About the album
The cycle of six solo Sonatas and Partitas by J.S. Bach is arguably one of the most powerful and most important compositions in musical history. These works have been with Linus Roth since he was nine years old, when he first learned the Gigue from the E major Partita, moving on by the age of twelve to the first Fugue in G minor to tackling at fifteen the Ciaconna, which represents a cosmos in its own right. By seventeen, Roth had finally learned the entire oeuvre for the first time and since then he is fortunate to have been able to grow as a musician through the constant and welcome challenge of interpreting these remarkable works.
Bach did not write ‘Six Solos’ on the cover of the score, but instead wrote ‘Sei Solo’ in Italian, which can have two meanings: the word ‘Sei‘ can be translated both as the number six and also as ‘You are’. ‘You are alone’ - Bach is unlikely to have left something so important to chance or to be playing a simple word game. This announcement – if it is even to be seen as a reminder from the composer to the performer - must be taken seriously and Linus has always viewed it as an invitation to interpret the music as freely as the musical text allows, which for him became a guiding principle in his quest for his own interpretation.
This recording was made during lockdown, in which all of our lives have had to be reduced to a minimum in almost every area. The chance to renew the intense preoccupation with this miraculous music in preparation for the recording was a huge privilege as it allowed Linus an escape into a spiritual freedom which helped me greatly on a personal level at this time.
Not only did Roth's teachers and the interpretations of great violinists have a huge influence on how he plays Bach, but also his preoccupation with the original text and with what is known as ‘historically informed performance practice’, in particular the experience of playing with the type of convex Baroque bow that was used in Bach’s time. Due to its bend and the different weight distribution, it has a different nature to the concave curved bow used today, which leads to a slight decrescendo phrasing where several notes are slurred together towards the tip of the bow. In Linus' opinion, the modern bow suits the modern violin better and enables a wider range of sounds, which is why he tries to translate these Baroque-style experiences to the modern bow.
While the slurs and other details in the musical text were not always adhered to in years gone by, further meticulous examinations of the text have resulted in music editions that faithfully reproduce all the details of Bach’s handwriting, yielding fascinating results.
In Bach’s hands, the Partita, a series of linked dance movements, is transformed from music with the specific purpose of entertainment into art music.
11Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 I. Allemanda
12Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 II. Double
13Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 III. Courante
14Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 IV. Double
15Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 V. Sarabande
16Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 VI. Double
17Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 VII. Tempo di Bourrée
18Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 VIII. Double
19Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 I. Allemande
110Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 II. Courante
111Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 III. Sarabande
112Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 IV. Gigue
113Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 V. Ciaccona
114Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 I. Preludio
115Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 II. Loure
116Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 III. Gavotte en Rondeau
117Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 IV. Menuet I
118Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 V. Menuet II
119Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 VI. Bourrée
120Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 VII. Gigue
After the intimate and at the same time very intense album with solo sonatas for violin by Weinberg, violinist Linus Roth is in a perfect flow, because he releases another new album! Again with Russian composers: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto op. 35 and Dmitri Shostakovich' Violin Concerto no.2 op. 129 which Linus Roth has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Sanderling. In an breathtaking video Linus Roth ...