|Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins (BWV1043)
I. Vivace (4:00) mp3
II. Largo ma non tanto (7:33) mp3
III. Allegro (5:09) mp3
Mark Ptashne, violin
Adrian Levine, violin
Brian Manker, cello
Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord
Da-Hong Seetoo, tonemeister
ABOUT THE PLAYERS
Mark Ptashne holds the Ludwig Chair of Molecular Biology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, his work on gene regulation has garnered numerous national and international awards including the Lasker Prize for Basic Research. In addition to his many research papers, he has written two books: A Genetic Switch (now in its third edition) and Genes and Signals (co-authored with Alex Gann). He studied science (not music, alas) at Reed College and then Harvard University. He has studied the violin privately with Roman Totenberg, Eric Rosenblith and Patty Kopec, and now studies with Mela Tenenbaum in Brooklyn.
Visit Mark Ptashne's site at the Sloan-Kettering Institute
Articles by Mark Ptashne:
On Learning to Write
On Speaking, Writing and Inspiration
Adrian Levine is Professor of violin at the Royal College of Music in London and Tutor at Chethams School of Music in Manchester. He has held several prominent positions, including Concertmaster of the Opera House of Rome under Giuseppe Sinopoli, Associate Concert Master of the London Philharmonia, and Assistant Concertmaster of the Academy of St Martins-in-the Field. He also founded and led the Amphion String Quartet in London. His first teachers included Gyorgy Pauk and Emanuel Hurwitz at the Royal Academy of Music, and he then worked with members of the Amadeus Quartet and with the great Polish virtuoso Henryk Szerying.
Brian Manker, a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, is Solo Cellist of the Orchestra Symphonique de Montreal and teaches cello at McGill University. A frequent soloist with the OSM, he has also performed throughout North America as a member of the Harrington String Quartet, the Atlanta Chamber Players, and with other distinguished artists. He can be heard on numerous chamber music and orchestral recordings. He has formed a critically-acclaimed sonata recital partnership with the pianist André Laplante, and is the co-director of Festival Alexandria.
Bradley Brookshire is Director of Graduate Studies in the Conservatory of Music, Purchase College (SUNY) New York. Hailed by New York Magazine as "a leading light of New York's original-instrument scene," he has emerged as one of most noted Bach interpreters of his generation. His distinctive approach to Bach's harpsichord music has led to sustained critical acclaim by The New York Times (his interpretation of Bach's French Suites was named a New York Times "Critic's Choice" Recording of year 2001), Goldberg Magazine, Stereophile Magazine, and The American Record Guide, among others. For more information, visit www.BachHarpsichord.com.
ABOUT THE RECORDING
Da-Hong Seetoo, a Curtis and Juilliard-trained violinist, ranks among today's most sought-after classical recording producers and engineers. Winner of five Grammy Awards, he combines the latest software technologies with his own custom-designed electronics, achieving unparalleled musical and sonic results. His deep musical knowledge and pursuit of perfection have earned him the trust of some of the world's most prestigious and prolific recording artists, who have often likened him to a valued member of their ensembles. He has produced records for the classical music industry's most important recording labels.
Levine plays the second solo violin part on the Stradivarius violin known as the 'Willemotte'. It was made in 1734 in Stradivarius' 90th year, and is one of the last violins attributed solely to this maker. Ptashne plays the first solo part on the violin made by Guarneri Del Gesù known as the 'Plowden'. It was made in 1735, and has long been recognized as one of the finest Del Gesùs in existence. For an extensive and novel analysis of these violins see the DVD STRAD3D issued by Sam Zygmuntowicz. Manker's cello was made by Sam Zygmuntowicz, in Brooklyn, in 2005. Instruments made by this modern luthier are played in concert by many prominent musicians including Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarnei Quartet and by all four members of the Emerson Quartet. Brookshire's harpsichord was made in 1991 by Philip Tyre after the 1738 Christian Vater harpsichord now in the Nurnberg Musical Instrument Museum.
The original drawing on the frontispiece is by Jules Feiffer. This artist is known in the world of Arts and Letters as Jules Feiffer.
The music, the Bach Violin Concerto in D minor (BWV1043) for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo, is usually played by two solo violins and orchestra. In our recording a harpsichord and a cello play the orchestral parts. The solo violins are more prominent, and the feeling of the piece is rather different, more intimate, when performed this way.