Movements in Johann Sebastian Bach’s solo violin partitas in D minor (BWV 1004) and E major (BWV 1006) are paired with carefully selected pieces of folk music from Kaustinen, among them two dance tunes by Kentala’s grandfather Wiljami Niittykoski (1895–1985). These two musical traditions may seem far apart but they are able to enter into a discussion with each other, especially because both take strong advantage of dance rhythms.
The light-hearted E major partita in particular is naturally connected with the Finnish polka and waltz tunes. The contact with folk music highlights the capricious features that flavour the strictly logical undercurrent in Bach’s music, shuffling off all unnecessary constraint and letting the partitas get air under their wings.
Kentala’s violin sings lushly in the favourable acoustics of the Kaustinen church.
KREETA-MARIA KENTALA: Side by side
Bach partitas and folk music from Kaustinen
Alba ABCD 388