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12 Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic recordings which you can absolutely trust
These well-known and much-praised Phillips recordings have been around for many years. Grumiaux plays with precision and accuracy - not everyone does in this music - and his approach is without eccentricity and absolutely convincing. It all seems very faithful to Bach's intentions, even if this is not a 'period' or 'authentic' performance. I think the best word to...
Published on 7 Feb 2010 by hillbank68

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Partitas & Sonatas
I like the partitas, the recordings are like the ones I had years ago.
The Sonatas were a little pedestrian I thought.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Leslie Davis


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic recordings which you can absolutely trust, 7 Feb 2010
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
These well-known and much-praised Phillips recordings have been around for many years. Grumiaux plays with precision and accuracy - not everyone does in this music - and his approach is without eccentricity and absolutely convincing. It all seems very faithful to Bach's intentions, even if this is not a 'period' or 'authentic' performance. I think the best word to describe these performances is 'satisfying'. Grumiaux never loses focus, the sound he makes is most beautiful, he does not seem to step between the music and the listener, and the Phillips recording is clean and spacious. Just as many have done before, I would recommend this highly.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting..., 6 April 2005
These works are surely up there with the St Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass as among the greatest and most influential achievements of JS Bach - the craftsmanship, virtuosity and sheer intensity of the sonatas and partitas remains, as far as I can see, unmatched to the present day. Who else but Bach could have conceived of writing fugues for an instrument not used to playing more than one note at once; and who else could pull it off so resoundingly well?! Not to mention the monumental Chaconne, a movement so vast, profound and virtuosic it leaves you gasping for breath.....
The almost legendary status of this recording (I see it has recently been re-released on a special Philips series commemorating 50 great recordings) needs very little comment. The most astounding thing for me was the way Grumiaux really manages to make his violin sound like at least two or three - the melodic line continues clearly and perfectly unbroken through all the double stopping and chords around it. And the music's intensity is brought out frightening effectively.
Yet another musical destruction of the opinion that Bach's music is excessively planned out and is nothing more than unemotional theory - anyone finding this at all dry and lacking in feeling needs their head examined!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frighteningly excitingly powerfully intense, 28 Feb 2002
By 
Grumiaux is to Bach as Ashkenazy is to Rachmaninov. This has to be among the most intense and exciting violin playing in existence. Yes, Bach himself was a violinist, but it takes a player the calibre of Grumiaux to interpret it the way it ought to be performed.

When you've checked this one out, it's worth taking a listen to his rendition of the Violin Sonatas as well.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired playing sounds like a group of violinists, 10 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This is savage, moving and beautiful music in the hands of a true original - nothing quaint or baroque about it - this artist lifts your soul with his mysteriously brilliant technique and this collection is music for a sunny day or music for your darkest night - totally superb
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two hours of Bach's solo violin music, 17 Mar 2008
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Bach's works for solo violin, the three sonatas of four movements each and three partitas of six dance-style movements each, were completed in 1720 during Bach's employment at Kothen at a time when his writing was at its most prolific - the Brandenburg concertos, double violin concertos and cello suites all originated from this period.

Bach himself transcribed parts of the work for other instruments (including organ, lute, and harpsichord) and is included in two cantatas (BWV 29 and BWV 120a). The works in their entirety have also been transcribed and rearranged by many artists and composers for guitar, viola, cello and piano.

Arthur Grumiaux, born in Belgium 1921 (died 1986) was a much acclaimed violinist, more highly regarded by his fellow musicians perhaps than by worldwide audiences. Recognition of his musicianship came in 1973 when he was made a baron by King Baudouin for his services to music.

This 1960/1961 recording is on the Phillips Classics DUO label which aims to provide 2 CDs for the price of one. The recordings are good, and the performances by Grumiaux demonstrate his distinctive style. The 16 page sleeve notes provide recording dates, track times and detailed background information about the works, but surprisingly no mention of Grumiaux himself.

There are many other recordings of these lovely solo works but this one is a good starting point in terms of value for money.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A virtuosic performance of outstanding magnitude, 11 July 2001
By A Customer
The power of the artists playing playing is truly powerful and technically brilliant but it is the passion of his playing which is amazing.It is a passion from the soul that concentrates your mind and senses on every note. Bach would be proud.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Partitas & Sonatas, 31 May 2014
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I like the partitas, the recordings are like the ones I had years ago.
The Sonatas were a little pedestrian I thought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious music from start to finish., 13 Jan 2014
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This collection Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin is one if the glories of the classical idiom.
Awesomely magnificent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Value., 26 Jun 2013
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I came across this music while tuning around on my old shortwave receiver. It was being played by Radio Romania International and I was instantly captivated by it. I jumped onto Amazon and ordered these CD's. I am very pleased with this recording and I look forward to enjoying it again and again for years to come. The partita No2 in D minor is worth the price of the disc alone. Fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Execellent, 8 Jun 2013
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Just what I wanted,an excellent recording,which arrived in good time,well packaged.Good value with it's two discs.Will keep me happy for some time.
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