J.S. Bach: The Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord

ByQuyen Anne

Nov 29, 2023

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, critically acclaimed artists of international renown — and also close friends — record together for the first time on this album of J.S. Bach’s complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord. The artists approach these works as Bach intended: as trio sonatas with equally important roles for the violin and the harpsichord’s treble and bass lines. In addition to the six Sonatas, the album offers the remarkable and ravishingly poetic Cantabile, BWV 1019a, a freestanding work that Bach originally conceived as a movement of the Sonata, BWV 1019.

Cedille’s audiophile engineering and the intimate acoustics of Evanston, IL’s Nichols Hall allow the complex trio textures to blossom with detail. In all, the album sets a new standard for a body of work that Bach’s son, C.P.E., considered among his father’s finest compositions.


What the Critics Are Saying

“Two of the most remarkable artists of our time, violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, make a fantastic team performing J.S. Bach’s 6 Sonatas . . . they perform with such mutual sympathy that this is easily the finest, most convincing performance I have heard of six works I’d previously under-rated.”

PHIL MUSEAtlanta Audio Club

“The spontaneity and ease with which Pine and Vinikour play these sonatas gives them a conversational feeling that is quite enjoyable . . . Cedille’s reproduction is transparent and close-up, so the listener gets a wonderful front-row experience. Highly recommended.”


“In these works we encounter some of Bach’s most technically intricate and fascinating creations, and these interpretations, performed with such clarity and care–in true partnership–make a good case for hearing them more prominently and more often.”


“It’s obvious from their excellent ensemble playing and total agreement on matters of articulation and phrasing that Pine and Vinikour have lived intimately with these pieces over an extended period of time and given ample thought to interpretative decisions.”

DANIEL HATHAWAYEarly Music America

J.S. Bach: The Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord

Notes by Jory Vinikour

Johann Sebastian Bach’s six sonatas for violin with harpsichord obbligato (BWV 1014–1019) were likely composed during Bach’s period in Cöthen, between 1717–1723. Bach’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel (CPE) describes these works as among the finest his father composed. The idea of juxtaposing a thorough-composed harpsichord part against the “solo” instrument was quite novel at this time, the harpsichord possessing a tremendous solo repertoire, but used principally as a continuo instrument in ensembles. Apart from the concerti for harpsichord and strings, Bach used the harpsichord as an equal duo partner in three sonatas with viola da gamba, at least two with flute, and the six with violin.


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