Top positive review
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Elegant style and consumate artistry
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.