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Instruments Work









BACH, C. Ph. E.


quotation of  Carl Philipp Emanuel Bachs on Josef Haydn: 

   „He (Josef Haydn) should be the only one who understood my works completely and who knows how to use them.“

BACH, Joh. Seb.

Violin solo


Sonatas and Partitas

   Bach’s sonatas and partitas for violon solo, although greatly admired, were,  and still are,  subject to extremely divergent interpretations.  In the history of music, this mixture of great misunderstanding and appreciation of his Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin is unprecedented.

Bach composed these solo sonatas (between 1717 and 1723) for a violinist friend of his, and concerts were planned - and quite probably took place.

   After Bach’s death some musicians doubted whether any violinist would be able to play these solo sonatas as written, although others did try  to perform them. In 1802 the first complete edition was published in one volume by Nikolaus Simrock, a music editor and former orchestral player.  He was fortunate that the Bach collector, Georg Poelchau, had saved Bach’s autograph in Moscow just before it had been used to be used to wrap cheese!

   In 1839 Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy invited the well-known violinist Ferdinand David to take part in a “historic concert” playing the Chaconne from Bach’s D minor partita. David refused saying that he would feel ridiculous being on stage alone with a violin.


   Joseph Joachim thus became the first 19th century violinist to play the Chaconne  “unaccompanied” in a concert, first in Leipzig then later in Paris.  In 1855 Joachim wrote to Johannes Brahms: “Yesterday I played Bach’s great fugue in C major well, although not without fear.”  However Bach’s concertos for violin still remained widely untouched by musicians because they appeared not merely difficult but impossible to play as written.

   Due to the music’s difficulties, many publishers in the 19th century tried, in their editions, to show in long-winded musical notation possible ways in which the violin might have been played in Bach’s time - the essay to write down playing practices that were commun to every violin player at that time. Indeed,  a so called ’Bach-bow’ was "re-invented" in order to be able to play all notes of an accord at the same time – although no bow of this kind had never existed before.

Today’s editions, which are printed both in the manner of Bach’s autograph and using modern musical notation, are still seen as  a ‘battle-field’ between the spirit and what is feasible. 



Violin + BC

Mysterien- oder Rosenkranzsonaten

   Remarkable about Heinrichs Ignaz Franz Biber’s Rosary sonatas for violin and basso continuo is the other than usual tuning of the violin chords. Usually the chords are tuned in “accordatura”, in fifths (g-d-e-a). Only Biber’s first Rosary sonata and the passacaglia are composed for this tuning, all others of this cycle need a different tuning, a “scordatura”. To play the Mysteria sonatas as a whole seven diffrently tuned violins are needed. With scordatura other than the usual accords and figures can be played and the specific character of a sonata is supported by the special sound world of each different scordatura.

   The cycle of Mysteria or Rosary sonatas describes the mysteries of Maria (tuning of chords):






The five mysteria of joy

1. Announcing the birth of Jesus Christ by archangel Gabriel (g-d1-a1-e2)

2. Maria visits Elisabeth  (a-e1-a1-e2)

3. Birth of Jesus Christ, adoration by the shepards (h-f sharp1-h1-d2)

4. Jesus Christ in the temple, Simson (a-d1-a1-d2)

5. Twelve-years old Jesus Christ in the  temple (a-e1-a1-c sharp2)


The five mysteria of pain

6. Suffering of Jesus Christ at the Mount of Olives (a flat-e flat1-g1-d2)

7. Flagellation of Jesus Christ (c1-f1-a1-c2)

8. Crown of thorns (d1-f1-b flat1-d2)

9. Jesus Christ at via dolorosa (c1-e1-a1-e2)

10. Crucufixion of Jesus Christ (g-d1-a1-d2)


The five mysteria of glory

11. Resurection of Jesus Christ (g-d1-g1-d2, d1 and g1 crossed in neck for pegs) 

12. Ascension of Jesus Christ (c1-e1-g1-c2)

13. Descent of the Holy Spirit (a-e1-c sharp2-e2)

14. Marias ascension (a-e1-a1-d2)

15. Marias coronation (g-c1-g1-d2)



16. Guardian angel (g-d1-a1-e2)























Haydn, J.


quotation of Josef Haydn on Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach:

   „...those who know me well must find out that I owe Emanuel Bach a lot, that I understood him and that I studied his works with diligence,“











Jadin as composer

   "His forms can be called classic which makes him a child of his days but anyhow his music has something new - cautious but arising and noticeable, years later common knowledge. His preferences for chromatic, kind of lied character in slow movements, dark atmosphere in "allegro" movements and scorchingly nervous final movements characterize him as a composer of the early romantic period. Surprising  that from his environment this development could not be deducted necessarily. No matter how one stands to French music compositions of the 18th century, Jadin's ones are honest but promising, standing quite alone. He might have been taken an outrider role among the composers of his time if he lived longer..." 

(Hajo Bäß, NCA 99112846-215)










































Violin solo


   A big variety on formes do credit Georg Philipp Telemann’s Twelve Fantasias for violin without bass (1735). With lots of fantasy the composer combined elements of sonatas, concertos and suites. No other composer created so many brilliant pieces for one to four melody instruments without basso continuo. Many of them build a bridge to the so called romantic style.