Violin Sonata no. 2 in A major

Violin Sonata no. 2 in A major

BWV 1015 performed by Bojan Cicic and Steven Devine
Broedergemeente, Zeist

  • Menu
  • 1. [Andante]
  • 2. Allegro
  • 3. Andante un poco
  • 4. Allegro

Behind the music


Not a cloud in the sky

Bach played harpsichord himself for this cheering sonata

Bach wrote this second of six sonatas for violin and harpsichord in Köthen, where he was Kapellmeister between 1717 and 1723. He was chiefly responsible for the chamber music there, so most of Bach’s chamber music dates from his period in Köthen. At the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, Bach had the privilege of working with a world-class court chapel. Many of the works he wrote there are exceptionally difficult and are unparalleled in Baroque music.

The six sonatas for violin and keyboard stand out from other Baroque violin sonatas on one point in particular. Usually, the keyboard functions as the basso continuo. But Bach also gives the harpsichord melodies to play, so that it becomes an equal partner of the violin. The reason for this is easy to guess: Bach – undoubtedly the best keyboard player at Leopold’s court – was playing the harpsichord part himself. It would have piqued his pride to restrict himself to a simple accompaniment.

Musically speaking, this work is everything that its predecessor is not. BWV 1014 is in the poignant key of B minor and is dominated by a melancholy tone and many expressive dissonants. BWV 1015, on the other hand, is in the radiant A major, a key that says there’s not a cloud in the sky, as it were. The first movement is pastoral and dreamy in nature, and the quick movements are airy. Only in the third movement do the skies cloud over briefly. It is written in F-sharp minor – a key that chafes. Here, the melancholy of the previous sonata returns in full – but not for long, as the final movement puts everything to rights again.

Sonata for harpsichord and violin no. 2 in A major
harpsichord, violin
chamber music
Six sonatas (violin and harpsichord)

Extra videos

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    22 May 2023
  • Recording date
    6 December 2021
  • Location
    Broedergemeente, Zeist
  • Violin
    Bojan Čičić
  • Harpsichord
    Steven Devine
  • Instrument
    Jan Kalsbeek after Michael Mietke
  • Director and camera
    Bas Wielenga
  • Camera
    Onno van Ameijde
  • Lights
    Ernst-Jan Thieme
  • Lighting assistant
    Patrick Galvin
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman
  • Music recording, edit and mix
    Pim van der Lee
  • Assistant music recording
    Marloes Biermans
  • Producer
    Stefan Ebels, Marco Meijdam

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