J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Violin Concertos

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Arthur Grumiaux
Soloists:Heinz Holliger
Herman Krebbers
Individual Works:Violin concerto no.1 in A minor, BWV 1041
Violin concerto no. 2 in E major. BWV 1042
Concerto for 2 violins in D minor, BWV 1043
Concerto in D minor, BWV 1060
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Philips
Catalog Number:420 700-2
Year Released/Recorded:1970: BWV 1060 1978: BWV 1041-1043
Total Playing Time:61:25
Comments:Eugene Herron said:

Mssrs. Grumiaux and Krebbers played the Violin Concertos with sensitivity. I had wanted only Oboe music, but they pleasantly surprised me. In some ways they do better than the Stern/Perlman recordings and that is saying something. The Oboe and Violin Concerto closely approximated what I had figured that it would-I have the Harpsichord Version. Once again Heinz treats the matter with sensitity and respect. The allegro of the D minor Oboe and Violin was especially moving. The CD was played in a computer center on a Gateway and became an instant hit. One person here had never heard Bach played in quite this manner before and insisted that we play the allegro repeatedly. I guess that this is another Holliger CD which will go out the window before the backups, in the event that the house catches on fire.

Loke Hoe Yeong said:

I am very impressed with this recording. Grumiaux's graceful playing is absolutely fitting for such refined music and he charms the listener. This recording, I would say, is a cross between a modern one and a period performance. It has the purity and grace of a period one with the excitement of a modern one. Totally reccommendable.

But the double concerto is a bit less impressive. I don't know why, but with the entry of a second soloist, the playing becomes slightly mechanical. The recording by Menuhin and Ferras on EMI with the Bath Festival Orchestra produces a humane and passionate interpretation, just that the quality is not just as good.

Get the Grumiaux recording anyway.

Corin Stuart said:

Although this recording is highly acclaimed with good reason (Grumiaux's tone and strident style is gripping in places) the A minor starts off with him playing slightly out of tune, a trend that continues. I also feel his slow movements could do with a bit less of his stridence - Compare the Andante of the A minor with that of the Oistrach/Vienna Symphony Orchestra (DG) and I think you'll find his more searching style fits the music much better than Grumiuax's.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Robert Diebold
  • Eugene Herron
  • Loke Hoe Yeong
  • Corin Stuart
Date First Submitted:05/10/1998