J. S. Bach
Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 2
for 6 String Violin
J. S. Bach: Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 2 for Unaccompanied Violin,
arranged for 6 String Violin (2002)
I started playing violin at age ten in
1965. By 1982, my arthritis was severe enough so that even with adaptive gear,
I had to stop playing, and sold my violin.
There followed ten years where making music was not possible. In late 2001 and early 2002, I had a stable life studying physics at NCSU, an old piano, housing, and access to a woodshop. I made two electric violins, a 4-string and a 6-string, that I held like a cello, with an assistive device to hold up my bow-arm. I could only play for a limited time before it became too painful, but the new attempt at performance inspired me to rework once again my old solo violin sonatas, including arrangements for viola and 6 string violin. I bought a curved bow from Michael Bach, allowing for polyphonic performance. This is when I made arrangements of J. S. Bach’s Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 2 for the 6 string violin. The photograph on the 10 Sonatas for Solo Violin or Viola page shows the 6 string violin that I made, which has since been thrown away, and the Bach Bogen, now sold.
By spring of 2003, it became clear that the arthritis was too advanced and my attempt at a return to performance had to end.
In February 2017, I decided to try again to play violin, with new instruments and adaptive gear. As a result, I am going back to the Bach arrangements, which are still in the now antiquated format of ink and paper, and have redone the copy work in Finale. I don’t know yet if my health will sustain this effort to play again.
Performance notes: Most of the movements have pedal indications. This signifies the use of a freeze effect (sound retainer) pedal, which many electric violinists will be familiar with. (The curved bow mentioned above is very rare, rather expensive, and takes months to master, but may be used if available.) The freeze pedal sustains the sound at the moment of depression, and continues that sound until released. Other notes played during this period will not be sustained and play normally. Thus the pedal indication is not like the sustain pedal on a piano, and should not be interpreted in that manner.
The tuning is, from the bottom, F-C-G-D-A-E.