J.S. Bach: Siciliano from Violin Sonata No. 4 for Solo Piano


Downloadable Score

As with much of Bach’s instrumental output, while studying this arrangement the musician has license to be flexible. One may and should experiment with different tempi, articulation, pedaling, dynamics, touch and even phrasing. For those who feel they would benefit from some direction, here are a few guidelines:

Tempo: I would suggest a range from 72 to 92 metronome marking per 8th note.

Articulation: the left hand can be played either legato, non-legato or even staccato, if pedaled. The implied bass line, shown as the lowest note of beats 1 and 4, can be sustained, for more polyphonic effect, by either holding down the key or using the sostenuto pedal.

Phrasing: I left out most of the slurs because the melody here is continuous. As long as the right hand plays a smooth, cantabile legato and the tied notes are carefully listened to, it will work.

Pedal: this piece can sound fine without any pedal, especially at a faster tempo, but for those who hear it more slowly, some pedaling will help and enhance the sound. There is room for experimentation with all 3 pedals here and different approaches can also work for the repeats.

Dynamics: overall, this is not a loud piece, but of course there are moments of increased tension and resolution.

I hope that you will enjoy being able to play this wonderful piece without a violinist.