BACH 703

Concertos for Violin and Strings, BWV 1041 and 1042
Double Violin Concerto BWV 1043
Concerto in d-minor for Violin & Oboe BWV 1060
Concerto in A for Oboe d'amore
The Alsace Baroque Orchestra,
Jean-Philippe Kleber, solo violinist and conductor
Second Violin in BWV 1043, Hans Wittmayer
Pina Carmirelli, violin, and Willy Ulsamer, oboe in BWV 1060 and 1055

1. Concerto No 1 in a minor
    for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, BWV 1041
    Allegro – Antante – Allegro assai

2. Concerto No 2 in E Major
    for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, BWV 1042
    Allegro – Adagio – Allegro assai

3. Concerto No 3 in d minor
    for Two Violins, Strings, and Continuo, BWV 1043
    Vivace – Largo – Allegro

4. Concerto in d-minor for Violin & Oboe BWV 1060 (reconstruction)
    Allegro – Adagio – Allegro

5. Concerto in A Major for Oboe d'amore BWV 1055 (reconstruction)
    Allegro – Larghetto – Allegro ma non troppo

Total playing time 78:26

Over the years the three violin concertos have become "Classic Bach" almost as much as the Brandenburgs. The first, in a-minor, is a quiet, reflective piece, contrasting with the more lively E-Major concerto which follows. Back to the minor key again for the third in d, this time for two violins. They are Bach's only violin concertos which have come down to us, perhaps enjoyed all the more for their relative rarity.

Early works, probably composed at Cφthen and possibly even played there by the famous violinist from Dresden, Pisendel (with Bach playing second fiddle in 1043?!), these three concertos were re-written by Bach in his later, Leipzig years, as harpsichord concertos most probably for performance with the Collegium Musicum during one of the regular concerts at Zimmermann's Coffee House in the fashionable Catherine Strasse.

For the Violin & Oboe concertos however, we are working "backwards". We have the later, probably Leipzig-adapted two-harpsichord concerto which has long been familiar. The Violin & Oboe Concerto is an attempted "reconstruction" of a supposed original. The evidence for this particular combination of instruments is fairly substantial, and the result certainly makes enjoyable listening.

Similarly with the Concerto for Oboe d'amore, which is likewise a reconstruction of a harpsichord concerto. Especially interesting here is the unusual sound of the oboe d'amore, rarely heard these days!

These are performances in the traditional style, without any "authentic" gimmickry – played with respect as enjoyable music.

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