19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.