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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 18 May 2008
This recording is superb. I have enthused (and still do) about these pieces played by Rachel Podger and Trevor Pinnock Bach: Complete Sonatas for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord /Podger · Pinnock. Well, you know how it is - you wait ages for a brilliant recording of the Bach Violin Sonatas and then two come along at once.

Fans of Manze and Egarr will know what to expect: superlative musicianship, delightful verve and enthusiasm, delicacy and tenderness where needed and an unsurpassed feel for Bach's magnificent music which brings out the wonderful complexity and delight in these sonatas. The pair have established themselves as probably the leading duo in the world for Baroque violin and keyboard music, and these discs are well up to the phenomenal standard they have set. The excellent Jaap ter Linden on viola da gamba matches their wonderful performances in every way.

The discs are simply a delight, and as a bonus you get a transcription for solo violin of the Toccata & Fugue in D minor BWV565. (Yes, *that* Toccata & Fugue.) It's astonishing, outrageous and absolutely brilliant: Manze at his best. Worth buying the set for this alone, I'd say.

If you're buying just one set of these sonatas I would be pushed to know whether to recommend this or the Podger/Pinnock set - both are truly excellent and eminently recommendable - but I think I possibly play these more often and the set does include the Toccata & Fugue transcription. You certainly can't go wrong with this set; it's a really outstanding recording of great music and will afford you huge pleasure for many, many years.
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on 31 August 2010
All too often, when music is reviewed, it is easy to overlook the sound engineer. Yes, he/she is the unsung artist behind all great recordings, as we have here. The balance achieved is truly remarkable with these violin sonatas. Jaap ter Linden with his viola da gamba in hand, reaches into your soul, Andrew Manze , with his violin on his shoulder uplifts it, and Richard Egarr translates it to heaven with his harpsichord. Each of these three instruments does not overbear on either of the other two. All three are heard independently, but in total unison. The harmonic diffusion is faultless. Yes, the sound engineer has made the work of the aforementioned complete, which is what J.S. Bach wished for us.
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on 9 November 2001
An amazing rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach's sonata's. Not only are the perceptually rich harmonies played perfectly, but the melodic spectra are sensually twisted into new and beautiful forms. This is truly a tribute to a great composer.
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on 22 March 2016
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on 21 February 2009
I bought just the Toccata & Fugue arrangement for solo violin, since I like this sort of novelty.

I am a little disappointed in it, but am hard put to say why - if forced, I'd say the deep notes just after where the preview sample fades out (about a minute in) weren't as I expected but were played with, and in general virtuosity substitutes for long notes in quite a few places.

However, rearrangements are a very personal thing, and you might like it; it is certainly a tour de force both of arrangement skill and performance, and I still found myself visualising the "Fantasia" flashes at several points. I don't regret the purchase!

Oh, it stops very suddenly (-:!
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