Gidon Kremer, born, in 1947 in Riga, has followed an original career path as a violinist. A student of David Oistrakh at the Moscow Conservatory, and awarded 1st prize at the Queen Elisabeth competition at the age of 20, he could have taken the fast track to success. Instead of that he decided to champion the music of the 20th century and of contemporary composers such as Kancheli, Pärt, Schnittke and Gubaidulina.
But as is the case for any self-respecting violinist, the works for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, the be-all and end-all of works for the instrument, are a rite of passage. We see him in 2001 in a Baroque church in Lockenhaus, the festival he founded in Austria, performing the three partitas. Kremer had recorded these pieces twenty-five years ago (with Melodya) but hadn't recorded anything else until this live recording in Lockenhaus.
Contrary to many of his fellow musicians, the Baltic violinist offers us a powerful, lively and almost sanguine Bach. A very personal vision that leaves no one indifferent.
Bach Collegium Japan
Verbier Festival 2009