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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant style and consumate artistry
The violin concerti by JS Bach have long been cornerstones of the repertoire. Countless recordings and come and many have gone. This one has stayed - and for good reason.
Arthur Grumiaux was Belgian and studied the violin there, joining a long line of distinguished performers who formed an important school of playing. The characteristics of that school were an...
Published on 16 Jan 2003 by richardwhitehouse3

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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a favourite
I tend to agree with the reviewer who described this as `workmanlike` although this is not the adjective I would choose here. The recordings used here originate from the 1970s and 80s and have been digitised. If you compare these recordings to many modern alternatives, and this is my personal opinion I must stress, then there are certain quality issues. But this is not...
Published on 30 Nov 2012 by Herr Holz Paul


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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant style and consumate artistry, 16 Jan 2003
The violin concerti by JS Bach have long been cornerstones of the repertoire. Countless recordings and come and many have gone. This one has stayed - and for good reason.
Arthur Grumiaux was Belgian and studied the violin there, joining a long line of distinguished performers who formed an important school of playing. The characteristics of that school were an unforced yet full-bodied tone production which is quite different from the super-charged New York school which seems to hold so much sway these days. By contrast the playing of Grumiaux et al seems to be redolent of a byegone, more civilised age.
What he brings to this music is a warm, vibrant tone completely at the service of the music. He retains throughout a poise which is at once both aristocratic in its bearing and human in its response to these fantastic pieces. The fast movements are characterised by a lively, italianate sensibility with a strong rhythmic sense. The slow movements are simply manner from heaven.
For this reviewer the real gem is the concerto for oboe and violin where Grumiaux is joined by the great swiss player, Heinz Holliger. The sheer accomplishment of the playing is breathtaking and there is a real sense of partnership, of two great musicians handing over ideas to each other.
At budget price this is a steal and should be in every music lovers collection.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most beautifully performed, 26 Dec 2007
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Arthur Grumiaux plays Violin Concertos No.1, BWV 1041 and No. 2, BWV 1042 most beautifully. He has an immaculate style and musicality. In the Concerto for Two Violins BWV 1043, he is joined by Herman Krebbers, another excellent violinist and the then concertmaster of the great Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.

The orchestral support from Les Solistes Romands under the baton of Arpad Gerecz is very good but rather discreet.

In Concerto for Oboe and Violin BWV 1060, Grumiaux is joined by Heinz Holliger. This is another superlative performance, making this CD one of the best among Bach's concerto recordings.

The quality of recording is excellent, although in violin concertos the instruments are placed rather too forward.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach Violin Concertos at their best, 1 Nov 2012
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I suspect that many other reviewers of this disc have, like myself, several other copies of the Bach Violin Concertos in their collections. I have always loved Arthur Grumiaux's playing since I bought his Berg Violin Concerto on vinyl many, many years ago. Although these recordings date from the 70s I think everyone concerned got it just right and the sound is excellent. Not a romantic sound, neither too baroque! Full marks,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recording classic, 10 Nov 2012
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Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
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No wonder a sample of Grumiaux's playing of the Sonatas was included on "Voyager"; the aristocratic poise and ineffable sweetness of his tone have become a byword for excellence for two generations and more of classical music lovers.

Most of his recordings were made for Philips when their sound engineering was impeccable; nothing about these performances, technically or aesthetically speaking, dates them - indeed, great musicianship doesn't date. He is by no means excessively soupy or wallowing, just dead on the note and wholly subsumed within the proto-Romantic spirit of the music. When he is joined by Krebbers we are in Bach/violin heaven. There is nothing to stop you enjoying other traditionalists' accounts of these concertos - I much enjoy Anne Sophie Mutter with Salvatore Accardo and the Oistrakhs - or indeed venturing into the leaner world of HIP versions but this one is the most satisfying of all, free of all indulgence but glowing with inspiration and humanity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Music, 23 Nov 2013
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K. C. (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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The best of Bach - I love this I can listen over and over. A record was given to myself in 1963 and this is the second CD I have for another interpretation of this music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite musical rapport, sound, and artistic taste, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos; Double Concertos (MP3 Download)
In addition to the positive reviews already posted, which praise the violin & oboe double concerto, I should like to emphasize the many admirable and appealing qualities on this recording of the Double Concerto for 2 Violins, the concerto which for many violinists is the ultimate baroque statement of exquisite beauty, and dialogue with contention (in almost equal measures) in a string chamber work.
Grumiaux and Krebbers are two outstanding Bach players whose collaboration in this performance is a model of musical dialogue, uncloying ineffable sweetness in their mutually sympathetic sound, and freshness of pace with real depth to their reading. This is not a period performance, nor is it a recording of particularly historical moment. It is just an utterly captivating, questioning, satisfying, inspiring, memorable, and altogether remarkable performance, with all due credit to the tasteful integrated string ensemble and continuo, by Les Solistes Romands under Aprad Gerecz.

This performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto would be one of my desert island discs. Though I am hardly likely to get shipwrecked where I live!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Oct 2014
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Excellent!!!
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a favourite, 30 Nov 2012
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I tend to agree with the reviewer who described this as `workmanlike` although this is not the adjective I would choose here. The recordings used here originate from the 1970s and 80s and have been digitised. If you compare these recordings to many modern alternatives, and this is my personal opinion I must stress, then there are certain quality issues. But this is not necessarily to do with recording equipment I feel. I say this because I have other recordings originating from the late 20th Century which I rate higher than this one. For example - I find the lead violin too overpowering and the rest of the orchestra a little distant. This is probably due to microphone placement and recording balancing but I am guessing! Also I find the use of vibrato on the lead excessive but this is a matter of taste I know - and dare I say it - in isolated instances I almost imagined I was listening to one of those cassette tapes which tend to slip causing a wow-wow-wobbly effect! Now whether this was the musician having a bad day or if this recording was itself taken from a tape who knows. So I am not overall very impressed with this Recording I`m affraid! But it`s not all bad and it does improve in the latter half with the piece for two violins and other lead instruments.
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0 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Workmanlike, 14 May 2012
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G. Dack "Dodge" (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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The performances on this CD are technically good but a little lacking in feeling (in my humble opinion). I will be a little insulting & say it sometimes seems as if the tracks have been laid down at the end of a long concert tour. Sorry - good value though!
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Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos; Double Concertos
Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos; Double Concertos by Arpad Gérecz and Arthur Grumiaux and Edo de Waart and Heinz Holliger and Herman Krebbers and Les Solistes Romands and New Philharmonia Orchestra
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