Akiko Suwanai (born in 1972) is one of the brightest violinists to have emerged in the late 20th century, winning the Tchaikovsky International Competition, the youngest person to do so, in 1990. She has gone on to an impressive concert and recording career that encompasses both traditional repertoire and world premieres. Her 2006 album J.S. Bach: Violin Concertos was an instant success. Her performance is impressive: incisive, nuanced, and idiomatic. Her tone has an appealing warmth, but she remains true to the character of the music and doesn't lapse into Romantic tone quality or interpretations. She brings a high level of energy and momentum to the fast movements and her slow movements are sensuous with supple, elastic phrasing. Suwanai's program is exceptionally attractive and includes the most popular of Bach's concertos featuring the violin. Included are the Concerto for two violins in D minor, BWV 1043, and the Concerto for violin and oboe, BWV 1060, and the solo violin concertos, BWV 1041 and BWV 1042. Violinist Volkhard Steude and oboist François Leleux join her in the double concertos. She's accompanied with verve and sensitivity by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which plays without a conductor but is capably guided by concertmaster Alexander Janiczek. The sound on the beautifully produced album is clean and natural.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Concerto for 2 violins, strings & continuo in D minor ("Double"), BWV 1043|
|Concerto for violin, strings & continuo No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042|
|Concerto for oboe & violin (or 2 violins), strings & continuo (reconstruction), BWV 1060R|
|Concerto for violin, strings & continuo No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041|