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Guardian Angel - Podger

Guardian Angel - Podger

Channel Classics  CCS SA 35513

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Instrumental


Bach: Partita for Flute in A minor, BWV 1013
Matteis: excerpts from Other Ayres, Preludes, Allemands, Sarabands etc
Tartini: Sonata in A minor, B:a3; Sonata No. 13 in B minor, B:h1
Pisendel: Sonata per violino solo
Biber: Passacaglia in G minor "The Guardian Angel" from Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas

Rachel Podger, violin


The music on this recording demonstrates how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria and England responded to the challenges of writing for violin senza basso. Music for violin senza basso had a distinguished history before Bach and was widely cultivated by his contemporaries. Violinistic virtuosity was extraordinarily experimental in the late seventeenth century, with novelties in the tuning of the strings (scordaura), bowing techniques, chordal playing and contrapuntal textures (with the development of sophisticated double-triple-and quadruple-stopping techniques) and playing in high positions. This disc of solo violin music is a real mixture of some of Rachel's favourite pieces.

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance.Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium,she was leader of The English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised BBC Prom in 2007. As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe Pro Musica (USA),The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union Baroque Orchestra, Holland Baroque Society and the Handel and Haydn Society (USA).

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Review by Graham Williams - October 14, 2013

Though Bach's Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas are rightly regarded as the pinnacle of his violin compositions 'senza basso' and represent the ultimate challenge for any violinist in both technical terms and display of profound musicianship, other works by Bach's contemporaries are equally worthy of attention.

On this new SACD entitled 'Guardian Angel' the supremely talented Rachel Podger gives us a fascinating programme that, although including music by Bach (her transcription of the composer's 'Partita for flute BWV 1013' from A minor to G minor), mainly focuses on some of his less well known contemporaries. The music ranges from Sonatas by Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) and Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1775) to the hauntingly profound Passacaglia in G minor by Heinrich Biber (1644-1704) from his fifteen 'Rosary' Sonatas.

As Rachel Podger indicates, in the booklet that accompanies this recording, the pieces heard on this disc are some of her own favourites, and the care she lavishes on them in these impeccably musical and technically flawless performances bear witness to her enthusiasm for them.

The superb 5.0 DSD recordings were made in May 2013 in the ample space of the Doopgezinde Kirk, Haarlem – a favourite venue for Channel – and they demonstrate how the sound of her 1739 Pesarinius instrument can miraculously bring this acoustic alive and impart to the listener a matchless sense of sonic realism.

Authoritative and detailed notes by Timothy Jones place the works heard here in their historical context. Puzzlingly though, they also refer to a sonata by Antonio Maria Montanari (1676-1737) that I guess was intended to be included in this programme but had to be omitted due to time constraints on a disc that already has a most generous 78.30 playing time.

Admirers of Rachel Podger's playing should not hesitate to acquire these wonderfully expressive performances immaculately recorded by Jared Sacks in state-of-the-art sound.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Copyright © 2013 Graham Williams and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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