doofus | 12/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Pol Pot, having risen from the dead and now pointing a bayonet at my head, were to demand five or so definitive recordings of Bach, I would surely lose control of my bowels. As my bodily waste made uncontrolled exit to freedom or my underpants, however, this recording would be tops in my mind, along with Casals' rendition of the cello suites. Marriner is in fine form here, and the Orchestral Suites are superb, and I'd be hard pressed to find a fault.
The real - and apparently overlooked - gems, however, are the violin concertos. Listening to them, especially the d-minor concerto (yes, that old warhorse), is a transcendent experience. Every element seems to fall in place, and everyone, from Szeryng to the continuo, sounds inspired. Szeryng's best qualities, including beauty of tone, flawless technique, restraint, and most importantly his ability to convey the spiritual essence of Bach's music, are abundant in this performance.
I could continue to yawp pale adjectives in praise of this recording, but I'll say this: after listening to Szeryng, I've listened to at least a dozen more renditions of these concertos in search of its equal. I have found none. This recording engages me each time I listen to it, which is often.
I like to think that if Pol Pot had listened to this magnificent recording, he would not have been so keen in his quest to exterminate culture."