Notes and Editorial Reviews
Review of a prior CD release of this recording:
Julia Fischer’s solo Bach recordings add up to quite an impressive achievement for a 21-year-old violinist. Not only has she mastered her instrument on just about every level, but she also possesses an instinctive understanding of the rise and fall of Bach’s melodies and how to project the composer’s implied polyphony within a single line. In the G minor sonata’s Presto, the B minor partita’s Courrente and first Double, and the E major partita’s Gigue, for example, Fischer colors her light, effortless bowing with phrasings and accents that clarify the music’s inner rhythms and harmonic subtleties over the bar lines, yet without sacrificing dance-like momentum. She also achieves
this by the consummate ease and focus with which she executes Bach’s four-note chords, notably in her broad and mesmerizingly sustained interpretation of the great D minor Chaconne.
The E major Preludio’s perfectly terraced dynamics and uplifting drive evokes Bach’s incarnation of the same music as the Sinfonia of his Cantata No. 29. Yet there are times when Fischer’s phrase groupings convey a more fragmented, less cohesive line than she possibly intends, such as in the G minor partita’s Siciliano and the C major sonata’s opening Adagio. Both lack the sense of long line and pulsating lilt you hear in James Ehnes’ more vividly characterized performances. I generally prefer the latter’s cycle by virtue of his prettier tone and superior voicing of the fugues. In the main, however, Julia Fischer’s heartfelt and accomplished Bach playing is nothing less than world class, and so is PentaTone’s surround-sound engineering. [12/6/2005]
– ClassicsToday (Jed Distler) Read less
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