史提芬．梅库里欧 指挥 英国室内管弦乐团
美日混血小提琴家安．梅耶(Anne Akiko Meyers) 出生於美国圣地牙哥，不凡的音乐魅力来自於她出眾的外型，以及与生俱来的音乐天赋。4岁开始习琴，毕业於茱莉亚音乐学院，师事小提琴教母的桃乐丝．狄蕾（Dorothy Delay）、日裔名师川崎雅夫（Masao Kawasaki）、著名小提琴家Felix Galimir等人。11岁时，安．梅耶首次登台与洛杉磯爱乐合作演出，隔年与祖宾．梅塔及纽约爱乐合作，青少年时期，她的演奏足迹已经遍及世界各地。18岁时，安．梅耶与皇家爱乐合作灌录第一张专辑，演出巴伯、布鲁克小提琴协奏曲，立即成为同年纪音乐家里最耀眼的小提琴家。儘管安．梅耶管长年与世界知名乐团合作，但她却十分神祕低调，媒体曝光度比其它的女小提家还要少。但她在音乐界却拥有超人气风评，包括非古典界的艺人，美声男伶、温顿马沙利斯、麦可．波顿、克里斯．伯堤…等都要指名与她合作。
安．梅耶不仅热爱音乐，更喜爱名琴，她拥有两把义大利制琴大师「史特拉第瓦里」(Stradivarius)的名琴，分别是1730 Royal Spanish和1697 Molitor。在Tarisio的拍卖会上，安．梅耶以360万美金的高价买下1697年的Molitor，创下小提琴拍卖最高价，安．梅耶说她一听琴声，就迷恋上这把琴。这把名为「摩里特」（Molitor）的名琴，名字源自於其中一位收藏者拿破崙时代的一位将军，摩里特伯爵（Gabriel-Jean-Joseph Molitor）。
01. 'Air' from Orchestral Suite No.3 in D major BWV 1068 G弦之歌 （选自 第三号管弦乐组曲）
Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor BWV 1041 第一号小提琴协奏曲
02. I Allegro moderato
03. II Andante
04. III Allegro assai
Violin Concerto No.2 in E major BWV 1042 第二号小提琴协奏曲
05. I Allegro
06. II Adagio
07. III Allegro assai
08. 'Largo' from Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor BWV 1056 慢板（选自 第五号大键琴协奏曲）
Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor BWV 1043 D小调双小提琴协奏曲
09. I Vivace
10. II Largo ma non troppo
11. III Allegro
12. Ave Maria 圣母玛利亚
发行类型： CD . 古典 . 协奏曲 . 小提琴 . 台压 .
Review by James Manheim [-]
This release by California violinist Anne Akiko Meyers looks both backward and forward. Meyers' playing is a throwback to a style of Bach playing that was common a couple of generations ago but isn't much heard anymore: flowery, heavy on the vibrato, a bit sentimental, with moments of slight tempo rubato in both the violin and the orchestral accompaniment of the English Chamber Orchestra (which was always the go-to group for this style) under Steven Mercurio. The novelty factor here involves the magic of overdubbing, which has been commonplace in pop since Patti Page's hits of the 1940s but is still a rarity in classical music: Meyers uses a pair of Stradivarius violins in the Concerto for two violins, strings, and continuo in D minor, BWV 1043, playing both herself. Whether or not you are fully on board with these approaches, you're likely to agree that Meyers executes them both quite well. Her pitch is precise in the Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041, and she pulls on the heartstrings in the arrangements of the so-called Air on a G string from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068, and the Bach/Gounod Ave Marie. But the real attraction is the Double Concerto, where Meyers makes the most of her two violins, the "Molitor" of 1697 (the violin I part) and the "Royal Spanish" of 1730. The latter has a slightly rougher tone that Meyers deploys very effectively in its lower register. Though it's not everyone's cup of tea, this recording has met with well-deserved commercial success.
Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Steven Mercurio
Audio CD (February 14, 2012)
Number of Discs: 1
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Best Recording Yet! February 14, 2012
It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Anne Akiko Meyers, and if you look at my review of her recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, which is out of print, I called that not only her best record ever but the best version of that work in my hunble opinion. However, I need to revise that. While the Mendelssohn is still a wonderful and the best version of that piece her new recording "Air: The Bach Album" is indeed her best CD ever!
