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.

J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas - von der Goltz

J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas - von der Goltz

Gottfried von der Goltz is not a name I often associate with solo material; as a long-time leader of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (FBO) he is no doubt a familiar name in the field of baroque and early-classical literature. I have many recordings with him, and even the FBO DVD of the six Brandenburg Concertos. When he's leading the ensemble I always think their performances are smart, at good chosen tempi, and very clean.

Nothing too much, and nothing too little. And while my taste certainly accommodates abundance in one way or the other, I'd characterize what I knew of von der Goltz as the Goldlilocks choice: just right.

And his recording of Bach's solo sonatas and partitas for violin on Aparté follows suit. Everything appears "just right."

Beyond a very clear and well-mastered recording, von der Goltz's contribution to the music is his sparing but welcome use of ornaments and smile-enducing changes, such as ending a phrase from a minor-moded movement with a picardy third. Clearly born of the historically-informed performance movement, von der Goltz doesn't apply himself with extreme tempos or any particular different articulations. Instead, we get somewhat of a very clean "Urtext" rendition.

And I find it refreshing.

Adding "interesting" elements to a performance could be considered a special art. Instead, in this recording the art comes from von der Goltz's style that restains from doing too much. Instead, the real artistry in his playing is the clean articulation, the dyanmics that never escape to extremes, and the almost tongue-in-cheek additions that tickle us, instead of distracting us from the master's music.

A reference-class recording that ought to be studied and endure many hours of enjoyment. As much for what is there, as for what's not.

Bach Harpsichord Concertos - Andreas Staier

Bach Harpsichord Concertos - Andreas Staier