Homage to Bach: The Solo Violin Sonatas / Brodsky Quartet
The set of six sonatas and partitas for solo violin is widely regarded as one of the summits of Bach’s output as a composer, and of the entire repertoire for the violin. With this new album the Brodsky Quartet give us the opportunity to hear some of this legendary music in an entirely new way, in these world-première recordings of Paul Cassidy’s arrangements for string quartet of the three solo sonatas. Writing about this project, Paul notes: ‘My daily practice invariably involves spending some time with Bach’s ‘Six Solos for Violin without Bass Accompaniment’ (Sei Solo â Violino senza Basso accompagnato). I am a devout being and these are my bible. As in the case of all ‘holy’ books, the six ‘solos’ open themselves to an infinite variety of interpretations, but whatever your approach, these miraculous pieces are endlessly cleansing and enriching for the body and soul, a balm for the spirit. Their challenging pages abound with multi-faceted characters whose succinct purity is a wonder to behold. They can move imperceptibly from being uplifting and euphoric one minute to heart-breaking and tragic the next.’
As you might expect, recording quality is impeccable on this release, the church acoustic perfectly integrated into a detailed but nicely balanced sound. The Brodsky Quartet is of course excellent, providing committed performances that can stand up to repeated listening and increasing appreciation. Let’s hope the Partitas can be given the same treatment some time soon.
– MusicWeb International
Catalog Number: CHAN 20162
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Orchestra/Ensemble: Brodsky Quartet