J.S. Bach J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Elizabeth Wallfisch
Individual Works:Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Sonata No. 3, in C, BWV 1005
Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Hyperion
Catalog Number:CDD22009
Year Released/Recorded:1997
Total Playing Time:132 minutes
Comments:Brian Blackwell said:

Elizabeth Wallfisch has yet again proved herself to be one of the most exciting violinists on the period performance circuit with her new recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas.

The big test for any recording of the Solo Sonatas is in the fugues, and I am pleased to say that Wallfisch succeeds admirably. Her tempi are spacious, but have wonderful rhythmic bounce, allowing the complex contrapuntal writing to be much more comprehensible than usual. Contrast this with Milstein for example, who makes the fugues sound like hard work.

The faster movements are truly delightful. Wallfisch utilises a rich variety of bow-strokes, making the passagework livelier, without ever sacrificing the structure of the music. Her warmly lyrical approach to the slow movements is also very appealing, with just the right amount of vibrato. She avoids the eccentric swelling which sometimes finds its way into HIP performances.

The great Ciaccona is given a monumental performace capable of standing up against any of the great performances of the past.

The set is excellent value, appearing on Hyperion's new Dyad 2 for the price of 1 series. Even those who are against period performance should check out these recordings. Highly recommended.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Brian Blackwell
Date First Submitted:10/23/1997