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Bach: Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas


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Born in Israel in 1945, Itzhak Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He came to New York and soon was propelled into the international arena with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following his studies at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, Mr. Perlman won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a ... Read more in Amazon's Itzhak Perlman Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas + Bach: Cello Suites. Rostropovich [Boxed set]
Price For Both: £51.64

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Product details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classical
  • ASIN: B000002RQF
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001: Adagio 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001: Fuga (Allegro) 5:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001: Siciliana 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001: Presto 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Allemanda 6:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Double 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Corrente 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Double (Presto) 3:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Sarabande 3:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Double 2:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Bourree 3:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002: Double 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003: Grave 4:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003: Fuga 8:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003: Andante 5:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003: Allegro 5:33£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: Allemanda 4:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: Corrente 3:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: Sarabanda 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: Giga 3:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004: Ciaccona15:46Album Only
Listen  6. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005: Adagio 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005: Fuga10:36Album Only
Listen  8. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005: Largo 3:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Sonatas and Partitas, Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005: Allegro assai 5:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Preludio 3:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Loure 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Gavotte en Rondeau 3:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Menuet I 1:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Menuet II 2:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Bourree 1:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Sonatas and Partitas, Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Gigue 1:51£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD
This recording of Sonatas and Partitas by Bach is a refreshing release by EMI. The digital recording from 1988 is of good quality with wide dynamics and sharp clarity. Itzhak Perlman gives a performance marked by scrupulous regard for detail. He uses flawless technique and strong expression. These compositions by Bach seem ideal for Perlman. They offer a wide range of expression with a concentrated intensity of a solo line. In fact Bach`s musical style demands the maturity and depth which Perlman is able to bring to these pieces.
This double CD release is an excellent way to get the magnificent Sonatas and Partitas by Bach. It is also a remarkable addition to the recordings by Itzhak Perlman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. A. O'neill on 26 Oct 2008
Format: Audio CD
Of the many recordings of Bach's sublime violin solos, this is my favourite. Serene and effortless, yet full of emotion, Itzhak Perlman's interpretations remain faithful to the composer without sounding dull or studied. The Chaconne from partita no.2 in particular is masterful. Perlman is one of the best living violinists in my opinion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Perlman's love for Bach is evident 1 May 2002
By chefdevergue - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Is this the Bach collection for baroque purists? Of course not. Nor will it please the lovers of the old-school romantics. However, it is a superb collection if approached on its own merits. Nobody can fault the sound on these CDs, it is just simply wonderful. It is also clear that Perlman does not approach unaccompanied Bach lightly --- two full decades of recording passed before he felt confident to record these works, and his respect and love for Bach comes through with every note.
Whether or not you approve of the use of vibrato, it is obvious that Perlman has carefully thought through every bit of phrasing. The result is very satisfying, and the musical ideas flow comfortably from one passage to the next. I don't find the vibrato to be a distraction --- and let's face it, all of us who play unaccompanied Bach throw a little vibrato in there from time to time. This is a far cry from some of the grotesque, turn-of-the-century romantic parodies of Bach, where the vibrato and phrasing nearly obliterates Bach's original structure. Listen to how Perlman puts together these pieces. He is not guilty of romantic self-indulgence here.
Compare it to Milstein and Szeryng if you must. I believe that Perlman holds his own here. He certainly has produced the best Bach collection in the last 30 years, no doubt.
67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Very good - but not in a class with Szeryng or Milstein 5 Nov 1999
By Hans U. Widmaier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Perman's unbelievable fame tends to obscure the superior accomplishments of others. That's a real pity because interested newcomers to this repretoire will be steered away from the two recordings that tower like giants over all others: those of Henryk Szeryng and Nathan Milstein. Perlman is not in their class. He has, of course, the technical, musical and tonal resources to play these peices beautifully. But his renditions just don't have the overwhelming grandeur of Szeryng's and Milstein's (as different as those two are from each other). Perlman plays well (extremely well, better than most mortals can even dream of), but he breaks no new ground, shows us no new dimensions in these pieces. You get what you would expect: gorgeous tone, fluid lines, tasteful phrasing, solid intonation. But he remains so conventional, so caught up in the reigning aesthetc ideal. All the truly great Bach players have managed to transcend mere beauty. To mention just a few: With Casals, we seem to witness the creation of the world, foundational events of immeasurable vastness. With Gould, we experience Bach's logico-mathematical genius. With Szeryng, Bach's music becomes a cathedral, a giant structure pointing beyond itself. Milstein's Bach is a life elixir, a joyous celebration of unlimited creativity and playfulness. Perlman's Bach? It's beautiful, but no more than that. My recommendation: Don't follow Perlman's fame. Get the Szeryng and Milstein sets and witness true greatness.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
One of the very best 19 May 2005
By Peter Lavezzoli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Although I favor the Milstein set (from the 50s on EMI, not the DG set from the 70s, which I think is inferior), I do favor Perlman over the much heralded Szeryng, as well as Heifetz and Grumiaux. In terms of tempo and dynamics, I think Perlman found the right balance in most cases. His Chaconne is stunning, but I especially appreciate his insights into the more delicate movements, such as the Andante of Sonata 2. To me, only the 50s Milstein is superior in this regard. And as much as I love the 50s Milstein set, the sound of the violin is quite dry. Reverb was not yet in vogue in the 50s. So this Perlman set, besides being an insightful interpretation, also has superior sound quality, and is very smooth on the ears. I will also say that Perlman's intonation is impeccable, I have heard no flaws there. I think he makes the right choices throughout the set, and although no single rendition of these works is definitive (although for me, the 50s Milstein on EMI comes closest, and is my top recommendation), I think Perlman is about as good of a compromise between "feeling" and "form" as we can expect. Certainly head and shoulders above Szeryng, his renditions do not impress me.

