Anne Akiko Meyers: Air – The Bach Album
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Label: eOne Music
- “Air” from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
- Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 (i. Allegro moderato)
- Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 (ii. Andante)
- Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 (iii. Allegro assai)
- Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042 (i. Allegro)
- Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042 (ii. Adagio)
- Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042 (iii. Allegro assai)
- “Largo” from Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056
- Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1043 (i. Vivace)
- Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1043 (ii. Largo ma non tanto)
- Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1043 (iii. Allegro)
- Ave Maria
The moment of truth:
How would you describe your impression of Baroque music — that is, classical music from some 300 years ago?
Too intense and serious? Monotonous, almost mechanical? Hardly enjoyable?
Wait until you give Anne Akiko Meyers’ Air — The Bach Album a try.
As suggested by the title, this album is a collection of simply the very best violin pieces that Johann Sebastian Bach, the Baroque composer whose masterpieces by and large laid the foundation for the entire history of classical music, had ever written. And by the very best, I mean they are all not only technically sophisticated and structurally neat and coherent, but also downright beautiful, to the extent that they would likely touch the very bottom of your heart. In other words, it would be hard to imagine that anyone would find the pieces boring or uninspiring.
A pretty bold statement I’ve just made, huh?
But this album definitely has the substance to back me up. For one, the sound quality is one of the most crystal clear and vibrant of its kind I have heard. Virtually every slight change of emotion and intensity can be crisply traced. A case in point would be Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 (iii. Allegro assai) beginning 02:29 , where Meyers’ violin virtuoso is demonstrated to its fullest extent.
Then there is a most sublime interpretation of one of the most popular wedding pieces of all time — the opening track, “Air” from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 , which, according to Meyers herself, is “a piece that connects one back to one’s roots in the heart.” Indeed, she succeeds in conveying such delicate sentiments to her audience with her subtly genuine emotions as well as impeccably personable technicality that could potentially melt even the coldest heart one could imagine. And in case this track alone does not do the trick, I can assure you that “Largo” from Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056 , and/or the closing number, Ave Maria , will.
In terms of performance, Meyers’ 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.
Are you ready to give Baroque music a chance?