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Bachcast 54: Partita no. 1, BWV 1002

Bach's first partita from his Sei Solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato is a set of four baroque dances coupled with doubles, or variations of the dances that preceed the first. There's a tight connection between the themes across the dances which is only intensified by the inclusion of variations for each one.

The performances here show very viable interpretations but the ripe opportunity for different interpretations. These performers take Bach's working material and vary it to their own devices, from Bach's use of double stopped chords at rhythmically-important places, of both small and big phrases, of the tempos of dances, and improvisation, as much as these performers feel allowed, through ornaments and through the decoration of phrases.

Performances sampled:

  • Gunar Letzbor (Pan Classics)
  • Viktoria Mullova (Philips Classics)
  • Viktoria Mullova (Onyx)
  • Gidon Kremer (ECM New Series)
  • Itzhak Perlman (EMI)
  • Hélène Schmitt (Alpha)
  • Isabelle Faust (Harmonia Mundi)

We also open with a quotation from a solo sonata by Johann Pisendel from Johannes Pramsohler (Bach & Entourage, Audax, 2015).

Bachcast 55: Fugue in G minor, BWV 885

Bachcast 53: Concerto(s) for 2 Soloists, BWV 1043 and 1062