“I lived with the music of Bach for as long as I can remember. His music has always been around me so it feels it always continued to develop inside me. Bach always teaches me to listen, to open my ears and open my mind.” This is how the violinist Midori describes Bach’s six Sonatas and Partitas, which she performed in 2017 in Cöthen, three centuries after the composer’s arrival in the royal court of the same city, a city where he wrote many of his greatest masterpieces.
Bach's Sonatas and Partitas occupy a unique place within the solo violin repertoire: one of the first sets of works of the genre, they remain to this day some of the most technically and musically challenging that violinists will every perform, for both young artists and seasoned soloists. Legend has it that the Partita in D Minor, which closes with the famous Ciaccona—one of the violin repertoire’s Mt. Everests—was written by the composer just after the death of his first wife.