaat van de sprankeling. (...) Florilegium zet hier een indrukwekkende lezing neer.
Bij Florilegium is het tempo meer dan okay en kan ik mijn voeten niet stil houden - een goed teken, want dan 'swingt' het.
(...) thanks to Ashley Solomon's beautifully judged tempi in each of the six concerti and Channel's breathtakingly vivid 5.0 DSD recording there is a glow, richness and body to the sound that would be the envy of many orchestras. (...) excellent booklet notes (...) there is a natural unforced quality to the music making throughout this set (...) the performances of all twenty one musicians heard here deserve the utmost praise (...) the recording quality is beyond reproach (...) this new release should be at the top of anyone's shopping list.
(...) grown-up musicianship and instrumental expertise that help Bach himself do most of the talking (...) unforced musicianship and general knowhow (...) clear but rich recorded sound (...)
(...) genius level (...) generally persuasive and superbly played (...)
SA-CD.NET - Graham Williams
Each new release from Ashley Solomon's versatile period instrument group Florilegium is always an exciting prospect.(...) thanks to Ashley Solomon's beautifully judged tempi in each of the six concerti and Channel's breathtakingly vivid 5.0 DSD recording made in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, London in November last year there is a glow, richness and body to the sound that would be the envy of many orchestras. (...) excellent booklet notes (...) The recording quality, as I have already indicated, is beyond reproach. Solo instruments are beautifully balanced with a wonderful sense of air around them and their spatial positioning within the sound picture is always perfectly defined.
The insatiable public demand for new recordings of the Brandenburg Concertos apparently seems unstoppable, but, in spite of fierce competition, this new release from Florilegium should be at the top of anyone's shopping list.
(...) This is consummate music-making that reflects the players' evident joy with this repertoire. And by adjusting the order and instrumentation, Florilegium has given us a particularly fresh and vibrant sounding reading.
Opusklassiek (Siebe Riedstra)
(...) Florilegium presenteert een cd waarop schitterend wordt gespeeld, geen onnodige risico's worden genomen, en die levensecht is opgenomen in een ambiance die je het gevoel geeft erbij te zijn in Cafe Zimmermann te Leipzig. (...)