- Playing & Teaching
- Issue archive
- More navigation items
Early music expert Simon Standage discusses historically informed performance, interpretation and balancing violin and harpsichord in the first two movements of BWV1016
Bach wrote six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV1014–19, and I first played them such a long time ago that I honestly can’t remember when it was. I do know that I’ve been playing them since at least 1973, when I took up the Baroque violin (the date is written on my music!), both individually and as a set. Perhaps because Bach assembled the pieces himself, the six work well together as a concert programme. Many years ago I performed them in a museum in Oxford, with a harpsichord with a 16-foot stop! I’ve also played them with a pedal harpsichord, which made the E major Sonata’s left-hand octaves easier for the harpsichordist, and with an additional viola da gamba player. All combinations come with their own challenges of timbre and balance…
Already subscribed? Please sign in
We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.