Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Johann Sebastian Bach

A slow, grim theme trudges forward from the outset of this sinfonia; actually, Bach preferred this and its fellow pieces to be played with a singing line, but trudging is the best many students can manage here. When played flowingly, the sinfonia has an austere beauty that is immediately complicated by the countersubjects. Its contrapuntal lines are not especially interesting in themselves except for when they echo the primary theme, but they give the sinfonia a restlessness that soon takes over the piece, as Bach focuses on an elaboration of the primary melodic line. The sinfonia never fully recovers from this elaboration, the main theme occurring at the end only in fragmentary form.