JS Bach: 15 Two-Part Inventions, BWV 772-786; 15 Three-Part Inventions (Sinfonia), BWV 787-801; Solo Violin Partita No. 2, BWV 1004

COMPOSERS: JS Bach
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: JS Bach
WORKS: 15 Two-Part Inventions, BWV 772-786; 15 Three-Part Inventions (Sinfonia), BWV 787-801; Solo Violin Partita No. 2, BWV 1004
PERFORMER: Janine Jansen (violin), Maxim Rysanov (viola), Torleif Thedéen (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: 475 9081
Are the keyboard arrangements included here to provide an off-piste frame for the D minor Partita, or is Jansen hoping that the Partita will act as a lure to entice the wary? In a performance of BWV 1004 so vividly alive, the wary can relax. The spirit of the dance reigns supreme (especially in the laser-sharp buoyancy of the gigue), and Jansen doesn’t impose, yet remains very much in the driving seat, so that the great Chaconne is both purposefully plotted and breathtakingly executed – listen to the inexorable screwing-up of the tension as the music builds to the central D major section. Mendelssohn famously made an arrangement of the Chaconne for Ferdinand David (muse to the E minor Violin Concerto) and David rearranged the Two-Part Inventions for violin and viola. Jansen and Rysanov have sidestepped it for the most part, returning to Bach’s original. The result is appealing enough, though the ‘true’ bass a cello brings to the Sinfonia transcriptions makes the latter feel more ‘complete’. Stylistically the playing ranges from hyper-period-influenced non?legato to expressive retreats into a rarified world of veiled confession. Fascinating stuff – Decca should consider a complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas by Jansen as a matter of urgency.

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