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J. S. Bach: Six Violin Sonatas (including 2 alternative movements) - Monica Huggett / Ton Koopman

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Audio CD, November 25, 1985
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Product Details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (November 25, 1985)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Philips / Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000E2NA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hervie Syan on October 29, 2011
If you have never heard Huggett before, than this recording of the Bach Violin/Harpsichord Sonatas is a must. Huggett/Koopman provide a most authoritative interpretation - ever passionate and yet always with a firm control of the expressive qualities of the music. Huggett is a most wonderful Baroque violinist and her sense of line and nuance brings these pieces to the very best they can be. I've always loved Koopman's playing of Bach's organ works and his harpsichord skills are second to none (and equal to Pinnock.)

As for the actual music - these Sonatas are a joy full of the deep range of human emotions that we always hear in the majesty of Bach's compositions.

I've heard this recording many times but have yet to purchase it on CD - owning it on Vinyl these many years.

One of my favorite Bach recordings ever and this is a wonderful introduction to the musicianship of Huggett!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jt52 on October 30, 2013
When I use the word “reading”, it is a considered choice. Monica Huggett and Tom Koopman provide us with a technically adept but interpretation-less recording of JS Bach’s 6 sonatas for harpsichord and violin. In fact, the session sounds like two very proficient instrumentalists who sat down and simply played through the 6 sonatas. Huggett is in particular responsible – she plays the music like an exercise, with a lack of rhythmic flexibility or dynamic variety. An example is the beautiful chaconne Adagio of the 3rd sonata, played without affect or expression despite the music’s emotion.

Koopman is a tad better. He plays a rich sounding harpsichord foregrounded in this recording, reflecting the fact that the sonatas place the keyboard on equal footing with the fiddle. I thought perhaps the best track on this 2-CD set was the central harpsichord solo in the 6th sonata, which Koopman plays with verve. But one criticism that can be leveled at him is the lack of timbral variety. The use of different registers or sounds, used effectively in the recording done by Davitt Moronoey with violinist John Holloway – like the Huggett/Koopman effort a historically-informed performance (HIP) – is here completely absent. I consider this a significant weakness because these 6 sonatas, as beautiful as they are, hold the risk of running together in a sort of blended uniformity.

In terms of sound engineering, this 1985 release is well done, with clear, pleasing sound. I’ve owned the set for close to two decades and obviously have quite a few criticisms of it borne out of many efforts to like it. As an alternative, I recommend the John Holloway version mentioned above although the classic Arthur Grumiaux release (like the Huggett, on the Philips label) retains its excellence and doesn’t sound all that different from the Huggett/Koopman collaboration.
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