Pine Is the Only American Gold Medalist of the
J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany
Pine’s Bach Solo Album Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas
for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach
Debuted at Number One on the Billboard Classical Chart
New York, NY – Carl Fischer Music has published J.S. Bach: Six Sonatas and Partitas (BF115 – Score – $19.99) edited by internationally-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine. This new book, her seventh for Carl Fischer Music, provides the sheet music and numerous resources for exploring this cornerstone of the violin repertoire. J.S. Bach: Six Sonatas and Partitas delivers different levels of materials which will engage everyone from professional violinists and conservatory students to amateurs and younger students discovering these masterpieces for the first time.
Pine is the only American gold medalist, and youngest-ever winner of the J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany, an honor she received in 1992 at age 17. The quality of her scholarship and the depth of her experience has continued to distinguish her interpretation of Bach’s music. This edition closely follows Pine’s interpretation as featured in her 2016 critically-acclaimed, chart-topping recording Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach (Avie 2360).
“More than almost any repertoire, each individual’s interpretation of Bach is as unique as his or her personality. Every violinist who undertakes a lifetime’s journey with this incredible repertoire is continually discovering new ideas,” says Pine. “My edition of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas is the book that I always wished existed! I hope that younger students will use the edited edition as a guide for their interpretation as they first explore this repertoire, practicing from the printed book, and I encourage older students and professionals to use it as a resource for ideas, practicing from the critical edition and referring to the book as they go along,” she adds.
Pine’s publication features more materials than other editions of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas. The printed book includes Pine’s suggestions for bowings and fingerings, indications on interpretation of the polyphony, and suggestions for phrasing and dynamics.
Accompanying each book is a treasure trove of downloadable materials which includes:
A critical edition – Pine’s newly created unedited “urtext” edition is based on Bach’s manuscript. The layout of each page corresponds exactly to the edited version (the physical book), so that people practicing from Pine’s edition can go back and forth between the clean copy and her ideas. Pine’s “urtext” differs slightly from the Henle and Barenreiter urtext editions, sometimes due to different opinions about Bach’s intentions, and at other times because Pine’s is a single source urtext, whereas the Henle and Barenreiter also draw upon copies by Bach’s students and contemporaries.
A manuscript critical edition - Pine’s edition has a specially configured version of Bach’s manuscript in which each portion corresponds to a page of the printed book with measure numbers included. This design allows the eye to easily travel back and forth between one (partial) page of the manuscript and the same music on a page of the critical edition or edited edition. This is in contrast to other editions which present Bach’s manuscript with its original pagination and without measure numbers. Pine explains, “I designed the manuscript critical edition this way because it’s important that anyone studying this music look at Bach’s music in his own handwriting to make his or her own decisions. Even a critical edition represents an opinion with which you may or may not agree, like -for example- when considering the exact placement of many of Bach’s slurs.”
An index of string crossings in the Adagio of the Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001- A notorious difficulty of this movement is the dense number of string crossings over three or four strings. When crossing between G and A, D and E, or G and E, it is easy to accidentally bump the strings in between. Pine has circled every occurrence of this to make sure that none are missed when practicing and to help players find similar moments in other movements.
A comparision of the first and last sections of the Adagio of the Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001 - The first eight measures and the last eight measures of this movement are the exact same music, but in different keys with different ornaments. Pine has created a two-stave version so that players can compare and contrast them when crafting their interpretations. This comparison can also serve as an aid to memorization.
A two-stave analysis of the movements and doubles of the Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002 - Each of the four movements of the first Partita is followed by a variation called a Double. These variations are an exact replica of the movement that preceded them. When crafting an interpretation, it’s valuable to decide if one’s Double is or isn’t going to follow the same dynamic scheme as the main movement, so Pine has lined them up in a two-stave version to enable players to see exactly how they correspond.
An analysis of the implied bass notes in the Grave of the Sonata No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003 - The first movement of Sonata No. 2 is much more structurally sophisticated than the first movement of Sonata No. 1. Since the ornamentation is so florid, it’s useful to think of the underlying implied bass notes when thinking about the movement’s structure and flow. Pine recommends playing the bass notes alone, then practicing the violin part while humming the long bass note pitches, and finally playing the bass notes while humming the violin part.
A listing of preemptive covered fifths in the Loure of the Partita No.3 in E major, BWV 1006 - An important way to make Bach’s music as clean as possible is to occasionally set one’s finger on two strings simultaneously, a preemptive covered fifth. A large number of these occur in the E Major Loure, so Pine has circled all of them to make sure that none are missed in practicing and so players can learn to apply this principle to all of Bach’s other movements.
