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A very fine set of the 'other' Bach Sonatas
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.