For the Record, Op. 113: Tomás Cotik's Solo Bach; Philippe Quint with Utah Symphony

March 5, 2020, 12:50 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Tomas Cotik
Violinist Tomás Cotik. Photo by So-Min Kang.

J.S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin
Tomás Cotik, violin

Argentinian violinist Tomás Cotik follows his popular recordings of works by Astor Piazzolla with this album of the complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by J.S. Bach. "A unique and distinctive aspect of my interpretation was to record the album with a Baroque bow while still using a 'modern violin' at modern standard pitch. I find the Baroque bow to naturally help in interpreting the music, allowing for a light and resonant sound, quicker, more flowing tempi, and lively articulations. This helps bring to light the transparent textures, develop the expressive potential, and ultimately attain the desired affect of the music. And yet, as important as it is, the choice of bow was only one of the many facets and layers in my interpretation of this incredible opus. A lifetime of attention, research, and appreciation has been condensed into my actual recording, and I do hope it will speak for itself." BELOW: Cotik performs the "Preludio" from Bach's Partita No. 3 in E major.

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer conducting
Philippe Quint, violin
Utah Symphony Chorus
University of Utah Chamber Choir

This all-Berlioz album features his best-known work, Symphonie fantastique, as well as "Rêverie et caprice" for violin and orchestra, recorded with Philippe Quint when he was the orchestra’s Artist-in-Association. There are also two poetry settings for orchestra and chorus, "La mort d'Ophélie" and "Sara la baigneuse," which were recorded with the Utah Symphony Chorus and University of Utah Chamber Choir.

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.

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March 5, 2020 at 11:29 PM · Nice playing by Cotik. There was a decrease in the tempo toward the coda? Also did anyone else think his tone skittered a little? Is that a function of using a baroque bow?

My favorite for this movement is still Kremer.

March 6, 2020 at 03:38 AM · One of the beauties of solo Bach is that you don't have to adhere to a metronome or a conductor.

March 6, 2020 at 08:26 AM · There are so many recordings of this Bach piece, I wondered why another?

I guess the artist can sell CDs at his concerts, a bit like a busker. Sales could add up over a few years and his percentage is higher.

March 7, 2020 at 03:27 PM · Annoying videography. Why do they bother with the dizzying stylization, as if the music can't stand on its own? It's detrimental to what seems to be a fine performance, as I stopped watching.

March 9, 2020 at 12:44 AM · I rarely like recordings of this particular movement of the Partitas... and somehow this one worked for me! I have studied many of them and listened to all of the Partitas and Sonatas hundreds of times, and often find that I am tempted to skip this movement! No idea why... and more than a little guilt accompanies this conclusion. In this performance, the line was clear and not overdone -- it was light-hearted and joyful. Thank you, Tomas Cotik!

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