J S Bach: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Daniel Lozakovich (violin), Kammerorchester des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Radoslaw Szulc (leader).
Daniel Lozakovich was born in Stockholm in 2001 and began playing the violin when he was almost seven. He made his solo debut two years later with the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Vladimir Spivakov in Moscow. Subsequently Daniel has performed with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, the Orchestre National de France and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he achieved second prize in the Junior section of the 2014 Menuhin Competition in Austin, Texas. In 2016, aged 15, he signed a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, then the youngest musician signed to DG. This is his debut recording on which he performs Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041, Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1042 and the Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004.
Daniel clearly has a stunning technique, well-nigh perfect intonation, and an excellent bowing technique that enables him to produce a wonderfully pure sound. In the two violin concertos he delivers a performance way beyond his years and shows that he is a thoughtful young musician who has considered these works carefully. Nowadays we are nearly always presented with works by Bach recorded on period-instruments. Here we have a recording on modern instruments delivered with a sense of period style². Daniel Lozakovich plays a 1713 violin, in modern tuning, and according to the accompanying booklet, he also directs the orchestra¹.
Whilst the second partita is excellently played, and shows another side of the young performer, I’m uncertain as to whether this is an appropriate filler. For me it does not follow on naturally from the two concertos and for many purchasers it might not hold the same appeal. Nonetheless I would welcome hearing Daniel performing more of Bach’s works for solo violin.
To sum up we have excellent solo playing from a highly talented young violinist who blends well with the chamber orchestra. Lozakovich gives us an uncompromising performance and has clearly got much to say about performing Bach. The sound quality from Deutsche Grammophon is very good indeed and further enhances one’s listening pleasure. In a highly competitive field this release would not be my first choice for any of these works but it is more than just a stunning debut album and has much to offer those who prefer a non-HIP performance of Bach. DG’s talent spotters have once again done an excellent job and I await further releases featuring Daniel with great enthusiasm.
¹ The album notes advise that the ‘youthful violinist is not only seeking to perform as partners with the orchestra – he also strives to “make chamber music together.” This takes place without a conductor, in direct communication with the chamber orchestra of
the Bavarian Radio Symphony.’
² If you enjoyed Neville Marriner’s pioneering recordings of these concertos with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields then this is a great follow-up.