Download: BACH EDITION VOLUME I Orchestral Works / Chamber Music

BACH EDITION VOLUME I Orchestral Works / Chamber Music CD I-1 BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS 1-2-3 The surviving orchestral works of Johann Sebastian Bach provide examples of concertos and suites, the two most important orchestral genres in the late Baroque. Bach dedicated his final versions of the six Brandenburg Concertos (BWV 1046-1051) on March 24, 1721 to Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg. Probably each concerto had had earlier performances (at least two - Nos. 1 and 5 - in different versions) in Weimar or Cöthen. The Brandenburg Concertos are not solo concertos in the sense in which w...
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Orchestral Works / Chamber Music,


The surviving orchestral works of Johann Sebastian Bach provide examples of concertos and suites, the two most important orchestral genres in the late Baroque. Bach dedicated his final versions of the six Brandenburg Concertos (BWV 1046-1051) on March 24, 1721 to Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg. Probably each concerto had had earlier performances (at least two - Nos. 1 and 5 - in different versions) in Weimar or Cöthen. The Brandenburg Concertos are not solo concertos in the sense in which we understand concertos today, but examples of earlier forms of concerted music. Each of the six features a different combination of solo and tutti instruments, combinations that are highly unusual for the late Baroque. In three of these concer- tos (Nos. 1, 3 and 6) the orchestra is divided into well-balanced instrumental groups which pass themes from one to another in a lively musical dialogue, comparable to a series of questions and answers. From time to time a solo instrument takes control of the conversation. The three other concertos (Nos. 2, 4, and 5) are typical of the concerto grosso, with three or four solo instruments (concertino) competing with an accompanying group of strings (the ripieno). However, one solo instrument in each of these concertos stands out above the others in the concertino (the trumpet, violin, and harpsichord in Nos. 2, 4, and 5, respectively), thereby creating in effect three solo concertos. Although not conceived as a group, these six works seem to be brought together to demon- strate different ways of writing `concertos for several instruments’, as the autograph title-page calls them. The first concerto, in F major, is scored for two horns, three oboes, bassoon, violin (a small violin, called vio- lino piccolo), strings and continuo. This seems to be an unusual ensemble, but one which Vivaldi used (with two oboes instead of three) in four concertos. More unusual is the work’s structure. At first glance it might appear that Bach has merely added a French-style minuet to the usual three movement concerto. But in fact the genesis of the work is more complicated than that. An earlier version (BWV 1046a) without the violino picco- lo and called `sinfonia’ has only the first two movements and the minuet (lacking the second trio, the string polonaise). Bach could have used this piece for an introduction to a longer work, to Cantata 208, as has been suggested. The new Allegro, the third movement of the concerto in its well-known version, makes the work much more of a concerto. But even the style and structure of this movement point to Bach’s secular vocal music rather than to his other orchestral works. Bach did, indeed, use it again as the opening chorus of the secular, cantata BWV 207. The music sounds more at home there, with trumpets, drums and four part chorus. The famous Bach scholar Alfred Dürr called this unbelievably skilled adaptation of a concerto movement as a da capo chorus `one of Bach’s most remarkable achievements.’ If the first concerto was designed more in the French taste, the other five are more Italianate in structure. The second concerto, in F major like the first, has a solo group consisting of trumpet, recorder, oboe and violin, a very heterogeneous collection of instruments. In its perfect proportions this concerto seems to be the very pro- totype of a concerto grosso. The trumpet, with its high clarino register, is treated with such virtuosity that the work gives the impression of a real solo concerto. In the melancholy middle movement the trumpet is kept silent, but in the Finale it is put to the forefront again. It announces the jolly main subject and also concludes this dashing piece. The Third Brandenburg Concerto is arranged for three groups of strings, each of which is divided in turn into three parts. The majestic first movement, with its contending melodic forces and the occasional emergence of sombre harmonies in the minor, is full of drama. Bach dispensed with the customary slow second movement. A simple cadence of only two chords provide the performers with an opportunity to improvise a cadenza. The breathtaking Finale sounds like a wild chase among the nine string parts. Clemens Romijn,


The title page of the autograph score of the Brandenburg Concertos and Bach’s dedication (according to the New Bach Reader) reads as follows: Six Concertos with several instruments dedicated to His Royal Highness, Monsieur Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg &c. &c. &c, by His very humble and very obedient servant Johann Sebastian Bach, Capellmeister of His Most Serene Highness, the Reigning Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen. Your Royal Highness, As I had a couple of years ago the pleasure of appearing before Your Royal Highness, by virtue of Your Highness’s commands, and as I noticed then that Your Highness took some pleasure in the small talents that Heaven has given me for Music, and as in taking leave of Your Royal Highness, Your Highness deigned to honor me with the command to send Your Highness some pieces of my composition: I have then in accordan- ce with Your Highness’s most gracious orders taken the liberty of rendering my most humble duty to Your Royal Highness with the present concertos, which I have adapted to several instruments; begging Your Highness most humbly not to judge their imperfection with the rigor and fine and delicate taste that the whole world knows Your Highness has for musical pieces; but rather to infer from them in benign consideration the profound respect and the most humble obedience that I try to show Your Highness therewith. For the rest, Sir, I beg your Royal Highness very humbly to have the goodness to continue Your Highness’s gracious favor toward me, and to be assured that nothing is so close to my heart as the wish that I may be employed on occa- sions more worthy of Your Royal Highness and of Your Highness’s service - I, who without an equal in zeal am, Sire, Your Royal Highness’s most humble and obedient servant, Coethen, March 24, 1721 JEAN SEBASTIAN BACH Although Brandenburg Concertos No.4 and 5 still owe a lot to the concerto grosso, in each of these works one instrument takes the lead as soloist. In No.4 a concertino of violin and two recorders is set against the strings. The second movement, with the violin pre-eminent, has an unmistakable concertante character. Technically, the Brandenburg Concerto No.5 is a concerto grosso with three soloists: flute, violin and harpsi- chord. It is obvious however, from Bach’s treatment of the three solo instruments, that he was thinking in terms of the keyboard concerto. Not only is there a brilliant harpsichord cadenza of no less than 65 bars towards the end of the first movement, but throughout this Allegro and in the Finale too, the harpsichord emerges as the most prominent of the three soloists. The humble harpsichord, whose role in ensembles had mostly been that of supporting other instruments, assumes the proud role of leader. Obviously this work was from the outset intended for the harpsichord and must be considered as the first original clavier concerto ever written. Probably Bach, who played the part himself, was inspired to compose it by the exquisite harpsichord he had bought in 1719 for his Prince in Berlin. The thrilling and dramatic first movement is followed by a melancholic `Affettuoso’, played by the three solo instruments only. The Finale has a completely different mood, shaking off the strong introspection of the first and second movement. Elements of the fugue, concerto, gigue and da capo aria have been brought together here in a skilful combination. A sense of bucolic humor prevails in this lightweight gigue-like piece. Brandenburg Concerto No.6 has the most unusual and thinnest scoring of the set, written for two violas, two viole da gamba, cello and continuo. One of the gamba parts may have been intended for Prince Leopold, an enthousiastic amateur on the instrument, because this part offers virtually no technical difficulties. Bach him- self most likely played the first viola part. After a brilliant first movement full of polyphonic intricacies the Adagio omits the viole da gamba and gives an expressive and nostalgic melody to the violas. The finale has the same optimistic mood and rhythmic drive as the first movement. Clemens Romijn,

CD I-3 ORCHESTRAL SUITES 1&2 BWV 1066 & 1067

After the six Italianate Brandenburg Concertos this and the following compact disk offer examples of the other important musical genre in 18th century Europe: the suite. The great composers of the 17th and 18th century - like Purcell, Telemann, Bach and Handel - were internationally oriented pioneers and very aware of the musi- cal fashions of their day, the most important being the Italian concerto and the French suite. The Brandenburg Concertos are brilliant examples of Italianate compositions by a German composer, who, like Telemann, never set a foot on Italian ground. While France itself was the scene of heated debate between adherents of the French style against those of the Italian, composers in neighbouring Austria, Germany and England switched without any problem from the one style to the other and back again, or even tried to combine the two, following the example of François Couperin’s Goûts Réunis. Telemann, like Bach a real cosmopolitan, produced fine speci- mens of this `gemischte Geschmack’ [mixed taste], as it was called in German speaking countries. Tragically for France, around 1750 the musical controversy brought on dramatic changes of direction in French art. The final triumph of the Italian style over the French was later made even more complete by the musical invasion from the East led by composers such as Schobert and Mannheim’s Stamitz. Bach referred to his Four Orchestral Suites as `Ouvertüren’, which strictly applies only to the first movements. `Suite’ or `Partie’ [partita], though perfectly appropriate for these pieces, was then usually applied to similar works for individual instruments, like lute, harpsichord, viola da gamba or violin. Each of the Four Orchestral Suites begins with a French overture, a slow, serious section with a dotted rhythm followed by a faster, fugal one, which leads back to the first section. The other movements are usually dance forms like sarabandes, gavot- tes, courantes, bourrées etc. The Four Orchestral Suites or Overtures (BWV 1066-1069) most likely orginated in Cöthen (Nos. 1 and 4) and Leipzig (Nos. 2 and 3). These last two are more richly orchestrated and date probably from the years 1729 to 1736 in Bach’s Leipzig years. Each of the Suites has a different instrumentation and a different combination of dances following an opening French overture. Number 2 features solo flute throughout; Nos. 3 and 4 have a more festive character, with three trumpets and timpani. Very little is known about the origin of these pieces., This is largely due to the fact that the original manuscripts have been lost and we are only left with later copies. Rather than being based on one original source, the Suites as we know them today are the result of diligent research and detective work, especially in the previous century. In contrast to the sonata, the suite is an entire- ly secular form, consisting usually of a number of dances with or without an introduction prelude or overture. Although one can find a strong French influence in these suites, the order of the dances cannot be changed wit- hout doing damage to Bachs intentions, this in contrast to the more arbitrary ordering in suites in the French style. Just as in the Brandenburg Concertos in each of the suites certain instruments come to the foreground, taking full advantage of their possibilities, especially in the opening movements (the actual overture). Suite No.1 is for two oboes, bassoon and strings. It is striking how often the movements are arranged in pairs. Four of the dances are paired with dances of the same form. Bach seems to have had a preference for combining the oboes and bassoon to contrast with the tutti sections. In this overture, this preference is obvious right from the start. The virtuosity of the flute part in Suite No.2 is one of the most convincing arguments for dating this piece after Bach’s Cöthen period, when he wrote relatively easy flute parts. The virtuosity demonstrated here gives the work the allure of a solo concerto. Especially the last movement belongs to the best show pieces ever written for the flute. Clemens Romijn

