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BACH, J.S.: Violin Concertos, BWV 1041-1043


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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)



Violin Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041


Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042


Double Violin Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1043


Violin Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1023 (arranged by Ottorino Respighi)


Air on the G String (from BWV 1068)



Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach in 1685, the youngest son ofa town and court musician and member of a family with long musical traditions.

An orphan by the age of ten, he moved to Ohrduf, where his elder brother wasorganist, embarking, in 1703, on a professional career as a musician.

Employment as organist at Arnstadt and later at M??hlhausen was followed by aperiod of eight years as court organist at Weimar, and a further period from1717 to 1723 as Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen, the socialsummit of his career. Bach left the Prince's service in 1723 to take up theposition of Cantor at the Choir School of St. Thomas in Leipzig, where he wasresponsible for the music of the major city churches, and later directed theuniversity Collegium Musicum established there by Telemann in 1702. He remainedin Leipzig for the rest of his life.



Bach was a prolific composer, his compositions corresponding verylargely with his current responsibilities. Many of his works for organ werewritten in earlier years, while his primarily secular responsibilities atCothen, where the prevailing Pietism at court excluded elaborate musicalactivity in church, elicited a number of instrumental compositions. Initiallyat Leipzig he worked to meet the demand for church cantatas, later turning hisattention to the repertoire of the Collegium Musicum and to the collection andpublication of many of his earlier works.



The three violin concertos that survive in their original form, the Concerto in A minor, the Concerto in E major and the Double Concerto in D minor, scored forstrings and basso continuo, were all written during Bach's period of employmentas Kapellmeister at Cothen, where the young prince Leopold, a keen amateur,showed a great interest in music that was only curtailed by his marriage at theend of 1721 to a woman that Bach was later to describe as "amusa",lacking in any musical inclinations. It was this marriage, nine months afterhis own second marriage to Anna Magdalena, that caused his application toLeipzig and his departure. The three concertos also exist in transcriptions forharpsichord made by the composer in Leipzig, with other concertos that surviveonly in such transcription.



The Concerto in A minor

opens with a characteristic figure, which forms a repeated element in themovement. There is a fine-spun melody over a repeated bass figure in the slowmovement and a final gigue movement which includes brief moments of technicaldisplay by the soloist. The rather more complex Concerto in E major opens witha movement in which the first figure assumes considerable importance in what isto all intents and purposes a da capo aria. There is a slow movement ofsustained beauty over a repeated bass figure, and a lively final rondo.



The Double Concerto in D minor

opens energetically in the form of a fugal exposition, one solo violinfollowing the other in emulation. There is a dialogue of remarkable beauty inthe slow movement and a final movement in which the second violin follows thefirst in excitingly close juxtaposition.



The present release also includes an orchestral arrangement of Bach's Eminor violin sonata by the famous Italian composer Ottorino Respighi and aversion of the well-known Air on the G String, arranged from a movement of thethird Orchestral Suite.



Takako Nishizaki


Takako Nishizaki is one of Japan's finest violinists. After studyingwith her father, Shinji Nishizaki, she became the first student of ShinichiSuzuki, the creator of the famous Suzuki Method of teaching children to playthe violin. Subsequently she went to Japan's famous Toho School of Music, andto the Juilliard School in the United States, where she studied with JosephFuchs.



Takako Nishizaki won Second Prize in the 1964 Leventritt InternationalCompetition (First Prize went to Itzhak Perlman), First Prize in the 1967Juilliard Concerto Competition (with Japan's Nobuko Imai, the well-knownviola-player), and several awards in lesser competitions. She was only thesecond student at Juilliard, after Michael Rabin, to win her school's covetedFritz Kreisler Scholarship, established by the great violinist himself.



Takako Nishizaki is one of the most frequently recorded violinists inthe world today. She has recorded ten volumes of her complete Fritz KreislerEdition, many contemporary Chinese violin concertos, among them the Concerto byDu Ming-xin, dedicated to her, and a growing number of rare, previouslyunrecorded violin concertos, among them concertos by Spohr, Beriot, Cui,Respighi, Rubinstein and Joachim. For Naxos she has recorded Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Mozart's 5, Sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven and theMendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bruch and Brahms Concertos.



Capella Istropolitana


The Capella Istropolitana was founded in 1983 by members of the SlovakPhilharmonic Orchestra, at first as a chamber orchestra and then as anorchestra large enough to tackle the standard classical repertoire. Based inBratislava, its name drawn from the ancient name still preserved in theAcademia Istropolitana, the orchestra works in the recording studio andundertakes frequent tours throughout Europe. Recordings by the orchestra on theNaxos label include The Best of Baroque Music, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos,fifteen each of Mozart's and Haydn's symphonies as well as works by Handel,Vivaldi and Telemann.



Oliver Dohnanyi


Olive, Dohnanyi was born in 1955 and studied the violin, compositionand conducting at the Bratislava Conservatory, in the Slovakian capital,pursuing further studies in Prague under Vaclav Neumann and others, and inVienna under Otmar Suitner. He graduated in 1980 but had already establishedhimself as artistic director of the Charles University Art Ensemble and theCanticorum lubilo chamber ensemble in Prague. He has won distinction in variouscompetitions, including the Respighi Competition in Italy and internationalcompetitions in Budapest and Prague. From 1979 to 1986 Oliver Dohnanyi wasconductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava and has appearedwith major orchestras there, in Prague and in Hungary, as well as with the WestBerlin Symphony Orchestra, and since 1986 has been principal conductor of theopera of the Slovak National Theatre. In addition to work with the Slovak PhilharmonicOrchestra, he has appeared as a guest conductor in the concert hall and inopera in France, Italy, Austria, the USSR, Cuba, East Germany, Bulgaria,Switzerland and elsewhere.

Facts
Item number 8550194
Barcode 4891030501942
Release date 12/01/2000
Category Baroque
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Performers
Artists Jablokov, Alexander
Nishizaki, Takako
Conductors Dohnanyi, Oliver
Orchestras Istropolitana, Capella
Producers Appenheimer, Gunter
Disc: 1
Suite No. 3, BWV 1069: Air on the G String
1 Allegro
2 Andante
3 III. Allegro assai
4 Allegro
5 Adagio
6 Allegro assai
7 Vivace
8 II. Largo ma non tanto
9 Allegro
10 Allegro
11 Allemande (Allegro moderato)
12 Giga (Vivace assai)
13 Air on the G String
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