This recording is something of a surprise. If you look at the back cover you will see what looks like a collection of holiday snaps which are in fact photos of David Juritz playing his violin in all kinds of unusual locations. In 2007 he busked his way around the world, funding his travels by playing these works of Bach wherever he found himself. His achievement allowed him to establish a music charity called Musequality, which would appear to be going from strength to strength, but which no doubt could use all our support.
Playing on the streets teaches you ways of communicating with music which are entirely different to that in the concert hall. Being on the same level and sharing the same space rather than on the rarefied altar of a stage can be confrontational and challenging, but it can also create the most magical moments, and it is on those moments that one tries to build. This is something which I feel is carried through in Juritz’s Bach. Beautifully recorded in Nimbus’s own Wyastone Concert Hall on a 1748 Guadagnini violin, not the violin he busked with by the way, this cycle of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas is very attractive indeed. Juritz doesn’t go in for the heavier kinds of expression of older generations represented by Joseph Szigeti, nor does he labour with unnatural rubati, vibrato, or eccentric extremes of ornamentation. Everything sounds fresh and natural, not over-dramatised, but with full of warm and welcoming expression. One can feel Juritz values Bach as a kind of priceless gift which he can give unreservedly, and with a sense of musical story-telling which I find increasingly beguiling the more I hear it.
I stand by my admiration for David Juritz’s performances of these Bach works, “the Bible of the violin.” This has been an ambitious project, and one which has been brought off with a great deal of success. Even if I wouldn’t consider these performances of the absolute very highest order, I would still commend this release for its great candour of expression and lack of pretension. This is the kind of story which inspires me to pick up my instrument and try the same thing. The way things are at the moment I would no doubt be arrested within minutes and make it no further than my local police station let alone a train station, but the idea and the fact of its realisation is marvellous proof of what one person can achieve. This recording is testament to one man’s message to the world, and I salute his achievement on the street corner as well as under the spotlight of the microphone.
Dominy Clements, Musicweb-international.com