* Notes *
Violinist Isabelle Faust (pictured left, photograph by Felix Broede) played Bach's Sonatas and Partitas BWV 1001–1006 at Hotel Schweizerhof yesterday evening as part of Lucerne Festival zu Ostern. Faust's playing is fluent, her technique secure. Her tempi tend to all be rather rapid, and her slower, quieter playing sounded anemic. The Presto of Sonata No. 1 in G minor was breathtakingly speedy, while the Andante of Sonata No. 2 in A minor was a bit tedious. In Faust's performance, it was also difficult to tell that the various movements were based on dance forms, despite the certain light airiness to her playing.
The Allemanda of Partita No. 2 in D minor was wonderfully verdurous, and the Ciaccona also came off well. I felt her Sonata No. 3 in C Major was weakest, though her playing was refined, and the Allegro assai showed off how quickly she can play. Faust managed to play Partita No. 3 in E Major in under twenty minutes. It did not feel rushed, just efficient and effortless. As a performer, Faust is not overly flashy and seemed quite comfortable.
* Tattling *
Several beeps were heard at the beginning of the first piece. The person in Row 3 Seat 8 Right coughed a great deal during Sonata No. 2, but tried her best to muffle herself. She did not return after intermission. It was challenging to exit the hall, as there was only one method of egress. The entryway is narrow and right by the garderobe, so it took nearly 15 minutes to get out the door.