Music review: Bach Keyboard 2, St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh

It’s always good to start with a joke.

Bach Keyboard 2, St Cecilias Hall

Bach Keyboard 2, St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh * * * *

No sooner had harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and his supporting Dunedin Consort launched into the romping first 8 bars of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor, when they stopped abruptly. “That’s all Bach gave us”, he announced, further explaining he had arranged his own extended reconstruction, which we were now about to witness.

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The “new” material, he added, came from a 1726 cantata bearing the same theme, so the task was to do “what Bach would have done” and “turn it into a harpsichord concerto”. The result was largely convincing, strangely scored (by Bach) for supporting oboe, strings and continuo, but distinctive in this performance for the deliciously ripe oboe playing of Jasu Moisio.

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