Recently Anne became the owner of the "ex-Napoleon/Molitor" Stradivarius violin. You can go to her website and see a video of her talking about it and playing in on the old MSBNC "Countdown" show. While she uses this new vioin on the bulk of the recording, she plays both the "Molitor" and her other Strad the "Royal Spanish" in the Bach; Concerto for Two Violins. While several artists have recorded that concerto and even played both parts nobody has played both parts on two different violins. Also on her webpage is a video discussing this project and you can see her playing the first part in London with the English Chamber Orchestra, on the "Molitor" and the second part in New York on the "Royal Spanish".
Anne's performances of all of the Bach on this recording are stellar. She shows the taste, musicality and wisdom to interpret this timeless music in a manner that speaks to me directly. I am only sorry that I can only give it 5 stars and not the 50 that it deserves!
Well done Anne!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meyers and the English Chamber Orchestra Bring Bach to Life February 15, 2012
By J. Wilson
Format:MP3 Music|Amazon Verified Purchase
Meyers and the English Chamber Orchestra do an outstanding job on this album bringing Bach's music to life. I routinely listen to European versions of this music. Air makes the same old music feel like a living entity. I found myself listening to the album over and over. There is nothing mechanic or rushed in this interpretation. The music ebbs and flows like a tidal river. Well Done!
February 15, 2012 at 5:56 AM
Once, I was young and madly in love -- with the Bach Double. Sadly, I had a hard time finding anyone who had either the skill or will to play it with me. When my parents gave me a nifty, new-fangled cassette tape recorder for Christmas, it took me a while to understand the implications of this technology, but soon enough, I realized: if I recorded the second violin part, I could play the first part, with myself!
Anne Akiko Meyers has taken this idea to an entirely new level: She, too, has recorded the Bach Double with herself, but with the two Stradivari violins she owns, along with the English Chamber Orchestra, Steven Mercurio conducting. It's all part of her newest album, released Valentine's Day, Air: the Bach Album, which also includes Bach Concertos Nos. 1 and 2; "Air" from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D; the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria"; and "Largo" from Concerto for Harpsichord in F m.
Anne Akiko Meyers
You did hear me correctly, Anne, whose recent recordings include Seasons…Dreams and Smile, does own two Stradivaris. About a year ago she acquired the 1697 "ex-Molitar/Napoleon" Strad (for a record price of $3.6 million). She has owned the 1730 "Royal Spanish" Strad since about 2006. At this point, she's planning to keep them both.
"Since I acquired 'Molly,' or the 'ex-Molitor/Napolean' Strad, a lot of people were asking what the differences were between the tone of the two Strads that I own. They really wanted to hear them in concert together," said Anne, when we spoke over the phone last Thursday. "I started to think of what composition would be suitable for this, and then we started to think about Bach, and I thought, how ideal, to record the Bach Double, and to do both parts, which no one has done on two different violins. So it was a very novel idea, on a piece that has been played so much."
So which fiddle stars in which role?
"It was a very easy choice for me, deciding which violin went to which part, because the 'Royal' has a little more masculine kind of sound and is a dark -- tall, dark and handsome man!" she laughed. "The first violin part has so much in the upper register; it really captures the sonorities and overtones in Molly so exquisitely. I really wanted to make sure that it sounded like two different people, too. After I recorded it, I later found the Heifetz recording. I think that the big mistake there was that he was using the same violin, and he also sounded exactly identical in both parts."
Anne said she definitely thinks of "Molly" in the feminine. "She's very responsive, but she's also very pure. And I think there's this cleanliness in the sound that carries over so exquisitely with Bach and Mozart."
In preparation for making an all-Bach album, Anne said she "bathed her soul in Bach," studying authentic ornamentation, tempi and dynamics.
If you strip down all the practices that have evolved around Bach and focus on Bach's manuscript, or the urtext, there's actually a lot of room for interpretation.
"I've studied Bach's markings and realized that there are no dynamics and no tempi markings, and every edition is different," Anne said. "I went back to the Henle edition and realized a lot of people were playing wrong notes, and wrong slurs, which make up the articulations. When you take all these things away, it takes the intimidation away. Nobody truly knows how it sounded back when he composed these pieces -- in a coffee shop! He played the violin concertos in a coffee shop, weekly. That was his getaway. After fathering 20 children, I really don't blame him!"
So what to go by? "The guiding light in Bach's writing is the pulse," Anne said. "It's all set to dances. Basically, if you can dance to the music, you're on the right path. It has to have a lot of energy, and there's always a forward-moving propulsion to his phrases. There's just many layers to his compositional style; but that's what makes it so fun to play."
"A lot of people try to intellectualize Bach, and that's a big problem -- you're looking for a kind of scientific structure to guide you to perform Bach," Anne said. "when you strip that away and you look at the actual music and how it makes you feel, it's just a very profound music, and very original in its style. You can easily speak, and let it breathe."
I asked Anne to share thoughts on what it's like to play a Strad, long-term, in light of the recently-published double-blind violin sound test (that I participated in) in which violinists rated new violins and old ones about the same, based on a short-term test in a hotel room.
"I think there's such a mystique with Strad -- and for a reason," Anne said. "He was a master craftsman, and (Stradivari violins are) so refined. It takes a special kind of technique to understand how to sculpt the sound and to bring it out. I think very few people actually get the opportunity to put a Strad under their chin, let alone spend enough time with it to figure it out, because it does take time. It doesn't play itself; it needs finessing.
"It's like a novel that you were so impressed with and that you return to years later. We all are changing human beings as well, and so what we bring to the instrument changes, as well," Anne said. "I really truly believe that each violin is like a different entity, a different personality, a different soul. It takes time to discover how to finesse that soul, to make it shine and soar as much as possible, in a hall. When you meet anybody, it's impossible to say, 'I know them, they are like A, B, C and D, and this is exactly what you do to make them laugh, to make them cry, to make them angry' -- it's the same thing with the violin! You could spent the rest of your life just discovering, and exploring the depths of a violin. Also, it's just incredible to know the provenance and the history attached to a violin, that a violin has survived longer than we have -- over 300 years! And I can count on one hand, who's owned it. There's something really special about that."
And modern instruments?
"I think violins, in general, need to be broken in, especially when you're in concert mode," Anne said. "Modern violins don't have the history of somebody playing it for a long time, so it can feel like a new sound for quite a while. It just needs to be broken in. With the Strads and Guarneris, you've had 300 years of amateurs and collectors and professionals and people who have really worked on it. I think that the wood is very, very different. I also think there's something about the wood having gone through a cold temperature change on earth. All these things really do make a difference."
Here's another bit of news from Anne: she is expecting her second daughter, due to arrive in early March.
Anne and Natalie
Anne's daughter, Natalie, is 19 months old, and she said she's really enjoyed traveling with her whole family when she performs.
"It's so enriching to be able to do what I really love and then travel with my family and do it together," Anne said. "For decades, I was traveling by myself -- every lonely hotel room and symphony orchestra around the globe! It was great, but so different now. Your priorities completely shift. I feel so thankful, to be able to laugh every single day with something that my daughter does. She loves music so much -- she has a little 1/100-size violin," Anne laughed, "She loves to bang the heck out of! It's super adorable. I highly recommend having children and continuing with your concertizing as much as ever."
"Sleep schedules and things like that just go out the window, unfortunately," Anne said. "You have to be very adaptable, very flexible. It's like being a musician - you just never know what's going to be thrown at you, and so it just builds experience."
Here is Anne, playing the Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria" on the "ex-Molitor/Napolean" Strad in Feb. 2011, with pianist Reiko Uchida.
01. “Air” from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV 1068 (arr. Jeff Kryka)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor BWV 1041
02. i Allegro moderato
03. ii Andante
04. iii Allegro assai
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major BWV 1042
05. i Allegro
06. ii Adagio
07. iii Allegro assai
“Largo” from Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor BWV 1056
08. Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor BWV 1043
09. i Vivace
10. ii Largo ma non tanto
11. iii Allegro
12. Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod) (arr. Jeff Kryka)