MFKH 2022 headline

Wednesday, June 7 / 5:00 p.m. / Corpus Christi Chapel


Johann Sebastian Bach: Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 10041006

Milan Pala – violin

Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
I. Allemanda – Double
II. Corrente – Double
III. Sarabande – Double
IV. Tempo di Borea – Double

Partita No. 2 in D minor , BWV 1004
I. Allemanda
II. Corrente
III. Sarabanda
IV. Giga
V. Chaconne

Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006
I. Preludio
II. Loure
III. Gavotte en rondeau
IV. Menuet I
V. Menuet II
VI. Bourrée
VII. Gigue


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The three Partitas, which alternate in the autograph score with solo Sonatas, are composed in the style of Baroque suite with stylized dance parts. The second one includes the famous Chaconne, which is then taken over by the other instruments. The demands these pieces make on the interpreter, as well as their underlying polyphonic element, are in every respect identical with that which was said earlier about the Sonatas. The autograph of the whole series was long held for lost – until 1890 when it resurfaced and was offered for purchase to Johannes Brahms. However, he had doubts about its authenticity and decided not to buy. In the early 20th century, the score moved to the royal library in Berlin (today´s Berlin State Library), where it has been kept to this day. Thanks to the composer´s handwritten note we now know that the Sonatas and Partitas was written before 1720, during Bach´s residence in Köthen. Through an entire century after Bach´s death, these compositions remained virtually forgotten. In his day, Robert Schumann – entirely in tune with the spirit of his era – supplemented them with his own piano part. In fact, the first musician who then considered them worthy of being performed in public, as late as the second half of the 19th century, was the brilliant violinist, Joseph Joachim. The belief shared by these two protagonists of Romanticism, namely, that these are compositions suitable for teaching purposes, and therefore hardly anything more than fairly difficult technical exercises, is indeed defied by this music itself. It is eminently introspective, free from any extramusical layers – in one word,  quintessential.

                                                                                                 sleeve-note: Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka

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