The MOST essential pieces for the Violin

December 30, 2005 at 11:05 PM · I have rekindled my love for the Bach Sonatas and partitas. It has been too long since I have felt this way, but about a year ago, I got sick of it...sorry to say, but now I am going back and relearning these Sonatas and Partitas in a new light and Perspective...with new interpretations and intelligence...with a new found respect.

My question for all our v-com members is which recording of the Bach S&P's do you prefer/admire/adore?

For me, two names come to mind...Milstein (The Old French EMI version...from the 50's) & Szeryng under DM.

Others that sparked my interest were Mintz (one recording that is not heard by many people, but I find that I seriously love his interpretations) and I also loved Szigeti under THE BACH GUILD

What are some of your favorites?

until next time!

patrick

Replies (98)

December 30, 2005 at 11:34 PM · Hi,

All of the above a great and classics. More recent recordings that I personally like are the ones by Gérard Poulet - fanatastic! - and Rachel Podger's on period instrument, which is a must for all IMVHO.

Cheers!

December 30, 2005 at 11:56 PM · the perlman version is usually considered the closest to how bach "should" be played. The Kremer version is considered the most wildly interpreted bach. But my favorite is the good old fashioned milstein

December 31, 2005 at 12:08 AM · Jordan, did you say "Perlman's version is the closest to how Bach should be played?" Full, rich vibrato with a romantic edge the whole time? THIS should be another thread :) Ariella, not that your dad doesn't do a good job with the S&P.... :)

December 31, 2005 at 12:08 AM · I didnt really mean in terms of how it should have been played in the 1700's. I mean as far as how most teachers would like you to play it. Very straight forward.

December 31, 2005 at 12:09 AM · I would argue that his version is very un romantic as well

December 31, 2005 at 12:30 AM · Personally, I don't like Bach to be played with a wide vibrato. I know that we will never play it like was played back in the 1700s, nor would I aim to do that.

Bach is intellectual music, so thats the perspective I would take. I bit of vibrato wouldn't hurt, but large ad lib rhythms are totally out of the question. This doesn't however make it boring! Bach may not be naturally liked by the general public but I strongly detest changing it so it is more "appealing". If you want to hear something romantic, there is a whole period of music to choose from!

I like the Grumiaux recordings. Unfortunately I'm not extremely familiar with other recordings (although I have definately listened to others).

December 31, 2005 at 12:55 AM · I like Glenn Gould:). No, but on violin for me the recording that sets the standard is the 1970's Milstein recording.

December 31, 2005 at 01:02 AM · Zak I'm sorry but I couldn't help but snoring during your reply.

Bach is done a great disservice if it is cast down with "intellectual music". Everything that Bach did in the S&P was very deliberate and filled with emotion. When Isaac Stern played for wounded soldiers (during WW2, various conflicts in Israel), for deaths (President Kennedy, Sol Hurok...), or even in defiance of SCUD missiles during the first Gulf War, it was Bach he chose. And most of the time, it wasn't musical masterminds that he was playing to.

I can only imagine, as he says, that the audience was always spellbound and completely inraptured by the music. Again, most of the time it was for soldiers who had been burnt black in some depressing hospital room, not the gilded walls of Carnegie. To say that Bach is "intellectual music" depresses me.

Bach's music sounds good even as a cellphone ring tone. That is his genius.

December 31, 2005 at 01:03 AM · I never said it was purely intellectual music, but I said it was primarily that, and I still believe it should be approached that way.

It may inspire others to be passionate and it may have been even written with passion in mind, but taking a passionate approach to Bach with a rich vibrato massive ad libs, I find is very distasteful and ruins what Bach wanted to achieve.

