Last year I visited Leipzig on a day trip from Berlin. Leipzig has a lovely central city, characterized by "Grunderzeit" architecture of the late 19th Century, and is known among other things as "Bach-Stadt" -- Bach City.
Bach (1685-1750) is buried in the Thomaskirche, the church where he worked from 1723 until his death. "He was appointed Cantor of the Thomasschule at Thomaskirche, and Director of Music in the principal churches in the town, namely the Nikolaikirche and the Paulinerkirche, the church of the University of Leipzig" (from Wikipedia).
Bach, of course, was an organist, and though he was also an accomplished violinist, his musical style is rooted in the keyboard. So Julian Haylock says in the liner notes: "The Sonatas and Partitas are supreme masterpieces ingeniously laid out for the violin, rather than classic examples of idiomatic violin writing per se."
Austrian violinist extraordinaire Thomas Zehetmair (b. 1961) was only 21 when these recordings were made in 1982. Zehetmair's tone and technique are stunning -- it is a tour-de-force.
I am not immersed in baroque music, and when I listen to this set it takes a little while for my ears to adjust to Bach's linear, restricted style -- restricted that is by comparison to what some might see as the excesses of Romantic music and the later unheard of innovations of the Twentieth Century.
But once they adjust, I marvel at the intricacy and variation of Bach's genius -- and Zehetmair's genius.
I haven't heard any of the other acclaimed recordings such as those by Arthur Grumiaux, Nathan Milstein, Gidon Kremer, or Christian Tetzlaff, so I can't compare them to Zehetmair -- all I can tell you is that it sounds incredible!