Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, the capital
of the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, in present-day Germany,
on 21 March 1685 O.S. (31 March 1685 N.S.). He was the
son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the director of the town
musicians, and Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt.
Some of the Sonatas for violin with harpsichord
accompaniment by Bach or thought to be by Bach.
Authorship of this C minor Sonata is problematic. Long
thought to be by Bach, a copy in what seems to be
Johann Georg Pisendel's (1687-1755) handwriting leads
some to conclude that it might be by Dresden's
celebrated Konzertmeister. Baroque violinist Andrew
Manze however observes that with nothing of similar
quality in the rest of Pisendel's output, the sonata
would have had to have been a bolt from the blue.
Others argue that pointers such as the structural model
and the lie of the violin part suggest Bach. Whatever
the case, it's a powerfully disquieting work, the
opening Adagio, haunted and haunting, harmonically bent
on evoking mystery -- a mystery subsequently dispelled
by the no-nonsense fugal thrust of a decidedly Bachian
Presto, the tender reassurance of the Eb Affetuoso, and
the determined Finale with its hint of Polonaise.
Although originally written for Violin & continuo, I
created this Arrangement of the Sonata in C Minor (BWV
1024) for String Trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).