Faultless Winther’s solo captivation

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Kristian Winther on solo violin at the Fitters’ Workshop. Photo: Peter Hislop

Music / CIMF, Concert 2 –  “Winther’s Bach I”. At Fitters’ Workshop, May 4. Reviewed by ROB KENNEDY.

ONE performer and one instrument can hold a large audience captivated for 90 minutes. When it is the music of Bach played by Kristian Winther on solo violin, and all from memory, it’s a feat worth paying attention to.

The tall and talented Kristian Winther, Canberra born and bred, has grown into one of the most idiosyncratic and fearless violinists this country has ever produced. The pieces he performed in this the first of his solo shows of Bach’s violin music were “Sei Solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato” – Part 1. “Sonata No. 1 in G minor”, BWV 1001. “Partita No. 1 in B Minor”, BWV 1002. “Sonata No. 2 in A minor”, BWV 1003.

Closely focusing on the musical mathematics of Bach’s compositions, combined with Winther’s special talent for turning notes into emotions, was worth every bit of intimate attention.

Bach’s music has been captivating audiences for hundreds of years. Such is the fascination with Bach and his music that his sounds have become spellbinding for many, especially when he goes on his long colourful note-filled runs in his solo sonatas. Bach’s brilliance at composition means he could never run out of ideas or material, and he never did. He wrote more than 1100 works.

Winther’s rendition of Bach’s Sonata No. 1, was faultless, nuanced and done with an understanding that showed on his face and in the music. Winther has such a feel for this music, and this might be overstating it, but he knows and played this music so well it was like he wrote it.

The partita with its lively and playful nature was a step above the Sonata No. 1 in style. It simply had more colour and variation. The insight that Winther has into this music seemed to grow with each piece. It was like a study into every note and articulation. At times he was awash in his own music. The audience rushed to applauded on the final note of the partita. It was simply too good a performance to hold back any longer.

The last work in the concert, the Sonata No. 2 seemed to have a more tempered tone. That was until the final allegro movement. With its multitude of notes, scalic passages, and sudden shifts in dynamic all in Bach’s distinctive style, this performance left everyone cheering loudly.

Winther worked his magic on the audience with his exceptional skill and insight into the music of the most known composer ever, and everyone loved it.

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