I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Mullova on Bach

#alttext# This will be a short review. Much has been written about Ms. Mullova's approach in this recording. The visual on the cover gives part of it away: she's playing with a baroque configuration. It turns out her playing style isn't necessarily "baroque" in the same way we've been used to listening to John Holloway, Enrico Onofri, or Andrew Manze. Her instrument, despite being pitched lower, has a full, warm tone, almost luminescent in character. I gather her style is perhaps a tad more romantic, but she is light on vibrato, and there are some genuinely nice moments. The recorded sound and acoustic is excellent. Her playing is relaxed enough that the music comes across as an easy listen. She plays with more extrovert virtuosity than most full-time baroque specialists do, but that's still okay. She lacks the complete intensity present in the latest recording by Gidon Kremer. What remains, then, is a perhaps more universal recording. Ms. Mullova still has an excellent technique, and from her notes, she's been finding a new voice for herself and for her Bach. I'm not sure any one version would ever be perfect of such profound music. What we get is a strong reading, beautifully rendered via a 1750-era Italian violin, and it likely is but one stop of Mullova's tour of Bach throughout her lifetime. I would concur - I own her earlier recording that features some of these works (on Philips) and it lacks real "direction." Here, there's music she's far more comfortable with. When I say this is a universal recording I mean to imply that many compromises have been made, but not at the expense of limiting the artistic result. It implies a good value and 2 discs's worth of excellent music.

Veracini Sonatas

Biondi, Alessandrini, Naddeo, Pandolfo, Lislevand perform Vivaldi's Manchester Sonatas