in Reviews

Bach gets air under his wings

by Anna Pulkkis

Baroque violinist Kreeta-Maria Kentala combines on her recording her two strong areas of expertise, baroque and folk music, in a most innovative and fruitful way.

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.


Bach partitas and folk music from Kaustinen

Alba ABCD 388