Standard repertoire doesn’t get any more “standard” than Bach’s concertos for violin in A minor and E major–and every violinist from minor to major has recorded them. Which means that there are about a zillion versions available, many of them first rate. Well, here’s another to add to the list, excellent performances in fine sound–sturdy, stylish, reliable, lustrous, with lively tempos and some nifty, well-integrated ornaments–all the components needed to confirm this as a worthy staple of any library. And for good measure, the program includes two concertos not usually presented as violin works but in their later incarnations as keyboard concertos. Both are in D minor–BWV 1052 and BWV 1060, the latter for two solo instruments, for whichRead more Zimmermann is joined here by his violinist son, Serge. It makes for an engaging program, something different from the usual pairing of the A minor and E major with the more familiar “Bach Double” (BWV 1043). Even after experiencing these works probably hundreds of times, hearing these performances is the musical equivalent to walking into a room and everything just feels right.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, BWV 1052by Johann Sebastian Bach Performer:
Serge Zimmermann (Violin)
Berlin Baroque Soloists
Period: Baroque Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany
Come for the Zimmermann; Stay for the Berliner BaAugust 11, 2018By Joshua C. See All My Reviews"Given how popular the violin concertos of J.S.Bach are among classical music lovers and violinist alike, its remarkable how contested and uncertain some of their origins are! For those keeping score, there are only THREE violin concerti which have come down to us as indisputably written for the violin: A minor, BWV 1041, E major, BWV 1042 and the D minor Double Concerto BWV 1043. Others that have attained near canonical status include BWV 1052R in D Minor, and BWV 1056R in G minor, both conjectural reconstructions from harpsichord or organ originals, with BWV 1052 having the most tortured history. For generations, it was generally thought that Bachs Violin Concertos were the product of his happy time as Court Kapellmeister and Director of the Princely Chamber Musicians" at Anhalt-Cöthen, from 1717 to 1723, but recent research and extent manuscripts increasingly suggest that the works may have in fact been written much later (1729-36) as a result of Bachs work with the Leipzig Collegium Musicum. The later dating makes a lot of sense when considering the stylistic advances over Vivaldis models with which Bach was intimately familiar. Questions of origin and dating aside, I was particularly eager to hear what Frank Peter Zimmermann might make of these all-too-familiar masterworks! Following the release of his brilliant set of Mozart Concertos (also on hänssler CLASSIC), my expectations were pretty high and FPZ did not disappoint! Zimmermann is clearly an artist at the pinnacle of his artistry, and he approaches each of these works with a confident and easy virtuosity. Above all, he consistently shapes a beautiful line, exercising admirable restraint. His playing of the extended cadenza of the hotly contested BWV 1052R is a model of precision and control. In addition to Zimmermanns artistry, there are several bonuses to these recordings that push them further into the MUST HAVE category. First, the hybrid historically informed Berliner Barock Solisten is a major discovery. More than just filling out the ritornellos, they provide some much delicious contrapuntal detail that on more than one occasion my attention shifted from Zimmermann to what they were doing. The second surprise was hearing Zimmermanns son, Serge Zimmermann, joining his dad on a top-notch reading of the double concerto BWV 1060R (perhaps better known in its version for Violin and Oboe). Bachs Violin Concertos certainly do not lack for representation in the catalogue, but to hear an artist of Zimmermanns stature together with the masterful playing of the conductorless Berliner Barock Solisten make the possible duplication worth the while!"Report Abuse