Partita for Violin Solo No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002, IV: Double (Presto)

This morning, we awoke to heavily drifted-in snow from a second blizzard this week.

While my sweety was out walking this afternoon she heard from a friend that, so far this month, we have had the sixth-heaviest accumulation of snow since the late 1890s! Overall, it has been a very cold and very snowy winter. I am ready for it to be spring.

After spending over two hours clearing the snow from our walkway and parking pad, then helping a few neighbours, plus snow-blowing the sidewalk for our entire block, I was feeling pretty tired out and had a short snooze. I got up and sat at the computer, checking out YouTube suggestions for classical music videos. I found one with American violinist Hilary Hahn (b. 1979) playing the fourth movement of a partita by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).

Today’s selection, the “Double (Presto),” is a quick-tempo, energetic piece that certainly brought me back to life from my mid-afternoon slumbers.

Bach completed a set of six pieces for solo violin in 1720. From the 1670s to 1730s, composers were producing many works for solo violin, including Bohemian-Austrian violinist and composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704), who wrote a Passacaglia (please see my post about a transcription of that piece for the lute). Bach’s set (BWV 1001-1006) was published much later, in 1802, by German music publisher and horn player Nikolaus Simrock (1751-1832). And even then, it wasn’t played often until later in the 19th century (perhaps to rejuvenate those fatigued from snow-clearing efforts!)

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the music video of Hahn performing the “Double (Presto)” on her official YouTube channel, highlighting the excerpt from her album Hilary Hahn plays Bach: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2; Partita No. 1 (2018). I’ve been listening to the album while reading about the piece and writing this post; it’s a wonderful album with some beautiful sounds.

With my best wishes,

Steve

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