Recorded on 02/08/2012, uploaded on 05/24/2012
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Sonata No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1016 Johann Sebastian Bach I. Adagio II. Allegro III. Adagio ma non tanto IV. Allegro
From 1717 to 1723, Bach was Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, a keen musician who played both the harpsichord and the violin. From this happy period in his career date both the sublime works for unaccompanied violin, and the less well-known but equally masterly set of six sonatas for violin and harpsichord. Bach himself described these as “trios for harpsichord with violin”, the violin and the right hand of the harpsichord providing the two melodic lines, the left hand the accompanying bass. Thus, in contrast to what had gone before, the keyboard part was written out in full, rather than as a figured bass, and is of prime importance. The third sonata in E major follows the form of the Italian sonata da chiesa, or church sonata, where slow and quick movements alternate. In the opening adagio, the long singing line of the violin, elaborately decorated, dominates, but in the remaining movements the material is shared much more equally between the two melodic lines, as is perhaps most easily heard in the second adagio. The first allegro has a jolly, catchy, little theme and the second bowls along in a moto perpetuo of semiquavers to its optimistic conclusion. Jesse Mills
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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