Kristóf Baráti

Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001 - 1006 [2009 Recording]

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

For more than two centuries, the solo violin sonatas and partitas of J.S. Bach have been used as a benchmark to test the mettle of a violinist's technical and interpretive capabilities. Since recording technology first became available, countless violinists have laid down their own visions of these great works. The differences between the various approaches are vastly contrasting with no two agreeing on the "proper" way to perform Bach's masterpieces. Many violinists have even recorded the sonatas and partitas on more than one occasion as their interpretations and understanding of the scores have evolved over the course of their careers. For violinist Kristóf Baráti, this Berlin Classics release represents his second foray into Bach. What's unusual is the short interval between the two versions (only seven years) and the young age of the artist in both instances (Baráti was only 30 years old for this version). Here, Baráti's control over his instrument is clearly more developed than seven years ago, so there are fewer moments where technique is guiding interpretation. While Baráti plays with an abundance of technique and intensity, and tempos are more forward moving here than in his earlier attempt, it seems in places that a longer period of maturation may still have been in order before making a second attempt. Baráti's tone is robust and powerful but is sometimes heavy-handed, particularly with big, broken chords in the slower movements. His choice of faster tempos sometimes gets the better of him, as in the well-known D minor Chaconne, which seems hurried and impatient. Should Baráti choose to visit these works again -- and there's no reason why he shouldn't -- hopefully it will come after a longer period of growth and development.

blue highlight denotes track pick