This is my 13th recording of these pieces, and like each of its predecessors, Kremer's journey shines with a uniqueness all its own.
Kremer performs the Six with an almost manic drive. The Fugue from the G minor Sonata is a powerful, terrifying thing, with Kremer accenting the repeated notes in the fugue's subject harshly and fiercely. His style seems highly adaptable; the G minor Siciliana rocks gently, like a cradle lullaby, while the A minor Allegro breaks over the listener like a gigantic series of waves. While Milstein, Grumiaux, and Tetzlaff are rightly revered for their finesse and, in Tetzlaff's case, almost emotional detachment, Kremer seems to dig in to the very core of these pieces, pushing his violin to emotional heights unknown; helping these pieces truly come alive. The B minor Allemanda sounds almost sorrowful, while the G minor Fugue explodes with a palpable fury from the instrument.
The star of the disc set (as with most sets of the Soli) is Kremer's traversal of the great Chaconne. His reading of this mighty piece is technically immaculate and almost breathlessly powerful. At times, the violin sounds mournful, and at others, furious and roaring. This can also be said for Kremer's reading as a whole: the violin and its performer are endlessly expressive and versatile, and as a result, each individual movement of the Sonatas and Partitas has a unique character, a different personality.
Kremer's account, though not "definitive" (can any single recording be called that?), bears the unmistakable stamp of his personality, and this journey through this Work of Works, as it were, is an enlightening, uplifting, and exciting trip.