CD I-4 ORCHESTRAL SUITES 3&4 BWV 1068 & 1069

In 1723 Bach moved from Cöthen to Leipzig and became what he is mostly remembered for: cantor of the church of St.Thomas. In 1729 he also took over the university music society founded by Telemann in 1702, the Leipzig Collegium Musicum. If, in becoming cantor, Bach’s main attentions had been directed away from the concertos, sonatas and suites of the Cöthen period and more towards church music, he was now at least presen- ted with a new opportunity of regularly performing secular works. Bach probably performed his Four Orchestral Suites - like his harpsichord concertos and secular cantatas - at the concerts of this Collegium Musicum. The, style and instrumentation of these dazzling pieces for orchestra suggest that they were conceived in Cöthen and played in Leipzig in some newer version. The French titles to the Suites and their various dance movements fol- low examples of the French (Italian born) composer Jean Baptiste Lully, who put together the dances of his `bal- lets’ and his ‘opéra-ballets’ to form suites. They found their counterpart in the refined art of the 17th century French lute and the harpsichord players, and found their way to Germany through Johann Jakob Froberger, who- se’s music was familiar to Bach. The development leading to the suites of Bach presents an interesting picture of international cooperation. Briefly stated, Italy contributed the early development (16th century), England the Gigue, France the great wealth of dance types (early 17th century), and Germany the conception of the suite as a unified and definite musical form. In this way, a new form developed with a basic scheme of Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue and was taken over by numerous German composers. They wrote orchestral sui- tes consisting of a French overture followed by a series of `modern’ dances, such as rigaudon, marche, chacon- ne, bourrée and many others. Such suites, briefly called Ouverture after the initial movement, were written by Johann Kusser, Georg Muffat, Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer, Johann Joseph Fux, Georg Philipp Telemann and Bach. Bach also transferred this type of orchestral suite to the harpsichord in his Französische Ouvertüre (French Overture) contained in his Clavierübung III, as did Georg Böhm before him. Bach’s Orchestral Suites Nos.3 and 4 are in the same key (D major) and scored for nearly the same group of instruments. Through the addition of trumpets and timpani to the basic instrumentation of two oboes and strings, Suite No.3 takes on a festive character. Suite No.4 also makes use of trumpets, in addition to three oboes, bassoon and tim- pani. When young Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy played the magnificent initial movement of No.3 on the piano to Goethe in May 1830, the poet remarked: `There is such pomp and ceremony here that one can actually see a procession of elegantly dressed people descending a vast flight of stairs.’ Bach himself used the joyous intro- ductory movement of this Suite for the initial chorus of his Christmas Cantata 110, based on Psalm 126, v.2 with the words: `Then was our mouth filled with laughter and our tongue with singing.’ Perhaps the best known movement of all four suites is the beautiful Air of No.3. The two Gavottes following the Air have an earthy sense of humour and the Finale is a turbulent Gigue. In No.4 the three oboes form an independent trio, which takes on a kind of solo function from the first movement to the last. Is is frequently expanded into a quartet by the addition of the bassoon which gives the work a witty charm. A character piece with the appropriate French title Réjouissane [Rejoicing] serves as a final movement. Clemens Romijn,


Except for his fourteen concertos for one to four harpsichords, Bach composed most of his concertos for one or more solo instruments and orchestra in the congenial athmosphere of the court of the young Prince Leopold at Cöthen, between 1717 and 1723. Prince Leopold, Bach’s junior by nine years, was an enthousiastic music lover and proficient player of the violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord. When Bach took up his position at the Cöthen Hofkapelle the orchestra comprised 18 musicians. It was here that Bach composed much of his harpsichord and chamber music, but also concertos for violin and for wind instruments, most of them now lost. The only concertos that have survived in their original form are the six Brandenburg Concertos and the three violin concertos, one in A minor (BWV 1041), one in E major (BWV 1042) and one for two violins and strings in D minor (BWV 1043). It may seem strange that only three violin concertos from the Cöthen period are pre- served, while there exist considerably more transcriptions of such works for solo harpsichord and strings from Bach’s Leipzig years. Did Bach discard some of the originals as soon as the arrangements were completed? Or were some violin concertos lost after Bach’s death, possibly through the negligence of his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann? These questions probably will never been answered. The three extant violin concertos mark the climax of Bach’s violin music, together with the sonatas and partitas for violin solo and the sonatas for violin and cembalo obbligato. They were presumably written for the leader of the Cöthen orchestra, Joseph Spiess, a talented violinist recruted from Berlin in 1714. In the Concerto or two violins Spiess might have been joined by his colleague Martin Friedrich Marcus, also from Berlin. The Concerto in G minor (BWV 1056) has been reconstructed from the well known Concerto for harpsichord and strings in F minor (BWV 1056). The Largo exists also as Sinfonia to Cantata No.156, Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe. Also the Concerto for violin and strings in D minor (BWV 1052) has been reconstructed from a version for harpsichord which Bach himself arranged from an original for violin that has not been preserved. The Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo in E major (BWV 1042) is very popular for its familiarity and technical brilliance. In the first movement ritornello form is combined with da-capo form. The crisp tutti theme at the beginning prevails over the whole movement. From a structural point of view, the orchestra and solo violin mix together far more than in the former concerto. The second movement, an Adagio in C sharp, minor, is a tender cantilena with the same plan as the A minor concerto. The orchestra intervenes only at the beginning and at the end, the violinist’s lyrical solo line is backed by its persistent figuration. The finale, Allegro assai, in rondo form shows passepied-like vivid rhythm. Five identical ritornelles flank the soloist’s four episodes. The Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo in A minor (BWV 1041) is in the three movement Vivaldi form, fast-slow-fast, unlike many other German concertos by e.g. Telemann that have four movements. The ritornello form is used for the outer fast movements; this plan is common to all five concertos recorded here. But, by developing Vivaldi’s simple principle with his original ideas, Bach transformed it into a richer and more diversified form. In the first movement, the clear contrast between solo and tutti is abandoned, so that the whole might be flowing and more unified. It starts with a lively tempo, in which ritornelles and episodes for the soloist alternate in a regular and symmetrical way. The second movement, Andante in C major, is a beautiful cantile- na with ostinato bass, a simple harmonic backing that is repeated over and over again. The fast finale, Allegro assai, shows gigue rhythm. The Concerto for three violins in D major (BWV 1064) is a recent arrangement of Bach’s Concerto for three harpsichords and strings in C major (BWV 1064). The earliest source of the harpsichord version dates from c.1740. According to tradition Bach would have composed the Concerto for three harpsichords for his own use, to present himself together with his eldest sons Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel in the meetings of the Leipzig Collegium Musicum in the early 1730s. As Bach research has shown, Bach, when writing his Concerto for three harpsichords, used an original version for three violins and strings now lost and probably earlier than his Brandenburg Concertos. Clemens Romijn,


