Aspects of Baroque Style (VIII) – Approach to Interpretations on Bach’s Violin Sonata no.1

Depending on my previous papers, I am going to compare two different performers’ interpretation on Bach’s 1st violin sonata. It is obvious that baroque music has its own style depending on using of bow techniques, types of using vibrato, different ways to broke for-note chords, articulation, tempo, etc.

Itzhak Perlman, who is a very important violin soloist now, interpret the 1st violin sonata in contrast to what I have defend about the baroque style, although I admire his classical or romantic piece interpretations. He uses a lot of vibrato in every note which it makes the piece as a romantic one. He broke the for-note chords in one time, not in baroque style, which has to be separate but simultaneously. It is useful to emphasize on the melody if it is in the “middle note” instead of the “bass note” as I have mentioned before. His articulation and emphasizing on the important notes with vibrato is very clear but because he is using the vibrato all the time, I heard the important note’s vibrato is like exaggerated. Actually, it disturbs me when it is played with a lot of vibratos.

To tell the truth, I did not find any performance close to which I have explained about the baroque techniques but I have learned and performed the 2nd violin sonata with the techniques that I have defended. In my opinion, it should be in that way to present that “baroque sound”, other way it would not have any differences with the romantic pieces, besides the texture and melodies of course.

Many people would not agree with me in this subject, they may say that “the instruments are different now so that the performance would be difference”, however I would not agree with this. We can learn how to provide the “baroque sound” with researching and trying without give up, so it will be meaningful to practice and perform baroque music.


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