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Air: The Bach Album

4.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anne Akiko Meyers is celebrated as one of the world's premiere concert violinists, described as a 'trailblazing violinist', one who is constantly 'charting her own course.' She has recently collaborated with top jazz artists such as Chris Botti, pop singing sensation, Il Divo and jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis, who composed cadenzas for her in Mozart's G Major Violin Concerto. This new recording of Bach's masterpieces for violin and orchestra is Anne's third release for eOne. Alongside the two concertos for violin, Anne has recorded the Concerto for Two Violins, performing both parts on her two Stradivari violins: her recently acquired Ex-Napoleon Molitor Stradivarius (as featured on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on MSNBC) and the Royal Spanish Stradivarius, heard on her last two eOne recordings. Also included on this disc are exquisite new arrangements of the "Air" from the Suite No. 3 and the Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria." Anne is quoted as saying "It was magical recording the Bach album with the English Chamber Orchestra and the 'Ex-Molitor/Napoleon' Stradivari violin, dated 1697. The special combination of beautiful repertoire, including 'Air', 'Largo' and 'Ave Maria', the Violin Concertos and the fresh take of recording both parts of the Double Concerto on 2 different Strads, was pure joy to make!"

From the Artist

After her recent acquisition of the "ex-Napoleon/Molitor" Stradivarius violin from 1697, Meyers decided to become the first violinist to record both solo parts of the Double Concerto on two different violins. Meyers joked that this was the first time she agreed with all of her "partner's" musical ideas.

Anne thinks the golden purity of the tone of the `ex-Molitor/Napoleon' Strad, contrasts beautifully with the darker timbre of the 1730 "Royal Spanish" Strad, on which she recorded the second violin part. The distinctive voice of each violin gave Meyers the idea of recording both parts of the Double Concerto, as she feels like she sounds like a different violinist on each instrument.

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Steven Mercurio
  • Audio CD (February 14, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: AMZV9
  • ASIN: B006OZN6J2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Anne Akiko Meyers, and if you look at my review of her recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, which is out of print, I called that not only her best record ever but the best version of that work in my hunble opinion. However, I need to revise that. While the Mendelssohn is still a wonderful and the best version of that piece her new recording "Air: The Bach Album" is indeed her best CD ever!

Recently Anne became the owner of the "ex-Napoleon/Molitor" Stradivarius violin. You can go to her website and see a video of her talking about it and playing in on the old MSBNC "Countdown" show. While she uses this new vioin on the bulk of the recording, she plays both the "Molitor" and her other Strad the "Royal Spanish" in the Bach; Concerto for Two Violins. While several artists have recorded that concerto and even played both parts nobody has played both parts on two different violins. Also on her webpage is a video discussing this project and you can see her playing the first part in London with the English Chamber Orchestra, on the "Molitor" and the second part in New York on the "Royal Spanish".

Anne's performances of all of the Bach on this recording are stellar. She shows the taste, musicality and wisdom to interpret this timeless music in a manner that speaks to me directly. I am only sorry that I can only give it 5 stars and not the 50 that it deserves!

Well done Anne!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While none are perfect and we all fall short of the glory of God, this album is as near to perfection as we mere mortals achieve. Even the production value is fabulous: from the cover to the clarity of the recording, the setting to sonorous tone of the Strads, it's hard to imagine improvements. Other reviewers will more elequoently describe the joys of each piece, I will simply sum up my experience as this: were the notion of sublime to take musical form, this is what you would hear. A truly terrific album.
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By music7lover on February 14, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Meyers is at it again with incredible programming and such beauty of phrasing and sound. So fun to hear the Double too after such delicious gems
as 'Air', 'Largo' and the 'Ave Maria'. This is a classic and an album all should keep in their record collection for years to come.....
Thank you!!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Meyers and the English Chamber Orchestra do an outstanding job on this album bringing Bach's music to life. I routinely listen to European versions of this music. Air makes the same old music feel like a living entity. I found myself listening to the album over and over. There is nothing mechanic or rushed in this interpretation. The music ebbs and flows like a tidal river. Well Done!
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Format: Audio CD
I saw Anne Akiko Meyers perform the Barber Violin Concerto in concert about half a decade ago with my local orchestra. What impressed me most in that performance was Meyers' fire and bowing. Here, and now, she impresses differently. A New Yorker born 1970, Meyers is neither as well known as young virtuosos of the Hilary Hahn, Vanessa Mae, or Julia Fischer mold nor does she have the reputation of more-recorded and/or similarly-established female fiddlers like Lara St. John and Anne-Sophie Mutter. This recording shows she is equal to their talent and probably should have a wider international following.

Meyers plays two showpieces, an arrangement of Bach's Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 and the Ave Maria, plus the Largo from the keyboard concerto BWV 1056 and Bach's Violin Concerto No. 1, all showing off a voluptuous, beautiful tone in an environment where the soloists is clearly the center of attention. She assists herself -- playing two different violins -- in the two-violin concerto where the playing of both parts gets a little out of tune in the finale, another tribute to technical wizardy's inability to overcome musical capability. For the most part, her Bach playing demonstrates sweet tone with comfortable pacing (no period performance horse race), sometimes ravishing beauty of tone, and attention to loving details from both the soloist and the English Chamber Orchestra under Steven Mercurio.

While this issue is recorded well -- aside from Meyers being recorded forward from the orchestra in a decidedly 1970ish way -- and the playing is quite good for the most part, the downside to classical music collectors is this is a vanity project for the soloist.
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this work on Vanlentine's Day. I've listened to the piece without interruption four times now. I am blown away by the artists delivery on Air. I would highly and enthusiastically recommend this collection to any lover of truly great music.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm not a musician. I enjoy music, particularly Bach. I just discovered this artist and am eager to hear more of her work. This piece grabs you by the seat of your pants and pulls you along with it. I can't speak to the technical aspects, but I can tell you it invigorated my mind. I highly recommend this album on the strength of this one piece alone - which is not something I do often.
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Format: MP3 Music
To be very honest, I came across this album totally by chance -- I was looking for music that would both ease my mind and recharge me with additional inner strength. And this record totally does the trick! For one, the sound quality is one of the most vibrant and crystal clear of its kind I have heard. Virtually every slight change of emotion and intensity can be crisply traced (e.g., Track 4 -- 2 Violin Concerto in A minor the 3rd Movement starting 02:29). At the same time, I must say that Meyers's interpretation may well have been the most appropriately expressive one that is allowed given the relatively strict confines of the Baroque Period. Everything is so fluid, coherent, and elegant that you would simply be amazed at how quickly time actually passes by.
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