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Joseph Magil
American Record Guide, May 2017

[Michael Barenboim] is a very talented violinist whose playing is immaculate and who gives no hint of strain playing this difficult music. He is a thoughtful programmer too. Bartok’s solo sonata and Bach’s Solo Sonata 3 are here because Bartok heard Yehudi Menuhin play that very Bach sonata before he wrote his own solo sonata for Menuhin. I am also happy to report that he plays the original quarter tones in the finale of the Bartok. His playing is very clear and analytical, which is perfect for all of the works he plays here. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, May 2017

Michael Barenboim, son of Daniel, journeys from Johann Sebastian Bach to Pierre Boulez via Béla Bartók, not in chronological terms, but as a full-circle recital, Boulez to Boulez. His Anthèmes I (1992) is a dazzling jeu d’esprit played brilliantly that might be heard as having Bartókian ingredients, and that before his Solo Sonata is heard in this context. Bartók’s expansive four-movement Sonata finds Barenboim in gutsy and confident form for the arresting opening gesture and he goes on to use his virtuosic technique to clarify this complex music with shape and intensity, continued into the remaining movements, whether severe, touchingly expressive or, finally, racy and folksy (the last movement is without quartertones, as per Menuhin’s edition). © 2017 Classicalsource.com Read complete review




Robin Stowell
The Strad, April 2017

This unusual programme demands the kind of disciplined virtuosity that Michael Barenboim (son of Daniel) has in spades. His performances, flawlessly reproduced, are utterly persuasive and compelling. He has Boulez’s first-hand approval of his interpretation of the theatrical gestures of Anthèmes I & II and gives strikingly authoritative accounts, skilfully supported in Anthèmes II by Jérémie Henrot’s electronics. © 2017 The Strad Read complete review




Andrew Clements
The Guardian, March 2017

Michael Barenboim’s debut recording as a solo violinist seems very much a statement of artistic intent. He has clearly inherited his father Daniel’s enthusiasm for Boulez’s music, and frames this disc with the two versions of Anthèmes from the 1990s, the first purely acoustic, the second using IRCAM’s digital hardware to elaborate and multiply the same capricious material through real-time transformations and reflections.

Both versions get high-voltage performances from Barenboim, and his accounts of Bartók’s immense and immensely difficult Sonata and the third of Bach’s solo sonatas that come between them have the same crackling intensity. Bartók composed his sonata after hearing Yehudi Menuhin play Bach’s C major sonata, and Barenboim emphasises the similarities between the two works, perhaps making the Bach just a little too unremittingly intense in the process. © 2017 The Guardian Read complete review



Charlotte Gardner
Gramophone, March 2017

Barenboim makes it all sound easy, …with performances spilling over with life and drama. Every work’s soul has been ignited and revealed, every second telling a story, all unmarred by a single glitch in intonation or articulation. The Anthèmes, with their cornucopia of violin techniques and effects, sound at times like musical liquid. Their pizzicato sections heap on further delights, pinging gloriously through the air. As for the Bach, this is strong and direct even in its tender moments; physical-sounding, but with the effortless physicality of a top athlete rather than being a Herculean struggle, and with each polyphonic strand characterfully voiced.

Decide for yourself whether the acoustic is overpowering or invigorating; this is indisputably exciting playing across an indisputably effective programme. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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