Daniel Lozakovich – Johann Sebastian Bach
Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Partita No. 2
Kammerorchester des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Radoslaw Szulc, director
Olga Watts, harpsichord
Deutsche Grammophon, 2018
Among many promising debut albums released in recent years, the one recorded by Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovich certainly deserves attention. A young and talented player, Lozakovich was born in 2001 and began playing the violin at the age of seven. He made his debut with the Moscow Virtuosi and later he performed all over the world and won several competitions. In 2016, he signed with Deutsche Grammophon.
For his debut recording, Lozakovich chose two of Bach’s Violin Concertos and his Partita No. 2. Thanks to the booklet notes, we learn that Lozakovich thinks that «playing the music of Bach shows what kind of musician you are, no pose can hide it». Definitely, the portrait of the young violinist that emerges from this recording is one of the most fascinating ones.
Daniel Lozakovich’s Bach: the Performance
Overall, this is one of the best debut recordings I have listened to in recent years.
Thanks to the rich atmosphere that conductor Radoslw Szulc is so eager to produce, the young virtuoso finds himself in a framework which is the most suitable to highlight his qualities. Performing the three works featured in this recording, Lozakovich reveals an impressive, virtually perfect technique together with an understanding and sensitivity that are rare at his age. Bach’s music has an airy quality when Lozakovich performs it with his transparent, expansive playing.
Concerti Nos. 1 & 2
In Lozakovich’s performance you find vibrancy and, at the same time, an incredible control both over his fingers and his emotions. There are warmth and meditation at the same time. Although there is always empathy on Lozakovich’s part, it is his virtuosity that stands out better in the Concertos. His technical assurance allows him to embellish Bach’s music with an intensely personal playing.
Colours and shades are often original and always unexpected and his phrases are constantly coloured with vivid accents. However, there is never opposition with the shimmering orchestral colours, but there is rather a natural blend with them.
Energy is always accompanied by grace and stylishness in the fast movements, which share the same brilliance and emotional engagement. This is the case – for example – of the charming Allegro from the Concerto No. 1, Lozakovich’s liveliness is infectious.
Thoughtful, slow movements, however, are the pieces where Lozakovich completely reveals his sensitivity. In the intense, almost sacred atmosphere of these pieces, Lozakovich finds the way to express the most delicate feelings through his inspired and considerate playing. It is really easy to remember his own words that «Bach brings you closer to God» while listening to him.
The Partita is close to the slow movements of the Concerti and seems their natural continuation. In this regard, its inclusion in this recording makes more sense than it would have if it was just another piece to show off the virtuoso’s qualities. On the contrary, it is a complement to what was in act before.
As for the performance, the situation is reversed in comparison to the Concerti. Even though Lozakovich’s technical skills are one of the elements that attracts the listener’s attention, it is the atmosphere he is able to create – all alone – what is really mesmerizing. In his playing, there is at the same time sacredness and a sense of intimacy. The impression is that the whole work is intended as an introspective journey.