Most of Bach’s instrumental works are usually assigned to the seven years (1717-1723) which he spent in the service of the Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen. At this Calvinistic court Bach was free from ecclesiastical duties and had an instrumental ensemble of about seventeen musicians to direct. The Violin Concertos belong to this period, but the Harpsichord Concertos were the product of Bach’s association with the Telemann Musical Society, the Leipzig University Collegium Musicum, in the `20s, `30s and `40s of the seventeenth century. His sons were growing up and he taught them to play the harpsichord. The concertos for two, three and four harp- sichords, transcriptions some of them of Vivaldi, were arranged by Bach to play with his sons at home or with his pupils at these weekly gatherings. Indeed the harpsichord concerto seems to have been Bach’s personal innovation, as the organ concerto was Handel’s. Corelli, Vivaldi and a few other Italians had been the starting- point for the concerto grosso and the solo concerto for violin. Bach took over (and as always with him, trans- formed) the form evolved by the Italian violin school. Needing music for the Collegium Musicum he transcri- bed his own and other men’s violin concertos for keyboard and thereby initiated a new form of musical art. The keyboard versions are usually a tone lower than the originals. It may be that the transpositions were deter- mined by differences in Cöthen and Leipzig tunings, or, more likely, were necessary to compensate the harp- sichord’s lack of high e’’’ prominent in the violin version. Bach was an inveterate borrower from himself and even used a number of these concerto movements in his cantatas. As the canon now stands there are some seven harpsichord concertos of which the claims to originality of No.1 in D minor (BWV 1052) are discussed below. Movements of No.2 in E (BWV 1053) were used again for two church cantatas, No.3 in D (BWV 1054) is a transposition of the Violin Concerto in E, No.4 in A (BWV 1066) and No.5 in F minor (BWV 1056) are pro- bably transcriptions of violin concertos. No.6 (BWV 1057) is identical with the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto, and No.7 in G minor (BWB 1058) is a transcription of the A minor Violin Concerto. Of the three concertos for two harpsichords, No.3 in C minor (BWV 1060) is identical with the Double Violin Concerto in D minor (BWV 1043), No.2 in C major (BWV 1061) is an original work for two harpsichords and No.1 in C minor (BWV 1060) is regarded as a transcription of a lost original for violin and oboe. There are two concertos for three harpsichords, in D minor (BWV 1063) and C major (BWV 1064), and one for four harpsichords in A, minor (BWV 1065), which is a transcription of a concerto for four violins by Vivaldi. Of the lost violin con- certos three have survived, as said above, in the form of harpsichord transcriptions. Bach’s lack of considera- tion for posterity in thus confronting his posthumous students with editorial tangles is comparable to that of Dvorák in the numbering of his symphonies and Moussorgsky in the confusion of his Boris Godunow. The violin concerto from which the Harpsichord Concerto No.1 in D minor (BWV 1052), whether Bach’s own or another’s, is thought to have been derived, is lost. Some figurations of the soloist are sometimes cited as evi- dence of a violinistic origin. The demonic first movement with its vigorous unison theme was afterwards used (by Bach himself) as an organ prelude and the slow movement as the first chorus of the Church Cantata No.146, Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal. The solemn and spacious slow movement is also in a minor mode (G), which is very exceptional in Bach’s concertos and sonatas in minor modes. The construction of the Finale is very simi- lar to that of the first movement. It is built on a ritornello of twelve bars after which the soloist has a toccata- like figure for his first main solo. Apparently several other harpsichord concertos are transcriptions of violin concertos too. The E major Concerto (BWV 1053) may preserve a lost violin in D or an oboe concerto, although some scholars think that it was originally conceived for the harpsichord. The D major Concerto (BWV 1054) is Bach’s arrangement of his own Violin Concerto in E (BWV 1042), dated c.1720. Also the A major Concerto (BWV 1055) may pre- serve a lost violin concerto or a concerto for oboe d’amore. One scholar, W. Mohr, suggests that the original version was for a string instrument and not an oboe - probably a viola since the range is too low for the violin. Clemens Romijn,

CD I-7 HARPSICHORD CONCERTOS BWV 1056-1057-1058-1060-1065

The F minor Concerto for harpsichord and strings (BWV 1056) probably originated from a Violin concerto in G that has been lost, but which has been reconstructed twice in the last decades. The Largo exists also as Sinfonia to Cantata No.156, Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe. This is perhaps a more light-weight concerto than the majestic and even dramatic one in D minor (BWV 1052) that lasts almost twice as long. The first movement is founded on a ritornello, which within four bars gives sufficient characteristic features to supply all the material for the following development. The slow movement, in A flat major, is a long arabesque with a light and regular accompaniment on the strings. The finale is a vigorous allegro movement, full of echo- effects like the first movement, but in a more flowing triple time. It is amazing how much wit and humour can be expressed in the somber key of F minor. The F major Concerto for harpsichord and strings (BWV 1057) is Bach’s arrangement of his Brandenburg Concerto No.4 (BWV 1049), dated c.1719. It is the only harpsichord concerto to use two recorders in the accompaniment. The G minor Concerto (BWV 1058) was arranged from Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041) from about 1720. Bach used the Vivaldian ritornello form for the outer fast movements of this concerto. But, by developing Vivaldi’s simple principle with his original ideas, Bach transformed it into a richer and more diversified form. In the first movement, the clear contrast between solo and tutti is abandoned, so that the whole might be flowing and more unified. It starts with a lively tempo, in which ritornelles and episodes for the soloist alternate in a regular and symmetrical way. The second movement is a beautiful cantilena with ostinato bass, a simple harmonic backing that is repeated over and over again. The fast finale, Allegro assai, shows gigue rhythm. Bach did not confine himself to writing concertos for single solo harpsichord, but also composed concertos for two, three and even four harpsichords accompanied by string orchestra. These works seem once again to be derived from earlier versions. Among the Concertos for two harpsichords and strings one, in C minor (BWV 1062), is based on Bach’s own Concerto for two violins in D minor (BWV 1043). A second C minor Concerto (BWV 1060) is probably the transcription of a Concerto for oboe and violin, no longer in existence. In these, two concertos the orchestra fully shares in the musical elaboration, and beautiful dialogues unfold between the harpsichords and the strings. The soloists are not always given leading parts. Often one or both of them fulfil the harpsichord’s original task of serving as filling and reinforcing continuo instrument. Sometimes the left hand of one of the players is entrusted with a middle part, so that the musical texture is enriched. The Concerto for four harpsichords and strings in A minor (BWV 1065) is the only work whose antecedent is clear. Bach arranged it from Vivaldi’s Concerto in B minor for four violins and strings Op.3 No.10. Previously, early on in his career during his Weimar period, Bach had arranged several works from this collection into ver- sions for harpsichord alone and for organ alone. Bach may have chosen this Vivaldi concerto as a model becau- se he was challenged by the technical problem of operating with four harpsichords and presenting himself in cooperation with three of his pupils. Clemens Romijn


Bach did not confine himself to writing concertos for single solo harpsichord, but also composed concertos for two, three and even four harpsichords accompanied by string orchestra. These works seem once again to be derived from earlier versions. Among the Concertos for two harpsichords and strings one, in C minor (BWV 1062), is based on Bach’s own Concerto for two violins in D minor (BWV 1043). A second C minor Concerto (BWV 1060) is probably the transcription of a Concerto for oboe and violin, no longer in existence. In these two concertos the orchestra fully shares in the musical elaboration, and beautiful dialogues unfold between the harpsichords and the strings. The soloists are not always given leading parts. Often one or both of them fulfil the harpsichord’s original task of serving as filling and reinforcing continuo instrument. Sometimes the left hand of one of the players is entrusted with a middle part, so that the musical texture is enriched. The Concerto in C major (BWV 1061) appears to be an original harpsichord composition. Its two keyboard parts exist in autograph, while the string parts, which mainly provide reinforcement, are not preserved in Bach’s, own writing. It seems that the work was originally written for two harpsichords only and that the orchestration was a later addition. In the slow middle movement the strings keep altogether silent, and in the Finale too they participate only briefly. Among the Concertos for two harpsichords and strings one, in C minor (BWV 1062), is based on Bach’s own Concerto for two violins in D minor (BWV 1043). All the concertos for three and four harpsichords and strings seem to be arrangements. It is even doubtful whether Bach wrote the original compositions. The Concerto in C major (BWV 1064) is probably based on a concerto for three violins and strings in D, which has been reconstructed and published recently. Bach’s aut- horship of the original has been questioned. The D minor Concerto (BWV 1063) might be derived from a con- certo for flute, violin and oboe which was probably not Bach’s. Although not originally composed for the harpsichord, these works deserve more attention from harpsichor- dists and other keyboard players than they have so far recieved. They also occupy an important position in the history of the keyboard concerto. Perhaps they have an even stronger claim than Brandenburg Concerto No.5 to be considered the true originators of the genre. Bach’s eldest sons, Friedemann and Emanuel, took part in the performances at Leipzig, and they went on to cultivate the genre of the harpsichord concerto as composers in Dresden and Berlin. Johann Christian was, of course, too young to assist his father at his weekly meetings at the Leipzig Collegium Musicum, but he undoubtedly played and imitated his elder brother’s (Emanuel’s) concertos in Berlin after 1750. His own concertos for harpsichord or fortepiano, published in London, form the most important link in the development of the genre between Johann Sebastian Bach and Mozart. Clemens Romijn

