Bach: E- major partita: did we all get the bariolage wrong!?

Edited: September 26, 2018, 9:31 PM · 2 sound images:
1st: federal competition in former Yugoslavia when just one player played the bariolage "as written", to the utter dismay of judges and other competitors
2nd: Ana Vidovic, guitar.... again as written, not as convenient, since there is no awkward string crossing.
here is the link
Tap the rhythm and listen to your favourite recordings.... in my case Mullova (both recordings), Hahn & Podger.
All of them group the 2nd note of the beginning (bariolage) with 3 consecutive notes, and then the very last note is out of rhythm ever slightly, only to catch-up with the next group of 4. Both bariolages are out of rhytm and wrong notes are highlighted.

Am I losing my mind or majority of violin players took a short-cut and ignored the ink on paper?

Replies (14)

September 26, 2018, 5:35 PM · Are you saying the first note of each beat in that section should be accented?

The entire charm of the barriolage comes from the offset strong beat.

September 26, 2018, 7:24 PM · no. I am saying that, if grouping starts with the 2nd note, one can not possibly play all notes in rhythm.
September 26, 2018, 7:54 PM · That's the idea.
Edited: September 27, 2018, 5:58 AM · Jaap Schroder "Bach Solo Violin Works", page 168-169. writes about this.
To me it appears that that the descending melody is not in bass line (lower string), but on the inner string. Not to mention that, if played as written, one can hear 3 notes, then bass. Symbolism of number 3 is often present in Bach's music.
September 26, 2018, 10:37 PM · Do you mean bariolage on 3 strings or 2? Can you either give bar# or a time on the guitar clip?
Edited: September 26, 2018, 11:23 PM · I don't really understand what you are talking about. Listening to Hahn, Pearlman, Kremer and Menuhin on youtube I don't hear anybody grouping the 16th in one-beat groups, let alone stressing the second note (which would be the open-E/A pedal point).

Three of them play the passage right through with no noticeable attempt to subdivide in groups of any kind. They all tend to rush (deliberately or not?) on the way to the end of the passage. Menuhin is the only exception: he makes groups of 2 measures by making the first note of every second measure a tad longer.

Just to be sure we are all talking about the same passage: Prelude from BWV 1006 in E-Major, measure 13 - 28 and 63 to 78.

September 26, 2018, 11:43 PM · I think the beauty is that we'll never know for sure.
September 27, 2018, 5:28 AM ·

I noticed the guitarist holds the first note G along with an added lower octave bass note, but then gets back rhythmically to playing it similar to others.

September 27, 2018, 5:57 AM · bars 17-29 and 67-79. My point is that, if a player starts with, or highlights the base line (on g string - 1st bariolage, or d string, 2nd bariolage), rhythm is affected. If the melodic line on INNER string is plated at least as equal, or a bit highlighted, rhythm is preserved.
Most of the players prolong the 1st note (in bar 17) and somehow skip, or wait longer on the very last note (in bar 29) in order to catch up with next bar. This may be a sound illusion, but if you tap, you will notice the deviation from rhythm / tempo. Try to practice this very slowly in different bowing patterns; it is very difficult to play as written. Slur 2 and 2, or play double stops on upper 2 and lower 2 strings. Slur all 4, etc.
September 27, 2018, 8:56 AM · I think you guys are WAY overthinking it....
September 27, 2018, 9:30 AM · This whole discussion makes no sense to me.
September 27, 2018, 4:18 PM · "They all tend to rush (deliberately or not?) on the way to the end of the passage.."

I think the practice could be called "musical motion" rather than simple rushing. There's no melody here--it's a chord progression. Progressions, by their nature, are headed towards tonic harmony, so it's natural to help move it along to resolution. One can say that these notes in this register or that are a "melody" but it might just be more accurate to call it "voice leading."

There's no melody in this movement. Chord progression and sequence, yes.

Edited: September 30, 2018, 1:30 AM · Whatever you call it, I didn't like it in any of the cases. I hear this downward sequence as a diminuendo, a relaxation, setting the stage for a nice piano to start the next section which is rising and almost unavoidably crescendo--and does have some melody.
Edited: October 2, 2018, 12:09 PM · One: Try with a gut E!
Two: play it as evenly as possible and listen to find what Bach wanted us to hear. He loved playing with our academic expectations.. (as in the 6/8 vs 12/16 in th G minor finale?)
Three: Let it swing!


Four: I agree with Albrecht.


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