A New Adventure
BASIL RAMSEY discovers Bach in a different light
This impeccable team of stylish players aim - like any enlightened
musicians - to recreate early music as it was intended, so far as historical
and essentially musical factors can be interpreted. But they bring such
passion to their performances as to catch the keen listener by the ears.
I still recall, in pitiable contrast, some tame forays into Bach's violin
sonatas years ago that had the impact of a jellyfish, with a consequentially
devastating effect upon my wavering regard for his music.
The muscle of Bach's invention, whether fast or slow, is to be felt as
a vital living force. The lesson has been generally learnt, but with varying
doses of vitality for some and doziness for others.
This two CD set contains the six sonatas for violin and harpsichord,
BWV 1014-1019, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor - the organ warhorse - which
Manze himself has stripped down for unaccompanied fiddle in the probability
that the work really did start life that way, and three other sonatas with
no certainty of vintage but trademarks of the inestimable JSB.
One can only speak of one's own experiences in music, or of any art,
without thought for anybody else. In such a case as this, I feel closer
to the music having now heard it in a setting that brings three performers
steeped in the traditions and mannerisms into a unity that depends then
on their individual understanding and expertise.
To demonstrate when every track contains music in splendid balance and
tension induces a bit of a dither for me, but here are some varied and disarming
snippets: the Adagio from the B minor Sonata BWV 1014 with the delayed
entry of the violin [listen - CD 1 track 1, 00:00-00:57]
; the delicious opening of the Presto from the Sonata in A BWV 1015
[listen - CD 1 track 8, 00:00-00:52]; the Adagio
from one of the three variants of Sonata in G BWV 1019 [listen
- CD 2 track 8, 01:00-01:42]; and the end of the final movement of a
Sonata in C minor BWV 1024 that has no certain ascription to Bach [listen - CD 2 track 22, 03:32-03:59].
Copyright © 9 April 2000 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - HMU 907250.51
PURCHASE THIS CD FROM AMAZON
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