Bach Solo Violin – Lively movements

CD2 starts with the upbeat Bach Preludio in E major. All these pieces are solo violin although they involve playing multiple lines. This one is a lively number with darting articulated passages and complex string crossing patterns.

Autograph of Bach's E major Preludio fro solo violin

Gavotte en Rondeaux in E major is another joyous dance. A repeating rondo theme of about 8 bars, interspersed with variations.

Bourree in E major. This as a dance, sounds like it involves little running steps interspersed with poise and composure… a dainty number.

E major Gigue. This is one of the reasons why I break up the movements and have them played as separate items. This movement is such an unsatisfactory end piece… so I don’t treat it like one.

Presto in G minor. I think this is a popular movement because of the many string crossings. It is dipping and diving acrobatically like a swift.

B minor Corrente. I play this off the string and try to emphasise particular notes to create a melodic line.. very tricky. I think most players play it from the string… a different approach entirely.

The Corrente Double. Oh oh oh!! the corrente double is what I dread. Why? because I have to try to get to the end without getting cramp… and without messing it up somewhere unexpected! So hard!

Tempo di Borea in B minor. The art of playing quadruple stops to sound them like 1 note. I bet Bach played this on the harpsichord before transposing it to violin.

The Borea Double. I really like this movement. Fairly straightforward. Except I think I do something dodgy in the middle interpretation wise.

Allegro in A minor. This is fun and lively number. The publisher says the fast notes are slurred. The Bach manuscript says separate bows!

Corrente in D minor. A skipping running dance, perhaps though with a scary clown’s costume.

D minor Giga. Again the difficulty is to create a line that gives the number pace.

Ciaconna D minor. One of the greatest and most celebrated pieces for violin. This has everything in it. By the way, a Ciaconna is a harmonic sequence repeated over. Listen well and you will follow this.

Allegro Assai in C major. A fun antidote to the sombre.

You can now listen to the Bach solo violin – slow movements… if you like.

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