Bach sonatas and partitas suggestions

April 8, 2019, 8:16 PM · So this has been done before but that was about 15 years ago and some outstanding recordings have come out since then so I figured I would love to hear some new ideas.
Some of my favorites as of late are
Isabelle faust ( my all time favorite)
Kavakos (2005 bach/Stravinsky)
Midori selier
Hopkinson Smith
Amandin beyer

Replies (31)

April 8, 2019, 8:25 PM · Arthur Grumiaux's and Johnny Gandelsman's recordings are on opposite ends of the spectrum but are both sublime in their musicality.
April 8, 2019, 8:45 PM · Shumsky. Milstein.
April 8, 2019, 9:28 PM · Rachel Podger.
Edited: April 8, 2019, 9:35 PM · In alphabetical order, because I can't pick just one:

Isabelle Faust
Johnny Gandelsman
Viktoria Mulova
Rachel Barton Pine
Rachel Podger
Christian Tetzlaff

April 8, 2019, 9:37 PM · Miriam Fried.
April 8, 2019, 10:18 PM · Julia Fischer.
Edited: April 12, 2019, 3:39 PM · When I listen to the S&Ps (I have many of the recordings mentioned), nine times out of ten I go with the Hopkinson Smith recording and if I start with another I usually switch back to Smith's. Maybe I should have learned classical guitar instead of returning to the violin - hahahaha.

Editing to add: I know he plays the lute, I'm just making a joke here.

April 9, 2019, 10:49 AM · I love the Hopkinson Smith recording its one of my favorites but I’m pretty sure he’s playing lute not classical guitar.
April 9, 2019, 10:56 AM · The new Giuliano Carmignola recording is certainly worth a listen or two...
April 9, 2019, 12:21 PM · Yes, Hopkinson Smith plays a German baroque 13 course lute tuned in D minor for this repertoire. He is a tremendously deep-thinking musician; the word that always comes to my mind about his performances is 'persuasive'.

Speaking of persuasive, I keep returning to Shunske Sato's performance of the 2nd Partita on Youtube even though the phrasing isn't my first choice.

I am very much looking forward to Rachel Podger's CD of transcriptions of the cello suites, which is now available from European sources.

April 9, 2019, 12:38 PM · Victoria Mullova (HIP) and Yehudi Menuhin 1976 (Romantic..)
April 9, 2019, 12:45 PM · I like Kremer and Mullova. Very different, I know. Someone's playing either grabs me or it doesn't. There are a few movements were I also think Heifetz totally nailed it, like the E Major Gavotte en Rondeau.
April 10, 2019, 3:29 PM · I the video linked above, Mullova does the usual up & down thing when the melody is in the bass, while in her (second?) discing, she only goes up. Progress! And in the G minor fugue, she avois silly arpeggios in the wrong places. My 2 centimes d'Euro.
April 10, 2019, 4:20 PM · Szeryng (Romantic), Lucy van Dael (HIP), Ilya Kaler.
Edited: April 10, 2019, 5:38 PM · I like Heifetz and Milstein's entire set of the 6 Sonatas & Partitas. I heard a wonderful live performance of Menuhin playing the Chaconne when he was in his 60's. Oscar Shumsky's Bach, in my opinion, is also very superb and refined.

April 10, 2019, 6:37 PM · I'm glad someone finally mentioned Szeryng! I also like Johnny Gandelsman. I bought Rachel Barton Pine's edition last winter and it's very interesting. I've been trying out some of her fingering. I don't think I'll go so far as to buy a Baroque bow.
Edited: April 11, 2019, 8:47 PM · Shumsky was a surprise and a very gorgeous one. I only have 1 recording of the “romantic” version which is misltein. I am quite obviously a believer in period preformance and those are almost all my versions but I have listed to the Scumsky frequently over the last few days. And thank you everyone for your opinions and I suppose I will give some other suggestions that maybe haven’t been mentioned

Amandine beyer ( this is my favorite recording on the violin of the music)
I have to reiterate Hopkinson Smith because I feel his is my favorite preformance of all time.

Tedi papavrami
Scott slapin ( on viola)
John Holloway

Please keep them coming I’m loving listening to them

Edited: April 11, 2019, 5:56 AM · Midori, Tetzlaff, Mullova, Ibragimova, Faust, Patrick Bismuth
April 11, 2019, 7:12 PM · Itzhak Perlman. There are some nice live performances on YouTube.

April 11, 2019, 9:04 PM · James Ehnes
April 11, 2019, 10:42 PM · Yes I like those of Milstein, both versions (earlier mono and the DG one), and Shumsky's.

There are so many versions of these, both modern and old.

I like Ms. Shoji's (recorded along with some Reger), but she's yet to record the 2nd and 3rd Sonata, and the 3rd Partita.

Tetzlaff now has 3 versions.

Be inspired by the works, whether you like a more HIP style or not. Sometimes thinking too much about "propriety" takes away a bit from just enjoying Bach's great music.

April 13, 2019, 12:27 PM · Stanley Ritchie has my attention this morning. HIP icon, incidentally with a second book out, this one on interpreting this very repertoire: "The Accompaniment in "Unaccompanied" Bach"
April 13, 2019, 2:04 PM · It looks as if we now have at least one vote for almost every significant recording out there.
April 13, 2019, 3:50 PM · Many excellent sets mentioned already (and thanks for mentioning my viola version!) I'd like to add Uto Ughi's recording from sometime in the 1990's to the list. He doesn't allow it to get too heavy (from all the chords), always with an eye on the shape of the melodic material. More horizontal than vertical.
April 13, 2019, 6:36 PM · Cecylia Arzewski- wonderfully played, and technically superb recording, new in the time range suggested by op
April 14, 2019, 1:24 AM · I enjoy Chris Thile (Mandoline)
April 15, 2019, 6:04 AM · I like Heifetz (especially his 1935 London performance of the G Minor), Szigeti and Szeryng's earlier mono set (recorded by CBS Disques of France and appearing on the Odyssey record label). For contemporary sets, I like Hilary Hahn and especially Julia Fischer (whose set would be my "desert island" selection).
April 15, 2019, 7:19 PM · Hillary Hahn is one of my favroite modern recordings. She does respect both major “schools” of baroque playing which helps me to respect her approach more as many “romantic” players simply disapprove of HIP entirely.
April 16, 2019, 11:55 AM · Another vote for Hilary Hahn, especially her new recording. Highlight for me is the A minor sonata.
I also enjoy Milstein (I have the earlier recording). And there is an Oistrakh recording of the G minor sonata which is beyond fantastic..... (I'm not aware of any other Oistrakh recordings)
April 16, 2019, 3:59 PM · I gotta second that Papavrami vote. I like Midori, but the set has a few weird touches that I'm not a fan of. Hahn is too slow and meandering.

Older I gotta go with Grumiaux and Szeryng.

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