Testament: JS Bach - Sonatas & Partitas BWV1001-1006 | Avie AV2360

Testament: JS Bach - Sonatas & Partitas BWV1001-1006

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Label: Avie

Cat No: AV2360

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 6th May 2016



‘Testament’ is Rachel Barton Pine’s very personal homage to the music of J.S. Bach, on which she performs the composer’s complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin in the acoustic of her hometown St. Paul’s Church in Chicago, where she first heard and fell in love with Bach’s music.

Best-selling violinist Rachel Barton Pine’s relationship with the music of Bach runs deep. She first heard and fell in love with Bach's music in her hometown St. Paul’s Church in Chicago, which had a stained glass window of the composer in the sanctuary. That church is where Rachel first played Bach’s music, at the age of four, and where she returned to record Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas in its beautiful yet clear acoustic. Rachel says, ‘I’m so pleased to have recorded the Six Sonatas and Partitas in my favourite sound space for these works, the place that I consider to truly be my emotional home for playing them.’


... Rachel Barton Pine’s ‘Testament’ is one of the best of this set of peerless works to have been released since Isabelle Faust’s definitive volumes of 2010 and 2012. Although Pine’s performance is fundamentally different to Faust’s, it does display a similar quiet lack of egotism that doesn’t manipulate the listener into any conclusions. That is not to say that there is no sense of Pine’s own interpretation here, nor that it is a bland performance: there is a surprisingly striking contrast between its crystalline voicing, clear articulation and warm tone that makes the listener feel that it is concerned with the plain and simple beauty of the music as much as with the genius of its counterpoint and relationships between movements.  Caroline Gill
Gramophone June 2016
Pine plays on her modernised Guarneri violin, using a Baroque bow which allows an off-the-string lightness in fast movements, and more readily sustained multiple-stopped chords. These are wonderfully managed, the bass often weighted to support the harmony above, mid-texture harmony notes lighter than sustained melody: the G minor fugue is a striking example.  George Pratt
BBC Music Magazine August 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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