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The first page of Bach’s BWV1001 manuscript with the disputed ‘E’ circled in red


I respectfully disagree with Hagai Shaham’s studious claim that there is a flat symbol ‘missing’ from the note E in the third bar of Bach’s 1720 manuscript copy of his Solo Violin Sonata no.1 in G minor BWV1001 (The Strad website Conversely, I believe that the ‘reminder’ accidental in the following bars shows that the composer was fully cognisant of the change there from natural to flat. Composers do not always make the same statement in the same way twice. Life would be pretty boring if they did. I also enjoy hearing different musicians interpret the same music in different ways and I think we will just have to live with the fact that some will play this note as an E natural and others will play it as an E flat.

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About The Strad

We mark 100 years of Elgar’s Cello Concerto and examine Sgarabotto’s violins. Plus interviews Boris Kuschnir, Daniel Müller-Schott and Richard Tognetti, and our annual Cremona supplement.