Musical Club of Hartford

12/1/2022: Musical Exploration: Bach's Ciaccona

Raymond Erickson, Emeritus Professor at Queens College, CUNY, will present a program entitled "THE STORY OF A MUSICAL ICON: BACH'S CIACCONA FOR UNACCOMPANIED VIOLIN", based around the famous Ciaccona from Bach's D minor sonata for solo violin.

Prof. Erickson will survey the many and various renditions and transcriptions of this work, showing what posterity has made of it. He will then focus back on the original and present his own theory on what Bach may have had in mind, particularly in terms of tempo. In addition to playing recordings of numerous excerpts, Prof. Erickson will conclude with a video of a version that he believes to be closer in some ways to Bach's conception. Prof. Erickson has encyclopedic knowledge of music history and is a very engaging speaker. You won't be bored!

Note: This event will take place, not in the Sanctuary, but in Fellowship Hall.

Program Outline

I. The Early History of Bach's Ciaccona: The 18th Century

II. Bach's Violin Ciaccona becomes a Musical Icon: The 19th Century

III. The Bach Ciaccona in America

IV. What is a Chaconne or Ciaccona Anyway?

V. So How Did Bach's Ciaccona Come to be the Very Serious, Spiritual Piece We All Know?

VI. Looking Freshly at the Bach Ciaccona

The presentation will conclude with a video recording of Luosha Fang playing the Bach Ciaccona. This performance is available on the website of the American Bach Society as part of its "Tiny Bach Concerts" series, Episode 12.