The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Bach: Sonata no.1 in G minor BWV1001, Partita no.3 in E major BWV1006. Ysaÿe: Sonatas no.1 in G minor op.27 no.1 & no.2 in A minor op.27 no.2
Tuesday, 01 June 2010
THE STRAD RECOMMENDS
Liza Ferschtman (violin)
CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC 72351 (hybrid SACD)
The programming of this disc is impeccable. Ysaÿe’s solo sonatas are consciously first cousins to Bach’s sonatas and partitas, and in these particular works, with G minor Ysaÿe drawing from Bach in the same key, and his A minor Sonata worrying away at the first movement of Bach’s last partita, there is a particular temptation to compare and contrast. Ferschtman brings to both composers appropriate degrees of coolness, passion and control, and a mastery of technique that can render the severest of demands subservient to musical logic and taste.
There is a sureness of pulse beneath everything she plays. In the expansiveness of Bach’s opening G minor Adagio and the Loure of his E major Partita there is space and time, but always a gentle, unwavering forward motion; when Bach is rapid, there is energy, clarity, and supple phrasing. Ferschtman’s counterpoint, as in the Fuga and Siciliana of the G minor Sonata, is masterly. Ysaÿe is treated with with a blend of muscularity and tenderness. She does drama well, filling a phrase with heat and then turning it to something delicate with a perfectly judged rubato, a subtle adjustment of dynamic. The recorded sound is close and resonant.
From the July 2010 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.