Shaham’s New Bach.


J. S. Bach:

Performed by Gil Shaham (violin)

In any enterprise, there is strong value in assuring that a business remains fresh, dynamic, and innovative. A company that does not regularly introduce new and competitive products soon loses its customers.

There is a terrific bakery in my area. This company is extremely successful, because they constantly vary their product offering to their customers.

And it turns out that Music is no different. If an orchestra keeps playing only Beethoven and Brahms and Mozart, as great as these fellows are, the orchestra is doomed.

After living with and playing Bach’s works for solo violin for over 30 years, Gil Shaham offers a fresh and vital new perspective on these works in his brand new recording.

J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin are considered as an artist’s symbol of mature musical achievement. These sonatas are the composer’s most demanding and emotionally penetrating works.

On this CD, Shaham’s bold originality shows us his willingness to take interpretative risks, and to create an interpretation vastly different than what we have heard done by Heifetz, Milstein, Oistrakh, and many other highly respected violinists.

These works have been part of Shaham’s concert programs for many years, and for this recording he has decided to modify his violin with a baroque bridge, a baroque bow, and 3 of 4 strings that are crafted from gut.

The results are very interesting. I find Shaham’s sound to be so lush, more warm, and at some level… older. And yes, there are – for me – sections that I need to hear often, because they sound somewhat strange to my ear that is used to the old, traditional interpretation.

Here is Mr. Shaham a few years back, about 2007, playing Bach’s “Gavotte en Rondeau”



As a comparison, here is an audio track from this new recording: Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003: II. Fuga:



Do you hear the difference??


Tags: Johann Sebastian Bach, Gil Shaham, Baroque