Lovely Music-making in the Violin Concertos
Doug - Haydn Fan | California | 05/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These violin concertos are all from Bach's employment at the German court in Kothen, a time when Bach's turned his unsurpassed genius to concerto writing, including the creation of The Brandendurg Concertos. Bach later revamped three of his violin concertos for keyboard when he was in Leipzig. Many people know them in their harpsichord format, but in my opinion they sound best as violin concertos.
I've been listening to a great deal of Italian Baroque music, especially those composers who were strongly influenced by Corelli, and it's remarkable how many of them influenced Johann Sebatian Bach. This glorious age of Italian string writing in particular catches Bach's careful scrutiny, with the music of currently undervalued composers such as Albinoni given especial attention. The result is a body of string music of depth and richness, surpassing the Italian models, and incorporating a far greater insistence on harmonic development, as well as pure out and out creativity. It's perhaps no coincidence that Prince Leopold of Kothen was himself an excellent violinist, and an avid champion of Bach and his music.
These performances (the violin concertos, the lovely oboe work is an add on recorded twenty years later) showcase one of the 20th century's great violinists, Josef Suk. This quality of playing rises above modern original instrument styles, with intelligence and warmth recalling the great playing found under Casals in various festivals. You can enjoy this in excellent sound made in a fine recording venue, the Dvorak Hall of Praque, with one of the best performances I've heard of the Praque Symphony Orchestra under Vaclac Smetacek.
Must have if stranded on deserted Island
J. D. Patchick | Petaluma, California USA | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Friends, you are fortunate indeed to be able to purchase this music for so little amount of money. There is no better performance of these Violin Concertos in my opinion. I've held this recording in high esteem for over 30 years and am grateful that Supraphon has seen fit to release it once again. ( It came out in ~1988 under different packaging but with the same program.) The work for violin and oboe was recorded in 1985, 20 years after the other pieces, and I have no idea why it has been added here. Maybe someone thought there wasn't enough music? I'm sure it "belongs" to another recording with probably another piece or two. Too bad it has been separated from it, as there is no need at all for it to be here.
Just to clarify, the performer here is Josef Suk - he is NOT the composer as is erroneously listed here by the Amazon people.
I hear various versions all the time of these famous Violin Concertos and never once does any of them have the trancendent qualities achieved by this amazing, simply amazing recording. It moves me to tears all too often."