Sinfonia in D major

Sinfonia in D major

BWV 1045 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Shunske Sato
Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

Painting while playing the violin

This long-drawn-out movement almost resembles minimal music

This sinfonia is possibly one of Bach’s most surprising compositions. According to the manuscript, it is an ‘Intrada’, an instrumental introduction to what was probably a festive cantata. However, there is no trace whatsoever of the vocal parts. This Sinfonia in D major is therefore doomed to remain an independent instrumental movement. The work’s exuberant instrumentation includes three trumpets and timpani, as well as a special part for a solo violin. The continual figurations in the lively violin part lend the music an almost hypnotic character. You could maybe even class it as an early forerunner of minimal music. Bach regularly brings the harmonic progression to a halt. Violinist Shunske Sato even calls it “shameless virtuosity”. The way in which Bach notated the violin part with arpeggios – chords that are not written out in full – offers great scope for freedom. “It’s as if you’re painting while playing the violin”, says Shunske Sato.

Sinfonia in D major
cantatas, orchestral works
dating of autograph ca. 1735-1746
First performance
Special notes
This work has survived in a manuscript, in which it is called Intrada o Concerto. The complete score is described as: Concerto, a 4 Voci. 3 Trombe, Tamburi, 2 Hautb, Violino Con[certato], 2 Violini, Viola e Cont[inuo]. This would seem to indicate that it is the introduction to a cantata.

Extra videos

Violinist Shunske Sato

“We're being presented with our own bias towards the old Johann Sebastian.”

Vocal texts




  • Release date
    9 March 2018
  • Recording date
    13 May 2017
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Violin and direction
    Shunske Sato
  • Violin 1
    Anneke van Haaften, Annelies van der Vegt
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Pieter Affourtit, Paulien Kostense
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra, Jan Willem Vis
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
  • Double bass
    Hen Goldsobel
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler, Peter Frankenberg
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Trumpet
    Robert Vanryne, Fruzsina Hara, Mark Geelen
  • Timpani
    Robert Kendell
  • Organ
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Director
    Bas Wielenga
  • Music recording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Pim van der Lee
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Jochem Timmerman, Thijs Struick, Martin Struijf
  • Lights
    Zen Bloot, Henry Rodgers, Patrick Galvin
  • Assistant director
    Ferenc Soeteman
  • Video engineer
    Robert-Jan Neijland
  • Set technique
    Justin Mutsaers
  • Data handling
    Jesper Blok
  • Project manager nep
    Peter Ribbens
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde, Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh

Help us to complete All of Bach

There are still many recordings to be made before the whole of Bach’s oeuvre is online. And we can’t complete the task without the financial support of our patrons. Please help us to complete the musical heritage of Bach, by supporting us with a donation!