Monday, 13 March 2017

Bach - "Bach" - Radulovic

Rating: 3/5

 Fine technique but questionable interpretation

This disc has its moments and Nemanja Radulovic is a very talented violinist, but overall I'm not very keen.

The disc consists of a variety of Bach pieces with a viola concerto by CPE Bach.  I was very pleased to hear this concerto; I didn't know it and it is rather a lovely work which Radulovic and his ensemble play very well with plenty of expression and well judged tempi.  I also like the Gavotte from the third Violin Partita which shows that Radulovic can produce something with real depth and that he also has a fabulous tone.  However, I was much less keen on much of the rest.

Partly this is to do with tempo.  A lot of this is taken very quickly indeed, and while I'm all for a brisk approach to Bach's quicker movements, there is a difference between that and hurtling through them at a show-off speed which loses much of the weight and beauty of Bach's music.  This was certainly true of the Double Concerto for me, and even the sublime slow movement lacked the real sensuality which Manze and Podger bring to it, for example.  I'm afraid I also heartily disliked the heavy-handed orchestration of the great Chaconne from the D minor Partita which robs that sublime piece of almost all its mystery and emotion.

So, this wasn't for me.  There is fine technique here, but in spite of some good highlights, as interpretations of Bach I can only give these a very lukewarm recommendation.

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