BACH : 6 SONATAS & PARTITAS FOR VIOLIN SOLO – JEAN-CLAUDE BOUVERESSE
Johann Sebastian BACH : 6 Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo
Johann Sebastian BACH : Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001 – Partita No. 1 in B Minor for Violin Solo, BWV 1002 – Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003 – Partita No. 2 in D Minor for Violin Solo, BWV 1004 – Violin Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005 – Partita No. 3 in E Major for Violin Solo, BWV 1006.
About the Work
Yehudi Menuhin’s dream, which he confessed to be childish, was to play the Chaconne in the Sistine Chapel with such perfection that it would bring peace upon the earth.
In the imagination of all violinists, the 6 Sonatas and Partitas, of which the Chaconne is one of the highlights, represent such fulfilment as to inspire the noblest of dreams. Bach succeeded magnificently in giving an emotional, intellectual and spiritual depth to works written for a solo instrument. To study these works is to follow in the footsteps of a man whose intellectual strength and the balance he maintained between his relationship with God and with the world are a source of fascination.
The 6 Sonatas and Partitas testify to this overlapping of the sacred and the profane. The 3 Partitas, although they are no more than a suite of dances, do not however escape from spiritual bonds. The 3 Sonatas include, deliberately it seems, religious elements (if we allow for the recent theories of Helga Thoene), each of which represents the main religious celebrations of Christmas, Easter and Pentecost by integrating a chorale specifically for each feast day, thereby tracing a spiritual path.
We may or may not give credit to this theory, however we can recognise that they are, in the words of Yves Bonnefoy, “tinged with the absolute” and concur with the affirmation of Cioran in Syllogismes de l’amertume (All Gall is Divided), that «if there is anyone that owes everything to Bach, it is certainly God!»
Jean-Claude Bouveresse, Violin.