Friday, 21 August 2015

Bach - Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin - Beyer

Rating: 4/5

Good but not great

I am a great admirer of Amandine Beyer's work and her recordings of Rebel and Matteis are treasured discs in my collection.  Her solo Bach is good (of course it is – she's a terrific violinist) but for me not quite in the same league as some of her other recordings.

It goes without saying that the music is magnificent, from the delightful dancing Preludio of BWV1006 to the mighty, intense Chaconne from BWV1004, it is music of the greatest invention, depth and expressiveness.  It takes a great violinist to really master and get inside these works, and even some truly great violinists haven't really managed it for me.  I expected Beyer to produce something special from them and she nearly does…but not quite, I think.

This is a very personal view.  Beyer's technique is superb, her tone is lovely throughout and there's never any sense of strain even in the most demanding passages.  It's a good performance but for me not a great one, but I find it almost impossible to put my finger on what's not quite there for me.  She certainly "gets" Bach, with his essential pulse and sense of dance throughout, but  perhaps some sense of depth or engagement is missing?  Or it may be to do with a slight feeling of disengagement in places…  The truth is, I'm struggling to articulate any sensible analysis, but I do know that this recording doesn't quite speak to me in the way that some others do.

This may be of no help whatsoever as a review or a guide, but it's the best I can do.  It's extremely personal and you may well engage with this recording more than I do.  It's certainly a very well performed and recorded set, so the preferences of others may well not coincide with mine but I can only give this a slightly qualified recommendation.

(Personally, I would recommend the recordings by Rachel Podger, Viktoria Mullova or Isabelle Faust.  They are all different but all quite brilliant in their way.)

No comments:

Post a Comment