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WGUC Reviews

J.S. Bach, Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

J.S. Bach, Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
Julia Fischer

Review by: Robert Zierolf

With a dozen or so recordings of these unaccompanied masterpieces available, I was curious to hear whether Julia Fischer has anything meaningful to add. Her mastery of the modern violin is evident throughout, approaching laudable perfection. This serves well the challenging multiple stops and contrapuntal intricacies offer, but the fast movements are etude-like and the slow movements less than elegant. She sounds self-aware, never tentative, but she hasn't yet engaged the composer on his lofty level. Her liner notes indicate a return to these works in the future, and I hope she will.

PentaTone's sound is not helpful. Too hollow, lacks warmth and a sense of intimacy that places the music directly on the ear. The CD sounds like what it is - a studio recording, not what it could be - a private performance.


Sound Quality:

Robert Zierolf is Professor of Music Theory and History and Division head of Composition, Musicology, and Theory at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He is also a freelance writer on classical music.


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