Even yourself said Bach sounds good on a cellphone... Although I wouldn't totally agree because Bach isn't purely about harmonies etc. My point is, intellectual doesn't mean boring (or snoring). You must appreciate that as the times have come along, people have become less and less conservative, more liberal. Playing Bach too liberally, free or emotionally totally destroys the "cage" that it was once held in. Playing baroque music in a modern approach IS interesting, but so is getting 18th Century Visual Art and putting it in a pink frame. Personally, I find some things distasteful and others not so much. Of course this is a matter of opinion, but like I've stressed enough times I never said Bach was meant to be boring.

December 31, 2005 at 01:25 AM · Part of the beauty of bach is its timelessness. Any violinist can play with whatever technique they desire. The limitations are rather low.

December 31, 2005 at 01:41 AM · Since when does passion and emotion mean wide vibrato and excessive rubato?

Your thinking is too narrow.

December 31, 2005 at 02:17 AM · Wow this is becoming a heated argument... ;)

as much as I appreciate this replies, I would like to know EVERYONE's preferred versions....

Ilya! If you are reading this, I would definetely like to know who you prefer for the bach S&P.....which violinists did you refer to for your own recording?

December 31, 2005 at 02:34 AM · Well one of my previous teachers said that Milstein didn't even play rhythms correctly.

I like Szeryng. If I spelled that right....

December 31, 2005 at 02:41 AM · Well for what it's worth, my favorite is Henryk Szeryng. I can listen to it forever. I also have the S&P book that he edited. I kind of don't get the bowing, where he puts a lot of down bows right next to a downbow or upbows next to another upbow. But I do like to listen to his recording, and also the way his violin sounds (very Guarnerian).

December 31, 2005 at 02:45 AM · I keep going back and forth among Milstein, Grumiaux, and Szeryng (not necessarily in that order). But there are so many others. The sonatas and partitas are so timeless that it's hard to find a "definitive" performance. Each different violinist I hear reveals a different side of the music.

December 31, 2005 at 02:58 AM · I have both of Milstein and though I like many of the tracks, there are many I also don't like. It's a bit too unpredictable to me phrasing and rhymically wise (not that it should be predictable). I also have Perlman and though I like it I find it lacks a little energy. I personally think vibrato is essential to Bach. It makes it come alive. Without vibrato it sounds very dead to me. When I say this, though, I mean vibrato kind of like Szeryng; one doesn't necessarily notice it but it adds a lot of beauty.

December 31, 2005 at 03:40 AM · Jordan, in what way is Perlman's performance of ANYTHING unromantic?

December 31, 2005 at 03:51 AM · If you want technical issues, I heard not one romantic slide in his entire performance of it. All the time he uses pure barouque dynamics and phrasing. I cant even see in any sense how his version IS romantic aside from some wide vibrato ON OCCASION. Also his entire performance is very reserved- very un romantic. Milstein is more romantic in terms of feeling a constant yearning almost jewish feel to his dramaticized chaconne. If ANYTHING perlman is perhaps a more classical feeling, but even his direction in the piece has the conservative approach of a barouque sense. I cant see what is very romantic about it.

December 31, 2005 at 04:14 AM · Perlman is typically commercialized schmaltz...as well he thinks he's quite the comedian, this it certainly not true!

Also there is more to romantic period playing than portamento Jordan...as well a little bit of research must also be done on the strictness of tempo in both Baroque and Romantic period violin playing. Paganini for instance stuck to a certain tempo like glue...while Biber was known for his great skill in improvisation...

December 31, 2005 at 04:16 AM · right but how else would you suggest someone playing a barouque piece romantically? you have to have SOME reason for it being romantic.

and of course there is much more to the romantic period. I just dont see anything that sticks out as romantic

December 31, 2005 at 04:17 AM · I'll admit I haven't heard Perlman's recording in quite a while, I bought it long ago and sold it almost immediately afterwards. My comments are for Perlman's playing in general ;-)

December 31, 2005 at 04:20 AM · Perlmans playing in general is romantic to the core. It is absolutely personal and very lush and free- there are no doubts about that. But there are many recordings in which he is absolutely true to the composer- and I think bach is one of them.

