This 2018 Naxos release marks Augusta McKay Lodge's recording debut with a program of Baroque music for unaccompanied violin that has been somewhat eclipsed by the great solo works of Johann Sebastian Bach. A specialist in Baroque violin and historical performance practices, McKay Lodge plays works by Nicola Matteis the Younger, Pedro Lopes Nogueira, Pietro Locatelli, Thomas Baltzar, Johann Georg Pisendel, and Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, as well as a handful of pieces compiled by the English printer John Walsh, to show the depth of the solo violin literature apart from Bach's Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001–1006, and to demonstrate that his violin music was not conceived in a vacuum. Indeed, music for solo violin was available from England to Bohemia and Italy, and decades before Bach's lifetime. McKay Lodge plays a modern replica by Jason Viseltear of a Baroque violin with a sweet tone and bright coloration, and the performances are lively and witty, with a rhythmic verve that elevates the pieces above mere exercises. While most of the selections are short and based on dance forms popular in the period, which Bach also used, perhaps Biber's Passacaglia in G minor from the Rosary Sonatas anticipates Bach at his most profound in the famous Chaconne from the Partita in D minor. A delightful exploration of overlooked repertoire, this CD offers intimate sound and crisp details which Baroque enthusiasts will relish.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Prelude and Fantezia in F fa ut|
|L'arte del violino, Op. 3: Concerto No. 2 in C minor|
|Prelude and Fantezia in G fa ut|
|Fantasia in C minor|
|Violin Sonata No. 6, Op. 5|
|Sonata for Solo Violin in A minor|