Bach's Long Shadow
Label: ORCHID CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Chen, Stella; Fullana, Francisco
Spanish-American violinist Francisco Fullana has taken the Partita No. 3 in E by J.S. Bach and built around it a programme of interlinked yet contrasting works, resulting in an original and intricately constructed album. J.S. Bach’s output has had a far-reaching impact, casting the Long Shadow that gives this album its name. Fullana uses gut strings, a baroque bow and historically informed ornamentation for his performance of Bach’s E minor Partita, creating a pared-down, immediate interpretation. Ysaÿe was inspired to write his Op. 27 Sonatas after hearing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas. Yet whereas Bach’s music demands restraint from the performer, Ysaÿe’s encourages virtuosity. There is darkness in this Sonata, too, and Fullana performs the work with electrifying energy. Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo & Scherzo was dedicated to Ysaÿe, and Fullana feels a special kinship with Kreisler: he plays Kreisler’s first Guarneri violin, the 1735 ‘Mary Portman’ Guarneri del Gesù. The recital culminates in Ysaÿe’s Sonata for Two Violins. Ysaÿe wrote the work to perform with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, who gave her name to a violin competition that was most recently won by violinist Stella Chen, Fullana’s duo partner on this album.