December 31, 2005 at 04:25 AM · There's very little argument here, Perlman is one of the most overrated violinists ever to have lived.

December 31, 2005 at 04:27 AM · You know usually if you said something like that about such an amazingly famous violinist I would slap you and take advantage of your mother, but I might almost tend to agree.

I just saw him perform last summer at the ravinia festival for the first time and was utterly dissapointed.

Although he is getting old...... but still.

December 31, 2005 at 04:29 AM · That's cute, fratboy ;-)

December 31, 2005 at 04:32 AM · Whatever, state school trash ;)

December 31, 2005 at 04:38 AM · Wow. That's all I can say.

Jordan (and I mean this in the best possible way):

Aside from the fact that Jon went to Duke and is now a classical record producer, you might want to rethink some things you say. I take it you are applying to college...I guarantee that many of the teachers you are applying for peruse this site regularly. Just be careful of what you post for the whole world (and violin cognescenti) to read.

December 31, 2005 at 04:43 AM · oh come on these are merly jokes.

Thats the problem with classical musicians- take themselves too seriously. Everythings about your profession

December 31, 2005 at 04:47 AM · let's talk about people who DON'T read this site...like Ilya Gringolts or Leila Josefowicz or Emil Chudnovsky...:)

December 31, 2005 at 04:50 AM · Look Jon if you seriously took offence I am sorry. I thought we were just kidding around I didnt actually mean to "make fun of you" or whatever.

Sorry about that, I am not used to people who are so high strung.

December 31, 2005 at 05:02 AM · lol, I'm not high strung and I did not take offense ;-)

Back to the original subject...I enjoy mostly the Grumiaux recording of the Bach Sonatas & Partitas

December 31, 2005 at 05:25 AM · I used to enjoy the Grumiaux the most, but now I find it too pure and sterile. I also have Perlman, but I don't listen to it much. Still have Szeryng in my CD changer, there is a certain verve and zing to it.

December 31, 2005 at 05:41 AM · Julia Fischer did a fantastic job with the Bach.

December 31, 2005 at 06:14 AM · Wow...even more tension... ;)

Ilya! I would still love to hear from you! (not to be pushy or anything...) ;D

As anyone heard Aaron Rosand's bach or Silverstein's Bach? just curious...I heard that they both recorded bach in their late 70's i believe...

December 31, 2005 at 06:30 AM · My personal favorite recordings include Lara St. John, she brings a fire and depth and originality to the works that I really like.

Lucy van Dael is one of my favorites for the period recordings. I also enjoy Gruimiaux and one specific recording done by Ricci. I'll try and dig it out and give the dates later.

December 31, 2005 at 07:31 AM · I haven't heard many recordings of it, but I really like Hilary Hahn's recording, especially the Ciaccona. Oh I am just in love with how she plays that.

But seeing as no one else has mentioned her, perhaps I ought to explore some other recordings....

December 31, 2005 at 07:44 AM · MENUHIN

December 31, 2005 at 09:31 AM · SZERYNG

December 31, 2005 at 01:53 PM · MILSTEIN

December 31, 2005 at 02:20 PM · I like Milstein, but I also have Hahns, how do you like hers?

December 31, 2005 at 03:58 PM · I never heard her accompanied Bach CD, but recently I heard her play the Sarabanda (Partita No.2) live and it was phenomenal.

December 31, 2005 at 04:14 PM · You can preview audio clips at Amazon if it helps to decide, or just buy them all! :-)

December 31, 2005 at 06:32 PM · Definitely Grumiaux.

December 31, 2005 at 06:45 PM · Patrick, sorry, no Internet for two days...When I was making my record (which seems like ancient history) I wasn't listening to anything much. Maybe a little bit of Zehetmair here and there:) I always liked Christoph Poppen's Ciaccona on ECM, and I think Lucy van Dael's recording is fantastic. I also love Andreas Staier's recording of the keyboard Sonata that he reconstructed from the C Major - it opened my eyes to a whole new world.

