Johanna Martzy's Bach Chaconne

Edited: October 21, 2019, 10:15 AM · There has been a recent discussion of violinist Johanna Martzy either here or on some other site. I picked up her recording of solo Bach and really liked her Chaconne. I don't think I've heard better. For me the crucial passage is (I think it's measure numbers 235-239) where a third voice enters (or appears to enter). She carries out this illusion very well. Has anyone else been getting acquainted with her recordings?

Replies (5)

October 20, 2019, 7:49 PM · Yes, she was mentioned in the American Scholar by managing editor Sudip Bose, who is apparently a music lover, although I've found that he's much more polite and generous in matters such as intonation and reverence than I might be.

Based on a brief listen, I find Martzy's recording of parts of the D minor partia to be expressive in a somewhat meaty manner, and intonation not as terrible as many other dated examples might be, but not personally compelling.

October 20, 2019, 10:12 PM · I enjoyed it very much. I also listened to her Schubert, which I thought was very good too. Thank you for sharing.
October 20, 2019, 11:36 PM · This is the mentioned recent v.com blog post on Johanna Martzy by Michael Brittan: https://www.violinist.com/blog/FiddlerGT/201910/27943/
I very much enjoyed her Dvorak.
October 21, 2019, 7:57 AM · I must like "meaty" playing. As to intonation, see the current thread on temperament. (I'll need to listen again for intonation, but I found nothing objectionable on first hearing.) The most common objection seems to be her vibrato.
October 22, 2019, 3:35 PM · I listened to her chaconne and I was taken away by how close her interpretation is to my inner interpretation. Her violin sounds like a tornado. It’s almost viola like in timbre. Dark, mysterious and so humane. Soooo humane. It’s as if entire human endeavor of the millennia has culminated in this one performance.
From now on this rendition is one of my favourites. Along with Ivry Gitlis, Leonid Kogan, Rachel Podger and inimitable Nemanja Radulovic.


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