Yep, you’re right –- I’m not qualified to write about the Chaconne. I’m a flutist, not a violinist. The Chaconne, of course, is the final movement of Bach’s Partita in D minor for solo violin.
Supposedly, Bach wrote the Chaconne in memory of his first wife, after he returned from a trip to discover that she had died. Perhaps that explains why, whenever I have had the pleasure of hearing this monumental work, especially live, it conjures up every possible emotion I am capable of feeling.
The Chaconne is a good example of the universality of Bach’s music. Loved and considered a challenge by all serious musicians, there are transcriptions of the movement for cello, for flute, for marimba, for guitar, for piano, for organ and probably every other solo instrument. There are also a number of orchestral transcriptions of the Chaconne.
One of my favorite writings about the Chaconne is by Arnold Steinhardt, first violinist of the acclaimed Guarneri String Quartet. NPR did a story on Steinhardt and his book, ‘Violin Dreams’: Chasing Bach’s Elusive Chaconne. Listen to the story here.
Steinhardt also publishes stories about music in a delightful blog he calls In the Key of Strawberry.
Happy listening. Happy reading.