CD I-9 DOUBLE CONCERTOS BWV 1043-1044-1055-1060

According to Schmieder (BWV = Bach Werke Verzeichnis) the Triple Concerto in A minor for flute, violin and harpsichord (BWV 1044) was written after 1730. The first and third movements are a lengthier version of the Prelude and Fugue in A minor for solo harpsichord (BWV 894) from c.1717. The middle movement, Adagio,, is the second movement of the third of six sonatas for organ (BWV 527), composed after 1727 or, possibly, after 1723. The traditional view is that this concerto was developed from these works. However, in a recent article by Hans Eppstein, it is suggested that the Prelude and Fuge was itself based on a lost keyboard concer- to and that the Organ Sonata BWV 527 may also be an arrangement of an earlier instrumental trio, now lost. Eppstein believes that stylistic elements in the A minor Triple Concerto point to a composition date around that of Brandenburg Concerto No.5, c.1720, which also has a monumental concertante part for the harpsichord. When arranging his earlier harpsichord Prelude and Fugue into the outer movements of the Triple Concerto Bach not only broadened but also reconstructed the general form. By reworking and enlarging the original ideas he produced a staggeringly impressive conception, dramatized further by dynamic contrasts and (in the Finale) by the confrontation of highly intense solo lines with the orchestra’s sharp impact. Yet the orchestra is not mere- ly a contrasting partner to the soloist’ concertino, it also produces a broad canvas of an obbligato accompag- nato. Bach also makes use of unique effects, such as the combination of harpsichord passages with the orche- stra’s pizzicato before the end of the first movement. The brilliant effect of inner unity in the first and last movements is achieved by the ingenious combination of concerto form and fuge, which Bach had already expe- rimented with in some of his Brandenburg Concertos. The crowning point of the virtuoso harpsichord part is a magnificent cadence in the last movement. The second movement, Adagio e dolce, contrasts strongly with the dramatic first and last movements. Despite all contrapuntal strictness this music is in a more modern and galant style. Perhaps it is no coincidence, that Mozart, on the suggestion of Baron Gottfried van Swieten, transcribed the original organ version for a string trio. As we have seen above, most of Bach’s fifteen concertos for the harpsichord (or for two, three or four harpsi- chords) were produced by re-writing concertos composed originally for other instruments, usually the violin. Bach transposed the original key down by a second, so that the work would fit the range of the harpsichords of Bach’s time. The original versions have mostly been lost. But a study of Bach’s method of re-writing works where both versions have been preserved (e.g. the famous Concerto in D minor for two violins, later arranged for two harpsichords) provides us with a reliable means of reconstructing the original versions from the later transcriptions. This is the case with another Concerto in C minor for two harpsichords (BWV 1060). Its ori- ginal model, which has been lost, the Concerto in D minor for oboe and violin was offered in the Breitkopf catalogue as late as 1764: `Bach, G(iovanni) S(ebastian) I. Concerto a Oboe concert(ato), Violino concert(ato), 2 Violini, Viola, Basso. 1 thl.’ The musical content and charm of this composition is perhaps even more con- vincing in this version, because the sound of the harpsichord in the later version can only roughly sketch the, flowing melody sung by the two melodic instruments in the slow movement. The Concerto for two violins, strings and basso continuo in D minor (BWV 1043) is one of the most beautiful works among Bach’s numerous instrumental music. From the point of view of style, this piece seems to be archaic in comparison with the two solo violin concertos. The date of composition is believed to be a little ear- lier than the others, 1718. This concerto is written with well-ordered structure in each of the three movements and with the technique of imitation skillfully employed throughout. Bach reduced the orchestral contribution substantially in order not to distract the listeners to much from the solo parts. The weight of the first movement falls upon the soloists in two long episodes, the tutti returning only briefly in the middle and at the end. The work reaches its peak in the second movement, Largo ma non tanto, in a sicilian rhythm, a sublime duet of beautifully overlapping and imitative phrases. The Concerto in A major for harpsichord and strings (BWV 1055) is believed to be a transcription from an ear- lier version for violin or oboe d’amore. One scholar, W. Mohr, suggests that the original version was for a strin- ged instrument and not an oboe - probably a viola since the range is too low for the violin. But, in 1939 Donald Tovey suggested - or as some say, even proved - that the A major Concerto for harpsichord and strings (BWV 1055) was originally written for the oboe d’amore, an instrument that came into use around 1720 and remai- ned popular until the end of the 18th century. Clemens Romijn


Vier arme Saiten! - es klingt wie Scherz - Für alle Wunder des Schalles! Hat doch der Mensch nur ein einzig Herz, und reicht doch hin für alles!, (Four poor strings! – it seems a joke – For all the wonders of sound! While mankind has just a single heart Enough for any task!) Franz Grillparzer, Austrian poet, 1791-1872 A poem about the poverty and wealth of the violin. Just a piece of wood, some strings and a bow, but a simp- ly unbelievable sound. Grillparzer’s last lines refer to the great mental capacity of the human species, and all that can be comprehended and achieved with just a single heart. The poet is optimistic about our human capa- bilities, declining to mention the things we do not understand. It is doubtful whether Grillparzer, a contempor- ary of Beethoven and Schubert, would have known Bach’s six works for solo violin, but he has unintentional- ly captured them in the first two lines of this poem. Bach seems to demand the very most of the violin, or per- haps even more, more indeed than it can cope with. Many passages, particularly those with frequent double- stopping, cannot be performed literally. Violinists and scholars have devoted numerous bottles of ink and piles of paper to this and many other aspects of the performance practice of Bach’s violin solos – much more than Bach ever needed to write down his six sonatas and partitas. We are accustomed to consider Bach’s six violin solos as chamber music, music with a certain intimacy, usu- ally performed in small concert halls. But it is almost certain that three of the six works, the three sonatas, were intended for performance in the church. This is mentioned in 1802 by Johann Nikolaus Forkel, Bach’s first bio- grapher. Just one little number, a fingering in the form of a small three, forms the ultimate ‘proof’ in Bach’s magnifi- cent autograph (a calligraphic work of art in itself, dating from 1720) that Bach played the violin solos him- self. Violin playing was indeed a family tradition, and Bach’s appointment in 1703 at the early age of eighteen as violinist at the court of Weimar was followed by the post of violinist and harpsichordist from 1708-1717. Bach the violinist has been overshadowed by our fascination with Bach the composer, organist and harpsi- chordist. But beside his imposing organ solos, his fifth Brandenburg concerto and The Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach was also soloist in his violin concertos and unaccompanied violin solos. And the latter are so extremely, difficult that they raise the question who else could possibly have played them at the time. Perhaps Johann Georg Pisendel, the leading German violinist of Bach’s day, concertmaster at the court chapel in Dresden at the time of August ‘the Strong’, pupil and friend of Vivaldi, and celebrated for his enormous technical command of complex double stopping and figuration. Great composers including Vivaldi, Albinoni and Telemann dedi- cated works to him. Was this who Bach had in mind? Or did Bach have nobody in mind except himself? One is inclined to think so. For in Bach’s circle of players and audiences, who could have faced the mental, artistic and technical tax of these works? The question has often been raised which pieces formed Bach’s examples. Polyphonic and harmonic writing for the violin was not at all new in his time, since Biber, Westhoff and Walther had already exploited this style. But with the possible exception of Biber, none could stand in the shadow of Bach in terms of quality and artis- tic accomplishment. Bach set a standard which was never equalled before and has never been surpassed since. In their attempts to write for solo violin composers such as Reger, Ysaÿe and Hindemith have felt Bach breat- hing down their necks. Bach inspired them, but frustrated them too. Bach fanatics like Mendelssohn and Schumann even considered that Bach’s musical torrent was more than the small violin could deal with: both composed piano accompaniments, Schumann indeed for the entire set of six violin solos and six cello suites. Bach’s manuscript of the six works is arranged so that each sonata is followed by a partita. The sonatas comp- rise four movements, slow-fast, slow-fast, grouped in pairs. The slow introductions are followed by fast fugues. Sonata no. 1 in G minor has a three-part fugue. The third movement is a rocking, three-part siciliano. In the final Presto the quasi-polyphonic style is striking. In contrast to the sonatas, the partitas feature dance forms, likewise grouped in pairs in the sequence slow-fast. In Partita no. 1 in B minor each dance is followed by a contrasting ‘double’ or variation. The customary gigue as fourth dance is replaced here by a Bourée. The slow opening movement of Sonata no. 2 is a lengthy piece, loaded with written-out embellishments. An entirely different world opens up in the succeeding fugue, based on a somewhat dry two-bar theme with a stri- king chromatically descending countersubject. The 18th-century critic Johann Mattheson already noted the enormous diversity and naturalness of this fugue. After an Andante in the parallel key of C major an energetic, almost restless final movement follows, with Italianate echo effects. The Partita no. 2 in D minor has become particularly famous for its fifth movement, a Chaconne: its abnormal length of 257 bars and unbridled fantasy urge the partita to a staggering climax., The Sonata no. 3 in C major has the most extensive fugue of the three sonatas. It is a real treasure chest of con- trapuntal invention. When Bach arrives at a pedal point, and the listener suspects that the end is approaching, he presents all the material again, but now in reversed order - an awe-inspiring tour de force! After a splendidly radiant Largo the work ends with an amazing perpetuum mobile. The power of this sonata lies largely in the perfect succession of remarkably differing movements. The Partita no. 3 in E major, strongly influenced by the French suite, opens with a Preludio rather than an Allemande as in the other partitas. In view of the number of arrangements of the movement by Bach himself, this Preludio must have been one of his special favourites. In Bach’s hands the Loure, a dance originating from Normandy, became a slow and somewhat introvert move- ment. After the Gavotte and Rondeau and two Menuets, a transparent Gigue brings the circle of this partita to a light-footed conclusion. Clemens Romijn

