Johann Sebastian Bach

Sonata for violin & keyboard No. 6 in G major (variant), BWV 1019a

    Description by Blair Johnston

    Because of its unusual tonal layout and movement structure, there has always been speculation that the last of J.S. Bach's six authentic sonatas for violin and harpsichord, the Sonata for violin and harpsichord No. 6 in G major, BWV 1019, is something of a hodge-podge, put together from existing movements that Bach already had lying around. While this may indeed have been the case, we do know that Bach himself revised the work on two occasions during the Cöthen years (1717 - 1723), each time radically changing the design of the work by substituting whole strings of movements for one another; so, ad hoc as the original construction may have been, he certainly spent time and energy making it into a piece of which he approved. Today, Bach's final version is considered definitive, though some feel that it is not the best version of the three.

    Both the first and last versions of BWV 1019 are in five movements. In the original version three central slow movements are enclosed by two Allegro "bookends" -- the second of which is actually just the first replayed. The second and middle of these slow movements (Cantabile, ma un poco adagio) appears in neither of the later re-workings, but is among Bach's most eloquent lyrical statements. Two of the original movements -- the first and second, Allegro and an E minor Largo -- are used in the final version of BWV 1019. After this, Bach very surprisingly supplies a dense, binary-form Allegro in E minor for harpsichord solo in the central slot, and then a new Adagio third movement in B minor and a new Allegro finale. Two different movements for harpsichord solo, both dance-genre pieces and both eventually reused in the E minor Partita for keyboard, BWV 830, appear in the second version of the sonata.


    1. Cantabile, ma non poco Adagio
    2. Adagio

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Cedille Records CDR 177
    2016 Archiv Produktion 4795384
    2016 Glossa GCD 923507
    2014 Centaur Records CRC 3372
    2012 Zig Zag Territoires ZIG 302
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Decca 4781149
    2008 Analekta 220167
    2008 Alpha Productions 126
    2008 Stradivarius 11033
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93668
    2007 Maya 9503
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006 Analekta 29830
    2006 Fleurs de Lys 23086
    2005 Harmonia Mundi 2907364/65
    2005 Brilliant Classics 92215
    2005 Parlophone
    2004 Analekta 29761
    2003 Gaudeamus CDGAU345
    2002 Archiv Produktion
    2002 Archiv Produktion 471656
    2002 Gaudeamus 308
    2000 Meridian Records 84420
    2000 Harmonia Mundi 907250/51
    2000 Angel Records 61650
    2000 Haenssler 92123
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25716-2
    1997 Harmonia Mundi 1907084
    1996 Philips 454011
    1995 Archiv Produktion 447713
    Channel Classics 14798
    Accord 205322
    Brilliant Classics 93668/26
    RCA 60563
    DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77314
    Denon Records 18029