Finally, an inerrant text!


I can do no more than admire from a very great distance, but I would recognize this score from its opening measures without the title. And I couldn’t go through life captivated by it but never having attempted it, so I did manage to work through the first third or so of Segovia’s arrangement of it for guitar. This is J. S. Bach’s Chaconne from Partita No. 2 for solo Violin (D minor), here performed by Jascha Heifetz, Paris, 1970.

Bach composed this work (1720, together with the other sonatas and partitas for solo violin) just after the death of his beloved wife Anna. One story about the composition (believed by many musicians but few Bach scholars) is that Bach’s elaborate use of the double stop (playing two notes at once) strewn throughout was Bach’s way of retrieving Anna from the grave to rejoin him and unite her voice with his. Well, true or not, the partitas are sublime, and the Chaconne is their summit.

One comment on “Finally, an inerrant text!

  1. johnnsw says:

    I first heard this music about 20 years ago on FM radio, but tuned in a little late, missing the announcement. It was being played by a full orchestra, and I found it overwhelming, but also puzzling. The music could hardly have been by anyone other than Bach, but the orchestration was certainly not his. The miracle is that when you hear it on solo violin, it loses nothing of its deep impact.

    For me, it is an inescapable pointer to eternal Realities.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s