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Emily Grossman

Sneaking around the House with Bach

August 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM

The second sonata for violin and harpsichord is a pair of house slippers, to be donned after working all day in the heavy boots of viola repertoire and then spending the evening in the high heels of Brahms. The hour is late, but no one will mind if I indulge myself in this little nightcap--quietly, so as not to disturb the upstairs neighbors. Bach insists that subject need not be forced, and my late night muse enjoys the simplicity and subtlety of a glossy, well-placed note in a properly turned phrase. The bow spins a good yarn. I'm quite content with this bedtime story.

From Christina C.
Posted on August 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM
Love the Bach violin sonatas with keyboard.... I think I know the movement in the clip by heart. I've had that recording for years (the violinist is Jaime Laredo, btw.... not obvious unless you go to the clip @Youtube). I also have Grumiaux because I wanted with harpsichord and I just got James Ehnes' version with Luc Beausejour on harpsichord because... well... it's James Ehnes. It's love all over again. There are also other Bach sonatas on Ehnes' volume 2 that I didn't even know existed.... or I forgot.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on August 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM
I posted this recording because of Gould, who always gives me such imagery with the way he shapes Bach. And Laredo plays it nicely, but I really enjoy Baroque recordings with harpsichord, too. I'm still trying to figure out how I will shape it with a piano accompaniment versus a harpsichord; the two instruments are so very different. And I'm playing on a modern instrument as well. I wish I had a baroque fiddle!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on August 29, 2012 at 5:16 PM
Oh, and I can't find Grumiaux playing the A major on youtube. I love his recordings with harpsichord probably the best of all violinists. I wouldn't mind if I could sound like that... ;)
From Yixi Zhang
Posted on August 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM
Delicious, both your writing and the video! Thank you!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on August 29, 2012 at 6:00 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed it, Yixi!
From Nairobi Young
Posted on August 30, 2012 at 2:32 AM
From Christina C.
Posted on August 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM
I'm also partial to recordings that include a cello in the basso continuo part on at least some of the sonatas, another reason that I love the Grumiaux & Ehnes recordings.
From Tom Holzman
Posted on August 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM
Wonderful blog about wonderful pieces. I have played them all and love them. I also have a recording of David Oistrakh playing them. Heaven!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on August 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM
I'm currently crushing on Grumiaux, namely the Beaux Arts trio, Brahms, No. 1 in B Major. So perfectly done... (sigh)
From Christina C.
Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:03 PM
um... Grumiaux had his own trio (the Grumiaux Trio) separate from the Beaux Arts. I know that the Philips label tends to feature the 2 on the same CD so maybe that's the confusion?
From Emily Grossman
Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:56 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Christina! The way the back of the cd reads, I'd assumed they were one and the same all these years. Listening to them back to back now, it's obviously not Grumiaux. (I'm currently polishing the horn trio.) Credit where credit is due, hats off to the Beaux Arts trio!
From Tom Holzman
Posted on September 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM
The Beaux Arts is a fabulous trio, maybe one of the five or six best in modern history. I had the good fortune to hear them in concert several times in their original incarnation. Bless them for making our lives better!

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