It was my intention to present the entire Six Sonatas and Partitas to you, the Artcore audience, during, and in celebration of, their tricentennial year, 2020. Life, however, has made it clear that it has rather definite plans to the contrary, so instead of March and November 2020, we have Part 1 in November and Part 2 in April 2022!
At the time of their composition, the Six Sonatas and Partitas would have been known to those in Bach’s immediate circle but they were not published during his lifetime. Possession of the autograph manuscript, through the distribution of his estate, was given to one of Bach’s children and then, mostly forgotten. The compositions instead became known to violinists only through disseminated copies from the autograph, or copies of copies, (often fragmented and all with varying degrees of inaccuracy), and were viewed mainly as valuable pedagogical tools. Indeed, there is little evidence to suggest that these works were being played in concert, except, perhaps, in fragments, until well into the nineteenth century! It was not until Joseph Joachim, who would become one of their earliest and greatest champions, became acquainted with the complete autograph manuscript and adopted them, in whole, as a staple in his repertoire, that they secured their rightful place on the concert stage. He can even be heard playing selections from these works on recordings made in 1903!
So, it seems that, from the very beginning, these little gems have taken the “scenic route” on their journey from writing desk to podium; from that most singular and magnificent mind of Bach, through the (often frustrated) fingers of appreciative (and always humbled) violinists, into the ears and hearts of audiences, such as yourselves.
Co-Sponsored by TownSquare Media. Partial funding is from the Wyoming Community Foundation – Casper Area, Natrona County School District No. 1, and the Wyoming Arts Council through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature.