Juno Award-winning artist Lara St. John joins with Marie-Pierre Langlamet, principal harp of the Berlin Philharmonic, to bring new
insight into seminal works recorded in this unique instrumentation for the first time.
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Lara St. John and Marie-Pierre Langlamet
Featuring Sonatas by J.S. Bach Performed on Violin and Harp, released February 14, 2012.
This winter, celebrated violinist Lara St. John and Marie-Pierre Langlamet, principal harpist of the Berlin Philharmonic, present an album of J.S. Bach sonatas offering a new perspective and performed on violin and harp. Always a thought-provoking musician, St. John raises the question of authenticity and performance practice on this new disc. Bach was a prolific composer, but also an inveterate arranger of his own work and that of others. The adaptability of this music, its capacity to be reinterpreted in new contexts, by different instruments, is perhaps its most authentic quality. It is in this spirit that the pieces are performed.
1. SONATA NO. 1 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1014: I. ADAGIO(4:08)
2. SONATA NO. 1 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1014: II. ALLEGRO(3:27)
3. SONATA NO. 1 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1014: III. ANDANTE(2:53)
4. SONATA NO. 1 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1014: IV. ALLEGRO(4:11)
5. SONATA NO. 3 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN E MAJOR, BWV 1016: I. ADAGIO(4:35)
6. SONATA NO. 3 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN E MAJOR, BWV 1016: II. ALLEGRO(3:27)
7. SONATA NO. 3 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN E MAJOR, BWV 1016: III. ADAGIO MA NON TANTO(4:43)
8. SONATA NO. 3 FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN E MAJOR, BWV 1016: IV. ALLEGRO(4:24)
9. SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN G MINOR, BWV 1020: I. ALLEGRO(4:12)
10. SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN G MINOR, BWV 1020: II. ADAGIO(2:50)
11. SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND KEYBOARD IN G MINOR, BWV 1020: III. ALLEGRO(5:31)
12. SONATA FOR FLUTE AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1020: I. ANDANTE(7:59)
13. SONATA FOR FLUTE AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1020: II. LARGO E DOLCE(3:41)
14. SONATA FOR FLUTE AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1020: III. PRESTO(6:20)
15. SONATA FOR FLUTE AND KEYBOARD IN B MINOR, BWV 1020: IV. SICILIANA(2:08)
"St. John pulls from her 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini a tawny sound and subtle but wild interpretive concept that’s both highly addictive and totally authentic.
St. John and Langlamet particularly use this command of the eternally romantic violin and harp genre to exploit the music’s alternating moods of minor-key seriousness and major-key joy and exaltation."
Strings Magazine, April 6, 2012
"Right from the melancholy beauty of the opening Adagio of "Sonata No. 1 in B minor", it's a successful translation, with the subsequent Allegro revealing the dragonfly poise, beauty and manouverability afforded by the combination. The Adagio Ma Non Tanto section of "Sonata No. 3 in E minor" confirms a perfect, nuanced relationship between the two instruments, Lara St. John adding brief sprays of pizzicato at crucial moments. Faithful, yet innovative."
The Independent, April 6, 2012
"These are amazingly cool performances in temperament that generate warmth as the two instruments unite synergistically. On Bach Sonatas, St. John finds a musical soul mate and continues to cultivate her unique approach to making old music new again. The harp is a perfect foil for her crisp interpretation of Bach and Langlamet fully fits the bill as its driver. This prepares Bach for the parlor, that time-tested tradition of intimate performance among close friends."
All About Jazz, March 24, 2012
'Violinist Lara St. John and harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet interact with seamless elegance. The playing is polished and animated, full of subtle shadings.' Grade: A."
Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 18, 2012
"St. John’s finely-played performance deserves focus as she clearly has an affinity for the cadence of Bach. The more subdued keyboard part isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either; Langlamet is a first-rate musician and her harp breathes a lilting freshness into the pieces. Its timbre also lends an appropriately stately aura."
La Scena Musicale, March 2012
Seldom has Bach sounded more delightfully autumnal. What I had initially pegged as a great relaxation album (which I’m sure it is) also contained a poetic allure, in its slow movements, which imbued everything with wonder."
The Times of Trenton Feb 24, 2012
"The joy of the recording is the simple, unusual setting; these sonatas are usually done with harpsichord or piano, and hearing the works performed with harp accompaniment make them seem fresh, delicate and wholly new."
Rhapsody.com, Feb 2012
MULTICHANNEL DISC OF THE MONTH ***** (five stars)
"When the music is as brilliant and sparkling as we have here—Bach would certainly be thrilled—there simply remains no excuse under the sun to avoid acquiring this disc immediately. This composer oozes from the souls of these two performers."
Audiophile Audition review, Jan 31, 2012
"....this is a refereshing take on Bach that shows some rethinking of the issues of historically informed practices of versus modern performances and shows there are more than just two ways to interpret the music.."
AllMusic.com, Feb 2012
"...the two of them give the music an impressive range of dynamics and textures. This is music of melting loveliness..."
Buffalo News Review, Feb 1, 2012
"The presence of harp instead of harpsichord (or piano) imparts a somewhat folk-like inflection and buoyancy, giving JSB's tunes a nice, palpable contrast with St. John's soulful, plaintive yet commanding violin. **** 1/2 (4 and a half stars)"
Icon Magazine, Feb 2012
" Serene. Passionate. Powerful. Restrained. Thoughtful. Abandoned..."
The London Free Press January 19, 2012
" Indeed, after hearing just the first sonata, I couldn't imagine wanting to hear it any other way......The results are not just enchanting but sometimes stunning, turning familiar tunes into welcome new creations"
Classical Candor January 17th, 2012
" Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat. She is uninhibited, sometimes strikingly so.....But what makes her unique is the way she puts everything together. She has utter command of the material and the instrument. And she has seemingly utter spontaneity...."