In the spring of 2020, as the entire world shut down, I looked for comfort through the violin. For me, that meant the solo violin works of J.S. Bach.
Of course, I wasn’t alone in this! So many of my friends and colleagues posted solo Bach videos around the same time, and for good reason: these works are a treasure trove of musical invention, and there are also a great way to get in shape or to stay in shape.
I wanted to focus on taking you through these works rather than just playing them through, however, so I thought of a somewhat fantastical premise: I imagined that Bach, in addition to being a great keyboard virtuoso, was the world’s greatest violinist as well! And even though in real life, his six Sonatas and Partitas were forgotten for 100 years, in my version of reality Bach himself took these pieces on a world tour.
So what was my pretend role in all of this? I was a roadie, a hanger-on, who followed Bach to each tour stop and made careful notes of what I heard. Then the next day, I took my listeners through the pieces as I understood them.
I called this collection of demonstrations “Bach on the Road”, and I offer you the collection of all 18 below. I appeared live on Facebook and YouTube three times a week for six weeks, focusing on one of the solo works each week.