I think we should be careful not to unfairly judge Itzhak Perlman simply because he happens to be a successful and popular artist. It didn't hurt Yehudi Menuhin in his day. It's always fashionable to dismiss someone who is popular in favor of a more obscure talent, but sometimes this has no real merit. The fact is that Perlman is indeed one of the best violinists in the world, and this recording is perhaps his crowning achievement, as it would be for any great violinist. Technically, I think he is beyond reproach here, and artistically, his insights are among the best I've heard in these pieces.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Anachronistic but beautiful interpretation 18 Sep 1999
By arterry@comp.uark.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the two extremes of Bach interpretation, the other extreme being a dry, technical reading with little or no vibrato. Perlman's brilliant, full, rich tone is completely different from what would have been heard in Bach's time--in fact, the use of vibrato did not become commonplace until the late 19th century, during the Romantic movement. But in fact, there is no reason why this beautiful tone cannot be applied to Bach too! Since it is an extreme, this recording may not please purists, but I have always thought that Bach would have liked to be able to hear his music performed as it often is today, using the full range of technical possibilities that have been developed since his time. In addition, the magnificent violins that Perlman uses for his recording, a Guarneri del Gesu of 1740 and a Stradivari of 1714, are truly pleasurable to hear. This is my favorite recording of Bach's music for unaccompanied violin, and it is one that I often turn to in my own study of the music.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Singing Tone, Technical Wizardry 30 Jan 2005
By Johannes Marlena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Perlman blows you away with his technical finesse. He also displays with great verve and clarity the inner logic of each piece, so this makes a great set for one's first introduction to these masterpieces of baroque, especially if you're curious why Perlman became such a big star in the first place. Some find Perlman's use of vibrato annoying, but for this listener there is a sweetness and singing quality that brings out the unique beauty and character of each particular partita and sonata, none more so than in the Partita No. 2 and its great Chaconne. Partita No. 3 as well as Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 are particularly gorgeous. Perlman may not plunge into the spiritual depths as other violinists, and the violins he chooses could be warmer in sound, so while these interpratations may not be the final word on Bach's masterwork (then again, what single violinist can do this?), they certainly are essential listening. ****1/2

Other references: Received "rosette" (highest rating) in Penguin Guide; Top recommendation from Jim Svejda's classical guides
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