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Looking for Bach solo sonatas and partita recordings of players who did NOT use old Cremonese instruments.


Andreas Preuss
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Well you could do worse than hear the sublime Rachel Podger's recording, Bach - Complete Partitas and Sonatas for Violin Solo, on Channel Classics [not sure if it is against board policy to post a link to where you can obtain this.]

I understand that while she used to play a Strad she now uses a Pesarini from 1739 in Genoa

https://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Podger-Rachel.htm

Superb playing in any case. I'm pretty sure she uses the Baroque instrument on that. but I will have to search my shelves.

I am assuming that Genoa is far enough away from Cremona for you! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

University libraries usually stock recital recordings of all their students.  There must be a limitless supply of students recording Bach if you care to mine that vein.

Very interesting idea. Didn’t think about such a possibility. I just don’t know if the music school close to my shop gives me access to those recordings, but definitely worth a shot!

Thanks

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7 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Very interesting idea. Didn’t think about such a possibility. I just don’t know if the music school close to my shop gives me access to those recordings, but definitely worth a shot!

Thanks

Yeah... if you're looking for a variety, that'll get you there.

Some libraries have recordings available online, the Shepherd School for example....

scholarship.rice.edu

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Have explored this in the past when the internet allowed us to share music files somewhat easily.

The first Sonata is in G-dorian and opens and closes with some very nice open g-strings. Hardly anyone starts with an out of tune instrument, but they are there and the intensity of the pull of the first of the chord can de-tune the instrument. Nervous micro-tuning backstage does not always help.

The Ciaconne ( sic ) opens with stopped strings so we often hear the behaviour of the instrument, clamped by that nervous violinist. Not fair to the instrument. I am joking of course, but that opening phrase is often the biggest technical hurdle, if not emotionally, to start this long journey down a path of exposed roots and jagged rocks. 

One of my instructors told me that they had performed the work in NYC over fifty times. I guess it was far more popular then. I asked where it was, that he felt more comfortable, that the finish line was felt or visible. He never answered and reminded me that the fingers had to be released as the bow rolled across the strings.

I thought seriously about compiling a series of stories of player's relationships with the Bach series ( S&P, Suites ) but was too lazy ( couldn't negotiate an advance from to get that sweet but powerful Voirin ) and too damn unpleasant to get anyone to speak to me.

A majority of these lovely and personal recordings of students ( students of Bach ) performing not-on-Strads, not-even-on-Burgessi, are wonderful records of hundreds, if not thousands of hours of work. But because of a variations in recording methods, it was difficult to get great data off these files. There maybe a better way to evaluate the sound, but it did not work for me, as this was the inexpensive way to approach an easier subjective analysis. It would be great to find one hall and one miking method to evaluate instruments.

The suggested recording when studying the works in my teens was the Phillips, Grumiaux. These were the days of the LP and I did own several including the Big H and Szeryng -  DG,  which did make sense to me at the time. 

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"Good recommendation. However all sellers seem to be out of stock."

Here it is from Amazon, I think.  It's also on Youtube, I can kind of hear it in my imagination if I mentally erase the oil drum reverb.

https://www.amazon.com/Bach-Sonatas-Partitas-Violin-BWV1001/dp/B00FJ4L79U

Also, Jaap Schroder recorded them playing a Stainer -- Smithsonian Collection ND 0382

 

 

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On 9/28/2021 at 8:07 AM, matesic said:

Has anyone ever recorded them playing a Strad in "baroque" set-up and style? I find it hard to imagine.

Check with the Met Museum of Art in NYC. They own a Strad that was converted back to Baroque. Can't imagine that someone hasn't attempted to monetize that.

Also, I just this morning thought of Sergiu Luca, who undoubtably recorded Bach on his unsullied Seraphin.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/30/2021 at 7:14 AM, Andro said:

Well you could do worse than hear the sublime Rachel Podger's recording, Bach - Complete Partitas and Sonatas for Violin Solo, on Channel Classics [not sure if it is against board policy to post a link to where you can obtain this.]

I understand that while she used to play a Strad she now uses a Pesarini from 1739 in Genoa

Although she has borrowed a Strad once or twice (was it for some of the Mozart recordings?), her instrument has been the Pesarini since the Bach recordings.  Before that she used an instrument by a modern maker whose name escapes me.

 

On 9/30/2021 at 12:32 PM, duane88 said:

Check with the Met Museum of Art in NYC. They own a Strad that was converted back to Baroque. Can't imagine that someone hasn't attempted to monetize that.

There was a recording long ago.  It did not flatter the arrangement.

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  • 5 months later...
On 9/9/2021 at 7:28 AM, Siliale said:

Christian Tetzlaff plays on a Greiner (he owns at least two of them) and you can find quite a few of his performances of the Partitas on YouTube. A recent one is a concert in the Elbphilharmonie, with the Chaconne beginning at 14:40:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0Q9FtANxMY

Last night while driving, there was a Tetzlaff recording on a classical music station.  I recalled hearing the Tetzlaff name, but nothing else about him.  It may have been the recording or whatever, but I immediately thought that his violin sounded very non-Cremonese... too much extreme high-end, sounding rather stiff to me.  Very clear and penetrating, though.

BTW Andreas, how is this research project going?

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Sergiu Luca did record the set on a Baroque violin, but he had not come across the Seraphin until a few years after that.  (I did hear him on that fiddle in Wigmore Hall, doing the whole cycle.)  Can't remember what the other instrument was.

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