Midori Plays Bach

 

Midori Plays Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006), recorded 2016 at the German Castle in Köthen (Anhalt) where Bach composed this cornerstone music. These are all the Bach sonatas and partitas for violin, called by famous violinist Georges Enescu "The Himalayas of violinists":

  1. Sonata No. 1 in G minor BWV 1001
  2. Partita No. 1 in B minor BWV 1002
  3. Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003
  4. Partita No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004
  5. Sonata No. 3 in C major BWV 1005
  6. Partita No. 3 in E major BWV 1006

Directed for TV by Andreas Morell; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Anhalt is where Bach composed many famous secular works including BWV 1001-1006, the Brandenburg concertos, and the Well-Tempered Clavier. Charlotte Gardner, writing in the February 2018 Gramophone at page 54, praises Midori for meticulous and "technically superb" performances. But Gardner is still left "rather dissatisfied" by the cool, "sparsely furnished", and lifeless old-castle venue. Gardner suggests that one ideally should find in these 6 pieces both heavenly and human aspects of Bach (who knew a lot about life as the last of 8 children and having had 20 children of his own). But in this recording, Gardner fears you may feel the human aspect has been slighted.

Here's a pretty official clip with Midori playing and speaking in English with German subtitles: