Enrico Onofri - Bach: Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001,1004 & 1006

€ 17,00
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Artist(s):Enrico Onofri Composer:Johann Sebastian Bach


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sei Solo for unaccompanied violin figure amongst the baroque works on which the performance traditions of the 19th and 20th centuries weigh most heavily. Rediscovered halfway through the 19th century after having been forgotten for more than a century, these works quickly entered the repertoire of works performed by violinists during the Romantic period: from that moment onwards, layer upon layer of performance glosses were imposed on these works, resulting in the monumental performances of them given by the great violinists of the 19th century. These influences have marked the Solo until today.

A historically informed performance — or one that is at least the closest possible to how the work would originally have been performed according to the information that we currently possess — should therefore be tasked with removing these glosses; such additions, however, have been so frequently applied and taught that the majority of today’s violinists find great difficulty in removing them.

The first step in this process was to establish the performance pitch to be used. We know that it was highly probable that the pitch used at Köthen was the French pitch, which varied between 390 and 400 Hz, more or less a full tone below modern pitch and a semitone below the pitch most generally used for historically informed performance. Although the production of the sound itself and the performance of complex polyphonic passages is more difficult — because the lower tension of the strings can make the initial attack of the note rough and noisy, whilst it gives a sweetly nasal timbre to the cantabile — it also gains by allowing a greater efficiency and clarity of articulation. This is a fundamental aspect of the performance of baroque and classical repertoire in general. I have remained as faithful as possible to the source material for the tempi and the character of the following dance movements, inasmuch as Bach’s writing allows. There are sufficient indications for this at our disposal in the works of Quantz, L’Affilard and La Chapelle that explain the tempi with some precision in various ways (pulsations per minute and oscillations of a pendulum) as well as the rhythmic and expressive characteristics of each dance. Of all the dances of the Third Partita, the one that is furthest removed from tradition if we follow Quantz’s instructions is the Loure, which instead of being a slow and melodic section becomes a Pastorale taken at a moderate but cheerful pace.

Artist(s):Enrico Onofri Composer:Johann Sebastian Bach