CD I-12/13 CELLO SUITES 1-2-3-4-5-6

One of the happiest periods of Johann Sebastian Bach’s life was the seven years (1717-1723) when he lived and worked in Cöthen. He subsequently moved to Leipzig with his wife and children, becoming cantor of the Thomaskirche and writing his now world-famous passions and hundreds of cantatas. This is our most familiar picture of Bach. Much of his chamber music, however, was composed in Cöthen, where Bach was chapelmas- ter of the court orchestra of Prince Leopold von Anhalt-Cöthen, a fanatical music lover of only 23 years of age. The prince spent no less than a quarter of his court finances on music and often joined his virtuoso musicians on the violin, viola da gamba or harpsichord. We would probably have forgotten the prince entirely had his court not been the setting for the composition of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, the Well-Tempered Clavier part 1, the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo, the Suites for cello solo and other chamber music. One of the virtuosos employed by Prince Leopold was the celebrated viol player and cellist Christian Ferdinand Abel. Bach is presumed to have written his six suites for solo cello for him, since the composer makes extre-, me demands, if not requiring the impossible, of both cello and cellist. Many passages, particularly the many double stoppings, cannot be executed literally. In the Suites for solo cello, as in the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, Bach pursued hitherto untrodden paths. He achieved the very greatest effect with the very smallest means, turning an obstacle race into a display of grandeur. As an instrumentalist to the back-bone, Bach pus- hed forward the boundaries of performance practice by exploiting to the full the specific possibilities of the cello. These Suites, with their improvisational adventures, strict imitative excursions, rhythmic flair and for the time unequalled virtuosity, are in every sense the equal of Bach’s keyboard works of the same period. Furthermore, within his oeuvre they form a group of compositions in their own right, in which he succeeded, with all the means offered by the instrument but without the accompaniment of a basso continuo, in creating genuine polyphony and harmony. Bach’s suites present an absolute standard, a standard which had to be meas- ured up to by composers including Reger, Hindemith, Ysaÿe, Kódaly, Bartók, Honegger and Ligeti when they composed for solo cello. Unlike the works for solo violin, all six cello suites have a similar structure. They commence with a prelude, followed by an allemande, courante, two French dances (‘galanteries’) and a gigue. The First Suite in G major begins with a genuine prelude with ‘perpetual motion’ in semiquavers, employing arpeggio and scale motifs. Bach builds the tension up until the very end, culminating in the widely spread final chord with a high g’. The prelude is followed by an allemande, pacing forward regularly, and a courante, highly virtuosic despite its sing- le voice. The small-scale sarabande is a fine example of classical structure, with two phrases of eight bars each. After two simple menuets, employing material reminiscent of the prelude, the suite ends with a whirling gigue. Darker and more dramatic is the Second Suite in D minor. The prelude and allemande offer more rhythmic variety than the corresponding movements in the First Suite. Wonderful chords and a dark timbre lend the sara- bande great profundity. The menuets provide a strong contrast. The first is in D minor and has such robust chords that it is hardly a ‘galanterie’. The galant second menuet is in the sunny key of D major. The same stur- dy character permeates the concluding gigue. In the opening of the magnificent prelude to the Third Suite in C major, a descending scale and broken chords are the broad brush strokes used to establish the key. The exciting semiquaver movement set in motion here culminates in a long pedal point, the bass note G which is repeated for no less than seven bars. The prelude is, followed by a beautifully ornamented, noble allemande, followed by a fast pendant in the form of the couran- te, the French dance which runs along so agilely but surprises us with all sorts of risky melodic leaps. Slow once more is the dignified, striding sarabande with its wonderful double stoppings. Perhaps the most familiar movements are the two bourrées, originally French country dances, with their appealing and sweeping melo- dies. The suite ends with an English jumping dance, the gigue, larded with virtuosic effects and awkward hand- fuls of notes. The Fourth Suite commences with a most spectacular prelude: 48 bars of continuosly tumbling arpeggios are brought to an end only by a pause, followed by a long garland of semiquavers. More pensive is the prelude to the Fifth Suite in C minor. It is the only prelude of the six to comprise two contrasting halves, first a dark, improvisational section and then a fugal passage which constitutes a wonder of ‘single-part polyphony’. In order to accomodate double stoppings and create a particularly dark colour, Bach requires the highest A string to be tuned down to G. The recalcitrant Sixth Suite in D major was written for an instrument with five strings, the viola pomposa. In size this instrument occupies a place between the cello and viola; above the customary high A string it has an E string. In the lengthy prelude the uninterrupted 12/8 movement maintains the tension from beginning to end. It is followed by the most richly ornamented and broadly sweeping allemande of the series of six. More streamlined and straightforward is the transparent and single-voiced courante, after which the sarabande indulges once more in an ingenious chordal style. The customary two menuets between the sara- bande and gigue are replaced here by gavottes. Clemens Romijn,


One of the most popular types of chamber music, beside the solo sonata and string quartet, is the piano trio, a form in which composers from Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven to Shostakovich wrote such wonderful music. This genre usually implies keyboard (harpsichord or pianoforte), violin and cello, and is really a Baroque invention, since it originated in the mid-18th century as a combination of the Baroque sonata for two and three instruments and the keyboard sonata (usually indicated ‘Solo’ in the period). Long before 1750, the harpsichord took over the main role in the trio sonata from the two melody instruments. Previously the harpsichord had been purely a basso continuo instrument, whose task it was to support and accompany; but now (around 1720) it was often employed ‘obbligato’ (obligatory, with the parts written out in full), taking over two of the three voices which such pieces comprised. The most important examples of this genre are by Bach. These chamber music works from his Cöthen and Leipzig periods include the sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord BWV 1014-19, the sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord BWV 1027-29, and the sonatas for flute and harpsichord BWV 1030 and 1032. Other fine examples of this form, in which the balance has clearly moved in favour of the harpsichord, are Mondonville’s sonatas for harpsichord and violin op.3 (ca.1734) and Rameau’s ‘Pièces de clavecin en concerts’ (1741), and of course Mozart’s early sonatas for harpsichord or pianoforte and violin dating from around 1760. In such works the keyboard takes the leading role while the melody instruments (violin or flute) provide accompaniment and extra colour. In some cases (Rameau, for instance) the melody instruments are even ad libitum and may therefore be omitted. German-Austrian composers often added a cello part which doubles (‘colla parte’) the bass line of the harpsichord; this part was not always printed separately. The so-called flute sonatas by Bach include such trio sonatas. The flute sonatas can be divided into pieces for flute and basso continuo, in other words a single melodic line and a bass (called ‘Solo’ in Bach’s time), and trio sonatas with two melodic lines and a bass (called ‘Trio’ in Bach’s time). The ‘Solo’ pieces include the Sonatas for flute and basso continuo in C major BWV 1033 and E minor BWV 1034. Examples of ‘Trio’ pieces are the sonatas for flute and obbligato harpsichord: the Sonata in B minor BWV 1030 (Bach’s best flute sonata!), the, Sonata in E flat major BWV 1031 and the Sonata in A major BWV 1032. ‘Solo’ and ‘Trio’ were the most pop- ular chamber music genres of the period. The ‘Trio’ was especially loved because it offered the opportunity for musical imitation of a dialogue. The two independent upper parts, supported by the basso continuo, conduct a musical conversation in which they are heard to agree and disagree, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in competition. One of Bach’s contemporaries, the critic Johann Adolph Scheibe, mentioned as a trait of the trio sonata the ‘Fugenmässige’, the fugue-like, or the so-called principle of imitation. This is recognisable in the entries of the concertato upper parts which imitate one another like two voices in a fugue. Occasionally the bass joins in the game, picking up the melody and copying the others, but usually it concentrates on its own role as a founda- tion. In Bach’s time sonatas and trio sonatas were also expected to offer an alternation of virtuosic and canta- bile passages, with all sorts of technical escapades including broken chords and brilliant passagework in the fast movements, and agreable, easily flowing melodic lines in the slow movements. Beside chamber music with an accompaniment Bach left us some dozen other works for unaccompanied melo- dy instruments, such as the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo and the Cello Suites. An example is the Partita in A minor BWV 1013, a work usually heard on the flauto traverso or flute. The unreliable transmission and the idiom of this composition have led some scholars to doubt the authenticity of this instrumentation and to suggest performance on a string instrument. This makes some passages easier to play, such as the continuous stream of semiquavers in the Allemande which a flautist has to interrupt in order to breath. Despite doubts about the correct instrumentation, the listener is treated to wonderful examples of characteristic dances such as the French Allemande, the Italian Corrente and the French Sarabande. The most magical of all is surely the sparkling Bourrée anglaise. The Trio Sonata in G major exists in three versions: one for viola da gamba and concertato harpsichord (BWV 1027, certainly authentic), one for two flauti traversi and basso continuo (BWV 1039, assumed to be authen- tic), and a version of the first, second and fourth movements for organ (or harpsichord or clavichord with pedals) BWV 1027a. What Bach exactly had in mind in respect to the second version we do not know, since it is not clear whether it is supposed to be a trio sonata (for three instruments: two flutes and basso continuo) or a work for one flute and concertato harpsichord. In the latter case the harpsichord plays two parts, one of the two upper voices and the bass. Because of these different instrumentations this poetic (Andante) and at the, same time happy and energetic work has enjoyed extra attention. Moreover, it is one of the many examples of how Bach continued to reuse his own work. The various instrumentations enabled him to give one and the same piece different expression and colour, so that his music could not fall into oblivion so quickly. Clemens Romijn


