par.ti.ta (SACD)

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Vadim Gluzman

‘A hum­ble attempt to build a metaphysical time bridge’ is how Vadim Gluzman himself describes his latest recording project: a disc which combines two partitas by J.S. Bach with two works by Eugène Ysaÿe and Lera Auerbach, each representing a view of Bach through the prism of the 20th and 21st century respectively. Gluzman opens with the Partita No.2 in D minor with is towering final Chaconne, described as ‘one of the most won­der­ful, most incomprehensible pieces of music’by Brahms, one of the many composers that have engaged with that particular work in various ways. This is followed by Lera Auerbach’s par.ti.ta, composed specifically for Vadim Gluzman, who describes the work as ‘projecting Lera’s lifelong fascination with Bach… No particular work is being quoted, yet I can’t help the feeling of being drawn to a world of shades, echoes – are these shades of ourselves?’ If the relationship to Bach’s music is mainly hinted at in the ten brief movements of par.ti.ta, the parallels are more apparent inYsaÿe ‘s Sonata in A minor. It was composed in 1924 as the second of a set of six, each sonata dedicated to a fellow violin virtuoso. The A minor sonata was written with the French violinist Jacques Thi­baud in mind, and opens with a quote from one of his daily practice pieces – the Prelude of Bach’s Partita No.3 in E major, which precedes it on this disc. But Ysaÿe’s method is far from slavish imitation – although the affinity is obvious, he incorporates elements wholly alien to Bach, including the recurring Dies Irae motif, which along with the rich chromaticism contributes to the almost Gothic atmosphere, and instrumental techniques such as sul ponticello and pizzicato. The highly versatile Vadim Gluzman has released a number of discs on BIS, ranging from solo works and chamber music by Lera Auerbach, Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke, to the great violin concertos by Bruch and Tchaikovsky. Highly regarded by reviewers worldwide he is regularly compared to the great virtuosos of the early 20th century, both for the sound he makes on his ex-Leopold Auer Stradivarius violin and for a playing which is never less than wholly committed.