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on 16 January 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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on 26 December 2007
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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on 1 November 2012
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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 November 2012
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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on 12 June 2013
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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on 16 January 2015
Absolutely gorgeous playing and sound quality. Buy with confidence and be prepared to be delighted.
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on 8 April 2016
Got this for dad and he loves it !!!
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on 23 November 2013
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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on 19 September 2015
Music to start the day, exquisite with Frank Cooper's Oxford English....
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on 8 March 2015
Swift shipping. Good recording.
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