For much of his life Bach had a particular interest in the lute and its music. According to the description of his estate his Leipzig house contained a considerable collection of musical instruments including five harpsi- chords, a pedal harpsichord, two lute-harpsichords, a spinet, two violins, a violino piccolo, three violas, a Bassetchen (viola pomposa), two cellos, a viola da gamba and a lute. These instruments were for private use, for tuition and for the Collegium Musicum in the church. But when the opportunity arose the family gave house concerts for guests. Concerning one of these concerts we know that Wilhelm Friedemann, Bach’s eldest son, ‘was here for four weeks and played several times in our home, with the two famous lutenists Herr [Silvius Leopold] Weiss and Herr [Johann] Kropffgans’ from Dresden. Weiss was among the well-known guest musi- cians invited by Bach to play with the Leipziger Collegium Musicum in the 1730’s. Some of Bach’s lute works saw the light of day thanks to his friendship with these lutenists and with Ernst Gottlieb Baron. Moreover, at least two of Bach’s pupils, Johann Ludwig Krebs and Rudolph Straube, played and composed for the lute. Thanks to his many connections with instrument builders Bach was able to experiment to his heart’s content with newly-developed instruments. His interest was both artistic, technical and material. Besides being an unsurpassed organ expert he played an important role in the development and construction of new types of key- board instrument such as the lute-harpsichord, a gut-stringed variation on the traditional instrument. Perhaps Bach was tempted to experiment with this hybrid instrument because examples had been built by Johann Nicolaus Bach, an elder nephew from Jena. Later, Johann Friedrich Agricola recalled that he had ‘seen and heard a lute-harpsichord in about 1740 in Leipzig, designed by Herr Johann Sebastian Bach and built by Herr, Zacharias Hildebrandt, of smaller dimensions than a normal harpsichord’. Bach had written several works for this instrument, including the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E flat major, BWV 998, composed shortly after 1740 and, according to the autograph, written ‘pour la Luth ò Cembal’, and the Suite in E minor BWV 996. Nowadays these two works are usually played on the lute. Bach employed the lute both as a solo instrument and in ensembles, for example in the Trauermusik BWV 198 (1727), which has two lute parts, and the arioso no. 31 in the St John Passion. Bach’s oeuvre for solo lute comp- rises three suites, the above-mentioned Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E flat major, a fugue and a prelude. The Fugue in G minor BWV 1000 is an adaptation of the fugue from the Sonata in D minor for solo violin BWV 1001, which Bach also adapted for the organ (BWV 539), and the Suite in E major BWV 1006a is an arrange- ment of the Partita in E major for solo violin BWV 1006. One of Bach’s most impressive lute works is the Suite in G minor, BWV 995, which survives in the compo- ser’s handwriting. It is an arrangement of the Fifth Suite for solo cello BWV 1011 and was adapted and exten- ded (several passages and bass lines) by Bach in such a manner that it sounds like an original lute work. The profound and pensive prelude comprises two contrasting halves, first dark and improvisational and then fugal. Where there was the suggestion of polyphony in the cello version, in the adaptation for lute it became genui- ne polyphony. In view of the number of versions of the Preludio from Partita no. 3 in E major for solo violin, Bach must have been particularly fond of the piece. One such version is recorded here on the lute. Instead of the customary suite movements allemande, courante and sarabande, Bach wrote a loure, originally a folk dance stemming from Normandy. After the gavotte en rondeau and two menuets, a transparent gigue closes the circle of this suite on a light note. On the manuscript of the Prelude in C minor BWV 999 Bach wrote explicitly ‘pour la lute’. Although it is indeed a very idiomatic piece for the instrument, thanks to Friedrich Conrad Griepenkerl, one of the 19th-century editors of Bach’s work, it became known as a keyboard piece and was included as no. 3 in the series of ’12 Short Preludes’ which form the stable diet of all beginners on the keyboard. In about 1800 an unknown hand wrote ‘aufs Lautenwerk’ on a manuscript of the Suite in E minor BWV 996, a reference to the above-mentioned lute-harpsichord. This suite, usually performed on the lute and sometimes, on the harpsichord, begins in an improvisational fashion with a prelude full of virtuosic passagework, before turning into a recitative and ending like a fugue. In the succeeding dances, allemande, courante, sarabande, bourrée and gigue, one hears the extent to which Bach, in early days (before 1708), had already mastered the French style. Clemens Romijn


It is not difficult for a music historian to discern many of the elements that render Bach’s sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord – like so much of his music – so remarkable: a mixing of virtually every conceivable genre, form, style, medium and gesture of the late German Baroque; a forging of connections that had never hitherto been made, a penetrating insight into the multi-dimensional potentialities of each motive, theme, and polyphonic complex. But what is more remarkable still is that historical study only tends to confirm what the music seems to offer in its own terms; it seems to work well even when its historical nature is ignored. Indeed Bach could be vie- wed historically as a musical cul de sac: he did little to extend the musical vocabulary of his age, his music hardly served as a basis for that of the succeeding generation. Yet what has made him a summit for many with a certain conception of musical perfection is his apparent ability to transcend historical contingency, somehow to stop the clock of outward progress and rearrange and recreate the world as he knew it. Bach may be impor- tant not so much as a supreme historical figure in western culture, who did what he could with what he had, as in the way he epitomizes a particular way of thinking, a complex of beliefs about how the cosmos coheres. Bach’s reasons for writing the three sonatas for gamba and harpsichord are still quite obscure, as is the date of their genesis. Although there is curiously no original source that shows all three sonatas belonging together as a cycle – their present grouping is purely the conjecture of a mid-nineteen century editor – their characteristic, texture and their combined comprehensive critique of the sonata genre suggests that they somehow belong with one another. Only the first sonata exists in a previous version, a trio sonata for two flutes and continuo, BWV 1039, and this cannot be dated to a period much before the version preserved in BWV 1027. Moreover the auto- graph of the first sonata originates from around the early 1740s. Stylistically too, the three sonatas seem to accord more with the musical processes typical of the mid-Leipzig years than with the period traditionally assigned to chamber music, Bach’s years as the Köthen Kapellmeister, 1717-23. The work of contemporary scholars, particularly Laurence Dreyfus, has done much to revolutionize our conception of Bach’s career, and the dating of the gamba sonatas has been a prime target for revision. Furthermore, this hypothesis is strengthened – if with a little circularity – by the conjecture made both by Dreyfus an Lucy Robinson, that Bach designed the sonatas for the gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel, who lived in Leipzig sometime between 1737 and 1743 and who probably studied with Bach. Certainly the calligraphic score of the first sonata, beautifully laid out in separate parts with convenient page-turns, suggests a manuscript designed both for presentation and for actual performance. Given the detail of ornamentation and articulation which Bach specifies here (more complete than even his conscientious wont) it is not difficult to imagine the com- poser preparing this manuscript for one of Abel’s appearances in the Leipzig Collegium Musicum. What we know about the lost autograph of the third sonata, suggests that this manuscript was similar in appearance and layout. Despite Bach’s care in preparing his scores, he did not necessarily work with the same degree of consistency and precision that we may expect from a modern Urtext editor. Indeed the view of each piece of music as a finite and perfected musical text was by no means the norm in Bach’s age. The problems of establishing a plau- sible text today are compounded when the works preserved only in the hands of later and non-too-careful copy- ists; this is the case with the second and third sonatas. Quite often, the sources might offer contradictory or imp- lausible readings, so the modern performer has to make decisions regarding certain details, just as presumably did the players of Bach’s own age. Even the titles of these pieces give one pause for thought: “Sonatas for viola da gamba and obbligato harpsi- chord”. First, the gamba is an instrument that was already somewhat archaic in Bach’s age; if a composer used it in Germany, it would have been as a servile continuo instrument, or in the case of an obbligato, in pieces associated with royalty or a lamenting effect. If a solo piece were to be written, it would most likely be a suite in the seventeenth-century French tradition, not the more up-to-date sonata genre. Furthermore, the harpsichord, was an instrument not typically associated with an obbligato role in the sonata (i.e. where the right hand plays as an equal partner with an other instrument). Bach seems to have made a habit of this, since he left multiple sonatas for violin and flute which have a similar obbligato role for harpsichord. The first two sonatas are written in the Corellian four-movement form (slow-fast-slow-fast), but Bach is not content to furnish each of the four positions with a specific and consistent style. The opening movements of the first and second sonatas pay lip-service to the expansive melodic gestures typical of the traditional trio sonata, yet the pastoral atmosphere of the first sonata is integrated with an often intense contrapuntal dialogue (at times between all three voices), and chromatic gestures. The second sonata opens with a short-breathed, almost galant melody accompanied by a bass which is obviously of the “modern” Alberti kind; yet it soon emerges that the gamba and harpsichord work together in close imitation – for a time in strict canon – musical devices far too “serious” for the subject matter the hand. While the second movement of the first sonata is conventionally in fugal style, Bach gives it a galant motivic flavour; this is even more noticeable in the second movement of the second sonata which is unexpectedly cast in binary form (that most appropiate to the dance) and where the fugal elements are consistently obscured by a modish, carefree texture. The most striking work is the third sonata, which comprises three movements rat- her than four. Not only is this more typical of the Vivaldian concerto than the trio-sonata, but the style of the music, particularly in the first movement, resembles the concerto idiom. Indeed some scholars have even seen this as the transcription of an original concerto movement. Yet as a more “private” sonata this piece is doubly effective, pointing to worlds and concepts outside its own confines. The Prelude and Fugue an A minor BWV 894 provides an interesting compliment to the gamba sonatas. Although it is undoubtedly of earlier origins, presumably from the late Weimar years, Bach re-used much of the material from both movements in the triple concerto for violin, flute and harpsichord, BWV 1044, during the mid-Leipzig years. It is not surprising that he chose this earlier work: both movements, particularly the Prelude, show strong traits of the Vivaldian concerto style. Indeed, the ritornello structure of the Prelude quali- fies it to be just as much an “Italian Concerto” as the work of that name that Bach composed for harpsichord in the 1730s. Bach and his cousin J.G. Walter developed a particular keyboard genre from around 1713, trans- cribing Italian concertos for harpsichord and organ. This prelude might have been part of the next stage, in, which Bach wrote original keyboard pieces in concerto style. With its increasingly virtuosic episodes, it might even have functioned as one of the prototypes for Brandeburg Concerto V, the first concerto to employ a sub- stantial keyboard solo. A relation between the A minor Prelude and the opening movement of the third gamba sonata is difficult to ignore: both relate to the concerto, and the conventional ritornello principle of the earlier work is itself the object of exploration, displacement and reconstruction in the latter. Notes by John Butt


