Johann Sebastian Bach completed his "Six Solos"” in 1720, while serving as Kapellmeister at the court of Anhalt-Cöthen. Now usually referred to as the "Sonatas and Partitas," the set comprises three of each. According to Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774), they were intended as studies "designed for learning to master the full resources of an instrument, . . . to enable the student to acquire a firm control of them." 1
Bach’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), also commented: "One of the greatest violinists told me once that he had seen nothing more perfect for learning to be a good violinist, and could suggest nothing better to anyone eager to learn." 2
As in all Bach's cyclic works, this volume systematically explores a rich variety of challenges both to the composer and to the performer. Just as C.P.E. Bach wrote about knowing nothing
better than his father's Sonatas and Partitas for helping one learn to become an accomplished violinist, so can we, too, discover much of what is possible on the guitar through studying this
Publisher: d' Oz Publications
1 Cited in Joel Lester, Bach's Works for Solo Violin: Style, Structure, Performance (New York and Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1999), 20.
2 From a letter by C.P.E. Bach to his father’s biographer, Johann Forkel, in 1774.
We have assembled a companion website
dedicated to discussing some of the many questions that arise from actually playing the works on a specific instrument, and to providing a forum for anyone interested in this magnificent repertoire, to learn about Bach and how to approach his music.
There will be videos and articles ranging from listening, interpreting and arranging, to history, harmony and counterpoint. Since these topics at their best are so closely intertwined, the library therein is sorted according to each Sonata or Partita and then each separate movement.