They are the solo violin sonatas of J.S. Bach, and these heartfelt words were uttered by Midori Seiler, one of the top international exponents in period performance practice. Bach is so rigorous here in his demands on the little four-stringed violin for the many-voiced splendour of his polyphonic writing, so finger-twistingly exacting, that a true “command” of these works is the work of a lifetime. It is the goal and aspiration of every artist to realize the instrumental architecture of these compositions. Bach here reveals his utter mastery of the medium, positively lavish in applying his palette of colours and harmonies, displaying the breadth and depth of his tonal language.
The desire to achieve complete mastery of the violin sonatas of Bach, says Midori Seiler, has been the driving force behind her music-making for many years. Yet although – both as an exponent and as a professor of the Baroque violin – she is committed to period performance practice, she is adept in many more styles, such as contemporary dance productions. And yet she keeps coming back to Bach’s “Sei Solo”, the foundation of her love for the violin. This recording is an authentic document of her musical mastery and love.
Midori Seiler plays an Andrea Guarneri violin of 1680 with a Baroque bow to draw out the melodic lines of the individual voices with a touch that is incomparably sensitive and tender, powerful and songful, building them up into the composition’s mighty edifice. She thus demonstrates her true ability: expressing in filigree detail the profundity of these works behind the virtuosity. Cöthen, where Bach was living when he wrote his violin sonatas, plays an important part in the creation of this CD, which was recorded in the Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Saal of Cöthen Castle.