One of the most memorable encounters in music history is that between Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederick the Great of Prussia in 1747, three years before Bach’s death. This encounter was probably arranged through Bach’s second son Carl Philipp Emanuel, at the time harpsichordist at the court of Frederick in Potsdam, near Berlin. Bach did not travel alone, but took his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann with him. Frederick, who gave a flute recital every day with his musicians, actually interrupted his performance on that memorable 17 May 1747 and cried out “Old Bach has arrived”. Bach’s first biographer Johann Nicolaus Forkel (1802) tells how Bach was subsequently invited to play on some of the fifteen Silbermann fortepianos which were to be found in the various rooms. One can imagine the select audience: the Prussian king Frederick the Great, perhaps his sister Princess Amalia, the two sons of Bach, the Bohemian Benda brothers, the flautist Quantz and the Graun brothers. Bach was also invited to play the organ and to improvise on a theme presented by the king. His per- formance was greeted with the greatest possible admiration. Upon his return to Leipzig Bach immediately com- menced work on a series of compositions on this ‘royal theme’ which he called ‘A Musical Offering’. Perhaps he felt he had not made the most of the given theme in his improvisation at Potsdam! The Musical Offering is a typical example of Bach’s late work. As in the Art of the Fugue, he concentrated exclusively on the techniques of imitation. The work could be described as a series of contrapuntal variations. There are two Ricercares for harpsichord (fugues: one three-part and one six-part), and ten Canons of different types. The collection also includes a Trio Sonata in four movements for flute, violin and basso continuo. All, these pieces employ the theme which Frederick the Great gave to Bach. According to tradition Bach improvi- sed the three-part Ricercare on the spot for the king. The Trio Sonata in C minor, with its instrumentation inclu- ding the flute, was of course intended as a homage to the royal flautist. The ‘Thema Regium’ (royal theme) is heard in all four movements, either as a strict cantus firmus (Allegro) or simply in the form of motifs. This trio sonata forms a classic example of Bach’s late style, with its strict and closely-woven polyphonic technique. Clemens Romijn


Bach is most familiar to us as cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. From 1723 onwards, for about 26 years, he was responsible for the church music on Sundays and festivals in the four main churches of Leipzig. In the past twenty to thirty years many new facts and insights have been revealed concerning Bach’s life and work. Thus it has become clear that he was much more occupied with chamber music in Leipzig than scholars thought: it had previously been assumed that he wrote nearly all the chamber music in Cöthen (1717-1723). We have come to realise that Bach’s life and work has always been rather schematically approached. Such was our prepossession with his role as Cantor and Director Musices in the Leipzig years, that we have underesti- mated his achievement in the field of chamber music in the same period. In 1729, the year which witnessed the first performance of the Passion according to St Matthew, Bach became director of the Leipzig Collegium Musicum, a company of students and professional musicians founded by Georg Philipp Telemann in 1702. With this group Bach gave weekly concerts on Friday evenings in Zimmermann’s coffee shop, performing his harpsichord concertos (often with the help of his eldest sons Friedemann and Emanuel) as well as cantatas and chamber music. Among the works almost certainly played are the three Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord BWV 1027-1029, the Sonatas for flute and harpsi- chord BWV 1030 and 1032, and the six Sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord BWV 1014-1019. Bach would surely have played the harpsichord part himself., As a true cosmopolitan, Bach incorporated in his chamber music many forms, styles and techniques which were not of German origin. The sonata, trio sonata and concerto were Italian inventions, and the suite came from France. Typically German is the integration of these ‘strange’ forms and elements, and their subordina- tion to a polyphonic concept and fugal and canonic techniques. This is illustrated in Bach’s six sonatas for vio- lin and harpsichord. His point of departure was the traditional Italian trio sonata, a genre featuring two upper parts involved in a sort of dialogue above a supporting bass line. This picture is familiar from the three-part Inventions or Sinfonias which Bach composed as didactic keyboard pieces for his two eldest sons and other pupils. Bach’s approach to the role of the harpsichord, however, differs from that found in the customary trio sonata. While the trio sonatas by his contemporary Handel, for instance, all employ the harpsichord purely as a sup- portive basso continuo instrument, Bach grants it a concertato role. Two of the three parts are usually given to the harpsichord: one of the two upper voices in the right hand to partner the violin part, and the bass, the fun- dament of the entire composition, in the left hand. Thus Bach liberated the harpsichord from its servile role as basso continuo instrument in Baroque chamber music, bringing it to the fore to occupy a dominant position in the composition. At the same time he paved the way for similar works by his second son Carl Philipp Emanuel. But Bach went even further, actually abandoning the traditional concept of the trio sonata as a strictly three- part work. Sometimes the harpsichord itself performs a sort of trio sonata, a three-part invention, while the vio- lin adds a fourth voice. The number of parts can indeed increase from four or five to a total of six, with four in the harpsichord and double stopping in the violin part. But exactly the opposite, a reduction in the number of parts, may also occur. Occasionally there are just two parts, the violin and the bass in the left hand on the harp- sichord, while the right hand plays broken chords (Sonata BWV 1017, 3rd movement). In the third movement of the last sonata (BWV 1019) Bach even creates a monologue for the harpsichord in the form of a solo wit- hout violin. And so the violin sonatas present all sorts of situations in which the violin and harpsichord domi- nate in turn. Strict three-part writing is mainly reserved for the fast movements, the two upper parts pursuing and imitating each other as in a canon or fugue (for example the 3rd movement of the sonata BWV 1015). In general the violin sonatas have the four-movement structure of the so-called church sonata: slow-fast-slow- fast. This is true of the first five, but not of the sixth sonata BWV 1019. The most frequently performed of the, three known versions of the latter work has five movements, with the above-mentioned harpsichord solo and an extra (second) slow movement in the middle. Both movements are wonderful, despite their being something of a curiosity, an ‘odd man out’ in the sonata as a whole. The first two movements in combination with the last would have produced a classical form. But Bach deliberately followed a different path, illustrative of his refi- ned treatment of current styles, genres and conventions in his sonatas for violin and harpsichord. Clemens Romijn


