Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


The star of the young Hungarian violinist Kristóf Baráti is quickly rising. Having won several important international competitions (the most recent first prize at the prestigious Paganini Competition in Moscow) he plays with important orchestras and conductors, like Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Iván Fischer, Yuri Temirkanov and Marek Janowski.

His recent recording of Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas with Klára Würtz received rave reviews: “5 stars…a great duo, comparable with Perlman/Ashkenazy, Grumiaux/Haskil, Ferras/Barbizet’ (Diapason), “A talent that comes along once in a decade, perhaps once in a generation, I don’t say it lightly, but once you’ve heard Baráti and Würtz you’ll never listen to anyone else again” (Fanfare).

This recording of the great solo Bach was issued on Berlin Classics in 2009, and shows the sovereign command over the matter, and a deep understanding of the spirit of these masterworks.

Bach may well be one of the most widely acknowledged master composers of all time, but that only serves to make each performer’s interpretation of his work all the more challenging and distinctive: each musician must both do justice to the composer’s intention, making a decision as to the best way of conveying that within the music which is not fixed, and at the same time leave their own mark on the performance. This is especially true for these Sonatas and Partitas given the variety of styles in which such Baroque masterworks have been performed, ranging from the freely romantic to the strictly precise, and the technical challenge posed by these complex pieces for a single instrument. The works in this collection are something of an enigma, not only because of the uncertainty surrounding the circumstances and date of their composition, but, more crucially, because of the way in which they stretch the capacity for polyphony of a single violin beyond its physical limit. It is as though Bach had written for a full ensemble of instruments – but on a single staff. Modern musicians have even speculated as to the possible existence of a special bow with which an exact performance of the music might have been achieved in Bach’s day. The music is no less rich for all of this, however: on the contrary, the harmonic complexity of these pieces is at once captivating and beautiful; the implied but absent notes are thrillingly suggestive; and the multiplicity of voices leaves the listener marvelling at Bach’s compositional vision and the performer’s ability.

This accomplished musical feat is performed by Kristóf Baráti, a Hungarian violinist who has worked with an astonishing number of world‐famous orchestras and conductors. Baráti plays a 1703 Stradivarius violin, and one can sense this echo of the era of the pieces as much as one can his intense emotional involvement with the music.

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Gottfried Schneider (violin)

“Schneider engages with Bach’s music with integrity and a good proportion of passion versus the cerebral. If I were to make a blanket criticism it would be a certain lack of contrast...There is contrast, but just not quite as much as can be found elsewhere.” MusicWeb International, 15th July 2013

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


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JS Bach: ‘Sei Solo’

JS Bach: ‘Sei Solo’


Bach, J S:

Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Christine Busch (baroque violin)

Over the past 40 years Philippe Herreweghe has been working with some extraordinary soloists with whom he has had very fertile and stimulating dialogues, both musically and personally.

Philippe Herreweghe: “It seems important to give these musicians the opportunity to express themselves on the label PHI in works they are particularly fond of.”

This is the case of the present recording. Christine Busch, leader of the orchestra of Collegium Vocale Gent, recorded the Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin by J. S. Bach – a work she admires, and she has been playing since her childhood.

Philippe Herreweghe: “Christine Busch inspires by her technical perfection, her strength, her humility, her sense for poetry, as well as by her qualities needed to serve the greatest of all composer.”

“I find Busch's playing utterly compelling. As well as impeccable intonation, she sustains an eloquently punctuated and gently modulated dialogue, into which her listener is immediately drawn. Her spacious tempos seem chosen to convey the musical argument with cogency and expressive charm.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013

“Busch brings a wide experience as a chamber and period-orchestra player as well as formidable technical and interpretative skills to these iconic works...Busch speaks directly through her instrument with a warmth and intelligence that engages and disarms.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Her probing musicianship and reluctance to take anything - editorially speaking - at face value is allied to a considered approach to all six works, generating performances of illuminating intelligence...For a historically informed set of the Sonatas and Partitas that reflects technical and expressive control, these performances are highly commended.” MusicWeb International, 16th July 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - June 2013

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Gidon Kremer (violin)

“Pre-dating his ECM set by 20 years, Gidon Kremer's first recording of the solo Sonatas and Partitas exudes fireworks but often presses hard when the music is crying out to be caressed.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 ***

Decca - Double Decca - 4784609

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Cecylia Arzewski (violin)

Cecylia Arzewski was concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1990 -2008, and was previously a member of the Boston Symphony, becoming the BSO's Assistant Concertmaster. After retiring from her position with the Atlanta Symphony, she decided to devote her time to the recording of the present project, Bach's monumental Sonatas and Partitas.

“Arzewski takes her place among the top ranks for her disciplined appraoch and almost effortless technique...[she] maintains a faultless pulse behind a sensitive ebb and flow of rhythmic detail in the dances...A match for modern-instrument recordings, and admirably recorded.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 ****

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Gilles Colliard (violin)

EMEC Records - E-060-61

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Suyoen Kim (violin)

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin


Bach, J S:

Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Pisendel:

Sonata for Violin Solo in A minor


After The Four Seasons, the Bach violin concertos, and the sonatas of Matteis, Amandine Beyer presents her vision of the Sonatas and Partitas, one of the pillars of the repertoire, coupled with the solo sonata of Pisendel, the best-known German violinist of his generation, who met Bach at Weimar.

“These are fresh, spirited, finely judged performances. The tempi of the fast movements never seem too quick, though they often prove faster than those of other period players, and the slow movements are superbly paced...Beyer never plays on the listener's emotions but instead maintains a sliver of detachment that, in the context of her stylish performances, seems appropriate for music that is almost 300 years old...An enormously enjoyable set.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012

“Beyer's playing is outstanding for her consistently sensitive delivery - finely chiselled in details but always organic with a keen ear for the music's broader harmonic direction. Although it invites and deserves close attention it does not overtly seek it...Her playing is at its finest...where it is at its most self-effacing: in the ear- and finger-defying polyphony Bach frequently demands from his player.” International Record Review, February 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2012

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Zigzag - ZZT110902

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


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