Partitas Old and New with Vadim Gluzman
Lera Auerbach’s par.ti.ta is the result of her long-term collaboration with Vadim Gluzman and her lifelong fascination with Bach. There are traces and echoes of Bach throughout the piece, with a relationship more on a subconscious level than in terms of using direct quotes, though identifiable moments can be found. Exploring the outer extremes of the violin’s range and the performer’s technique, this is much more than a flamboyant showpiece, with masses of intriguing material, the technical effects always in place to serve an expressive point. There is a Schnittke-like feel to the dramatic repetitions of the seventh Adagio tragico movement, and the mood in general cannot really be taken as anything other than serious and movingly melancholy as well as excitingly dramatic at times. Bach’s D minor Partita is most famous for its extraordinary final movement, the Chaconne, said to have been composed on learning of his first wife’s death. Brahms describes it the most wonderful, unfathomable piece of music. On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings.