Baptised for the castle in Scotland’s capital, the Dunedin Consort’s reputation for Bach persists on this disc of concertos with Cecilia Bernardini, their regular leader, stepping up to the plate.
The Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor is famous for sustained lyricism in the second movement. Bernadini clutches mischievously at the apex of phrases in this and the Violin Concerto in E, interacting energetically with her collaborators, in this case oboist (and dad) Alfredo Bernardini. The older Bernadini offers a galaxy of dynamic detail in just the first note of the languid Sinfonia that opens the cantata Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis.
The glittering finale of the Violin Concerto in A Minor is one of Bach’s most cheerful movements in a minor key. Bernardini weaves in and out of accompanying layers to sublime effect. This work (and the programme in general) exudes more the impression of chamber music than of soloistic fireworks.For the Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor Bernadini is joined by Huw Daniel. The two violins dart in and out of the aural foreground and beautifully-judged swells on long notes is evenly-matched in intensity between the two soloists. The Grammy-nominated Dunedin Consort under founder and Bach specialist John Butt is perfectly lean: six violins and single specimens of the others. Their supportive and exuberant accompanying allows Bach’s lyricism and wit to sparkle.