IG

December 31, 2005 at 11:30 PM · Who did the piano arrangement for the Ciaconna? A pianist here is playing it and it sounds tremendous...

I have to say that Hillary Hahn's sounds nice.

December 31, 2005 at 11:58 PM · I'm sure there are others, but Brahms did a famous transcription of the Chaconne [sic] for piano, left hand alone in 1879.

January 1, 2006 at 12:37 AM · Busoni did the more famous (I believe) piano adaptation of the Ciaccona.

January 1, 2006 at 01:02 AM · Thanks Ilya...You rock! I loved your sibelius/tchaikovsky album & Paganini & Bach & everything else! ;)

January 1, 2006 at 02:06 AM · Milstein, definitely :-)

January 1, 2006 at 01:54 AM · No one has suggested Christian Tetzlaff...Stylistically informed, but on the modern violin. Milstein is also excellent for his personal and instinctively "historically informed" performance. it is worth listening to Kuijken on Baroque violin, but intonation is a problem. He was really trying to do it "right" playing without the chin on the violin and of course no shoulder pad or chin rest. I have issues with all of these recordings, but in my opinion no violinist really likes any other violinist's solo Bach since there are so many personal, interpretation issues to be dealt with. That is part of the beauty of these works and why we keep trying to figure out the definitive interpretation which does not exist.

March 2, 2006 at 11:53 PM · Jaap Schroder

March 3, 2006 at 01:08 AM · I like the relaxed pace of the later Milstein, and the Szeryng, followed closely by Grimeaux.

Typically when I grab one of these, it is the later Milstein I look towards first. Then I ask why I want to listen in the first place, and pick one of the three...

March 3, 2006 at 01:33 AM · Milstein (both sets of recordings), Grumiaux, Szeryng.

March 3, 2006 at 03:26 AM · Hahn, Szeryng, Grumiaux.

March 3, 2006 at 03:51 AM · Right now I'm high on Rachel Podger's recording.

Some of Hahn's Bach movements sound absolutely bizarre to me. I hope she will take another pass at these in 10 or 20 more years. I otherwise like what I've heard of her playing.

March 3, 2006 at 04:21 AM · Sergiu Luca

to only a slightly lesser extent, Milstein, Podger, Grumiaux, and as of recently Totenberg

March 3, 2006 at 09:02 AM · I am going to see David Grimal tomorrow play Bach. Programme

Sonata para violín solo nº 1 en sol menor BWV 1001

Partita para violín solo nº2 en re menor BWV 1004

After this discussion am looking forward to it even more!!

March 3, 2006 at 01:13 PM · Ah, he's good!!

March 3, 2006 at 02:48 PM · Definitely:

-She Thinks my Tractor's Sexy

-Blues in the Night

-Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space

-Hungarian Dance No. 5

-Mission Impossible Theme

Hey...every violinist should make it an effort to learn as many styles as possible...

And have fun!!!!

Oh...you wanted Bach...well, Hungarian Dance No. 5 is Bach...

March 3, 2006 at 02:51 PM · I really, really like Hilary Hahn's recording. A lot of people seem to stick their nose up at it, but I think it's really quite good. Her interpretation of the Ciaccona is spectacular in my opinion. Much more contemplative and full of passion than typically heard.

March 3, 2006 at 03:15 PM · Rob, how do you know Rosin Eating Zombies FOS? I had to play it for some kids last Halloween...not much of a piece, as I recall. It did have a decent sort of Star Trek theme in the middle.

March 3, 2006 at 05:06 PM · I don't hear Hahn's playing as passionate at all. Especially Bach. She plays the chaconne like an etude.

