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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 14 March 2017
I think this is an excellent set. I already have a number of recordings of the Sonatas and Partitas, including some quite brilliant interpretations by the likes of Isabelle Faust, Rachel Podger and Viktoria Mullova, but I think Christine Busch's recording stands with the best of them.

The music, of course, is sublime. These are quite magnificent works which test the instrument and its player to extremes, and in the process produce some quite extraordinarily expressive and moving music. Christine Busch is certainly equal to the technical challenge; her intonation is rock solid, she has a lovely tone and she makes these sometimes incredibly difficult pieces sound simple and natural. Her interpretation is absolutely terrific, I think. There is an elegance and grace running through this recording which never loses any of the intellectual weight or emotional impact, and the essential pulse of Bach beats throughout. Busch is equally at home in the slow, tortured depths of the mighty Chaconne from the D minor Partita and in the quicker, more obviously dancing movements like the closing Allegro assai of the C major Sonata.

The whole things simply glows, I think, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the excellence throughout. The recorded sound is lovely with just the right degree of reverberation, and it's a really fine set all round. Very warmly recommended.
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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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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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on 6 October 2013
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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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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