©Theresa Pewal

This is an archived event

Rachel Podger

The Versatile Violin

Cello Suite no 1 BWV1007 (transcription)
Partita no 2 BWV1004 or Sonata no 2 in A minor BWV1003
Sonata in B minor
Passacaglia in G minor

Rachel Podger violin

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite no 3 in C major BWV1009 (transposed to G major); 
                                           Partita no 2 in D minor BWV1004 (8pm concert) or Sonata no 2 in A minor BWV1003 (5pm concert)
Giuseppe Tartini: 
Sonata in B minor
Heinrich Biber: Passacaglia in G minor ‘The Guardian Angel’

We’re apt to think of Bach in the context of organs or sacred choral music and can easily forget what an accomplished string player he was. But the Cello Suites and Sonatas & Partitas for violin quickly remind us. Written comparatively early in his career, they are the culmination of Baroque polyphonic writing for solo stringed instruments, Yehudi Menuhin calling the chaconne that ends the second Partita “the greatest structure for solo violin that exists”.

Biber’s Passacaglia concludes his cycle of so-called ‘Mystery Sonatas’. It's a fitting precursor to Bach’s work and combines startling invention with a haunting beauty. Tartini’s Sonata, by contrast, is more lyrical, ending with a wonderfully infectious jig.

Programme notes can be downloaded here.

Rachel Podger was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize in October 2015, and was Gramophone Artist of the Year 2018. A creative programmer, Rachel is the Founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque.

A dedicated educator, she holds the Micaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin at the Royal Academy of Music and the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

“A breathtaking interpretation of Bach’s Cello Suites. A spellbinding set that is arguably Podger’s finest recorded achievement to date” BBC Music Magazine.

“There is probably no more inspirational musician working today than Podger” Gramophone


The concert is expected to last approximately 75 min.


Wed 13 Oct 2021 5.00pm and 8.00pm

Little Missenden Church

£25, £18, £10

Rachel plays Bach at Wigmore Hall