“Remix” = BACH: Chaconne, Selected Works for Solo Violin, arranged for Piano – Tanya Gabrielian, piano – MSR Classics

“Remix” = BACH: Chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2 in d, BWV 1004 (arr. Alexander Siloti); Violin Sonata No.3 in C, BWV 1005 (four movements in sequence, arr. Bach, Saint-Saens, Saint-Saens, Arturo Cardelus); Andante from Violin Sonata No. 2 in a, BWV 1003 (arr. Alexander Siloti); Cello Suite No. 2 in d, BWV 1008 (arr. Leopold Goldowsky) – Tanya Gabrielian, piano – MSR Classics MS 1594, 60:54 [Distr. by Albany] *****:

Sit back, relax, and let your spirit soar.

I’ve been waiting for an album like this; though I much prefer the Busoni arrangement of the Chaconne to that of Siloti—who is still excellent—there are some marvelous moments to be had from this release. Bach, of course, was no stranger to the idea of performing his music for solo strings on keyboard, and multiple sources indicate that he did just this, and often, having no reserve, and even seeing it as a necessity that additional harmony be added. Many composers, including Brahms and Schumann, have done just that in different circumstances and for different reasons. The transcribers here were all Bach lovers, and there is not a dud in the bunch. The performances are transcendent, idiomatic, and, simply, gorgeous.

Pianist Tanya Gabrielian, a heralded artist of depth and intellectual achievement, came to love the solo string work of Bach during a month-long hospital recuperation from an accident incurred while engaging in a martial arts sparring session. She states that it was this music that elevated her sufferings and exalted her spirit, without which she might not have made it through the experience. If you believe, as she obviously does, that things work out for the best, this album is surely a testament to that fact. Great sound, great performances, and I hope to hear more from her.

— Steven Ritter

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