The sonatas and partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001–1006) are a set of six works composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. They are sometimes referred to in English as the sonatas and partias for solo violin in accordance with Bach's headings in the autograph manuscript: "Partia" (plural "Partien") was commonly used in German-speaking regions during Bach's time, whereas the Italian "partita" was introduced to this set in the 1879 Bach Gesellschaft edition, having become standard by that time. The set consists of three sonatas da chiesa in four movements and three partitas (or partias) in dance-form movements.
The set was completed by 1720, but was only published in 1802 by Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn. Even after publication, it was largely ignored until the celebrated violinist Joseph Joachim started performing these works. Today, Bach's Sonatas and Partitas are an essential part of the violin repertoire, and they are frequently performed and recorded.
J.S. Bach's sonatas for solo violin, part of a long tradition of virtuoso works for the instrument, seem unsuited to transcription. But a guitar comes closer than perhaps any other instrument: it embodies a tension – not the same tension as with a solo violin but a tension nonetheless – between melodic material and polyphony. In the hands of Finnish guitarist Timo Korhonen they produce an unusual effect.
Violinist Viktoria Mullova made two great decisions before she made this record. First, she decided to record not only Bach's canonical six sonatas for violin and harpsichord, but also his Sonata in G major for violin and continuo and his Trio Sonata in C major for violin and continuo…