By John von Rhein
December 11, 2012
The Chicago-born violinist Jennifer Koh, who is appearing at this week's Chicago Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts, presents the first of a three-part series of studio recordings based on her recital series linking J.S. Bach's Sonatas and Partitas to modern-day solo violin works. Both Eugene Ysaye's fanciful Sonata No. 2 and Missy Mazzoli's "Dissolve, O My Heart," which deploys sonorous double-stops in intriguing combinations, incorporate quotations from Bach's third and second partitas, respectively. All four works are included on the disc, along with Kaija Saariaho's "Nocturne," a spare study in pitched and unpitched sounds seeking the light of transcendence. Koh's sovereign technical command and probing musicality carry this absorbing program, which ends with an elegantly poised account of the famous Chaconne from Bach's Partita No. 2.
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