Pine has made a lifelong study of Bach and his manuscript of the Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, examining the masterpieces themselves as well as the social, musical, and historical context in which they were written. She has researched the composers Bach admired and given numerous historically-informed performances of 17th and 18th Century music from Germany, France, and Italy which served as a direct influence on his compositions.
Pine’s edition is designed to be used with either a baroque or modern bow, though Pine strongly encourages use of the former, even on modern violin. Pine first started studying the unaccompanied works of Bach at age eight, and since age 14, has been using a baroque bow for unaccompanied Bach.
While the bowings and fingering in previous Bach editions, such as the popular version edited by Ivan Galamian, don’t translate well to a baroque bow, Pine’s historically-informed bowings and fingerings are perfectly compatible with a baroque bow on a modern or baroque violin, and will also work with a modern bow. The addition of dynamics and phrasing indications provide nuanced layers of information for those who are not as familiar with baroque interpretation and wish to learn more.
Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas
Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685–1750) contributions to classical music are universally acknowledged and celebrated as among the most significant and profound. His contrapuntal writing continues to set the standard by which any musical composition is judged. Among the greatest examples of his mastery of counterpoint, the Six Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin are a cornerstone of every violinist's study and repertoire.
The Six Sonatas and Partitas are a culmination of an almost-century-old tradition of multiple-voice writing for unaccompanied violin in Germany. Works by Thomas Baltzar (Preludes, Allemande, etc.), Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (Passacaglia), Johann Paul von Westhoff (Suites), and Georg Pisendel (Sonata) serve as significant examples of this improvisatory and compositional practice with which Bach was intimately familiar.
The internal symmetry of the six violin works points to Bach’s conception of them as a cycle, rather than merely a collection. The three Sonatas are in sonata da chiesa (church sonata) form: slow-fast-slow-fast. Each Fuga is increasingly complex; in contrast, the third movements of the Sonatas become sparer, from three voices, to two, to primarily one.
Meanwhile, the Partitas – suites of dance music in form that are not intended for dance in practice – follow a stylistically forward path, spanning the proto-17th Century of the B Minor to the High Baroque Italian of the D Minor and the then-modern French style of the E Major.
About Rachel Barton Pine
In both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. Celebrated as a leading interpreter of great classical works, she plays with passion and conviction across an extensive repertoire. Audiences are thrilled by her dazzling technique, lustrous tone, and infectious joy in music-making.
Pine has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago, Montreal, Baltimore, and Vienna Symphonies; the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Mozarteum, Scottish, and Israel Chamber Orchestras; the Royal Philharmonic; and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie. She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi and Marin Alsop. She has performed all 24 Paganini Caprices live in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C. and at Ravinia.
She holds top prizes from the J.S. Bach (gold medal), Queen Elisabeth, Paganini, Kreisler, Szigeti, and Montreal international competitions.
Pine’s prolific discography of 36 recordings includes her performance of the Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Russian National Orchestra, conducted by José Serebrier, which is featured on Glazunov Complete Concertos on Warner Classics. She recorded Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner conducting, as well as Elgar & Bruch Violin Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton on Avie. Her Violin Lullabies performed with pianist Matthew Hagle and released on Cedille Records debuted at number one on the Billboard classical chart. Her Brahms and Joachim Violin Concertos was recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Carlos Kalmar.
With the publication of The Rachel Barton Pine Collection, a collection of original compositions, arrangements, and cadenzas penned or arranged by Pine, Pine became the only living artist to join musicians including Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer Music’s Masters Collection series. Pine’s Violin Lullabies, published by Carl Fischer Music, features her editions of the music from her chart-topping recording of classical cradle songs, complete with downloadable piano accompaniment parts and music-minus-one tracks performed by the album’s pianist, Matthew Hagle. Pine collaborated with Carl Fischer Music for its editions of Franz Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies for the Violin and Viola, Book 1 and Book 2. Both editions contain an accompanying DVD featuring Pine playing all of the etudes.
Pine is a life trustee of the Music Institute of Chicago. Her Rachel Barton Pine Foundation assists young artists through various projects, including the Instrument Loan Program, Grants for Education and Career, Global HeartStrings (supporting musicians in developing countries), and a curricular series in development with the University of Michigan: Music by Black Composers. She plays the Joseph Guarneri del Gesú (Cremona 1742), known as the “ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat,” on generous lifetime loan from her patron. More information about Pine is available at her website.
Carl Fischer Music has been the leader in providing the highest quality educational music since 1872. Visit www.carlfischer.com to order products or to find a retailer near you. For review copies of this publication, please contact Elizabeth Holub at (212) 777-0900, ext. 230 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.