Author Topic: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)  (Read 50202 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #220 on: March 29, 2018, 09:55:27 AM »
Has anyone heard this one?



I just listened to 1004 and 1005. Intimate; restrained; austere; small scale and and at times cute and pretty; some unexpected hesitations, silences.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 09:59:14 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Toccata&Fugue

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #221 on: March 29, 2018, 12:51:48 PM »
I just listened to 1004 and 1005. Intimate; restrained; austere; small scale and and at times cute and pretty; some unexpected hesitations, silences.
Thanks. I think I'll stay with Milstein (DG), Kagan, and Grumiaux!
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Offline Toccata&Fugue

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #222 on: March 29, 2018, 01:11:11 PM »
One really has to wonder about Amazon at times. I just did a search for "Oleg Kagan Bach" and got this response:
We found 0 results for "Oleg Kaftan Beach"  ???
"Muß es sein?"
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Offline André

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #223 on: March 29, 2018, 01:21:21 PM »
Has anyone heard this one?



My assessment is slightly more positive than Mandryka’s, altough I recognize these very qualities in Chung’s work here. They shouldn’t be construed as equivalent to unassertive or devoid of personality. Austere is cerrtainly the catchword here. Still, I prefer Ehnes, Grumiaux and Haendel (Ida).

Offline Baron Scarpia

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #224 on: March 29, 2018, 01:23:27 PM »
One really has to wonder about Amazon at times. I just did a search for "Oleg Kagan Bach" and got this response:
We found 0 results for "Oleg Kaftan Beach"  ???

You didn't notice the autocorrects.

Offline Toccata&Fugue

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #225 on: March 29, 2018, 01:44:20 PM »
You didn't notice the autocorrects.
It didn’t perform any autocorrects.
"Muß es sein?"
"Es muß sein!"

Offline Baron Scarpia

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #226 on: March 29, 2018, 01:56:28 PM »
It didn’t perform any autocorrects.

I reproduced your search, and you are right, no auto-correct was indicated. Bizarre.


Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #227 on: March 29, 2018, 01:57:33 PM »
I reproduced your search, and you are right, no auto-correct was indicated. Bizarre.

Yeah, me too.  I did the same search in google and found the Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Violin-Sonatas-Partitas-BWV1001-1006/dp/B003JFFKY4

Offline Baron Scarpia

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #228 on: March 29, 2018, 01:59:56 PM »
Yeah, me too.  I did the same search in google and found the Amazon page:

https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Violin-Sonatas-Partitas-BWV1001-1006/dp/B003JFFKY4

And Amazon found appropriate content if I searched for Oleg Bach, but not Kagan Bach. They must have some sort of internal lexical processing that chokes on Kagan.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #229 on: March 29, 2018, 08:11:06 PM »
My assessment is slightly more positive than Mandryka’s, altough I recognize these very qualities in Chung’s work here. They shouldn’t be construed as equivalent to unassertive or devoid of personality. Austere is cerrtainly the catchword here. Still, I prefer Ehnes, Grumiaux and Haendel (Ida).


I really didn't mean what I said to be negative at all.
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Offline André

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #230 on: March 30, 2018, 05:05:39 AM »
I didn't think there was a negative tone in your remarks. But maybe others might have thought otherwise. :-X

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #231 on: April 09, 2018, 04:19:48 AM »
I sampled the tracks on Amazon and was interested in what I heard, but will wait on purchasing.  There appears to be something of a trend in more recent Bach recordings which demonstrate slower, looser and, for lack of a better term, atypical interpretations of Bach: Anton Batagov, Wolfgang Rubsam, Viola de Hoog, Thomas Demenga (atypical in other ways), Gunar Letzbor.  And I've noticed that while I "love" them on first hearing over time they lose much of their attraction.

