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Kennedy Plays Bach

Nigel Kennedy
Release Date: 01/24/2006 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 32341  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachAntonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Nigel KennedyAisling CaseyFionnuala HuntJuliet Welchman
Conductor:  Nigel Kennedy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Irish Chamber OrchestraBerlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Violin Concertos: No. 1, BWV 1041; No. 2, BWV 1042. Oboe and Violin Concerto, BWV 1060; Concerto for 2 Violins, BWV 1043. Two Part Inventions: No. 1; No. 8; No. 6. 1 MONTI Csárdás ? Nigel Kennedy (vn), dir; Fionnuala Hunt (vn); Aisling Casey (ob); Juliet Read more Welchman (vc); 1 Irish CO ? EMI DVA 32341 (DVD: 120:02)


VIVALDI Concertos: Excerpts. Kennedy in Leipzig: Bach with the Berlin PO, Audio clips


Those who recall with no special fondness Nigel Kennedy?s video performances of Vivaldi?s Four Seasons with the English Chamber Orchestra and of the Brahms Concerto with Klaus Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic may not look forward enthusiastically to his concert of Bach, recorded live with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in St. Mary?s Church, Dingle. But, although Nigel Kennedy still sports attire that may not appeal to some viewers, he establishes such a natural rapport with his audience and his fellow musicians that it would be hard not to surrender to his engaging stage personality, whatever he might be wearing. His introductions of the individual works and his aplomb on the stage in general make this concert, captured visually so as not to interfere with the experience of listening, evince the instincts of a seasoned entertainer, exuding poise and wit to spare. The performances themselves sound energetic, in the vein of those he recorded for EMI (57091, 24:4), but even more extroverted and energetic. Despite the colors projected in the sanctuary behind him (reminiscent of the Four Seasons recording), he manages to sustain purely musical interest, bringing appropriate solemnity to the solo concertos? slow movements and exuberant élan to their fast ones. In the Concerto for Two Violins and the Concerto for Violin and Oboe, Kennedy engages Fionnuala Hunt and Aisling Casey respectively in energetic partnerships, both in the music and on the stage. And his playing of three Bach inventions with cellist Juliet Welchman brings these pieces so rambunctiously to life that both piano students, for whom they serve as exercises, and counterpoint students, for whom they serve as models for study and emulation, should find them at least a pleasant surprise. Vittorio Monti?s Csárdás, an old chestnut that Kennedy roasts with improvisatory abandon, serves as a stunning, if somewhat incongruous, encore.


Individual aspects of these performances might invite further critical discussion; but the effect of the whole?an almost intoxicating sense of freedom and occasion?simply overwhelms details. And the visual and auditory record of the concert captures the immediacy that similar recordings of any number of more self-conscious, if not ponderous, events, just don?t, or can?t, transmit. It?s not a matter of the program, or even of the individual performances. Its a matter of fun; and Kennedy, in this concert, whatever sins against decorum he may have committed in the past, makes it clear that the most important music, played with the most probing musicianship, can be stomping good fun. Looking at old programs, in which Franz Clement, for example, played the violin upside down between the movements of Beethoven?s Violin Concerto at its premiere, or in which Paganini, for example, imitated barnyard animals (but still managed to earn the adulation of a composer like Meyerbeer)?looking at such programs through the lens of this concert, which hardly dares such flagrant breaches of modern-day concert propriety, brings to mind how much might be missing from today?s musical events and suggests in a vague way one kind of remedy. The accompanying ?bonuses,? some of which have appeared previously as promotional material, pall in comparison with the concert itself; and Kennedy seems more at home ad libbing on stage than in more restrained discussion in the interviews. Urgently recommended as a joyous event, the good spirits of which shouldn?t evaporate even after numerous viewings and hearings.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
Conductor:  Nigel Kennedy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Irish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
Conductor:  Nigel Kennedy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Irish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin), Aisling Casey (Oboe)
Conductor:  Nigel Kennedy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Irish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
4.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin), Fionnuala Hunt (Violin)
Conductor:  Nigel Kennedy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Irish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
5.
Two-Part Invention no 1 in C major, BWV 772 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin), Juliet Welchman (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
6.
Two-Part Invention no 8 in F major, BWV 779 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin), Juliet Welchman (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
7.
Two-Part Invention no 6 in E major, BWV 777 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin), Juliet Welchman (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
8.
Work(s) by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 

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