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Born: 21 March 1685 — Eisenach — Germany
Died: 28 July 1750 — Leipzig — Germany
Record Label
BIS Records
Tasmin's introduction
to Bach's Sonata in E major
(2-5) J.S. Bach - Sonata in E major BWV 1016 - 15'29
J.S. Bach ..(( & play)

After the impetuous and passionate ending of the Kreisler, the sublime opening of this Sonata for keyboard and violin by Bach is a most peaceful contrast. In the first movement, the violin takes central stage which is somewhat unusual for a work of this period, as in duo sonatas the keyboard played a more dominant role until Beethoven began composing his sonatas, at the beginning of the following century. The musical line is very ornate and is partnered by a restful rocking accompaniment in the piano.


The movement that follows is more indicative of the role that the keyboard more traditionally took at this time - the piano introduces a sprightly theme which is taken up by the violin a few bars later and begins a conversation that alternates back and forth between the two players for the rest of the movement.


After the happy mood of the second movement, the music becomes much more thoughtful and Bach takes us to the relative minor key of C sharp minor. The piano introduces a slow and tranquil bass line that runs inexorably throughout the movement and is the unifying factor below which piano top line and the violin take it in turns weave the line and intertwine the haunting melody.


At the end of the movement, Bach finishes with a quiet cadence which leads us directly to the Finale, another bright and vivacious movement with rushing semiquavers and conversation flowing effortlessly between the keyboard and violin, and leading to a triumphant conclusion.