Second listening of X1 this time with headphones: I feel more positive about it now, finding it to be "different" rather than cautiously boring, which was my first impression. The opening movement comes across as wanting to be highly mysterious, and in general it does. Yet at times it falls off the precipice of mystery and into the abyss of incoherence, because things at times become too slow, too soft for a cohesive effect. The second movement comes across as the weakest of the three, played well, but without much "oomph." The last movement is perhaps the best, where the opening is reminiscent of the first movement's mystery, and the last section with the echo effect shows good energy.
Second listening of X2 this time with headphones: as with X1, my impression now is more positive. The opening delivers, toward the end especially, a sense of resignation, or of mystery, to which X1 aspired. The second movement at fleeting times conveys a sense of struggle, and uses the echo effect much more often. At too many other times, I felt things were fragmented by a rather sedate approach, although things become stronger in the last minute or so. The opening of the third movement is restrained, as if the violinist is looking with waning hope through a rainy window in late October. The last section exorcises the gloom with a vigorous proclamation of triumph.
starts out very well, with a certain melancholy, as if Bach
were a Romantic from the 19th century. The second movement starts out strong, but somehow I did not find it as strong as things progressed: the playing became less interesting, bland almost. The third movement again began well, and in the final section things went well, but again things became a little less interesting as they went on. X4
was obviously played by French violinist Sniffles du Nez
whose breathing problems detracted from his playing. The music in the opening was well done, and the next two movements had their moments: again, a nice interpretation for the openings of the first and third movements. But I must admit that the sniffing did not help anything! X5
!!! So, I had not yet been "grabbed" by the previous four performances: they were all competent enough, and in some cases very good, or parts of them were very good, or even exceptional.
"grabbed" me from the very first seconds. The first movement is the best of the five, and the second movement is exceptional throughout: I felt as if Bach
were taking me on a hyper-dimensional stroll which, despite all kinds of tangents, were nevertheless all connected to a central conception! The third movement is cohesive and a real adventure all the way through.
Here we go: they all have performances which are at least good, even the one by Sniffles du Nez
, if you can ignore the noise/nose.