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Vln Ctos

Johann Sebastian Bach Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 20.46 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Violin Concerto in E, BWV 1042
2. I. Allegro
3. II. Adagio
4. III. Allegro assai
5. Concerto for Oboe & Violin in D Minor, BWV 1060
6. I. Allegro
7. II. Adagio
8. III. Allegro
9. Violin Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041
10. I. [Allegro]
11. II. Andante
12. III. Allegro assai
13. Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
14. I. Vivace
15. II. Largo ma non tanto
16. III. Allegro

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Kennedy, the violinist formerly known as Nigel Kennedy, has a well-earned reputation as the bad boy of classical music. His defiantly anti-Establishment antics anger traditionalists and tickle the rebellious. This venture into the Bach canon will confirm both camps in their views. Traditionalists will fume at such excesses as the exaggerated, ugly flourish at the end of the E Major Concerto and the supersonic speeds adopted for the Allegro movement of the two-violin Concerto among much else, including the puzzle-booklet more appropriate to a pop release. Kennedy's fans, though, will relish those elements of what is an ultimately fairly straightforward set of Bach interpretations enlivened by personal touches, a string sound that owes much to "authentic instrument" practices, and zippy speeds that make for exciting listening. Bachians won't be swerved from their allegiance to their favorite recordings of this repertory, among them Grumiaux's humane, traditional approach and Manze's freewheeling period performances. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Nigel Dec 6 2001
Format:Audio CD
I must admit that when it comes to the violin, I always look for a Kennedy recording first. They say that certain virtuosos of the instrument can interpret the compositions of certain composers - but in my book Kennedy's the exception: he'll enthral you with a Hendrix rock song (or one of his own, sadly underrated, works from "Kafka") or amaze you with a Bach partita. Since his heady days in the wake of the Vivaldi Four seasons, however, it's in live performances where I truly believe Kennedy feels most comfortable and performs the best. So this eagerly anticipated studio album of such well known works had a lot to live up to: and it does. The double violin concerto as presented here is truly outstanding stuff, all credit be due to Daniel Stabrawa. The violin concerto No 2 on the other hand has been so over-done in recent years that its difficult to pass judgement. But the real gems on the album are the concerto No 1 and the concerto for violin and oboe, and it's one of the qualities of this album to see this repertoire brought to the limelight. I have to admit that until this recording I was sadly unfamiliar with the latter of these works. And it was an utter delight to be exposed to it by someone who probably parallels Gould on Bach, with a violin instead of a piano.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kennedy serves the music, not his status. March 13 2001
By P. Rah
Format:Audio CD
Kennedy in Bach?! That's the last thing I expected him to play, but I was wrong. I also doubted whether he would suit Bach's music, but he does. He plays with freedom that almost borders on jazz improvisations, but he does not go overboard, as he often does (as in the Vivaldi Four Seasons, his best selling record). Another thing that I certainly didn't expect was that the orchestra playing with Kennedy was none other than the Berlin Philharmonic!!!!!!!! This again raised the question of compatibility:would the BPO like Kennedy's free-style style? It seems on this record that they love what he does, which is not your usual sort of Bach playing. This was a delightful disc to listen to. He fully immerses himself into the music, which can be heard from the start of the first track, the E major violin concerto. I was struck by what I heard. This was no romantic treatment of this much-loved piece, but it wasn't that authentic in approach either. It was simple music making, without any soloistic egoism shown in the playing of this enfant terribile of music. He makes the music flow without any residual heaviness. The violin is well placed, sharing the spotlight with the orchestra, unlike many recordings where the soloist is too close or too far away to be heard properly. In my opinion, his musicality is similar to that of Jacqueline du Pre's (also English). They share in common an uninhibited sense of joy in what they do musically, and this record is a great example of what he can do, without any excess. Kennedy's tone, which can sound harsh, sounds perfectly round for this kind of music. He used to make harsh sounds for effect in the Four Seasons, but he refrains from doing so this time. Apart from the E major concerto, the other solo violin concderto to be featured is the one in a minor. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish & Lively Performance July 21 2001
Format:Audio CD
You won't expect a fervent intepretation of Bach from Kennedy and probably even from Berlin Philharmonic. Actually, it really isn't. But the music on this CD gives you a refreshing and lively feeling towards Bach's Violin Concertos. Kennedy added some of his own intepretations on the concertos which makes me music more lively. These elements match with the texture and sounds produced by modern musical instruments. I thought of buying a Bach's violin concertos played by ancient instruments, but I didn't feel disappointed neither in this purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kennedy kicks...! Jan. 9 2001
By Dom
Format:Audio CD
Kennedy is the housewives choice of classical artist. For this reason I have often stayed well clear. But this a superb recording of my favorite piece of classical music. I used to have it on a budget Naxos CD - that has now been consigned to the bin - this is a great CD. - Track 3 is inspirational!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kennedy serves the music, not his status. March 13 2001
