THE BACHIAN BOW


As for the baroque “Bachian” bow, this one had a great supporter and prominent incentive by Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who thus expressed on the interpretations of his time: “Everyone who heard the Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin by Bach, must have realized as, unfortunately, his material delight, drops below its optimum enjoyment”. Schweitzer was well pronounced in the matter of his comprehensive study of Bach’s music, published in 1908. For Schweitzer, was clear that for Bach had meant that the chords to be played as simultaneity and not as arpeggios, so expressing himself on the arpeggio, “a particularly bad effect, even in the best interpretation”. 

The Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin, are particularly benefited from the use of an appropriate baroque German bow, especially in the wonderful “Chaconne” from Partita # 2 in D minor BWV 1004, where the alternation between a single melodic line and harmony of strings, is the most important feature of his entire musical structure. A second effect of the use of the German baroque bow is its voltage drop usually more that produces a sound much softer, smoother instead of the sound rougher, more aggressive, which often assails the listener's ears in performances with the modern instruments and bows. Albert Schweitzer and Rolph Schroeder promoted the use of the German curved baroque bow  in the period, between 1933 and 1952 in a series of publications. Finally, a collaboration between Schweitzer, the world renowned violinist Emil Telmanyi, and the manufacturer of violins and bows Knud Vestergaard result in the Vega Bach Bow (Vega is an abbreviation of the manufacturer's, name and Bach Bow as a nomenclature proposed by Schweitzer.) The main feature of the Vega Bach Bow, was the replacement of a simple lever by a nut, a fundamental change in relation to the historical prototype, becoming an curving bow to the height of the modern requirements of polyphonic music. -Saulo Zucchello