19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
An excellent Bach recording,
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Violin Concertos (Audio CD)
This is another really fine, enjoyable disc from Rachel Podger. She is now established as one of the world's finest baroque violinists, as well as a great interpreter of Mozart. Two of her previous Bach recordings have been the Radio 3 Building a Library First Choice in the face of competition from many of the greatest violinists (Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo and Bach: Complete Sonatas for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord /Podger ∑ Pinnock) and I think this disc is just as good.
The programme here comprises Bach's two familiar violin concertos in A minor and E major, BWV 1041 and 1042, plus two reconstructions from harpsichord concertos BWV 1055 and 1056. They are all very fine works which show Bach's real mastery and the variety of his writing, with the vigorous and dance-like beside the beautiful and tender.
Rachel Podger shows her real depth of understanding of Bach here, but it is lightly worn: she plays the concertos with immense grace and lightness of touch so that they really dance and shine with charm and beauty, but she never loses any of their intellectual weight. The ensemble is small - just six players, hand-picked by Podger - which gives a delightful spring and suppleness to the quicker movements and a wonderful beauty to the slow movements, which to me are the highlights of this disc. It is exemplary Bach playing, I think.
The recorded sound is excellent and the notes very good. Channel Classics have even managed to make the presentation attractive, which hasn't always been their strong point. It's a really outstanding disc - I have loved these works for many years and already have a number of treasured recordings, but I think these may take their place as my favourites.