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Julia Fischer|Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos

Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos

Julia Fischer, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Andrey Rubtsov, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

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Only months after Deutsche Grammophon released Anne-Sophie Mutter's recording of Bach's violin concertos, Decca released Julia Fischer's recording of the same pieces. The similarities between the two discs run deeper than merely their shared repertoire. Both labels are branches of Universal Music Group and both violinists are individualistic German women, though Mutter is currently at the peak of her career while Fischer is just a bit past starting out. The differences, however, are likewise remarkable. The Deutsche Grammophon disc includes the world premiere of a new work by Sofia Gubaidulina dedicated to the violinist, while the Decca disc includes the more conventional coupling of Bach's Concerto for violin and oboe in C minor, BWV 1060. But, of course, the most striking difference between the discs is Mutter and Fischer's very different performance styles. Mutter's approach to Bach, like her approach to everything, is wholly modern with plenty of vibrato, portimento, and glissando, plus a very flexible sense of tempo rubato, particularly in the cadenzas. Fischer's approach to Bach is also essentially modern but tempered by historically informed performance practice, that is, with vibrato used only at the top of swells, few traces of portimento or glissando, and a tighter sense of tempo plus a stronger feeling for rhythm. Furthermore, while Mutter's attack is firmer, her tone more commanding, and her phrasing more sculptured, Fischer's attacks are smoother, her tone more insinuating, and her phrasing more seductive. Both players' interpretations are highly expressive, though Mutter's tends toward the overtly dramatic, while Fischer's leans toward the intimately lyrical. In the end, it's as hard to imagine Mutter's fans taking to Fischer's disc as it is Fischer's fans taking to Mutter's disc. Longtime listeners may want to sample both and may ultimately end up heading back to Arthur Grumiaux's 1978 recording for a purer but no less expressive set of performances. It should be noted that Fischer is accompanied by the now conductorless Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which proves no less excellent an ensemble for that deficit, and that Decca's digital sound is more discrete but no less present than Deutsche Grammophon's.
© TiVo

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Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos

Julia Fischer

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Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings, and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1043 (Julia Fischer)

1
1. Vivace
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:03:28

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Sitkovetsky, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

2
2. Largo ma non tanto
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:06:41

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Sitkovetsky, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

3
3. Allegro
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:04:35

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alexander Sitkovetsky, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

Violin concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 (Julia Fischer)

4
1. (Allegro moderato)
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:03:27

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

5
2. Andante
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:06:22

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

6
3. Allegro assai
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:03:30

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E, BWV 1042 (Julia Fischer)

7
1. Allegro
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:07:16

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

8
2. Adagio
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:06:38

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

9
3. Allegro assai
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:02:31

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

Concerto for Violin, Oboe, and Strings in D minor, BWV 1060 (Julia Fischer)

10
1. Allegro
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:04:57

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrey Rubtsov, Oboe, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

11
2. Adagio
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:05:31

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestra, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrey Rubtsov, Oboe, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

12
3. Allegro
Académie de St. Martin in the Fields
00:03:35

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Academy of St Martin in the Fields, MainArtist - Julia Fischer, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andrey Rubtsov, Oboe, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Marie Geijsen, Balance Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sebastian Stein, Producer, Recording Producer

℗ 2009 Decca Music Group Limited

Album Description

Only months after Deutsche Grammophon released Anne-Sophie Mutter's recording of Bach's violin concertos, Decca released Julia Fischer's recording of the same pieces. The similarities between the two discs run deeper than merely their shared repertoire. Both labels are branches of Universal Music Group and both violinists are individualistic German women, though Mutter is currently at the peak of her career while Fischer is just a bit past starting out. The differences, however, are likewise remarkable. The Deutsche Grammophon disc includes the world premiere of a new work by Sofia Gubaidulina dedicated to the violinist, while the Decca disc includes the more conventional coupling of Bach's Concerto for violin and oboe in C minor, BWV 1060. But, of course, the most striking difference between the discs is Mutter and Fischer's very different performance styles. Mutter's approach to Bach, like her approach to everything, is wholly modern with plenty of vibrato, portimento, and glissando, plus a very flexible sense of tempo rubato, particularly in the cadenzas. Fischer's approach to Bach is also essentially modern but tempered by historically informed performance practice, that is, with vibrato used only at the top of swells, few traces of portimento or glissando, and a tighter sense of tempo plus a stronger feeling for rhythm. Furthermore, while Mutter's attack is firmer, her tone more commanding, and her phrasing more sculptured, Fischer's attacks are smoother, her tone more insinuating, and her phrasing more seductive. Both players' interpretations are highly expressive, though Mutter's tends toward the overtly dramatic, while Fischer's leans toward the intimately lyrical. In the end, it's as hard to imagine Mutter's fans taking to Fischer's disc as it is Fischer's fans taking to Mutter's disc. Longtime listeners may want to sample both and may ultimately end up heading back to Arthur Grumiaux's 1978 recording for a purer but no less expressive set of performances. It should be noted that Fischer is accompanied by the now conductorless Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which proves no less excellent an ensemble for that deficit, and that Decca's digital sound is more discrete but no less present than Deutsche Grammophon's.
© TiVo

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