Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin; English Suite No. 3 (arr. Heifetz)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin; English Suite No. 3 (arr. Heifetz)
PERFORMER: Jascha Heifetz (vln), Arpád Sándor (pno)
CATALOGUE NO: RŽfŽrences CDH 7 64494 2
These performances are about as unauthentic as they could be. The slow movements are swathed in a rich vibrato, and peppered with espressivo swoops. The fugal movements are ostentatiously brilliant; they have an unrelenting rhythmic drive and intensity, and startling contrasts of colour and dynamics. It’s very impressive at first, but quickly becomes exhausting. Heifetz’s histrionic approach works well in robustly Romantic works, but Bach’s delicate, austere music can’t take such rough handling. Ivan Hewett

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