"Fastest" 15 Minutes in Music

I just got thru listening to the Chaconne movement of Bach's D minor violin sonata. The title of my post refers to the fact that every time I listen to this thing, time seems to stand still. This piece is monumental, profound, mysterious, tender, nerve-shattering; any adjective you care to come up with falls short. It is a world. How somebody could do (write) all this with one violin is beyond me. Beyond everyody except Bach I guess. Yes, the recording on my system sounds wonderful, as if the player is in the next room, but all audiophile considerations are forgotten in a moment, just leaving this great music. At the risk of sounding banal or hackneyed: this really is what it's all about, isn't it?

Steve O.
Steve - please provide specifics to the Bach composition and recording you are listening to if at all possible. Thanks for the rave.
I agree--that is wonderful, wonderful music. Grab a young person, shut them in the room with this on the hi-fi and tell them they can come out in 15 minutes. The same young person will not walk out of the room a quarter hour later.

My best version of it just now is James Ehnes', on Analekta.
And now the inevitable quiz - which pressing sounds best (vinyl pls)?
Hey Ghosthouse. I already listed the piece/movement; here are the two recording I have of this:

Julia Fischer on Pentatone: hybrid sacd. Wonderful sound (even on my 20-year-old CD player). Comes with all the Bach Partitas and sonatas (2-cd's and not cheap). This was the one I was listening to tonight.

Hilary Hahn on Sony: Redbook. Sound not as natural as the one above, but I think Hahn's playing is more dynamic and profound. I recommend this one over the former.

Tobias: Very good idea. Who can fail to be moved by this music? I myself was staggering out of the listening room!
I have not heard of the Ehnes; will look into it. I also have orchestral arrangements (Stokowsky and I forget the other). While I enjoy these, the piece is best for solo violin I think.

Steve O.
The versions by Holloway and St John are also excellent.
What an excellent thread! If you like opera, I can recommend a 5 minute piece where time seems to stand still.

Track #8
Aida: O terra, addio; addio, valle di pianti (4:49)

Verdi: Arias & Duets / Plácido Domingo
EMI Classics - Greatest Artists of the Century

Conductor: Riccardo Muti
Placido Domingo (Tenor)
Montserrat Caballe (Soprano)
Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano)

Regards, Rich
Thanks, Steveott...I am not familiar with the piece and didn't understand your reference to the "Chaconne movement". Thanks for the recommendations.
Love Bach and Vivaldi and come to think of it Albinoni isn't bad either.
Steve, are you refering to "Partita No. 2 In D Minor: V Ciaccona"?

Yes, that's it, you're right. I called it a sonata, but it's a partita. Ciaccona is the Italian spelling, I believe. Chaconne is the English.
Rich: Not into opera yet; my wife keeps trying. I think we have Aida though...

Steve O.
Good thread. Some of the most valuable things I have gained from Audigon are not equipment related at all. But they enhance the musical experience every bit as much or more than a mega buck upgrade.
Steve O. - thanks for the recommendation ... just picked up the SACD on Amazon for $19 used. You're right ... new is a little pricey ($30).

Give that particular track from Aida a shot. At last year's Stereophile show, I used that track to demo the Dragonfly monitors that the Soundsmith sells. The track has special meaning to me mostly because it was one of the few pieces of music whose sheer intrinsic beauty brought me any sense of peace after my grandson passed away. Long story short, after hearing the aria, Soundsmith's head engineer (Peter) offers to buy the CD from me. I was surprised in a way, because the Soundsmith is truly committed to the vinyl experience and it makes some great sounding vinyl products. I gave Peter the CD ... it's our duty to pass on great music.

Regards, Rich
Bbro: I agree totally. Well said.

Strateahed: you're very welcome. And that's a good price.

Rarl: last post was very moving. I'll be sure to look for that piece tonight. If I don't have it, I'll get it.

Steve O.
Ghosthouse, that link didn't work for me, so here's an attempt at posting the one that did:

Thanks, Tobias. I see the link I tried to post got truncated.
Regarding the Bach Partita No. 2 for solo violin, try the Arthur Grumiaux recording on Philips:

Bach Partita No. 2 in in D Minor

Both the quality of the performance and the quality of the sound are excellent. And, in this Philips two-CD package, you get all the Bach works for solo violin at a very reasonable price.

Rar1 (Rich), I agree that the the closing scene of Aida is one of the most touching moments in opera. I have the complete opera both on LP (Solti/Price/Vickers) and on CD (Karajan/Tebaldi/Bergonzi). Both performances are excellent, but the duet by Renata Tebaldi and Carlo Bergonzi is my favorite by a slim margin. In either case, just as you said, time stands still for a moment.

This is what it's all about folks!

03-13-08: Steveott
Julia Fischer on Pentatone: hybrid sacd. Wonderful sound (even on my 20-year-old CD player). Comes with all the Bach Partitas and sonatas (2-cd's and not cheap). This was the one I was listening to tonight.

I bought this SACD/CD hybrid, and it's not my cup of tea.

So, I have it for sale at $18.49 if anyone is interested.