Bach Johann Sebastian Sonatas BWV1001,1003 & 1005 arranged for string quartet



Bach Johann Sebastian Sonatas BWV1001,1003 & 1005

arranged for string quartet by Paul Cassidy

FE 1070         Bach Solo Violin Sonatas BWV 1001,1003 & 1005 arranged for string quartet

                        Sonata BWV 1001 in G minor

Adagio; Fuga; Siciliana; Presto

                        Sonata BWV 1003 in A minor

Grave; Fuga; Andante; Allegro

                        Sonata BWV 1005 in C major

Adagio; Fuga; Largo; Allegro assai

My daily practice invariably involves spending some time with Bach’s ‘Six Solos for Violin without Bass Accompaniment’ (Sei Solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato). I am a devout being and these are my bible. As in the case of all ‘holy’ books, the six solos open themselves to an infinite variety of interpretations, but whatever your approach, these miraculous pieces are endlessly cleansing and enriching for the body and soul, a balm for the spirit. Their challenging pages abound with multi-faceted characters whose succinct purity is a wonder to behold. They can move imperceptibly from being uplifting and euphoric one minute to heart-breaking and tragic the next.

It is bewildering that, during his life, Bach was more revered as an improviser than as a composer; terrifying to consider that much of his output therefore could have been overlooked or even lost. It was this legendary ability to improvise, and the fact that he regularly played these works in various guises on the keyboard, that gave me the courage to explore my own feelings about them.

Over the centuries it has often been through the divine intervention of musicians such as Joachim, Casals, Gould et al. that Bach’s extraordinary music has been unearthed and given a new lease of life – a resurrection which is still on an upward trajectory today.

If these arrangements help bring this hallowed music to even one more listener who may have missed them in their original form, that would already make the whole endeavour worthwhile. If the potential of the arrangements as an educational tool helped just one student understand the music better, that too would be hugely gratifying. For me personally, being able to spend more time with the music of Bach in whatever format is reward enough

© 2021 Paul Cassidy

Brodsky Quartet

Additional information


BWV 1001 – Score & Parts, BWV 1001-1005 – Score & Parts, BWV 1003 – Score & Parts, BWV 1005 – Score & Parts