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

SimonStandage

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

Subscribe to continue reading…

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.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.

 

* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.