Violin Sonata no. 6 in G major

Violin Sonata no. 6 in G major

BWV 1019b performed by Shunske Sato and Diego Ares
at Studio 150 - Bethlehemchurch, Amsterdam

  • Menu
  • 1. Vivace
  • 2. Largo
  • 3. Cantabile ma un poco adagio
  • 4. Adagio
  • 5. Presto

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Building blocks

The best kind of functional music

Although there is much uncertainty about the details of Bach’s earliest music, we do know for sure that this sonata accompanied its composer throughout his life. Like the other violin sonatas, BWV 1019 originated in the period of Bach’s big solo works that were created before 1720. The six sonatas for violin and harpsichord, of which this is the last in the series, may have been arrangements of lost trio sonatas. Two later variations of this Sonata in G major have survived in several sources. The last one dates from the 1740’s, which is quite exceptional. In this sonata, Bach appears to have mixed and matched his music to his heart’s content. A Courante for harpsichord solo moved to the third movement of Partita no. 6 BWV 830, the versions differed in the order and even the number of their movements, and over the years Bach replaced most of the movements with new music (from his archive?). So it looked as if he still performed the sonata regularly. To make things easier, Shunske Sato and Diego Ares recorded all the versions – for the puzzlers, enthusiasts and completists among us.

With its five – and at one point even six – movements, the sonata is very different to its five sisters, which are all properly comprised of the four slow-fast-slow-fast movements of the sonata da chiesa convention. Even more surprising is the Allegro for harpsichord. The very first version also had such an unexpected solo, but then a different one to later on. Incidentally, this prominent position in the middle version is taken by a Cantabile ma un poco adagio of unworldly beauty; a quasi-aria that fortunately also appears as a true aria for soprano in cantatas BWV 120 and 120a.

Sonata for harpsichord and violin no. 6 in G major - second version
harpsichord, violin
chamber music
Six sonatas (violin and harpsichord)
ca. 1730, first and third version around 1725 and 1739/40 respectively
Special notes
There are no fewer than three different variations of this sonata. Various parts of the sonata were later incorporated into other works (BWV 830/3 and 6 and BWV 120/4)

With support from

Walter Snoijink

Extra videos

Shunske Sato and Pieter Affourtit

“What are the differences between the modern and Baroque violin and bow?”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    1 September 2022
  • Recording date
    4 November 2020
  • Location
    Studio 150 - former Bethlehemchurch, Amsterdam
  • Violin
    Shunske Sato
  • Harpsichord
    Diego Ares
  • Instrument
    Joel Katzman, 1991 after Ruckers, 1638
  • Director, camera and lights
    Gijs Besseling
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Joeri Saal
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera, lights
    Danny Noordanus
  • Data handling
    Stefan Ebels
  • Assistant music recording
    Marloes Biermans
  • Producer
    Jessie Verbrugh
  • With support from
    Walter Snoijink

Violin Sonata no. 6 in G major

There are no fewer than three different variations of this sonata. Shunske Sato and Diego Ares recorded all the versions.

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