In your list, there's something very fundamental in common between Rubsam and Letzbor. They both believe that mainstream HIP is wrong about how to interpret the score. With Rubsam the error is about voicing, he has written about it on the website, along with Keith Hill and possibly Christoph Wolff too. With Letzbor it's to do with bowing, and in particular to do with the influence of Georg Muffat on JSB


Quote from: Gunnar Letzbor in an essay for the booklet of his solo Bach CDs
I am repeatedly astonished to see that many early music specialists, to the present day, stay well clear of Muffat. Is it not possible for us to assume that Bach’s dance music, strongly imitative of the French style as it is, was played according to the performance practice described by Muffat? But that would render impossible many things that are still heard everywhere! The special types of bowing and bow divisions make overly fast tempi impossible, for they strongly structure the melodies and give each figure an especially rhythmical character. The melos recedes into the background, allowing rhythmic components to appear. at the same time, the dance bowing is a help, allowing the formal structure inherent in the dances to emerge naturally.

One senses a certain initial irritation when playing dances in the manner described by Muffat for the first time. The results sound awkward, stiff and choppy; the feeling of bowing is as if one were about to lose the stick at any moment. a great deal of practice, patience and zest for experimentation is required in order to arrive at a satisfactory result . . .

Should one therefore play Bach’s solo suites with French bowing rules today? Let us approach the music in the way that a virtuoso of the Baroque period would have done! in his execution, a soloist surely showed consideration for the special characteristics of soloistic violin playing. the bowings are essential for playing together in the orchestra, but soloistic interpretation must be executed in a considerably more differentiated manner. Strict adherence to the rules would hinder an exciting interpretation, indeed render it almost impossible. This does not mean, however, that one can simply disregard all the rules. As a foundation, the rules continue to apply. They have arisen out of practical music-making and were developed by important violinists!

I like what Letzbor does, and I like what Rubsam does. I feel the opposite of you: I feel they grow in interest on repeated listening, rather than diminish.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 04:41:00 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #232 on: April 16, 2018, 01:53:25 AM »
I listened to the Boris Begelman set last week.  Issued in 2017.
The set is titled Sei Solo making much of the "you're on your own, pal" play on words at the head of the score.


Moscow-born but based in Italy, according to the sleevenote Begelman has been featured soloist with several of Italy's specialist baroque ensembles.  He plays a violin dating from the 1790s.

He's pretty far along the severe, zero vibrato end of the performance spectrum, hardcore, inhabiting the same sort of space as Ingrid Matthews or Rachel Barton Pine.  He's recorded in a small but reverbrant acoustic sounding a little like someone playing in his bathroom, and I wouldn't say sweetness of tone is his highest priority.  Despite all that I did enjoy the music (I nearly always do, regardless of who is playing) and the playing is certainly assured and highly accomplished.  He takes the Chaconne faster than most, with an unusual stabbing staccato bowing which diminishes it a little, I think.

Good, but wouldn't displace Pine for me if I was in the mood for this type of performance, or Ibragimova for something just a notch less severe and more to my taste.  As the man himself says at the end of his sleevenote "Looking back ... ... I would have played it differently."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 02:03:09 AM by aukhawk »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #233 on: April 17, 2018, 08:14:55 PM »
I listened to the Boris Begelman set last week.  Issued in 2017.
The set is titled Sei Solo making much of the "you're on your own, pal" play on words at the head of the score.


Moscow-born but based in Italy, according to the sleevenote Begelman has been featured soloist with several of Italy's specialist baroque ensembles.  He plays a violin dating from the 1790s.

He's pretty far along the severe, zero vibrato end of the performance spectrum, hardcore, inhabiting the same sort of space as Ingrid Matthews or Rachel Barton Pine.  He's recorded in a small but reverbrant acoustic sounding a little like someone playing in his bathroom, and I wouldn't say sweetness of tone is his highest priority.  Despite all that I did enjoy the music (I nearly always do, regardless of who is playing) and the playing is certainly assured and highly accomplished.  He takes the Chaconne faster than most, with an unusual stabbing staccato bowing which diminishes it a little, I think.

Good, but wouldn't displace Pine for me if I was in the mood for this type of performance, or Ibragimova for something just a notch less severe and more to my taste.  As the man himself says at the end of his sleevenote "Looking back ... ... I would have played it differently."


Thanks for mentioning this. I had a listen to Begelman in 1004-6. I thought he does bring something to the game:  decisive, angular phrasing.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 09:18:38 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Bach's Violin Sonatas & Partitas (solo)
« Reply #234 on: April 18, 2018, 08:29:17 AM »
Yes - certainly that.