Author Topic: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas  (Read 46715 times)

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Offline aukhawk

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Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« on: November 18, 2015, 05:39:18 AM »
I'm proposing a new Blind Comparison - this time of Bach's Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin.

(And for anyone wondering, the blind of Bartok's Music for String, Percussion and Celesta, which I started here on 11th October, didn't attract enough interest to be viable, so has been stopped - with thanks and apologies to those few who did want to take part.   :-[ )

So here we'll have 18 recordings in 3 groups of 6 initially.  Each group of 6 contains several recordings that have had favourable mention in GMG's extensive  Bach S&P thread  including, in each group, at least one 'golden age' recording (more than 30 years old) but mostly more recent recordings, and at least one 'joker' (not mentioned yet in the Bach S&P thread).  (Remember, that it was a 'joker' that emerged on top, in the Cello Suites comparison - here.)

The music for round 1 will be the Adagio and Fugue from Sonata No.1 in G minor - in most recorded sets these would be the first two tracks - plus optionally, for a bit of lighter relief, the Menuets and Gigue from Partita No.3 in E major.  If you're time-poor by all means just use the first two tracks to make your judgement, but if you can, I'd recommend adding the two quicker, lighter, shorter, major-key movements into the mix, if only for a bit of relief from some otherwise rather serious-minded music.
The first two tracks average about 9:30 minutes, so 6x = around an hour of listening in total.
The 3rd and 4th tracks (which will be an optional separate download) add about another 6 minutes so totalling around 1h35.

For the first 2 tracks, the files are all high-bit 1st-generation mp3 - either from reputable download sources or converted from lossless/CD.
Most of the dance tracks are the same, but a few (6 out of the 18 recordings) are from lower-grade sources (ie streamed).
The downloads are ZIP files, with each containing a number of anonymised mp3 files.  All files are named and tracked to sort themselves into the 'right' order.

Round 2 (which is unlikely to start before next year) will feature the Gigue and Chaconne from Partita No.2, and the Final will be Sonata No.2

If you want to take part, please reply to this thread (preferred) or PM me, and I'll reply by PM with download links to one of the 3 groups, and a few more instructions.

In the (rather unlikely) event that there's enough interest, I'll be able to add a 4th group into this round 1.  I do have the materials ready - but really it would need at least 3 people listening to each of the first 3 groups, before I could consider adding a 4th.

Timing may be unfortunate (Christmas coming up) so there's no deadline, for now.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 06:14:48 AM by aukhawk »

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 05:41:24 AM »
Wonderful! I am interested in joining, aukhawk:)

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 08:41:05 AM »
I'm proposing a new Blind Comparison - this time of Bach's Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin.

If you want to take part, please reply to this thread (preferred) or PM me, and I'll reply by PM with download links to one of the 3 groups, and a few more instructions.


Count me in.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 09:32:31 AM »
Count me in as well please.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 08:02:15 PM »
I am game for this.  Just remember that I work in retail, and therefore the next five weeks will be a little hectic. Of course, Bach would be a good remedy for that!

Online SimonNZ

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2015, 09:55:41 PM »
Yes, please. I'll play.

Offline mszczuj

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2015, 02:25:23 AM »
I really, really hate these blind comparisons, they are complete waste of time and the source of irritation because of continuous changing one's mind while voting and lack of any sense in results.

Please count me in.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2015, 05:31:37 AM »
... and lack of any sense in results.

 ;D

I am game for this.  Just remember that I work in retail, and therefore the next five weeks will be a little hectic. Of course, Bach would be a good remedy for that!

Yes, I know the timing's bad, sorry!  I don't really expect to be moving on to the next round before next year, so this first round can just take as long as it takes.
Though if it didn't seem a bit disrespectful to all concerned I'd suggest that it's possible to take a view just by listening to the first 5 seconds of the first movement.  Most performers seem to treat this opening note/chord as a real statement of intent.  The range of different approaches to be heard is quite remarkable.

Offline xochitl

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2015, 05:51:08 AM »
i'm in!

Offline amw

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2015, 12:58:21 PM »
I don't know if I'll have enough time, but I'm interested.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2015, 01:43:27 PM »
Though if it didn't seem a bit disrespectful to all concerned I'd suggest that it's possible to take a view just by listening to the first 5 seconds of the first movement.  Most performers seem to treat this opening note/chord as a real statement of intent.  The range of different approaches to be heard is quite remarkable.

That has made me interested, I'm up for it.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2015, 02:49:10 PM »
Quote
Timing may be unfortunate (Christmas coming up) so there's no deadline, for now.

No, actually, that is good for me, a teacher in a grade school!

Back to Bach!

Yes, add me to the list: we can compare things Bach to Bach!   :o ???
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 02:56:26 AM »
   
 ;)

That has made me interested, I'm up for it.

Try for example, the opening notes of B4, against the same for B5.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 02:59:33 AM by aukhawk »

Offline king ubu

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 04:26:58 AM »
Yes please!
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
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Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
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Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2015, 05:34:59 AM »
Well I think we've achieved critical mass.   8)   Links have been sent out to 12 of you, split evenly over the 3 groups.

Shall I add a 4th group of 6 recordings, what do you think?  Although it might at first sight seem like sweepings from the cutting room floor, this 4th group would include:
3 recordings that have been praised in GMG's Bach S&P thread.
3 recordings by acknowledged baroque specialists.
1 recording that has unanimous 5* reviews on Amazon.
1 recording on a label favoured by audiophiles.
They are all names that you'd expect to see in any comprehensive survey - make no mistake, there are versions here that could well make it to the final.

So what do you think - add 6 more performances into the mix, or not?

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 05:47:01 AM »
Well I think we've achieved critical mass.   8)   Links have been sent out to 12 of you, split evenly over the 3 groups.

Shall I add a 4th group of 6 recordings, what do you think?  Although it might at first sight seem like sweepings from the cutting room floor, this 4th group would include:
3 recordings that have been praised in GMG's Bach S&P thread.
3 recordings by acknowledged baroque specialists.
1 recording that has unanimous 5* reviews on Amazon.
1 recording on a label favoured by audiophiles.
They are all names that you'd expect to see in any comprehensive survey - make no mistake, there are versions here that could well make it to the final.

So what do you think - add 6 more performances into the mix, or not?

I say yes!  :)

Offline jfdrex

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2015, 09:25:29 AM »
Well I think we've achieved critical mass.   8)   Links have been sent out to 12 of you, split evenly over the 3 groups...

Would it upset the carefully balanced apple cart if I joined in and made it a baker's dozen?  In any case, I'd be happy to participate, if there's still room.  (Or I could make up a group of one. ;D)

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2015, 09:44:24 AM »
I would like to join, but...
Conscience: You are too busy - say no.
Me: See, I am busy, but I really enjoy these things
Conscience: You can't possibly do it before the holidays
Me: It's true - time is an issue and I am really busy lately, though I have done all of them to date (the completed ones anyway)
Conscience: And look at all the time you should have used towards something else. Go on. Admit it
Me: It's true, I should have and now there is this, a chance to learn a piece I don't know well. it's for personal betterment! How can you say no to that?!?
Conscience: You're going to say yes, aren't you? Sighs...
Me: I can do it! :)
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2015, 11:40:13 AM »
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Offline Cato

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Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2015, 11:58:24 AM »
Okay, I have listened to A1 and A2: I found both dreadful, with A2 awarded a special prize for bizarre rubato.  A1 to my ears was flaccid.

A3 was much better in comparison!  Energetic, dramatic, and even enigmatic at times!   0:)
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