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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
The Six Sonatas and Partitas
CD 1
Sonata no 1 in G minor
(Adagio [3.58]; Fuga (allegro) [4.45]; Siciliano [2.53]; Presto [3.40])
Partita no. 1 in B minor
(Allemanda [5.40]; Double [2.40]; Corrente [3.23]; Double (Presto) [3.26]; Sarabanda† [3.22]; Double [2.25]; Tempo di Bourree [3.25]; Double [3.17])
Sonata no. 2 in A minor
(Grave [4.17]; Fuga [7.37]; Andante [5.01]; Allegro [5.53])
CD 2
Partita no 2 in D minor
(Allemanda [4.44]; Corrente [2.39]; Sarabanda [3.43]; Giga [3.57]; Ciaccona [13.07])
Sonata no. 3 in C major
(Adagio [4.15]; Fuga [10.19]; Largo [3.04]; Allegro Assai [5.13])
Partita no. 3 in E major
(Preludio [3.37]; Loure [3.48]; Gavotte en Rondeau [3.00]; Menuet I [1.55]; Menuet II [1.42]; Bourree [1.36]; Giga [1.56])
Tedi Papavrami (violin)
rec. August-September 2004, Studio Tibor Varga - Grimisuat (Switzerland). DDD
AEON AECD 0535 [67.14 + 70.03]

I was very impressed with this disc of Bach solo violin Partitas and Sonatas. It has been attractively produced, and I was at once intrigued by the excellent, idiosyncratic and philosophical sleeve-notes, which muse upon how great things are often the simple things - as exemplified so perfectly by Bachís unique and beautiful compositions. Further interesting notes ensue, this time from the performer himself, in which he describes, and states his fascination with, the emotions, and sequence of emotions, explored in these sonatas and partitas.
Tedi Papavrami is an Albanian who has won a host of awards and worked with distinguished conductors - from Hogwood to Papano - and orchestras worldwide. Bach is clearly a composer he has a great affinity with - judging by his performance, as well as by his enthusing comments. His renditions of these works are spacious, well-paced, and unhurried - listen, for example, to the freedom and expressiveness in the Allemande of the second Partita. He plays with both great sensitive and fluency, imbuing these wonderful works, that, for me, go right to the heart, with piercing clarity, and overwhelming lyrical beauty of phrase. No cold calculations here, no mathematical sterility, but a warm and vibrant - yet still precise - sound. He allows the works to breathe, and he allows the inherent spirituality - an unfashionable word but one that, to my ears, encapsulates Bachís output better than almost any other - to shine through.
I canít really highlight particular moments - it is all good and Iíd simply be exhorting you to listen to every track - but the Double (Presto) in Partita no. 1 in B minor (track 8) was another movement that totally captivated me - it is beautifully nimble and light, with very natural and unlaboured ebbing and flowing of phrases. Tedi Papavramiís is confident and assured playing - his knowledge and love of this music seems to go far beyond the superficial, and both practical technicality and interpretation are spot-on.
This disc was a delight to listen to, and I thoroughly recommend it to any lover of Bach. Papavrami has a wonderful feel for these works, and he communicates this brilliantly to the listener. He gives these glorious works elegant, noble and graceful performances, instilling them with great musicality and treating them with due reverence whilst, excitingly, showing his familiarity with them. Definitely a disc to look out for!
Em Marshall


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