March 3, 2006 at 05:39 PM · szeryng's 59 and grumiaux are obvious.

i also like menuhin's (the young men. but also the bmin partita from the one he did in the 50s; his tempi on the doubles are not usual but they fit the music) and sigiswalk kuijken has some good interpretation in his set even though his technique is sloppy.

March 3, 2006 at 05:56 PM · To me, Hahn's playing lets the passion of Bach's music come through, unadorned. She doesn't get in the way.

March 3, 2006 at 07:09 PM · Thanks for the tip Jude,

I didn't know of him and only picked becuase of the instrument and music (there's a three-day annual festival on here, "franchised" from the one in Nantes: this year it centres on late European Baroque...

Will report back on Monday...

March 6, 2006 at 02:51 AM · Hmmm...In no special order...

Menuhin

Milstein

Hahn

Szeryng

Szigeti

Grumiaux

I also loved Heifetz's Chaccone, though I don't think Heifetz's Bach is one of the most popular.

(looking at my list, I seem to just be following what are considered the "standard" recordings of these pieces ~_~)

It's trickey because Bach creates so many emotions in some people. They get really mad if you play it in a way that they feel is wrong. Every recording has it's eccentricities that tend to drive certain people up a wall.

Hahn's interpretation seems rather straight-forward. Her intonation is great, the recording equipment is modern, her playing is expressive. Yep, definately on of my favorites. Too bad her CD only has three of the Sonatas and Partitas on it....

As for Menuhin, I find his later recording to be full of intonation errors in the faster pieces, but passionate. It's one of my favorites

Oh yea, one thing that bugs me about a lot of recordings. The rooms that are used to record these always have a incredible reverbration going on so that the chords can be heard clearly when they're arpeggiated. Sometimes it's just a tad too much and I hear this obscene ringing. Other times it's great that the room rings like that. In any case, this doesn't make or break a recording in any way, it's just something that's there.

I'm sure my taste will change as I get older and I mature a little, but I don't think I'll ever come to dislike these recordings ^^

March 6, 2006 at 12:59 PM · I have always loved Milstein. Funny story; my wife stopped at a garage sale near a friend's house this past Summer. She came home and said they had a ton of CDs sitting out. She didn't see anything great, but found a double CD of Bach "by some Nathan guy", so since it was only $2 she bought it. It was still in the celephane wrap. Merry Christmas to me!!!!

March 6, 2006 at 01:33 PM · Jude,

David Grimal produced extremely beautiful Bach...with limited vibrato (I am not a violinist but after the discussion here that was what i could judge). I especially liked the Partita. As it was festival with lots and lots of concerts this was in one of the smaller rooms (150 seats + or less). seats not numbered,

so...sat right in the front row 2 metres away from his 1710 Strad..what a violin!! And he held it out after every piece and we applauded it enthusiastically too.

What a sound; when he played piano, it was piano, but at the same time there seemed to be enough sound for three or four violins or 5 or 6 violins. I don't know how to describe the effect any better.

And we clapped so hard that we got a treat for the encore "Bartok-chaconne" - it was not in keeping with the European Baroque theme of the festival (to say nothing of the next round ushers waiting to prepare it for the next concert) but...David showed how Bartok sounded on his violin and his playing, just fantastic.

We went away on a high. I don't know if I will get this close to a Strad being played again but it was an emotional concert for all of us (I think that was Bach's music). On the practical side, M, our violins student son was amazed how much David "saved bow" something which his teacher is always on about at him.

March 6, 2006 at 11:11 PM · Rob please say you were joking when you said that the Hungarian Dance No. 5 was Bach

March 7, 2006 at 03:40 AM · I think that Milstein achieved the ideal balance of clarity, classicism if you want to call it that, and romantic warmth. Bach was a "Red blooded fellow" as my old professor Peter Rorke used to say.

March 8, 2006 at 07:17 PM · Isn't it Bach? J.S. Bach? Maybe I remember it wrong...

March 8, 2006 at 07:32 PM · lol...it's Johannes Brahms...the composer of the famed Hungarian dances I mean...

