‘Andrew Arthur enlivens Bach’s scores with clearly articulated solo playing and conversational dialogue with the instrumental group. This is especially important in the Brandenburg where the keyboard shares the limelight with traverse flute and violin. Rachel Brown and Theresa Caudle respectively contribute to a well-balanced texture which is especially rewarding in the essentially trio sonata Affettuoso in B minor, their account eloquently poised, gently and reflectively spoken. The other concerto requiring woodwind is BWV 1057, Bach’s arrangement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, the virtuosic, often dazzling solo violin writing of the original transferred, reshaped and allocated to the harpsichord. Andrew Arthur here and throughout rises to the occasion, joined by Rachel Brown and Rachel Beckett (recorders) and the Hanover Band’s unanimous string ensemble. The two remaining concertos, in E major and F minor fare well in these capable hands.[…] my overall experience is one of wholehearted enjoyment.’
★★★★ BBC Music Magazine, September 2023 (Nicholas Anderson)
'When the first volume of Andrew Arthur’s harpsichord concertos with The Hanover Band (which I reviewed for the EMR in July 2022) was recorded, they also recorded the concertos that make up volume II. So the admirable acoustic of St Nicholas, Arundel and Trinity Hall’s excellent harpsichord by Andrew Garlick, built in 2009 (after a Jean-Claude Goujon of 1748), are common to both. A major key to the success of these recordings is the singing quality of this harpsichord in this acoustic under the fluid coaxing of Andrew Arthur’s touch. This second volume begins with BWV 1050, which we know as the fifth Brandenburg Concerto, with its ground-breaking harpsichord ‘cadenza’, and brings the wonderful Rachel Brown into the ensemble to join Andrew Arthur and the string players of the Hanover Band, led by the spirited, agile and mellifluous playing of Theresa Caudle. What makes these recordings so special is the natural balance between the instruments – harpsichord, woodwind and strings alike. This is particularly evident in the final concerto on the disc – BWV 1057, the version in F of the fourth Brandenburg, with two recorders (Rachel Brown and Rachel Becket) – where in this 1738 version the florid violin part of Brandenburg 4 is recast for the harpsichord and the amazing final fugal movement offers us every conceivable instrumental combination. […] Enchanting too is the way every player contributes. […] How lucky Andrew Arthur is to have such fine companions in making these wonderful recordings, where the harpsichord is never stridently soloistic but always the first among equals. I shall enjoy returning to this recording for a long time. It is such responsive, unshowy but fluid, utterly musical playing.
This is how to hear Bach, and you should get it at once..'
Early Music Review, August 2023 (David Stancliffe)
On Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, BWV 1050:
'Arthur’s first-movement cadenza [...] is agile but crisp and poised, maintaining a level of composure and control that makes the performance a pleasing antidote to the adrenalised charge of some recordings.[...] praise must be given for a satisfyingly realistic forward balance for Arthur’s fine harpsichord-playing.'
Gramophone, September 2023 (Lindsay Kemp)