Sunday, September 19, 2010

37 Ways to Play the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

1720 Autograph of the Adagio
Naturally, after the WTC playlist, I compiled another one for the supreme masterwork for the queen of all instruments: Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. So far I found 37 recordings by 32 artists, from Schumann and Brahms' lifelong friend Joseph Joachim, who made the Bach recording in 1903, to the talented young Dutch violinist Janine Jansen, who was born 147 years later than Joachim. Just like the WTC playlist, this one can also function as an index of great violinists on Spotify. Only significant missings seem to be Joseph Szigeti and Adolf Busch.

I put the opening movement of the first sonata, the adagio from every recording to this playlist, you can compare the first notes of every recording at ease, or, much better than that, simply brower the artist names and pick up one recording for two hours of sublime music.

Here's the Spotify playlist: Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin (37 tracks, total time: 2 hours) You can find some useful notes and reviews here. My favourite recordings for now are Grumiaux, Mintz, Milstein and Szeryng's.


  1. I just added ten more recordings into this playlist... The one by Mela Tenenbaum has an extra disk, a record of her spoken ideas on how she thinks about and interprets these works. You can find a helpful review here:

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