Partita No. 3 in E Major

Partita No. 3 in E Major

Partita No. 3 in E Major

Johann Sebastian Bach

Miriam Fried's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy English Music sheet annotated by  Miriam Fried  is available 41 min Violin

In this lesson for the violin, Miriam Fried and Edith Cnockaert work on breathing and bowing techniques.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass 

In this masterclass, Professor Miriam Fried helps student Edith Cnockaert bring out the details in Bach’s Partita No. 3 for solo violin. Fried discusses how the different parts of the music relate to each other through harmony, from small groupings to bigger sections. She encourages the student to use varying bow lengths and pressure as well as dynamics to create different colors in the sound, highlight harmonic changes, and emphasize the direction of the phrase. Technically, she discusses bow hold and the amount of hair that should be touching the string in order to capture the right quality of sound for this music; and to allow more ease in the passagework. The student also tries using a baroque bow and the two consider the pros and cons of using it. Finally, Fried challenges the student to find joy and playfulness in this music and worry less about control when performing. 

What we learn in this masterclass 

  1. Capturing the playful side of the music.

  2. Avoiding a whistling sound from tilting the hair of the bow.

  3. Having flexibility and lightness in technique.

  4. Varying bow lengths to create groups and add color and direction.

  5. How to choose dynamics that highlight important harmonic moments.

Partita No. 3 in E Major by Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major is part of a set of works composed for solo violin in Weimar around 1703. Most of the pieces in this set include movements of standard Baroque dances. The third partita is unique in that it does not include an allemande, courante, or sarabande. Instead, it includes six movements: Preludio, Loure, Gavotte en Rondeau, Menuets I and II, Bourrée, and Gigue. The Preludio is widely considered one of Bach’s most impressive compositions for violin, incorporating frequent vacillation between strings and persistent, challenging technical passages.

The Loure, a relatively uncommon form in Bach compositions, is similar to a gigue, but slower and more stately, and includes many double and triple stops. The Gavotte en Rondeau is an imitative courtly dance, characterized by elegance. This movement, along with the menuets and bourrée, display influence from the French style. The final Gigue is lively, yet restrained and closely related to the first movement, bringing the piece full circle. 

  • Date:26 October 2021
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:41 min
  • Spoken language:English

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 Miriam Fried’s feedback and comments.

Sheet music partita no. 3 in e major

Miriam Fried

Miriam Fried

Professor of violin at New England Conservatory in Boston.

Miriam Fried has played with virtually every major orchestra in the United States and Europe and has been a frequent guest with the principal orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as with the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Vienna Symphony.

In recent seasons, Ms. Fried’s schedule has included orchestral engagements with such prestigious ensembles as the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Czech Philharmonic, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. In 1993, she premiered a violin concerto written for her by Donald Erb with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and recorded the work for Koss. Ms. Fried’s highly praised New York recitals of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin were the culmination of three years of international performances.

She was the first violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet for ten years and collaborates regularly with her son, pianist Jonathan Biss. Currently, Miriam Fried is a professor at New England Conservatory and is invited to give masterclasses throughout the world. Since 1994 she has been program Director of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, one of the country’s leading summer programs for young musicians.


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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