Gil Shaham

Bach: Sonatas and Partitas

  • AllMusic Rating
    10
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Gil Shaham recorded J.S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for violin in 2014 while he was artist-in-residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and this project brought together his label, Canary Classics, and BR Klassik in a special partnership. Shaham's exceptional musicality and warm presence combine to give these performances a balanced blend of intellectual clarity and emotional depth that is vital to music that depends so much on the interpretation. Bach's melodies, harmonies, and counterpoint are exposed in these solo works as in no other, save the cello suites, and Shaham's smooth bowing and utterly clear separation of lines makes the music coherent and enjoyable, without exaggerated arpeggios to break up the flow or any scratchiness that can be distracting. But beyond Shaham's obvious technical polish is his expressive depth and strong feeling for these works, which he has played his whole life and in the process, developed his ideas with the consistency of style and artistic wholeness that can only come from experience. The sound of the recordings is close-up and clear in a moderately resonant space, so every detail can be heard without sacrificing any of the glowing tone of the Stradivarius "Countess Polignac."

blue highlight denotes track pick