The year 1721 was an eventful one for Bach. In March the now world-famous Brandenburg Concertos were completed and dedicated to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg. But Bach also lost the person who had supported him for thirteen years and given him four children including two musical sons: his wife Maria Barbara. To make matters worse, Johann Christoph, his elder brother and former mentor in Ohrdruf, died too. Bach, now 35 years old, was left alone with four children, Catharina Dorothea (12 years old), Wilhelm Friedemann (10), Carl Philipp Emanuel (6) and Johann Gottfried Bernhard (5). In December of the same year Bach married the talented, 20-year-old soprano Anna Magdalena Wülcken, with whom he had often made music. She was the daughter of the court trumpeter Johann Caspar Wülcken. Anna Magdalena became Bach’s new support and refuge, not limiting her contribution to domestic affairs: in Cöthen and Leipzig, with the patience of an angel, she copied much of her husband’s music. Within their first four years together Bach twice compiled a ‘Clavierbüchlein’ for Anna Magdalena, one in 1722 in Cöthen and one in 1725 in Leipzig. Together with the Clavierbüchlein commenced earlier for his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann, the two volumes for Anna Magdalena give some idea of domestic music-making in the Bach family. Here education and diversion went hand in hand. Some of the pieces were included later in lar- ger volumes with a didactic purpose, such as the fifteen Inventions and Sinfonias, the Clavier-Übung part I (with the Six Partitas for harpsichord) and The Well-Tempered Clavier. Most of the first Clavierbüchlein is, by Bach himself, including the first five French Suites (BWV 812-816), but in the course of centuries it has become damaged and incomplete. Nevertheless, it offers a good impression of the music which Bach liked to have played at home. The second Clavierbüchlein (1725) begins with the Third and Sixth Partitas for harpsichord, and also includes in Anna Magdalena’s handwriting some short dances (menuets, polonaises, marches and a musette) which are not by Bach. These simple and galant pieces were probably intended for the small hands of the 11-year-old Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and for the younger children. Several of them were actually composed by Carl Philipp Emanuel: two marches, two polonaises and a solo. Some galant pieces were probably used for the dance les- sons which the growing Bach children received according to the custom of the time. A number of pieces may not be by Bach, such as the anonymous aria ‘Erbauliche Gedanken eines Tobackrauchers’ (Uplifting thoughts of a pipe smoker) and the wonderful aria ‘Bist du bei mir’ with its somewhat wry text. The volume also inclu- des a love song ‘Willst du dein Herz mir schenken’ by Giovannini, a Rondeau by François Couperin, a Menuet possibly by Georg Böhm, and from Bach’s hand two French Suites (BWV 812 and part of BWV 813), the first prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier, and a handful of chorales and arias. Clemens Romijn Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV 511, mit gutem Knaster angefüllt, Die Pfeife pflegt man nicht zu färben, BWV 512 zur Lust und Zeitvertreib ergreife, sie bleibt weiß. Also der Schluß, Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille in dem Gotte so gibt sie mir ein Trauerbild daß ich auch dermaleins im Sterben deines Lebens. und füget diese Lehre bei, dem Leibe nach erblassen muß. In ihm ruht aller Freuden Fülle, ohn ihm daß ich derselben ähnlich sei. Im Grabe wird der Körper mühst du dich vergebens. auch so Schwarz, wie sie nach langem Brauch. Er ist dein Quell und deine Sonne, scheint täg- Die Pfeife stammt von Ton und Erde, lich hell zu deiner Wonne. auch ich bin gleichfalls draus gemacht. Wenn nur die Pfeife angezündet, Gib dich zufrieden, zufrieden. Auch ich muß einst zur Erde werden so sieht man, wie im Augenblick sie fällt und bricht, ehe Ihr‘s gedacht, der Rauch in freier Luft verschwindet, So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife, mir oftmals in der Hand entzwei, nicht als die Asche bleibt zurück. BWV 515a mei Schicksal ist auch einerlei. So wird des Menschen Ruhm verzehnt So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife, und dessen Leib in Stauh verkehrt., Wie oft geschieht‘ s nicht bei dem Rauchen und fährest über Welt und über Himmel hin. daß, wenn der Stopfer nicht zur Hand, Wirst du dich nicht recht fest in Gottes Willen Aria di Giovannini, BWV 518 man pflegt die Finger zu gebrauchen. gründen, Willst du dein Herz mir schenken, so fang es Dann denk ich, wenn ich mich verbrannt: kannst du in Ewigkeit nicht wahre Ruhe fin- heimlich an, O, macht die Kohle solche Pein, den. daß unser beider Denken niemand erraten kan. wie heiß mag erst die Hölle sein? Die Liebe muß bei beiden allzeit verschwie- Ich habe genug, Rezitativ und Arie, BWV gen sein, Ich kann bei so gestalten Sachen 82 drum schließ die größten Freuden in deinem mir bei dein Toback jederzeit Ich habe genug! Mein Trost ist nur allein, Herzen ein. erbauliche Gedanken machen. daß Jesus mein und ich sein eigen möchten Drum schmauch ich voll Zufriedenheit sein. Behutsam sei und schweige und traue keiner zu Land, zu Wasser und zu Haus Im Glauben halt ich ihn, da seh ich auch mit Wand, mein Pfeifchen stets in Andacht aus. Simeon lieb innerlich und zeige dich außen unbekannt. die Freude jenes Leben schon. Kein Argwohn mußt du geben, Verstellung Bist du bei mir, BWV 508 Laßt uns mit diesem Manneziehn. nötig ist, Bist du bei mir, geh ich mit Freuden Ach! möchte mich von meines Leibes Ketten genug, daß du mein Leben, der Treu versichert zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh, der Herr erretten! bist. zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh. Ach wäre doch mein Abschied hier, mit Freuden sagt ich, Welt, zu dir: Begehre keine Blikke von meiner Liebe nicht, Ach, wie vergnügt wär so mein Ende, Ich habe genug! der Neid hat viele Strikke auf unser Tun es drückten deine schöne Hände mir getreuen gericht. Augen zu. Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, fallet sanft Du mußt die Brust verschließ, halt deine Ach, wie vergnügt wär so mein Ende, und selig zu, Neigung ein. es drückten deine schöne Hände mir getreuen schlummert ein (2x) Die Lust, die wir genießen, muß ein Augen zu. Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, Geheimnis sein. fallet sanft und selig zu (2x ) Bist du bei mir, geh ich mit Freuden Zu frei sein, sich ergehen, hat oft Gefahr zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh, Welt, ich bleibe nicht mehr hier, hab ich doch gebracht. zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh. kein Teil an dir, Man muß sich wohl verstehen, weil ein falsch das der Seelen könnte taugen (2x) Auge gewacht. Warum betrübst du dich, Aria, Du mußt den Spruche bedenken, den ich BWV 516 Schaff‘s mit mir, Gott, BWV 514 zuvor getan: Warum betrübst du dich und beugest dich zur Schaff‘s mit mir, Gott, nach deinem Willen, Willst du dein Herz mir schenken, so fang es Erden, dir sei es alle heimgestellt. heimlich an. mein sehr geplagter Geist, mein abgematter Du wirst mein Wünschen so erfüllen, Sinn? wies deiner Weisheit wohlgefällt. Dir, dir, Jehova, will ich singen, BWV 299 Du sorgst, wie will es doch noch endlich mit Du bist mein Vater, du wirst mich versorgen, Dir, dir, Jehova, will ich singen, denn, dir werden, darauf hoffe ich. wo ist so ein Gott wie du?, Dir will ich meine Lieder bringen, wenn mit so angenehmen Freuden gedenke, daß du sterben mußt. ach! gib mir deines Geistes Kraft darzu, die Liebe strahlt aus deiner Brust. daß ich es tu‘ im Namen Jesu Christ, Hier ist mein Himmel schon auf Erden, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 513 so wie es dir durch ihn gefällig ist. wer wollte nicht vergnüget werden, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, der in dir findet Ruh und Lust. o Schwert, das durch die Seele bohrt, Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen, o Anfang sonder Ende. BWV 517 Gedenke doch mein Geist, BWV 509 O Ewigkeit, Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen, Gedenke doch, mein Geist, Zeit ohne Zeit, ich weiß vor großer Traurigkeit wenn ich in deiner Liebe ruh. zurükke ans Grab und an den Glokkenschlag, nicht, Ich steige aus der Schwermuts Höhlen da man mich wird zur Ruh begleiten, wo ich mich hinwende, und eile deinen Armen zu. auf daß ich klüglich sterben mag. Mein ganz erschrocknes Herze bebt, Da muß die Nacht des Trauerns erscheiden, Schreib dieses Wort in Herz und Brust, daß mir die die Zung am Gaumen klebt.,


At some time before 1720 Bach wrote, besides his epoch-making solo violin sonatas and the six sonatas for violin with obbligato harpsichord (which broke new ground texturally), two more sonatas for violin and conti- nuo, each of which exhibits unusual features. The structure of that in E minor, which appears to be the earlier, is a curious mixture of sonata and suite, or a suite from which some basic movements seem to be missing. It opens, rather after the fashion of some of Bach’s early organ works, with a 30-bar free flourish of impassioned smiquavers over a tonic pedal. This leads to an ornate Adagio whose intensity is heightened by poignant chro- maticisms. The thematically related Allemande which follows is even more elaborate; but immediately after this comes the concluding Gigue, in which syncopations like those in the finale of the Sixth Brandenburg Concerto help to swing the rhythm along. The G major work, which came to light only in 1928, when a manuscript copy in the hand of Anna Magdalena Bach was discovered in Eisenach, is a four-movement sonata da chiesa. Much speculation has been aroused by the entire bass-line being identical with that of the Trio Sonata BWV1038 (another version of the BWV1022 violin sonata in F major), though in the latter case the upper parts are thought to be by one of Bach’s sons or pupils. Points of technical interest here are the multiple-stopping in the Vivace and the suggestions of polyp- honic violin writing in the fugato finale. It is a remarkable fact that very few of Bach’s trio sonatas for chamber instrumentation have survived; despite the fact that this was really the most popular ‘classical’ genre of the Baroque period, only four works survive. It is therefore likely that most of Bach’s chamber music has been lost. Furthermore, the trio sonatas which do survive are known in different versions with varying instrumentations. The Trio Sonatas in G major BWV 1038 and 1039, both conceived as church sonatas in four contrasting movements, are an example. It is even uncer- tain whether the Trio Sonata BWV 1038 is actually by Bach. It is not unlikely that one of his sons or pupils wrote the piece, making use of an existing bass line by Bach himself, since the bass part corresponds to that of the Sonatas for violin and harpsichord BWV 1021 and 1022. The Adagio is strongly reminiscent of ‘Gute Nacht, o Wesen’, the ninth section of Bach’s motet ‘Jesu, meine Freude’ (BWV 227)., The Trio Sonata in G major, BWV 1039, likewise exists in different versions: one for viola da gamba and con- certato harpsichord (BWV 1027, certainly authentic), and one for two flauto traversos (or violin and traverso) and basso continuo (BWV 1039, assumed to be authentic). In addition, the first, second and fourth movements survive in a version for organ, or for harpsichord or clavichord with pedals, BWV 1027a. What Bach exactly had in mind in respect to the second version we do not know, since it is not clear whether it was intended as a work for three instruments, two flutes and basso continuo, or for just one flute and concertato harpsichord. In the latter case the harpsichordist plays two parts, one of the two upper voices and the bass. Because of these different instrumentations this poetic (Andante) and at the same time happy and energetic work has enjoyed special attention. Moreover, it is one of the many examples of Bach’s habit of borrowing from his own work. The various instrumentations enabled him to give one and the same piece different expression and colour, thus helping to save his music from quick oblivion. Clemens Romijn]

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