How to play better Bach's Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas
A passion for J.S. Bach: Miriam Fried explains the work of the genius german composer
When did you first started to play J.S. Bach's solo repertoire for the violin?
We spoke to Miriam Fried about her passion for J.S. Bach and the wonderful world of the solo sonatas and partitas for the violin.
"I was first introduced to the music of Bach at the age of nine when my teacher assigned me the E Major violin concerto. The E Major partita followed when I was a bit over ten. This music has been part of my life ever since, and it has given me countless hours of extreme frustration but mostly extraordinary joy. At its outset, my relationship with this magnificent music was first and foremost that of the performer. I studied the music that Bach wrote for the violin, and performed all of it."
Essential knowledge for any violinist
"It is clear that a thorough understanding of the Baroque period, the musical style of the times and Bach's specific contributions to it are essential knowledge for any violinist who seriously attempts to play the sonatas and partitas. In order to gain this knowledge we need to look at Bach the man, his life and times, his education and his music. And in order to enhance our ability to make sound decisions about performance questions that arise when playing these works, we need to also acquaint ourselves with the evolution of performance traditions associated with them."
What does it take for a teacher to instruct about Bach's music?
"Some thirty years after first being introduced to Bach, I started teaching. As a teacher I found myself needing to articulate thoughts that were surely embedded somewhere in my mind for a long time, but ones that I never had to verbally share with anyone. That process forced me first to reexamine my ideas, and then to consider how strongly committed I was to them. I found that having to do this helped me hone my interpretations. As a result I believe I play these works far better than I used to. What I know without a doubt is that my love for this music has grown and deepened over the years . I would like to share with you some of my thoughts and feelings about it in the hopes that they will make you curious enough to want to do your own exploration."
"The amazing thing about the Bach course is Professor Fried’s ability to organize the Sonatas and Partitas into categories that span all of the works. It is so helpful, for example, to watch a lecture on all three Fugues as a whole while I am only working on one. Discovering the commonalities between the three sonatas helped my understanding and interpretation so much."
E.Stewart - Master Student Sibelius Academy
A noted pedagogue, Miriam Fried is on the faculty of New England Conservatory and gives master classes throughout the world. She has been recognized for many years as one of the world’s preeminent violinists. Miriam Fried is the author of Bach’s complete online video encyclopedia for violin solo repertoire, which she recorded exclusively for iClassical Academy.
Contents and Specifications
Number of Tutorials 15
- Tutorial 01 Why the solo Bach Sonatas and Partitas
- Tutorial 02 Biographical Notes
- Tutorial 03 In Bach's own words
- Tutorial 04 History of performance tradition
- Tutorial 05 The language of music
- Tutorial 06 Tools - The Bow
- Tutorial 07 Tools - The left hand
- Tutorial 08 Identifying the pieces of the puzzle
- Tutorial 09 Mastering the art of creating illusions
- Tutorial 10 The Bowings
- Tutorial 11 Bach Sonatas and Partitas Introduction
- Tutorial 12 The Sonatas 1st movements
- Tutorial 13 The Fugues
- Tutorial 14 The Sonatas 3rd & 4th movements
- Tutorial 15 The Partitas