Antoine Tamestit


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AllMusic Review by James Leonard

In his challenging recorded debut, violist Antoine Tamestit takes on two of the most difficult works in the solo string repertoire: Bach's Partita No. 2, a five-movement dance suite ending with a soul-searing "Ciacconia," and Ligeti's Sonata for viola, a six-movement dance suite ending with a bone-chilling "Chaconne Chromatique." With an intense tone, a concentrated legato, agile virtuosity, and consummate musicianship, Tamestit brilliantly executes both Bach's austere contrapuntal lines and Ligeti's extreme performance techniques. But beyond that, Tamestit finds the core of contemporanity in Bach and Ligeti's dances through an innate sense of their fundamental rhythms, the ebb of their ritardando, and the flow of their accelerando. However angular Bach's lines or acute Ligeti's techniques, Tamestit keeps to the groove, and at their best, his performances have the cogency of improvisations. Recorded in admirably intimate and amazingly immediate sound by Naïve Classiques in the warm acoustics of the Salle de la Foundation Tibor Varga in Sion Switzerland, Tamestit's debut is well worth hearing by anyone who relishes a challenge.

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