Bach: The Six Sonatas & Partitas For Violin Solo

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Canadian violinist Lara St. John has worked on both sides of recording industry, recording both for West Coast indie Well Tempered Productions and for major-label monolith Sony Classical. Increasingly it has been her desire to take control of her own destiny in terms of recordings; even as St. John's concert career has flourished and her repertoire has expanded, the recording activity has been spotty, only partly reflecting her varied interests. Although St. John initially launched her Ancalagon label, named after a favored pet iguana, in 2001, with the 2007 release Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, St. John is taking on a truly ambitious recording ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Canadian violinist Lara St. John has worked on both sides of recording industry, recording both for West Coast indie Well Tempered Productions and for major-label monolith Sony Classical. Increasingly it has been her desire to take control of her own destiny in terms of recordings; even as St. John's concert career has flourished and her repertoire has expanded, the recording activity has been spotty, only partly reflecting her varied interests. Although St. John initially launched her Ancalagon label, named after a favored pet iguana, in 2001, with the 2007 release Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, St. John is taking on a truly ambitious recording project; Bach's violin solo literature presented on two Surround Sound Super Audio CDs in deluxe, full color digipak. For St. John, going back to Bach is also back to the basics; it was with a Well Tempered disc of Bach's solo violin music that she made her entrée into the public forum back in 1996. That release was an intensely emotional and revelatory experience, analogous to Glenn Gould's 1955 Columbia recording of the "Goldberg Variations"; not because she was also young and Canadian, but because St. John's interpretations of Bach's solo violin music are completely her own, informed by her unique sense of rhythm and expressiveness. She does not play Bach's violin music like Heifetz or Szeryng did, nor is she attempting to find some semblance of "historical correctness" in the music, nor is her Bach romantic in tone. St. John's Bach has strong personal flair and a sense of dramatic sweep, as though she were an actress playing a role rather than a musician with an instrument; it is variable in tone, broadly expansive rhythmically and dazzling technically. St. John's Bach is also, in a word or two, breathtakingly beautiful. The 1996 disc was rather stingy in that it only contained one sonata and one partita -- always leave them wanting more, as they say, but St. John has decided that this is the time for "more," and it's a good call. Her Bach playing in 2007 in comparison to 1996 has grown up some; certain passages are a little smoother, a bit more connected together than in 1996, and the ebb and flow of dynamics more carefully plotted, though the performances do not seem to lose any of their spontaneity. They are just more refined and, in some ways, targeted more directly to the heart of the matter. The recording, made at Skywalker Sound under the expert supervision of Martha de Francisco, is wonderfully alive and three-dimensional; if you think recording in Surround Sound would not benefit the sound of a single violin, this will change your mind. Devotees of St. John's performances in concert will certainly want Ancalagon's Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo; even if you already own a copy of the earlier effort, you should also have this -- Mies van der Rohe's famous dictum notwithstanding, in this instance, less is definitely not more.
Gramophone - Jed Distler
[St. John] can dazzle with the best of them, as borne out by her breathtakingly fast yet elegantly shaped E major Partita Preludio.
Audiophile Audition - Steven Ritter
Lara St. John’s Bachian credentials are as fine as any violinist playing today, and she has given us a set that must be reckoned with.... If you are only in the market for one recording of these masterpieces, this is the one. Lara St. John has brought Bach back alive and well, in readings of sumptuous warmth and fervency.
Toronto Star - John Terauds
1/2 Awe-inducing solo playing.... There isn't a note or nuance that isn't accounted for.

Lara St. John’s Bachian credentials are as fine as any violinist playing today, and she has given us a set that must be reckoned with.... If you are only in the market for one recording of these masterpieces, this is the one. Lara St. John has brought Bach back alive and well, in readings of sumptuous warmth and fervency.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2007
  • Label: Ancalagon
  • UPC: 843041059077
  • Catalog Number: 132
  • Sales rank: 90,736

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Sonata for solo violin No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lara St. John (15:11)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 1Adagio
    2. 2Fuga
    3. 3Siciliana
    4. 4Presto
  2. 5–8 Partita for solo violin No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lara St. John (18:27)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 5Allemande / Double
    2. 6Corrente / Double
    3. 7Sarabande / Double
    4. 8Tempo di Borea / Double
  3. 9–12 Sonata for solo violin No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lara St. John (22:15)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 9Grave
    2. 10Fuga
    3. 11Andante
    4. 12Allegro
Disc 2
  1. 1–5 Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lara St. John (30:39)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 1Allemanda
    2. 2Corrente
    3. 3Sarabanda
    4. 4Giga
    5. 5Ciaccona
  2. 6–9 Sonata for solo violin No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lara St. John (23:10)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 6Adagio
    2. 7Fuga
    3. 8Largo
    4. 9Allegro assai
  3. 10–15 Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Lara St. John (16:27)
    Composed byJohann Sebastian Bach
    1. 10Preludio
    2. 11Loure
    3. 12Gavotte en Rondeau
    4. 13Menuet 1 & 2
    5. 14Bourrée
    6. 15Giga
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lara St. John Primary Artist
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