Author Topic: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas  (Read 14548 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aukhawk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 462
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #220 on: December 07, 2016, 03:55:30 PM »
Can I participate as well, please? Thanks.

You have PM
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 03:57:49 PM by aukhawk »

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7029
  • An American Hero!
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #221 on: December 10, 2016, 04:22:54 AM »
I have listened to the first two, but want to give them a second hearing, because this week I was surrounded by the Demons known as Foolishness, Stupidity, Idiocy, Moronism, Cretinism, Dumbism, and Schmuckism. ??? :o

Usually I am fairly certain that my generally Stoic outlook can counterbalance such things and assure that they will not affect my outlook on other things. 0:)

But, just to be sure... ;)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7029
  • An American Hero!
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #222 on: December 17, 2016, 03:25:56 AM »
Impressions of the first three so far, but with the caveat that I listened to #3 with headphones:

X3 - Very expressive in contrast to X1 and X2, both of which I found too restrained.  However, I intend to re-listen to them with my headphones, just to be sure.
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7029
  • An American Hero!
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #223 on: December 17, 2016, 04:33:15 AM »
Impressions of the first three so far, but with the caveat that I listened to #3 with headphones:

X3 - Very expressive in contrast to X1 and X2, both of which I found too restrained.  However, I intend to re-listen to them with my headphones, just to be sure.

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.

"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline aukhawk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 462
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #224 on: December 19, 2016, 03:56:12 AM »
Tanks Cato.  One of these five performers has cited that 3rd movement as her favourite out of all the S&Ps.

Just to re-emphasise what I mentioned before - beware of the level differences between these recordings - X1 is mastered rather quiet, and X3 rather loud, in comparison with the others.  You will need to compensate.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 03:59:08 AM by aukhawk »

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7029
  • An American Hero!
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #225 on: December 20, 2016, 06:17:10 AM »

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.

X3 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. 

But X5 "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.

However...

X5

X3

X2

X4

X1
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline aukhawk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 462
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #226 on: December 22, 2016, 01:52:09 AM »
Thanks Cato - a very interesting read, as ever.

I'll post a reminder here shortly after New Year, to say that we have one month left for any further contributions.
Meantime, have a good Christmas everyone.

... they all have performances which are at least good, even the one by Sniffles du Nez

Well I should hope so, seeing as we're in the final round - phew!  ;D

Offline aukhawk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 462
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #227 on: January 04, 2017, 01:22:39 AM »
Just a reminder to say that this blind comparison will be finished at the end of this month, and the final five revealed, regardless.  Four of the finalists are of course established GMG favourites, but one is not. 
As things currently stand, it would be hard to decide between 1st and 2nd (though they are very different) or between 3rd, 4th and 5th.
You can still PM me for links to the five sample files, if you wish.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7029
  • An American Hero!
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #228 on: January 04, 2017, 01:06:06 PM »
Just a reminder to say that this blind comparison will be finished at the end of this month, and the final five revealed, regardless.  Four of the finalists are of course established GMG favourites, but one is not. 
As things currently stand, it would be hard to decide between 1st and 2nd (though they are very different) or between 3rd, 4th and 5th.
You can still PM me for links to the five sample files, if you wish.

Many thanks to Aukhawk for arranging everything!

Does X5 "grab" anyone else? 0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7029
  • An American Hero!
Re: Blind comparison: Bach's Violin Sonatas and Partitas
« Reply #229 on: January 08, 2017, 06:11:04 AM »
Many thanks to Aukhawk for arranging everything!

Does X5 "grab" anyone else? 0:)

Just a gentle reminder to the members out there...the clock is ticking!
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK