Bach violin concertos (DG)
★★★★ (out of five)
Averse as I am to teenage prodigies, I heard Daniel Lozakovich in a Berlin nightclub this week and had no doubt from the first touch of bow on string that he is the genuine article. Sixteen years old, raised in Stockholm by Kazak-Russian parents, he gives the impression of belonging nowhere but some deep place inside himself. Fresh from a sleepless night on a bench in Tokyo airport where his flight had been cancelled, he draws energy — as the great ones do — from an audience. No-one breathed on the dance-floor during his Bach Partita.
His DG debut recording is the automotive definition of an elephant — a Volkswagen designed by committee. Someone must have demanded an orchestra; the chamber ensemble of Bavarian Radio does the business, though without much character. The two concertos are cleanly dispatched, the soloist maintaining just about enough distinction to hold the line.
The payoff comes in the D minor solo partita where Daniel Lozakovich is so much in his natural element that I am minded of the ineffable Nathan Milstein with his oh-so-easy bowing arm and the twinkle never far from his left eye. Lozakovich plays with the kind of command you don’t learn from a teacher or from listening to records. He knows what he has to say and he says it entirely in his own way. He’s got it, plain and simple. Listen to this track and you will be in at the start of a very illustrious life’s journey.