The Innermost Master


20101207 (BBC7)

Violinist Paul Robertson searches to find out if the secrets of composer JS Bach's life are hidden in musical code.

From 2004.

Violinist Paul Robertson searches to see if JS Bach's life are hidden in musical code.

20101212 (BBC7)

Violinist Paul Robertson searches to see if JS Bach's life are hidden in musical code.


One of J S Bach's most technically challenging secular works - the Chaconne from his Partita for Solo Violin in D minor - may conceal the secrets of his genius and spirituality.

In this programme violinist Paul Robertson explores his own relationship with just one of these works - the Partita in D Minor, and in particular the monumental ""Chaconne"" last movement.

Told as a student that it should be learnt as a technical study then retired to the bottom draw, Robertson was nevertheless captured by Bach's most ethereal music.

He found that digging deep below its surface brought more questions than answers.

Robertson is leader of the Medici String Quartet.

For the past twenty years he has collaborated with leading scientists to explore the neurological and scientific basis for music.

This programme will bring together all the elements - the science, music, dance, culture and spirituality - to reveal an integral and connected world view very different to our own.


When he was a child, the violinist Paul Robertson was introduced to what many believe to be the pinnacle of the violin repertoire, the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin by J S Bach.

One in particular, the D minor Partita with its monumental Chaconne finale, proved not just technically daunting, but emotionally and intellectually draining.

In a search to unravel the centuries old secrets of this work, he seeks out those who believe they have unlocked the mind of the composer through hidden numerical and musical personal messages embedded in the work.