You got the first name kind-of correct...

March 8, 2006 at 07:35 PM · As to the enduring appeal of Bach, early on this discussion thread someone mentioned Isaac Stern playing Bach for soldiers during WWII. Well, so did Heifetz, and the soldiers loved it. He always programmed Bach when he played for the troops after first discovering that there was an appeal to it that he hadn't anticipated.

Maybe the Sonatas and Partitas are the kind of pieces (like, dare I say it, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto) that can bring out the best in a violinist. There are so many great recordings of these pieces -- different from each other, but great.

March 8, 2006 at 08:04 PM · Okay...so that means that Brahms was definitely better than Bach...never mind about me liking his music if I ever said I did...lol (actually, lts (laughing to self) because I'm at work)

March 21, 2006 at 01:06 AM · I still have a soft spot for the Szeryng Bach I grew up with. I'm curious whether anyone has opinions on Gregory Fulkerson's (!) recording-- I'm years remiss now in getting that.

March 21, 2006 at 03:59 AM · The comment about Brahms being better than Bach is very disturbing to me.

March 21, 2006 at 09:22 AM · Brian, all of the movements of the S&P are hard...extremely difficult. You need a great level of understanding and musicality as well as technique to pull even one movement off...

as for the preludio, Yes it is considered to be one of the "easier" movements, because there are not as much challenging aspects for that movement. It's a wonderful melody and requires a great bow arm...

i would also say that Gigue from partita 2 is one of the easier movements as well...

March 29, 2006 at 09:52 AM · Hi everyone, I am new here. Personally I like the Milstein and Szeryng (for both I am yet to find a copy of their earlier recording, so here I am refering to their second) and the Grumiaux. I can not honestly choose one between those three since they are very different and very rewarding in their own specific way. However I generally find myself listening more to the Grumiaux since I completely admire his Sonata in G minor no.1 (his fuga is by far the best I have ever heard) and partita in B minor no.1. Szeryng and Milstein however offer more in my opinion in the partita in D minor no.2.

For Chaconne, I have to say somehow my favorite recording of it is not by any of them (although Szeryng's comes closest I think). My favorite is a rendition by Ilya Ioff that I first heard on the Best of Bach CD by Phillips. I don't know much about this violinist, but his chaconne took me by surprise. As for Hilary Hahn, the slow tempo serves Chaconne well in the earlier sections, but starting from the first arpeggio and specially during the D major midsection I start feeling she made a poor choice in sticking to the slow tempo through passages that were meant to be articulated with speed. I find her rendition overall interesting, but quite over rated and incohesive.

June 4, 2006 at 02:46 PM · Having recently picked up Julia Fischer's Bach recording, it's quickly become a favorite. To me, it has many of the qualities of Hahn's recording, i.e., the performance draws the listener into direct experience of the music. But, to me, the Fischer has more spirit to the playing and more sparkle to the recording.

Anyway... Szerying, Fischer, Hahn.

June 5, 2006 at 02:38 PM · For me I go back to the old Szeryng for the most consistent pleasure. They strike me as respectful without being bookish and red-blooded without being schmaltzy. I also have the Shumsky which I wish I liked better but I find it frumpy.

June 5, 2006 at 04:35 PM · Zehetmair and Kremer!

June 5, 2006 at 08:37 PM · Milstein and Hillary Hahn, she sound really good.

June 5, 2006 at 09:55 PM · I have to agree on the Julia Fischer S&P. that young lady can do no wrong.

June 6, 2006 at 01:02 AM · oops

June 6, 2006 at 11:23 AM · Szigeti's sonatas from 30's

Kagan's Chaconne - a live recording that left me speechless

Kremer's new set - sounding 'neo-retro'

June 6, 2006 at 04:19 PM · Mintz and Szigeti's are very interesting to hear.

