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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
These are wonderful performances: free-flowing, mature, virtuoso yet relaxed and devoid of even the slightest tendency to show off. One is drawn into this music instead of impressed by it. The recording is impeccable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
First heard an excerpt on the radio, the full recording doesn’t disappoint, beautiful and sensitive playing, technically brilliant with a good recording balance and high production values.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Allow me to besmirch myself by using the most recast literary idiom since Austen's 'It is a truth universally acknowledged..': We Need To Talk About Obbligatos. Nasal obbligatos. Isabelle Faust's solo violin sonatas and partitas have been praised to the roof, through the roof, then, once *on* the roof, scooped up and hurled towards the stratosphere, where more praise was beckoning. She is the zeitgeist's It Girl Violinist, in a zeigeist teeming with young, talented, photogenic fillies who happen to be fiddlers. Greedy Harmonia Mundi spread the works over two albums to increase the revenue and miked the lass so closely that her excellent playing comes with its own 'nasal obbligato' accompaniment. Every snort is audible, rupturing the endless grace and cosmic timelessness of these infinite works. It's a quite shattering way to ruin a piece of heaven.

Thankfully, Christine Busch is on hand. PHI, (Yer Man Herreweghe's shiny new label) have worked wonders in their recording dept. This has space, air, yet feels intimate, and nary a nasal puff, snort or sibilant is to be heard, allowing us to fix our ears on the all important work at hand: Bach's mastery of single-voice polyphony. How does he do it?

Busch, who has worked with Herreweghe before, plays in the HIP idiom - Baroque violin set up and very little vibrato. Worry not - there is none of your harrowing gut string scrape-fests here. She coaxes a wonderfully pure, stark, mellifluous tone from her instrument. It never wearies one with its treble-y insistence as so many violin recitals can. I have struggled with these works because violins don't 'sing' for me the way cellos do, but this one has come the closest to convincing me that they can...in the right hands.

The works speak for themselves. Apart from the jubilant dance of Partita No. 3 in E Major, these are intense monuments to Eternity, often seeming to echo the unbearable ache of the violin obbligato in 'Erbarme Dich' in their lyrical laments. But however taxing they might be, when played this well, one cannot ignore them.

Hear the fern frond unfurl...follow the spiral of the snail shell down, down, down to where Eternity lies...
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2013
I have several recordings of the Bach sonatas and partitas and this ranks among the best. Great to hear a Christine Busch solo recording
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