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Bach - The Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo CD

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: £21.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Performer: Gidon Kremer
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (19 Dec. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ECM New Series
  • ASIN: B000A2WF3S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,364 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Generally acknowledged as the lonesome peak of the rich literature for the violin, both pleasurable and highly philosophical, JS Bach's Sonatas and Partitas are the greatest challenge for any virtuoso, next to Paganini's "Capricci". In his liner notes Gidon Kremer refers to them as "the Himalayas" for the violin.

Bach completed them in 1720, when he was Kapellmeister at the court of Koethen. Three four-part Sonatas alternate with suite-like Partitas consisting basically of dances compiled in a very individual manner. In contrast to the conventional use of the violin as a melody instrument, Bach entrusts it with elaborate polyphonic structures, especially in the Fugues of the Sonatas and in the Chaconne from the second Partita, one of the most overwhelming pieces ever written for any instrument. But the cycle's extraordinary musical quality lies in the width, variety and grandeur built by only a single violin.

Personnel:
Gidon Kremer (violin)

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Format: Audio CD
The best music there is, but this introvert and erratic performance does not convey a strong personal reading on the level of the best modern instrument recordings (Milstein, Grumiaux, Julia Fischer) or the sense of historical rhetoric or harmony which you will find in the best original instrument performances (Heléne Schmitt, Sigiswald Kuijken). Kremer is technically superb, but not the most interesting of interpreters here. His earlier Bach set is better, actually.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9862978c) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9863f1ec) out of 5 stars An Approach to Bach's Genius of Spirit rather than Wizard of Craft 23 Nov. 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Gidon Kremer has again recorded the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin of Bach and while his facility and technical grace are intact, in this recording he appears to have been deeply influenced by his time with the moderns (Adams, Pärt, Schnittke, Piazzola, Glass, et al). For this listener it seems that studying and performing these contemporary composers' manipulation of sound and instrumental scope has enriched Kremer's thought about the perfection of Bach.

Not everyone will agree with Kremer's approach to these works on this new recording, but for those who know Bach's solo violin pieces there are pleasures in store. Remaining technically suave and with a luxuriant tone, Kremer seems to be communicating with the psychological Bach, offering different tempi and more soulful approaches than those of his colleagues. The results are mesmerizing.

The sonics of this release are impeccable: the soloist is immediately in the room with the listener. This recording is a must for those who have followed Kremer's impressive career and for those who wish to venture outside the norm for a fresh approach to the wonders of Bach's genius. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 05
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9863f240) out of 5 stars Different. 15 Nov. 2005
By Xyp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Let it never be said that Gidon Kremer's interpretations are in any way similar to... well, anyone. This is truly a fresh, and let me stress alternative take on these works- I would not recommend these to anyone not first initiated to Bach solo violin. If I were to recommend a place to start with these pieces, it would be Arthur Grumiaux, Henryk Szeryng, Nathan Milstein, or Hilary Hahn, as they present more (for lack of a better term) "mainstream" versions without Kremer's tendency towards more esoteric (yet totally effective) interpretations.

However, to those of you out there who are already familiar with the works, I say have at it: Kremer's reading is heartfelt, idiomatic, and very staccato yet never mechanical. He is certainly a student of performance, individuality, and taste. It is also quite worth it to hear the cleanliness of these discs: the sound and recording quality, as in all ECM recordings, is absolutely stellar.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98a2b678) out of 5 stars Magnificent 6 April 2006
By kelsie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is my 13th recording of these pieces, and like each of its predecessors, Kremer's journey shines with a uniqueness all its own.

Kremer performs the Six with an almost manic drive. The Fugue from the G minor Sonata is a powerful, terrifying thing, with Kremer accenting the repeated notes in the fugue's subject harshly and fiercely. His style seems highly adaptable; the G minor Siciliana rocks gently, like a cradle lullaby, while the A minor Allegro breaks over the listener like a gigantic series of waves. While Milstein, Grumiaux, and Tetzlaff are rightly revered for their finesse and, in Tetzlaff's case, almost emotional detachment, Kremer seems to dig in to the very core of these pieces, pushing his violin to emotional heights unknown; helping these pieces truly come alive. The B minor Allemanda sounds almost sorrowful, while the G minor Fugue explodes with a palpable fury from the instrument.

The star of the disc set (as with most sets of the Soli) is Kremer's traversal of the great Chaconne. His reading of this mighty piece is technically immaculate and almost breathlessly powerful. At times, the violin sounds mournful, and at others, furious and roaring. This can also be said for Kremer's reading as a whole: the violin and its performer are endlessly expressive and versatile, and as a result, each individual movement of the Sonatas and Partitas has a unique character, a different personality.

Kremer's account, though not "definitive" (can any single recording be called that?), bears the unmistakable stamp of his personality, and this journey through this Work of Works, as it were, is an enlightening, uplifting, and exciting trip.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9863f4c8) out of 5 stars Infinity's End! 13 Oct. 2006
By Faezal Yunus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kremer beautifully states how a composition's interpretations could be infinite. Well, there could be many that even Bach couldn't have fathomed how brilliantly they could be executed. This, of all of them, may be considered as one of the BEST - Infinity's End!

The esoteric Chaconne apart, the standout track is the easily likeable and the most famous Prelude of Partita No. 3 (1006, E Major) - Kremer uses a breathtaking speed and has a God-like control over the dynamics - remarkable! Be it for collection of the entire Solo Violin Partitas and Sonatas or for simple listening pleasure of a brilliant interpretation, this is a must for all Bach connoisseurs.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9863f708) out of 5 stars New Sound and Interpretation 18 Oct. 2010
By Seong S. Shim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have 37 cds of Back's Partitas and Sonatas for Solo Violin. I have listened to all of them. I have listened to some of them many times. Today, I received this Kremer's one and listened to all the record. Oh my God! I have never listen to such as a creative interpretation of this music. Kremer is so creative that I feel like he have created a new music! I strongly recommend this CD with all my heart.
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