JOËL BONS: Bomaden
BACH: Sonaas and Partitas for Solo Violin
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 31 in A flat, Op. 110. Sonaa No 32 in
C minor, Op. 111. Six Bagatelles, Op. 126
Dutch composer Joël Bons (b. 1952) was awarded the prestigious 2019 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for Nomaden (Nomads). The composer calls this a journey during which the cello protagonist encounters musicians from different traditions and enters into dialogue with them. Although it is not called a concerto, it actually is one, consisting of 38 brief connected episodes. It was written for Jean-Guihen and the Atlas Ensemble (which was formed by the composer), who perform it on this intriguing new release. Accompaniment is by an ensemble of 18 players from China, Japan, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe playing instruments from their countries. Detailed program notes are provided. The recording was made October/November 2016 in Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw and the BIS engineers have done their usual fine job in providing a rich, we-balanced audio picture. An unusual issue, new music presented in the most authentic style, in a definitive performance.
Yound violinist Jaakko Kuusisto already has to his credit many superlative recordings of major works, many praised on this site. Now he turns his attention to a milestone in the repertory, Bach's music for solo violin, namely the three sonatas and partitas. These have been reorded many times, notably by Nathan Milstein whose legendary 1970s recording recently wasreissued on DGG. This new Kuusisto reording challenges that and has the advantage of cystal clear sonics, reorded 2016 - 2017 ub ///sweden's Osteraker Chuch. A fine release, violin mastery of the highest level.
Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin alredy has made superb recordings of piano concertos of Beethoven and Mozart, all praised on this site. He seems better suited for these composers than for Rachmaninoff; I found his recording of the latter's Concertos 2 an 3 unexceptional. Now he returns to Beethoven with this issue of the composer's late music for solo piano, the mighty Op. 110 and Op, 111 sonatas. Exemplary performances recorded recorded July 2016 in Manchester's St. Peeter;s Hall. The Bagtelles were recorded November 2014 in Bristol's St. George's Church. Excellent sound, and a fine addition to the pianist's discography.
R.E.B. (May 2019)