Masterclass: Simon Standage on Bach’s Violin Sonata in E major part 2

SimonStandage

British violinist Simon Standage looks at the Adagio ma non tanto and ‘firework’ finale, in the second of two articles exploring this 18th-century work for violin and harpsichord

By the time that Bach wrote this sonata in the 1720s, movement headings were becoming more specific indicators of character and speed. An andante, for example, indicated walking pace, but also a certain type of articulation. This vocabulary had increased tremendously by the time of Haydn, who himself had numerous qualifications of Allegro. Before the metronome came in, there were more degrees of speed variation than on a modern-day metronome stalk.

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