Starting with an overview of the early reception, performance and editorial history of Bach’s Sei Solo a Violino senza basso accompagnato (BWV 1001-1006), it discusses sound recordings made during the 20th century. Examining aspects of interpretation such as ornamentation, rhythmic projection and articulation, it compares over forty different versions spanning from Joachim’s 1903 recording to releases in 2002. It notes various trends in overall conception (i.e. approaches to slow, fugal and dance movements), use of vibrato, choice of expressive means and an increasing individuality among interpretations from the last 10 years. Discussion of recordings from the last quarter of the 20th century illustrates the differences between ‘modern’ and ‘historically informed’ performance and shows how contemporary violinists using modern instruments may emulate the period style through bowing, articulation and the projection of metre and pulse. Software assisted analyses inform the comparison of vibrato and bowing. A systematic reporting of tempo choices questions the claim that performances have become faster with the passing of time.