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Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Not just restricted to the baroque repertoire, Japanese violinist and violist Shunsuke Sato (also written as Shunske Sato) does not hesitate to play some of the most contemporary works, many of which he wrote for himself. This means that his own way of playing Bach benefits from both teachings - the art of playing baroque on instruments and with ancient bows, and the art of playing in a contemporary style. This is, no doubt, what makes his reading of Bach so wonderful as he searches for pure beauty, making the instrument sing and linking the phrases with such coherence. Accompanying him, we find the wonderful Swiss ensemble il pomo d’oro (all lowercase) who embrace these musicologically indisputable teachings with a tone that sometimes even sounds romantic. In truth, Bach’s music often flirts with more tender accentuation, for example in the slow movement of Concerto for two violins, which Sato plays here with Zefira Valova, a violinist from the ensemble. It should be noted that the ensemble also seeks to rediscover the most intimate sounds that Bach could have conceived in these concertos, some of which were undoubtedly written to be performed at Café Zimmermann: one musician per desk! The resulting sounds are hugely different from other recordings which are sometimes performed by orchestras that are far too large for this work. © SM/Qobuz
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CD$12.99

Classical - Released October 26, 2018 | Warner Classics

Booklet
Judged by the period instrumentation, the small orchestra of strings and continuo, the historically informed interpretations of violinists Shunske Sato and Zefira Valova, and the ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, this recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's violin concertos will likely interest connoisseurs of performances in the Baroque style, as well as casual listeners. However, because the venue for this recording is extremely resonant and the audio seemingly boosted in the mix, a first impression is that the ensemble is twice as big as it really is, and that the textures are inadvertently muddied, neither of which is expected of a well-produced recording by early music standards. If listeners can get past the acoustics and actually hear the nuances in Sato's playing, as well as the ensemble's skillful but understated accompaniment, then the experience is at least pleasurable, if not as pristine as might be desired. Sato plays the Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 and the Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042, and is joined by Valova in the Concerto in D minor for two violins, BWV 1043. Also included is the reconstructed Concerto No. 5 in G minor, BWV 1056R, which is a transposed arrangement by Johann Nikolaus Forkel, based the Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056, which in turn was probably based on a lost concerto for violin or oboe. Violinists have some flexibility in including this work, though Sato seems to have a special love for it, so his energy and emotional involvement sell it. © TiVo