Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: 6 Sonatas And Partitas For Solo Violin / Szigeti


Release Date: 10/21/2003 
Label:  Vanguard   Catalog #: 1246   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Joseph Szigeti was in his early 60s when he recorded Bach's solo sonatas and partitas in 1955/56 for the Bach Guild. Though past his technical prime, Szigeti's artistry and musicianship communicate on many levels. It's not difficult to listen through moments of raspy bowing or tremulous intonation to perceive the wealth of rhythmic sophistication and inflections of tone, articulation, and phrase that give these performances awesome textural and emotional variety. He generates excitement in quicker movements like the G minor sonata's Presto, E major partita's Preludio, and B minor partita's Double not through speed alone but rather through phrase groupings and strategic accents that keep his steady tempos from lapsing into predictable, Read more metronomic patterns. Szigeti does this to even more elaborate and spiritual effect in his spacious treatment of the Allemandes, most of the huge C major sonata, and of course, in the imposing D minor Chaconne.


To give widely spaced intervals their maximum impact, Szigeti often allows them a little more time, and he uses dynamic gradations to ensure pivotal harmonic moments their fullest due, like the haunting trills in sixths that conclude the A minor sonata's opening Grave. In the same sonata's Andante, Szigeti sounds like two distinct violinists, one playing the eighth-note accompaniment at a steady, hushed level, the other virtually orchestrating the melody in specific points of color and accent.


Of course there are other ways to play this music, and some listeners may prefer suaver, more elegant technicians such as Arthur Grumiaux, whose classic 1962 Philips traversals appeared concurrently with the Szigeti set's initial LP release. With Szigeti, however, each rehearing brings something new to my appreciation of these inexhaustible works. The mono sonics haven't aged a bit, despite several noticeable ambient changes that betray splice points. Essential listening.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Violin solo no 1 in G minor, BWV 1001 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Partita for Violin solo no 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
3.
Sonata for Violin solo no 2 in A minor, BWV 1003 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
4.
Sonata for Violin solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1005 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
5.
Partita for Violin solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
6.
Partita for Violin solo no 3 in E major, BWV 1006 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joseph Szigeti (Violin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Szigeti in his twilight hours November 21, 2013 By Richard E. (Flushing, NY) See All My Reviews "By the time Szigeti recorded the solo violin pieces for Vanguard his technique was not in the best of shape (not that it was ever as perfect as a Heifetz). However, his musicianship was still there. He had recorded some Bach back on 78s in 1931, and that's available on OPUS KURA, Naturally the sound isn't hi fi but it's worth hearing. I'm a great fan of Szigeti and I go out of my way to hear anything he's recorded. Did I ever hear him live? Yes, a very long time ago and the memory lingers. Why wouldn't I recommend Heifetz instead? Because he rushes it. Alternate recording I would recommend are Milstein on DG or Grumiaux on PHILIPS." Report Abuse
 Profound artistry July 25, 2013 By Robert N. (Cleveland Heights, OH) See All My Reviews "This is one of the most mature and profound perspectives on Bach I have heard. If you can listen past the old recording quality and the playing idiosyncrasies of a pretty old violinist, it is some of the deepest artistry you'll encounter. And his mastery of the instrument is by no means gone - what originally sold me on this recording was that his fugues have more distinctive voices than any I've ever heard, it's like two different violinists sometimes. Great spirit, characters, conviction, and clear depth of relationship with this music. As a cellist I'm blessed with solo Bach of my own, yet I confess some envy of these works, and I've listened to many great violinists play them. I find this actually the most fulfilling recording for me to listen to." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In