Notes and Editorial Reviews
All of this is done with good taste and wisdom, and the result is that the music sounds moving where it should and energetic where it demands it.
This recording has it all: some of the most marvelous music ever written for the violin; beautiful, lively sound-take; refreshingly intimate program notes; but more important than any of that, two truly first-class performers. The double CD is a real treasure. Rachel Podger is that rare find, a violinist with the sweetest sound, a flawless intonation, technique so good that it just disappears in the background, a musical instinct that is always awake, and a sense of style that permeates every musical gesture. She can convey exuberant joy or thoughtful sadness, and it all
sounds round and luscious and exciting. The first movement of BWV 1023, for example, with its startling beginning, full of cumulative tension leading to a lyrical reflection, is a feat of simultaneous intellectual understanding and concentrated emotion.
Trevor Pinnock proves here that he deserves the high reputation he enjoys. His accompaniment is always sensible and sensitive, providing a solid ground for Podger's imaginative castle-building. Jonathan Manson has the almost impossible task of adding to this duo. He not only survives but actually contributes to the final result, with some very refined and unobtrusive gamba-playing. This is chamber music at is best. The dynamic contrasts are surprisingly varied, and these performances are the greatest advocates not only for period instruments but also for a whole trend in performance, which calls for poignant leanings on harmonically important notes, freedom within a chosen tempo, carefully suspenseful cadences, more frequent rhythmic inflections, and ornamentation that sounds improvised. All of this is done with good taste and wisdom, and the result is that the music sounds moving where it should, energetic where it demands it, without the slightest hint of mustiness or restraint. If you are only going to buy one recording this year, this might be the place to spend your money.
-- Laura Ronai, FANFARE [5/2001]
Works on This Recording
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in E minor, BWV 1023 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord),
Rachel Podger (Violin),
Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola da gamba)
Written: Weimar, Germany
Notes: Composition written: Weimar, Germany (1714 - 1717).
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