Plus Milstein's first recording of the Bach S&P are considered some of the most unrivaled playing ever. Always great to hear someone knock off the Chaccone with absolute command and control.

Szeryng, I think, has a nice recording of it. At least when my former teacher heard him play one Bach S&P in a concert hall in California, he thought he was incredible- to say the least.

Kremer's Chaccone does sound retro- interestingly how he changes from one style to the next when he plays it. Likewise, an interesting interpretation.

June 7, 2006 at 08:34 AM · Podger's recording is unbelievable... I think her CD could be very inspirational to any violinist tackling a Bach sonata. The violin playing alone is totally mind blowing - this lady can certainly play. Doing Bach to this standard is definately more difficult than playing all 24 Caprices. People associate Baroque performance practice with sparcity, but Podger's artistry makes me feel as I might as well be listening to Szyryng, whose expressive account of the Sonatas is legendary. You don't need gobs of vibrato and emphatic bowing(not talking about Mr. S) to give Bach his sublime voice ...

And even though he doesn't think so, Ilya Gringolt's Bach recording is to my ears very fresh and uncomplicated. Obviously he'll debate the exocution, but I think Mr. Gringolts brings a modern sensibility to Bach that does away with the tired semiotics, all the while expressing everything Bach intended.

The other one I bought a while ago was Hilary Hahn. As usual her playing is faultless. But for a girl with as much chops and ability as pretty much any violinist ever (you Heifetz zealots won't like this, but she could play anything standing on her head and whisteling yankee doodle and she'd still be perfect), her Bach sounds like most of what you'll hear from a top notch American conservatory student, with better intonation and consistency of sound. Musically her Bach is like a good steak, but even steak gets boring. Like I always say; I would die for her abilities so this is hardly criticism, comming from me.

June 7, 2006 at 12:23 PM · Christian Tetzlaff's performance is 'period informed' and is really good.Kremer is wonderful..not to mention Milstein and a host of others

June 7, 2006 at 08:46 PM · Pieter,

Well, if you put it that way...I'll accept - I really only bad-mouth my own records in private. Thanks man.

IG

June 8, 2006 at 01:11 AM · Yea well you better enjoy it now because I've said all my nice thing for the month of July.

June 8, 2006 at 02:05 AM · Rachel Podger's is really great. Saw Christian Tetzlaff play 3 of them live, hes also fantastic.

June 8, 2006 at 02:36 AM · TETZLAFF.

He was to re-record them...anyone know of what happened?

June 8, 2006 at 03:35 AM · I have the new recording and it is amazing. I don't have the first recording to compare it to but the only other recording I have that I would compare it to is Milstein.

June 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM · As usual, we've got several votes for most of the usual suspects. Not surprising since all of these are excellent recordings of different interpretations. How about the corrolary question: which recordings are awful and we should stay away from them?

June 8, 2006 at 03:04 PM · Since you asked...Hahn is great on certain Bach pieces, but some of the dances from the partitas are totally off the mark....you'd think someone would bother to learn the general feel of each dance (from recordings of various players and various other examples of the type, esp. good keyboard players's renditions) before tackling them. Sony should be ashamed to push or even allow a 15-year old to record these.

Here's hoping her next solo Bach recording is better.

June 8, 2006 at 03:50 PM · Mike- agreed. When my father went to City College in the 1930s, they did not let anyone teach Goethe's Faust until age 40 because of lack of essential maturity. They should not violinists record solo Bach so young (or Mozart violin and piano sonatas for that matter - hers are not that good compared to the standards (Szeryng/Haebler, Goldberg/Kraus, Grumiaux/Haskil) which were recorded by more mature violinists).

June 9, 2006 at 07:15 AM · Has anyone heard the earlier recording made by Szeryng made in the 1950s? It was supposedly very good and won an award.

June 9, 2006 at 08:22 AM · yeah...I agree with Pieter's post..Gringolts' recording is different.really a very fresh ,original one..I did enjoy it..:)

AN

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