Saturday, 1 August 2015
Bach - Violin Concertos - Fischer et al
I think this disc genuinely deserves all the praise it has received. There are dozens of recordings of these works available, several of which are truly excellent, and this stands with the best of them, I think.
Bach's Violin Concertos are among his most popular works, and they deserve to be. They are full of melody and infectious rhythm, but are also masterpieces of composition with genuine depth and variety. From the quite stunningly sensuous slow movement of BWV1043 to the driving, toe-tapping finale of BWV1060 they are immensely enjoyable and hugely rewarding works.
Fischer and her colleagues do them proud. Tempi are very well-judged, so that Bach's vital pulse beats throughout. Slow movements never become stodgy and quicker movements dance along, often at a pretty brisk pace, allowing Bach's spirit to beam out. Technically, Fischer and her fellow soloists are excellent: the music sounds utterly natural even in the most difficult passages, they use restrained vibrato and rubato to shape phrases pretty well ideally, I think, and there is a genuine understanding between them. I was captivated by the whole thing.
Even if, Like me, you already have several recordings of these works I would recommend this. It is full of light and air and a deep understanding of Bach, brought out by excellent recorded sound. I confess that I was taken by surprise by how very good this is, and I recommend it very warmly.