Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:

BBC Music Magazine (02/2020)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information

ECM 4818558   

Sei Solo - J S Bach: the Sonatas & Partitas For Violin Solo Product Image

Code-barres / Barcode : 28948185610

Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation : PERFORMANCE 3* RECORDING 3*

Reviewer: Jan Smaczny

Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin ‑ not to be confused with the six accompanied violin sonatas written at more or less the same time ‑ were composed in Cöthen in 1720. Although they were among the first of Bach’s works to be published in the 19th century, they didn’t develop much traction in the repertoire before Joachim brought them into the limelight; now, they are central to all violinists' profiles.


Thomas Zehetmair is a performer of enviable versatility. His first recording of these works was on a modern violin. Here, in an attempt to get closer to Bach's soundworld, he plays a South Tyrolean instrument from 1685 in the partitas and a mid‑18th‑century violin by Eberle in the sonatas and his accompanying note indicates deep engagement with the internal structure and symmetry of these six works.


These are highly personal interpretations, and many will warm to them. In general, the Partitas, with their succession of dances seem to benefit most from Zehetmair’s often impulsive approach. The Double of the Corrente of the first Partita and the exhilarating Preludio to the E major Partita are dazzling and the best examples of Zehetmair’s exciting volatility. On the other hand, the Second Partita’s great Chaconne manages to be at times captivating, at others uninvolving.


The resonant acoustic favours the bigger gestures but often compromises some of the ornamental detail. For those wanting these works on the modern violin, James Ehnes offers more consistent rewards (Analekta) as does Rachel Podger on the Baroque violin (Channel Classics).





Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
(Bouton en haut à droite)

Pour acheter l'album
ou le télécharger

To purchase the CD
or to download it

Choose your country and curency
when reaching
Presto Classical
(Upper right corner of the page)


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews