Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Six Sonatas for Violin and Piano

by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1014—1019)
performed by Michelle Makarski and Keith Jarrett

I don’t listen to classical music that much, even to Bach, and most probably would not be able to distinguish Jarrett/Makarski interpretation from some other smoothly-played version. However, it was thanks to Jarrett, the pianist I know and respect, that I paid any attention to this album at all. It was on display in the library, in the “New CDs” section. Unmistakeably ECM. (I used to love ECM designs. Now they depress me. That’s what living in Finland does to you. You look out of the window and see the ECM cover art.)

According to Bruno de Giusti’s excellent Bach website,

the usage of calling these sonatas “Violin Sonatas” tout-court is absolutely wrong, because Bach was probably the most... democratic musician in his time and granted to each instrument its own personal space in his works. Indeed, the autographed copies of these sonatas report them as “Sonatas for cembalo certato and solo violin, accompanied by a viola da gamba, if one likes (!)” and listening to them makes understand why, in the headline, the priority has been given to the keyboard instrument.

I am glad that Jarrett chose piano for his part. One can tolerate only so much of harpsichord. But here, I was listening to this double CD in one sitting (well I was actually laying down, but you know what I mean), and did not get tired of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment