Violin Sonata in G major

Violin Sonata in G major

BWV 1021 performed by Shunske Sato, Fred Jacobs,
Siebe Henstra and Lucia Swarts
TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht

  • Menu
  • 1. Adagio
  • 2. Vivace
  • 3. Largo
  • 4. Presto

Behind the music


Italian flamboyance

Music to be enjoyed with wine

That’s how it should be. At least that’s how Bach and his contemporaries saw it. Nowadays we always perform instrumental works like this violin sonata in concert halls. But in Bach’s day, this sort of music was played at elite dinners or parties given by musical friends. So pouring a glass of beer or wine with this chamber music is allowed – or even encouraged.

When Bach wrote this sonata, he had already been working for a while in Leipzig, where he provided for a large family. His sons were exceptionally gifted, and his second wife Anna Magdalena was extremely musical as well. She was also eager to learn, enthusiastically mastering the harpsichord and copying her husband’s pieces, which she apparently wanted to understand thoroughly. We only know of this piece through a copy she made.

Bach had already composed violin sonatas at the court of Köthen, in which the melody lines were given not just to the violin, but also to the harpsichord. That was exceptional, as the keyboard often had only an accompanying role in sonatas. In this sonata, recorded here for All of Bach during the festive programme Bach’s Brewery, the ‘normal’ situation is restored. The violin is given the melody and the other instruments (harpsichord, cello and theorbo) play only the bass line and the chords. So what we hear is a conventional, yet very flamboyant sonata in the Italian style par excellence.

Violin Sonata in G major
chamber music
ca. 1732

Extra videos

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    16 March 2023
  • Recording date
    10 October 2020
  • Location
    TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht
  • Violin
    Shunske Sato
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts
  • Theorbo
    Fred Jacobs
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Theatre concept, direction and design
    Thomas Höft
  • Film director and editor
    Bas Wielenga
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee, Rob Strolenberg
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Wesley Schipper, Wouter Revier, Jochem Timmermans, Chiel Hooijman
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot
  • Assistant film director
    Ferenc Soeteman
  • Set technique
    Justin Mutsaerts
  • Project manager nep
    Ron Vermeulen
  • Assistant music recording
    Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Imke Deters
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh

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