On September 19, Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season with a performance of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas—one of the monuments of Western music.
While the six individual sonatas and partitas are regularly performed, Christian Tetzlaff is one of only a few artists who present the complete cycle as in a single epic program. In the following Q&A with 92Y, he discusses his thoughts and experience with Bach and the cycle.
So the entire cycle turns on the Chaconne? Yes, it is such a devastating piece of music. It is thirteen minutes long and connected to the other movements in the partita, and yet it towers above everything else. And then after such music—where could one possibly go? Even Bach doesn’t know. In his manuscript, the Chaconne stops and then the next sonata—which is supposed to be in C major—starts directly on the next line in the same register, same rhythm, same tempo, and even by the fifth measure, in the same key—D minor.