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on 29 October 2006
There's some glorious playing in this set, beautfully recorded in a rich church acoustic. Bach's 'other' violin sonatas are unformly inspired containing some of his his most glorious music (especially the E major sonata). Grumiaux's artistry is flawless, breathtakingly seamless legato, full and rich tone (what a lovely instrument he plays!). To hear these works with Harpsichord is refreshing, and fortunately Christiane Jaccottet plays an instrument that sounds right for Bach's music rather than the kind of beast that Landowska advocated.

If I have a quibble with the interpretations, the slow movements are too fast lack then sense of wonder and repose that the great Glenn Gould & Jamie Laredo set found. Gould and Laredo dig a lot deeper into the music and the effect is profoundly spiritual, really one of the most extraordinary CDs ever made.

For a 'modern' (as opposed to 'period') performance of these wonderful works then Grumiaux is a good bet. For period fans then Andrew Manze is very good. For an alternative and hugely involving view of these works then dig out Glenn Gould and Jamie Laredo on Sony.
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on 4 June 2013
I agree with the other reviewer, Neil Ford, who applauds Grumiaux's "seamless legato" and "beautiful tone", but disagree with his comments about the slow movements' being too fast, and lacking a sense of wonder and repose. I can't imagine anything with more wonder and repose! At least as much as I've found in Glenn Gould (though I'm yet to try Gould and Laredo...) For a different approach, with equal beauty and wonder, try Podger & Pinnock's versions. For more Grumiaux, try Mozart's Violin Concertos.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 December 2006
This music is so wonderful that it needs absolutely no special pleading - just completely accurate, musical playing, and that is exactly what you get here. Nothing gets in the way of the notes, the flow of the movements. It's art concealing art, in a way - it all sounds so natural and unforced that it is easy almost to forget the peformers and the difficulties that this music imposes on them ; but for repeated listening, that's what you want. Quirky, 'clever', 'revelatory' approaches get in the way ; Bach doesn't need them. In addition, this is a very inexpensive set and it is absolutely cleanly and beautifully recorded. You really cannot go wrong.
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on 6 March 2002
This, together with the Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, constitues some of the most exciting violin playing that can be found by J.S.Bach. Grumiaux plays his fiddle with a fiery passion that is enhanced very effectively not only by the sparkling accompaniment, but also by the wonderful acoustics of the studio in which the set was recorded. Thoroughly worth while adding this to your collection, proving once again that this series of releases is hard to beat.
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on 24 December 2013
I suppose that purist would argue that this is not the sound that Bach would have heard but of all the versions of these pieces, I like this one best. He has a smoothness and warmth rather than a clinical soul-less accuracy. He doesn't just play the music---he loves every note. The same could be said of Isolde Menges's versions on old 78s, although the style is different.
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on 16 October 2015
Before buying this I should have realised that the accompanist is on harpsichord rather than piano. This in no way diminishes the quality of the violin playing, but if like me, you simply can't bear the metallic grating of a harpsichord, then this won't be for you.
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on 30 October 2015
as good as other reviews have judged
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on 25 February 2015
Great Music
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