The great Johann Sebastian Bach grew up around violin music: his father Johann Ambrosius was an accomplished violinist. This influence is reflected in Sebastian’s compositional output, which contains a large number of solo and ensemble works for the instrument – including the concertos on this recording.
The works, written in approximately 1720, are based on Vivaldi’s concerto model from the beginning of the 18th century, and – in the case of the D minor and G minor concertos – are reconstructions of the harpsichord concertos. Indeed, many of Bach’s concertos for harpsichord were in fact rearrangements of earlier instrumental works, and from the passagework in BWV 1052 and 1056 it is clear that the violin was originally the intended instrument. Together with rich-sounding dialogue that is a result of the contrast between the intricate solo passages and the slower-moving accompanying instruments, opportunities for virtuosic display abound in all of the works’ final movements, especially in the energetic Gigue of BWV1041.
Violinist Thomas Zehetmair studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum and made his festival debut at the Salzburg Festival aged just 16. He has since built up an impressive international career as a soloist, also performing with the Zehetmair Quartet, and is musical director of the Northern Sinfonia (UK) as well as guest conductor of several other major European orchestras. He is joined in the recording by the acclaimed Amsterdam Bach Soloists.
- Recorded in 1994 this recording of Bach’s violin concertos has lost nothing of its freshness and sparkle. Thomas Zehetmair built, since his Salzburg Festival debut at the age of 16, an impressive international career as a travelling virtuoso playing with the world’s most famous orchestras and conductors. His open and unconventional mind kindled his interest in the Historical Early Music Practice, and his interpretations of the baroque repertoire show a deep insight in the style, while never losing his innate musicality and “Spielfreude”.
- Zehetmair is joined by the Amsterdam Bach Soloists, an elite group drawn from principals of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, both sharing his interest in early music and his enthusiasm.
- Liner Notes included.