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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Bach Violin Concertos

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This month’s selection from the Podcast Vault is the first of three posts n the Tuesday Blog dedicated to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. It also serves to conclude our previous month’s “Double, Double” series, with a pair of double concertos by the Cantor, and feeds another ongoing arc on concertos of all sorts.

Bach, like many of his Baroque contemporaries, was instrumental in creating a novel genre of “solo concerrtos”, that is to say concerrtos for one (or few) soloists with orchestral accompaniment – as opposed to the concerto grosso, where a distinct element of the orchestra (the concertino) “competes” with the rest of the ensemble for melodic content. This concerto grosso format is, of course, at the heart of the six Brandenburg concerti.

Among the instruments that get the “solo concerto” treatment in the Bach catalog are – predominantly – the keyboard, the violin and the oboe. Today’s podcast focuses on the violin concerto, showcasing the three “main” violin concertos (BWV 1041, 1042 and 1043), performed by La Petite Bande and its leadcer. Sigiswald Kuijken.

Interestingly, all three of these concertos are linked (as “arrangements”) to kwyboard concertos – see our playlist below for details. The concerto BWV 1043 is probably one of the better known violin concertos from Bach’s catalog, set for two violin soloists. As it turns out, depending on who you believe , it is either a re-use of the concerto for two keyboard (BWV 1062), or that concerto is a re-use of this one… However, it is generally accepted that another concerto for two keyboards (BWV 1060) is the inspiration for a “reconstruction” for violin and oboe (BWV 1060R), also included in this podcast.

As we’ve said several times in past posts, Bach is notorious for recycling his music, and readapting it for different purposes. However, his concerto BWV 1052 turns out to be a go-to workhorse, having settings for solo keyboard, violin, oboe and even mandolin – though the latter two may be thanks to other musicians.


ITYWLTMT Podcast Montage # 125 – Back to Bach – Violin Concertos
(Originally issued on Friday, October 4, 2013)

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041
(arranged as Harpsichord Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058)
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042
(arranged as Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1054)
Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043
(arranged as the Concerto for Two Harpsichords in D minor BWV 1062)
Sigiswald Kuijken, violin and leader
Lucy van Dael, violin (BWV 1043)
La Petite Bande

Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052R
(reconstructed from Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052)
Thomas Zehetmair, violin
Amsterdam Bach Soloists

Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060R
(reconstructed from the Concerto for Two Harpsichords in C minor, BWV 1060)
Eugenijus Paulauskas, violin
Juozas Rimas, oboe
Orchestra of the Lietuvos muzikos ir teatro akademija

March 6 2014, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Sinfonie Concertanti" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more on our blogs in English and in French.

Updated Mar-03-2015 at 11:40 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music