By P. Rah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Kennedy in Bach?! That's the last thing I expected him to play, but I was wrong. I also doubted whether he would suit Bach's music, but he does. He plays with freedom that almost borders on jazz improvisations, but he does not go overboard, as he often does (as in the Vivaldi Four Seasons, his best selling record). Another thing that I certainly didn't expect was that the orchestra playing with Kennedy was none other than the Berlin Philharmonic!!!!!!!! This again raised the question of compatibility:would the BPO like Kennedy's free-style style? It seems on this record that they love what he does, which is not your usual sort of Bach playing. This was a delightful disc to listen to. He fully immerses himself into the music, which can be heard from the start of the first track, the E major violin concerto. I was struck by what I heard. This was no romantic treatment of this much-loved piece, but it wasn't that authentic in approach either. It was simple music making, without any soloistic egoism shown in the playing of this enfant terribile of music. He makes the music flow without any residual heaviness. The violin is well placed, sharing the spotlight with the orchestra, unlike many recordings where the soloist is too close or too far away to be heard properly. In my opinion, his musicality is similar to that of Jacqueline du Pre's (also English). They share in common an uninhibited sense of joy in what they do musically, and this record is a great example of what he can do, without any excess. Kennedy's tone, which can sound harsh, sounds perfectly round for this kind of music. He used to make harsh sounds for effect in the Four Seasons, but he refrains from doing so this time. Apart from the E major concerto, the other solo violin concderto to be featured is the one in a minor. Here the tempi can be a litle fast, especially in the last movement, which is too fast for my taste, but the BPO seems undaunted by it (after all, this is the Berlin Philharmonic which can play anything well!) The Double concertos are played with great aplomb. It is simply electric - especially in the Two-Violin Concerto, where the two solists hit it together in an incredibly way, and the orchestra responds to the energy as well - and the soloists (other than Kennedy) are superb. They have a wonderful sense of style, but they are flexible enough to communicate with Kennedy. Overall, a fine disc of great music making, almost chamber-like in quality, the soloist/s talking to the orchestra and vice versa. The packaging is very lavish, with very glossy paper reserved for special edition releases (for example on the recent Maria Callas 2-CD compilation "Popular Music from TV, Commercials...".)by EMI. Interestingly, this was recorded in analogue mode (ADD), which surprised me a little, but I then realised that his recordings have been ADD, from his second recording of the Elgar violin concerto (with Sir Simon Rattle). The recording has the 1970s warmth to it, which was the chracteristic of the Berlin Phil's recordings of that era (and incidentally it was recorded in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche, where most Berlin Phil recordings were made until 1975).
Enjoy this disc, if you feel like some simple music making to soothe and excite your ears.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Nigel Dec 6 2001
By Aleksis Raza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I must admit that when it comes to the violin, I always look for a Kennedy recording first. They say that certain virtuosos of the instrument can interpret the compositions of certain composers - but in my book Kennedy's the exception: he'll enthral you with a Hendrix rock song (or one of his own, sadly underrated, works from "Kafka") or amaze you with a Bach partita. Since his heady days in the wake of the Vivaldi Four seasons, however, it's in live performances where I truly believe Kennedy feels most comfortable and performs the best. So this eagerly anticipated studio album of such well known works had a lot to live up to: and it does. The double violin concerto as presented here is truly outstanding stuff, all credit be due to Daniel Stabrawa. The violin concerto No 2 on the other hand has been so over-done in recent years that its difficult to pass judgement. But the real gems on the album are the concerto No 1 and the concerto for violin and oboe, and it's one of the qualities of this album to see this repertoire brought to the limelight. I have to admit that until this recording I was sadly unfamiliar with the latter of these works. And it was an utter delight to be exposed to it by someone who probably parallels Gould on Bach, with a violin instead of a piano.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish & Lively Performance July 21 2001
By Lai Chun Pin Patrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
You won't expect a fervent intepretation of Bach from Kennedy and probably even from Berlin Philharmonic. Actually, it really isn't. But the music on this CD gives you a refreshing and lively feeling towards Bach's Violin Concertos. Kennedy added some of his own intepretations on the concertos which makes me music more lively. These elements match with the texture and sounds produced by modern musical instruments. I thought of buying a Bach's violin concertos played by ancient instruments, but I didn't feel disappointed neither in this purchase.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic and elegant. Dec 24 2008
By April Vawter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful recording. Nigel Kennedy adds life, but not bravado to already brilliant music. This is the type of recording you add to your library to compare the musician's interpretations with others you have grown used to. It may not be definitive, but then, what really is?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, why doesn't the Berlin Phil play Bach more often? April 17 2012
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Everything about the Berlin Phil makes it an ideal Bach orchestra. Its richness, depth of tone, and strong German heritage combine to make it an ensemble that plays Bach as though he were still among us. Despite his wild appearance, Nigel Kennedy knows what it means to give heartfelt performances. The prospect of hearing him is exciting, but it is the orchestra playing with him that's the cause for the greatest anticipation.

For some, it will be heretical that the Berlin Phil dares to play Bach with modern instruments, not on the touted period instruments. Sadly, we can no longer enjoy the drowsiness of ultra-thin ensembles. We suddenly realize the many benefits that come from orchestral dieting (or the incorporation of weak-toned instruments and players, if you will). Without such masterful avoiding of depth, we are forced to look Bach in the face. That's scary. We need to deal with the most religious of sounds, music that is profound and unbearably moving. We long for Hogwood's band, where we can enjoy Bach without realizing how deeply his feelings go. All around us is richness of tone, and players who want to give their all. There's nowhere to hide from the intrusion of the ultra-musical.

Of course there's nothing terrible about Bach's religious devotion. That's almost the whole point of his music, is it not? If you agree with me, you'll be blown over by the Berliners' musicianship. That's not to say that Kennedy isn't interesting. He is wondrously soulful, not afraid to offer bite at times. But never do we lose sight of the Bach who is inherently convinced of God's greatness. I could also rave about Albrecht Mayer's heartrending oboe playing which is worth the price of the whole disc. It's thrilling to witness gifted musicians communicating with the highest level of commitment to Bach's world.

I need not say more. If you love Bach, you should love this disc too.
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