Bach's Works for Solo Violin: Style, Structure, Performance
J. S. Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin have been central to the violin repertoire since the mid-eighteenth century. This engaging volume is the first comprehensive exploration of the place of these works within Bach's music: it focuses on their structural and stylistic features as they have been perceived since their creation. Joel Lester, a highly regarded scholar, teacher, violinist, and administrator, combines an analytical study, a full historical guide, and an insightful introduction to Bach's style. Individual movements are related to comparable movements by Bach in other media and are differentiated from superficially similar works from later eras.
Lester employs descriptions of historical and contemporary recordings, as well as accounts of nineteenth-century performances and commentaries on historical editions, to explore these works as they evolved through the centuries. Wherever possible, he uses analytic tools culled from eighteenth-century ideas, key notions originally developed for the specific purpose of describing the repertoire under consideration. Beginning with an overview of the solo violin music's place within Bach's oeuvre, this study takes the Sonata No. 1 in G minor as the paradigm of Bach's compositional strategy, examining each movement in detail before enlarging the discussion to cover parallel and contrasting features of the A-minor and C-minor sonatas. Next, a chapter is devoted to the three partitas and their roots in various dance-music traditions. The book concludes with a summary of form, style, and rhetoric in Bach's music, in which Lester muses on these masterpieces with an overall command of the music, criticism, and history of the 1700s that is quite rare among scholars.
A novel and unprecedented investigation of a particular portion of Bach's accomplishment and a particular aspect of his universal appeal, Bach's Works for Solo Violin will help violinists, students, scholars, and other listeners develop a deeper personal involvement with these wonderful pieces.
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The History of Bachs SoloViolin Works
The Historical Setting
The Transmission of Bachs Sonatas and Partitas
The Gminor Adagio
One Type of Bach Prelude
The Gminor Adagio as a Prelude
The Adagios Rhetorical Shape
The Siciliana of the Gminor Sonata
Bachs ParallelSection Movements
The Structure of the Siciliana
A Questionable Note and Some Thoughts on Ornamentation
The Third Movements of the Other SoloViolin Sonatas
The Gminor Presto
Baroque versus Later Metrics
Binary Form and vs? Increasing Levels of Activity
Notes on the Autograph Score
Performing the Rhythmic Notations
The Other Prelude Movements in the SoloViolin Works
The Gminor Fuga
The Sections of the Gminor Fuga
Other Aspects of Heightening Activity in the Fuga
The Fugal Exposition
The EighteenthCentury Arrangements
The Aminor and Cmajor Fugas
Adagio Allemande appears articulated autograph score B-minor Partita Bach's solo-violin Baroque bass scale beginning C-major Sonata cadence cadential century Chaconne chapter chord chromatic circle of fifths composer compositional concerto Corrente counterpoint dance discussed dominant downbeat edition eighteenth-century eighth English translation facsimile Figure fugal fugue fugue subject G-minor G-minor Adagio G-minor Fuga G-minor Sonata harmony heightening intensified J. S. Bach Johann Mattheson Johann Philipp Kirnberger Johann Sebastian keyboard major Mattheson measure melisma melody ment metric hierarchy minor modulating motion motive movement musicians Neue Bach Ausgabe nineteenth-century notes octave opening Partita passages pattern-preludes pedal performance phrase pieces play prelude Preludio Presto recurring rhythm rhythmic ritornello Schumann Schumann's accompaniment second beat second reprise shown in Example Siciliana signature sixteenths slur sonata form Sonata in G subdominant subject entries tempo texture thoroughbass tion tonal tonic transposed transposition underlying Violin Solo violinists voice leading Well-Tempered Clavier