Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, 1st movement

Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, 1st movement

Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, 1st movement

Johann Sebastian Bach

Boris Garlitsky's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy French Music sheet annotated by  Boris Garlitsky  is available 1 h 2 min Violin

Professor Boris Garlitsky and his student Pauline Van der Rest focus on bowing, articulation, and tempo in this violin masterclass.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this violin masterclass 

In this session, Professor Boris Garlitsky and student Pauline Van der Rest take on the Sonata No. 2 in A Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach.  

Professor Garlitsky describes the piece as if it were a ‘dark dream.’ The student is instructed to pay special attention to the low and high notes, which Garlitsky interprets as the human – lyrical sides of the oeuvre.  

What’s more, the professor discusses bowing and the importance of finding stability in the bow itself in order for it to slide with higher fluidity. Other specified elements in this class include the importance of playing without tension, articulating the melody, mastering the sound, and maintaining tempo.  

What we learn in this masterclass

  1. Allowing one’s bow glide for a more fluid sound. 

  2. Paying attention to the bass.  

  3. Maintaining the tempo.  

  4. Articulating effectively. 

  5. Capturing the sombre and emotional context of the piece.

Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, 1st movement by Johann Sebastian Bach 

The Sonata No. 2  in A minor is part of a set of six works composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1720, but only published many years later in 1802 in Germany. The Sonatas and Partitas by Bach are always part of a violinist’s repertoire and have frequently been recorded and performed all around the world.  

Bach’s work helped establish the technical capabilities of a solo violin for generation to come. The Sonata No. 2 is particularly dreamlike. It is also a grave piece that reads like an adieu. Careful and correct articulation is paramount to play this piece well. 

  • Composer: Bach
  • Piece:Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, 1st movement
  • Professor: Boris Garlitsky
  • Student:Pauline Van der Rest
  • Instruments: Violin
  • Date:02 November 2020
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:1 h 2 min
  • Spoken language:French

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this violin masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Boris Garlitsky’s feedback and comments.

Sheet music sonata no. 2 in a minor, 1st movement

Boris Garlitsky

Boris Garlitsky

In 1982 he was the winner of the Premio Paganini in Italy.

Born in Russia, Boris Garlitsky received his first music lessons from his father, the author of the standard textbook for young violinists, “Step by Step”. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory, and debuted as a soloist after winning the Italian Paganini Competition in 1982. Since then, he has played, among others, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, as well as the Milan based Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra and the British Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Garlitsky is an active participant in several international music festivals. He regularly participates in the Pablo Casals Festival in France, mostly Mozart in New York, the London Proms, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Gidon Kremer’s Chamber Music Festival at Lockenhaus in Austria. What’s more, Garlitsky performs for the BBC, Radio France, as well as a number of radio stations in Italy, Russia, and the United States. He has recorded for RCA, Naxos, Chandos and Polymnie. Furthermore, Garlitsky is devoted to chamber music and is a member of the Hermitage String Trio, praised highly in critical reviews.

Presently, Garlitsky is a dedicated educator. He holds a chair at the Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen (Germany), and offers masterclasses on a yearly basis at the most renowned music institutions, including the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin, and Kronberg Academy.


Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in music history. His incredible creative power, technical mastery, and intellect have made a lasting impression not only on classical music but also on many different modern music genres we know today.

Born in 1685 in Eisenach, Germany, Bach was a member of a very well-known family of musicians. At 18-years-old, he began working in Arnstadt where he accompanied hymns at church. His professional career as a musician would follow in Weimar, where he resided from 1708 to 1717. Here, Bach would deepen his theoretical study of composition and write most of his organ works. Moreover, he composed preludes and fugues that would be part of his collection The Well-Tempered Clavier. After building a considerable reputation in Weimar, Bach moved to Köthen to take a new role as Chapel Master. Writing less religious songs and putting more of a focus on chamber music, his compositions from this time would bring Baroque instrumental music to its pinnacle.

From 1723 until his death in 1750, Bach worked in Leipzig. First, as Thomaskantor at the Thomasschule and later as a private tutor and director of the Collegium Musicum. During this time, Bach worked on creating a repertoire of cantatas for church and revised many of his previous compositions. From 1726 onward, his keyboard works were published. His death in 1750 came to mark the end of the Baroque period and the beginning of Classicism. For many years after his passing, Johann Sebastian Bach’s works were buried with him until they resurfaced many years later and celebrated for their musical ingenuity.

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