There are five videos pertaining to the Allemanda in B minor, BWV 1002, on this site. One is a performance of our arrangement of it, and the other four are tutorial type videos. Parts one and two take more of a historical and philosophical look at the Allemanda, and parts three and four discuss the piece insofar as its structure, in a way that is directly applicable for those who perform this piece as well as for other musicians who may wish to study the piece further.

The Heritage of the B Minor Allemanda

In all of Bach’s sets of pieces, whether they be for keyboard, cello, or violin, he created an opening statement that not only introduced his chosen key, but that also captured the spirit of the instrument for which he was writing. This can be seen at play in Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, both in the opening of the G minor Sonata, and in the Allemanda from the first Partita. The video, part-one, discusses how Bach uses this Allemanda not only to introduce the first partita, but also to introduce all the partitas in the collection. We visit Lully at the court of Louis XIV in Versailles, and also discuss how Bach was tipping his hat to the Italian school of violin playing. Courtly life was very cosmopolitan in that era, and Bach’s Allemanda encapsulates much of that lifestyle. Part-Two looks into that heritage a little further. There was some interesting pre-history at play throughout Europe, that set the stage for Bach’s solo violin works, and the effects of that are particularly evident in the B minor Allemanda.

Parts -three and -four discuss the structure of the Allemanda. We take a look at the long range arch of the piece, beginning with looking at how Bach uses a combination of harmonic rhythm and bass lines to establish his key and then take listeners to the new key-centres, first to the cadence on the dominant at the end of the first half, and then to E minor and back to the home key of B minor.

There is also an intro video (linked to on the home page of this website), that may be very helpful, if you have not already seen it, as it presents some concepts that are discussed in many of the videos on the website. This was made so that the same subject matter did not need to be repeated over and over, and so the assumption is that people have understood the material in this introductory video as it applies to the others that follow.