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Everybody plays them! Even guitarists (me)...So...did you ever study different recordings and find a favorite or are you still wondering? Some time ago I did a serious comparison on different versions of bwv 1002 (spotify to help) and my winner was...Ingrid Matthews...ever heard of her? I liked the flow in her playing and the tempos felt natural for me.
 

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She doesn't have the cleanest technique, or the sweetest sound, but there is feeling there. One thing I like about her is that she takes things at a reasonable pace. I have the Heifetz, Rachel Podger and Itzhak Perlman, and while I like them all, Perlman has a tendency to rush, and Heifetz, while virtuosic, lacks some feeling. Podger has technique, tone, and feeling.

I would really like to hear Vadim Repin tackle these works.
 

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Of the BWV 1001-1006 group, I have heard and enjoyed Perlman on Violin Sonata No. 1, Hilary Hahn on Violin Partita No. 2, and Christian Tetzlaff on Violin Partita No. 3. I am still very new to the majority of Bach's works, so I appreciate hearing the recommendations and especially the detailed reasoning like Taplow gives.
 

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I only own one CD of the sonatas and partitas. Arthur Grumiaux, recordings from the early sixties. It's a terrific recording. So much clarity and control, with a tiny amount of reverb making it sound quite big. I've heard other recordings. Rachel Barton Pine is a terrific recording too. I'm not interested in owning multiple copies.

I've muddled my way through playing the entire E major Partita. The Prelude is the best part. The rapid string crossings to give the impression of two violins playing is masterful. The Loure is a challenge. The double stops are difficult in E major. I have a tough time making it sound like music as I lose the thread, the musical line gets lost when I play it. The Gavotte and Rondeau is a lovely dance, I try to make it bouncy. The second minuet has that wonderful drone effect. The gigue was the first piece of Bach I learned.

I've played the Dm partita minus the Chaconne. To play the Chaconne is an ambition of mine. Perhaps one day. I heard a busker play the Chaconne by memory in Florence underneath the outdoor copy of Michaelangelo's David. One of my most magical musical moments of my life. I played the Allemande in a masterclass a couple of years ago. I played it poorly for me because I get very nervous performing, but I did learn some better bowing from the instructor.

And I've played the Presto from the first Sonata and the Allegro assai from the third Sonata.

I heard James Ehnes play as an encore the Andante from the second Sonata. It was lovely, terrific tone. After hearing him, it makes me want to learn it, but it's a tricky set of double stops. The bow has to gently touch one string while the second string is continuously bowed.
 

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Reading this thread a few days ago prompted me to learn a new piece from the set. I just started to learn the Allegro from the second Sonata, the Am Allegro. I like the echo effect in this piece. Each phrase is played once loudly and repeated softly giving it an echo effect. It sounds great when played properly. The piece isn't too difficult for me, it's getting the dynamics right that'll be my big challenge for this piece.
 

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Reading this thread a few days ago prompted me to learn a new piece from the set. I just started to learn the Allegro from the second Sonata, the Am Allegro. I like the echo effect in this piece. Each phrase is played once loudly and repeated softly giving it an echo effect. It sounds great when played properly. The piece isn't too difficult for me, it's getting the dynamics right that'll be my big challenge for this piece.
I just completed a piano transcription of that movement! Hopefully I'll make a live recording soon, it's really difficult to play though ;P
 

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That's interesting tdc... do you play it as it is, or do you make any modification from the original for violin? I am really curious to know that... thanks for bringing this up!
You're welcome, some guitarists choose to play the work as it is notated for violin (which works fine for this piece), I used a guitar transcription by Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and then altered some parts by ear to match what I heard on this other guitar version by Fabio Zanon.
 

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You're welcome, some guitarists choose to play the work as it is notated for violin (which works fine for this piece), I used a guitar transcription by Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and then altered some parts by ear to match what I heard on this other guitar version by Fabio Zanon.
Thanks for letting me know about that. I'll check that transcription out. Appreciated!
 

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the different recordings of bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin has their own attributes and their special particularities. there are for exapmle numerlous transcriptions like; pepe romero, bach-busoni, bach-brahms etc. Of the transcirptions i cant pick a favourite, this is because they all emphasise different parts of the original work and do not recite the OG bach to the fullest (for the record i have cried and felst immense joy in all of these transriptions (especially pepe romero playing, evgeny kissin and daanil triofinv playing). when it comes to violin recordings, where do i start?!?! i first heard the hillary hahn recording, this is an amazing recording to start with, it is simply terrific. after many years of a long relationship with bach (as i imagine you all have) i think the henryk szeryng is a solid recording, and solid is a key word here for me. I could not go on about this piece without mentioning menhuins recording which is bold and coragious. Menhuin is an extremely talented violinist who performs bach in an original way without compromising anything (truly amazing). I could go on and talk about heifitz, perlman, grimaux, but my favourite is Nathan Milstein. Milstein combinates the perfection in which bach is needed and the boldness in which it takes to preform this overwhelming, (and i would say) perfectly composed piece of music. truly one of the greats.
I hope you all would listen to the other recordings i recommeneded,
 

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the different recordings of bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin has their own attributes and their special particularities. there are for example numerous transcriptions like; pepe romero, bach-busoni, bach-brahms etc. Of the transcriptions i cant pick a favourite, this is because they all emphasise different parts of the original work and do not recite the OG Bach to the fullest (for the record i have cried and felts immense joy in all of these transcriptions (especially pepe romero playing, evgeny kissin and daanil triofinv playing). when it comes to violin recordings, where do i start?!?! i first heard the hillary hahn recording, this is an amazing recording to start with, it is simply terrific. after many years of a long relationship with bach (as i imagine you all have) i think the henryk szeryng is a solid recording, and solid is a key word here for me. I could not go on about this piece without mentioning menhuins recording which is bold and courageous. Menhuin is an extremely talented violinist who performs bach in an original way without compromising anything (truly amazing). I could go on and talk about heifitz, perlman, grimaux, but my favourite is Nathan Milstein. Milstein combinates the perfection in which Bach is needed and the boldness in which it takes to preform this overwhelming, (and i would say) perfectly composed piece of music. truly one of the greats.
I hope you all would listen to the other recordings i recommended,
Great first post, welcome to Talk Classical.
 

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I could go on and talk about heifitz, perlman, grimaux, but my favourite is Nathan Milstein. Milstein combinates the perfection in which bach is needed and the boldness in which it takes to preform this overwhelming, (and i would say) perfectly composed piece of music. truly one of the greats.
I hope you all would listen to the other recordings i recommeneded,
Thanks for the list. I heard Milstein first, and I've gotten so attached to it, I haven't seen the need to explore further. Maybe I can branch out.
 

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I personally like Henryk Szeryng (DG), Ingrid Matthews (Centaur) and François Fernandez (Flora) very much, but it's a difficult choice, because there are many good and interesting recordings to choose from.
 
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