Bach, Alone and Together

Fourth Sundays Livestream:
Bach: Alone and Together

Sunday May 22, 2022, 4pm Pacific/7pm Eastern

Come join us to hear the great Johann Sebastian Bach, and the intricate, complex and fascinating music he wrote for violin and cello! We had originally planned a concert around the life and contemporaries of Joseph Bologne, le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, but life happened along the way, and we are instead presenting a concert of Bach’s solo and continuo works. Le Chevalier will be featured later this year!

During Bach’s time working for Prince Leopold in Cöthen, between 1717 and 1723, he had the privilege of working with some of the best musicians, and specifically string players, in Europe. Leopold, himself a violinist, assembled an orchestra of 18 musicians, with Bach as organist and kapellmeister. During this time he composed the 6 violin solo sonatas and partitas, and also the 6 cello suites. In 1719, while Bach was traveling with the prince, his first wife Maria Barbara tragically died at age 36, and was buried already by the time Bach returned to hear the news. It is likely that some of his feelings of loss and sadness are reflected in these works, which were prepared for publication in 1720.

By 1735, Bach had left his court job and taken a position in the city of Leipzig. He ran the colegium musicum at the Thomasschule, and was responsible for composing and conducting all the music in the town’s churches. By this time, several of his sons were growing up to become musicians and composers, and Bach was teaching them the tools of the trade. It is likely that the sonata for violin and continuo, BWV 1021, was composed as an educational exercise, as the bass lines are used in other compositions, believed to be by Bach’s sons as teenagers.

Come hear Bach, in the pangs of being suddenly alone, and then in the joy of being together with his family.

Sunday, May 22nd at 4pm PST/7pm EST, join us on YouTube for our livestream concert.

Suggested donation $20/household, or pay-what-you-can.
Donations above $20 gratefully accepted and go a long way in the musicians’ lives!
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After you donate, Square, our payment processor, will show you a PDF ticket with all the links you’ll need to enjoy the concert and post-concert Zoom. Please save this and have it ready at concert time!


Johann Sebastian Bach: Violin Sonata No. 1 in g minor, BWV 1001
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite No. 2 in d minor, BWV 1008
Johann Sebastian Bach: Violin Sonata in G Major, BWV 1021

The Program is available! Available as a full booklet or 1-page PDF:

June 28, 2020

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We performed our third monthly livestream concert on Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 4PM Pacific/7PM Eastern. Unusually for us, we presented music by the well-known and beloved Johann Sebastian Bach: one solo work each, plus the (undeservedly) somewhat less-frequently performed continuo sonata in G major, BWV 1021, thoughtful and poignant.

Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most beloved composers in history, and through his long career as a composer he wrote over a thousand pieces of music. His compositions are revered because of their seemingly mathematical complexity, as Bach is widely considered to have been the greatest master of the fugue, and also for their great beauty of emotion and phrasing. His works were studied and revered by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms, among many others.

We will perform for you a few of Bach’s works for string instruments. Some are familiar, as the 6 Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin and the 6 Suites for Solo Cello are performed often. We will also perform a lesser-known Sonata for Violin and Continuo, BWV 1021, which is equally elegant and beautiful.

Come experience the joy and beauty in this wonderfully complex and beautiful music by the Baroque era’s greatest master!


J.S. Bach’s Sonata for Violin and Continuo in G, BWV 1021
his D Minor Suite for Solo Cello
and part of his E Major Partita for Solo Violin