I practice solo Bach every day. Since I play viola, I can alternate between transcriptions of the Suites for solo cello and the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. Performing solo Bach for people (aside from demonstrations for students) is not something I had ever considered doing.
Yesterday morning I filled in at the last minute for a friend who was unable to play violin (solo) for an outdoor funeral. I decided to play viola because I have a viola that can handle the rigors of outdoor playing, and all the reqested music was set low in the violin register. Just before leaving the house I put my volume of Bach Cello Suites in my bag, thinking of my father, who put his volume of Bach Suites in his case when we were leaving his house to play a Mozart Duo movement for Marshall's memorial service, just in case it was necessary. (That pun was unintentional, but I'll let it stand.)
The Bach G-major Prelude was perfect music to play while people arrived and seated themselves in the tent for yesterday's service, so I played it. Suddenly the Prelude I knew so well seemed unfamiliar. I heard it differently. It had a purpose in this place and with these people. After the service I flipped to the Allemande from the C-major Suite, and used it as a postlude. I found myself playing it at a different tempo from my usual practice tempo, but somehow it felt right for the moment. I took the repeat in the first section, and the last person left the tent at the G-major cadence. It seemed right to stop. I did. G major to G major.
I find it very interesting how solo Bach can adapt to circumstances almost on its own. I look forward to the next opportunity to see what happens!