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Concerto for Two Violins

Composer: Bach Johann Sebastian

Instruments: Violin String ensemble

Tags: Concerto


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Complete Score PDF 2 MB
Complete Score PDF 1 MB
Complete Score PDF 1 MB
Complete Score PDF 0 MB
II. Largo, ma non tanto PDF 0 MB
Complete Score PDF 14 MB

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AllViolinViolaSoloPianoKeyboardCelloBasso continuo


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Complete. Piano + Violin(2) (Émile Sauret)Complete. Piano + Violin(2) (Gustav Schreck)


Complete. Recorder(2) + String instrument + Basso continuo (James Howard Young)Complete. Piano(2) (Slocum)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Organ (Peter Bækgaard)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Piano + Viola(2) (Trey Chever)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Recorder(4) (Maximilian Olschewski)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Organ (Peters, Rob)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Organ (Gouin, Pierre)Vivace (No.1). Accordion + Orchestra (De Bra, Paul)Complete. Piano(2) + String instrument (Schoonenbeek, Kees)Complete. Recorder(6) (Jaap Wiebes)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). String instrument + Basso continuo (Strugov, Alexander)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Accordion + Orchestra (De Bra, Paul)Largo, ma non tanto (No.2). Double bass + String instrument (Farid Zehar)Vivace (No.1). Piano (Sebastien Skaf)
The Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, also known as the Double Violin Concerto, is a violin concerto of the Late Baroque era, which Johann Sebastian Bach composed around 1730. It is one of the composer's most successful works.
Bach composed his Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, around 1730, as part of a concert series he ran as the Director of the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig.
The concerto is characterized by a subtle yet expressive relationship between the violins throughout the work. In addition to the two soloists, the concerto is scored for strings (first violin, second violin and viola parts) and basso continuo. The musical structure of this piece uses fugal imitation and much counterpoint.
The concerto comprises three movements:
Performance time of the concerto ranges from less than 13 minutes to over 18 minutes.
Around 1736–1737 Bach arranged the concerto for two harpsichords, transposed into C minor, BWV 1062.
1734–1738 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach performed the concerto in Frankfurt an der Oder. After his father's death in 1750, Carl Philipp Emanuel inherited some of the original performance parts, likely doubles, of the concerto (surviving: parts for soloists and continuo), and likely also the composer's autograph score (lost). The extant original parts were later owned by Georg Poelchau [de], and were added to the Royal Library at Berlin (later converted to the Berlin State Library) in the 1840s. After the Second World War they were lost for several decades, eventually resurfacing in Poland.
Manuscript copies of (parts of) the concerto were produced around 1730–1740, in 1760, around 1760, around 1760–1789, and in the early 19th century. The concerto was first published in 1852, by Edition Peters, edited by Siegfried Dehn. In the first volume of his Bach biography (1873), Philipp Spitta describes the concerto as a product of the composer's Köthen period (1717–1723). After describing Bach's other extant violin concertos, those in E major (BWV 1042) and A minor (BWV 1041), he adds:
Dem D moll-Concert ist unstreitig der höchste Werth eigen und in dieser Eigenschaft findet es auch unter der heutigen musikalischen Welt schon eine erfreuliche Beachtung. Zwei Soloviolinen sind hier herangezogen, doch kann man nicht wohl von einem Doppelconcerte reden, da die beiden Geigen weniger unter sich, als vereinigt gegen den Instrumentalchor concertiren. Eine jede ist natürlich mit der Selbständigkeit behandelt, die bei dem Bachschen Stile ohne weiteres vorausgesetzt wird. Im Mittelsatze, einer wahren Perle an edlem, innigem Gesange, verhält sich das Orchester fast nur accompagnirend, wie es bei den Concertadagios ja das Gewöhnliche war.
The D minor concerto is without doubt the finest of the set, and is held in due esteem by the musical world of the present day. Two solo violins are here employed, but it is not, strictly speaking, a double concerto, for the two violins play not so much against one another, as both together against the whole band. Each is treated with the independence that is a matter of course in Bach's style. In the middle movement, a very pearl of noble and expressive melody, the orchestra is used only as an accompaniment, as was usual in the adagios of concertos.
The Bach Gesellschaft published the concerto in 1874, edited by Wilhelm Rust. The Neue Bachgesellschaft reports around 25 known public performances of the concerto in the period from late 1904 to early 1907: most of these in Germany, but also performances in other European cities, including London, Madrid, Paris, Riga, St. Petersburg and Vienna, are mentioned. Outside of Europe, there was for instance the performance by Eugène Ysaÿe and Fritz Kreisler in New York in 1905. In London, Bach's Double became a repertoire piece, for instance regularly performed at the Proms.
After commenting that the "A minor and E major concertos are beginning to win a place in our concert halls," Albert Schweitzer writes, in the 1911 English-language edition of his book on Bach:
The concerto for two violins, in D minor, is perhaps more widely known still. It can be played at home, as its orchestral part can be easily transcribed for the piano. Every amateur should know the wonderful peace of the largo ma non tanto in F major.
Johannes Umbreit's piano reduction of the orchestral score was published by Henle. Recordings of the concerto include:
Research by Andreas Glöckner, published in 1982, dispelled prior assumptions that Bach would have composed the concerto in Köthen: Bach's extant autograph parts indicate that the concerto was composed in Leipzig, likely in 1730 or the earlier part of 1731. The New Bach Edition published the concerto in 1986, edited by Dietrich Kilian. According to Peter Wollny, writing in 1999, "The Concerto for two violins in D minor BWV 1043 is today one of the best-known and most frequently performed works of the composer, above all by virtue of its soulful, song-like middle movement."
According to Michael Miller, writing for Penguin's Complete Idiot's Guides, the concerto is one of Bach's eleven most notable compositions. In the Rough Guides, the Double Concerto is described as "one of Bach's very greatest works." The BBC website writes about the concerto: "one of Bach's best loved instrumental works." According to the British Classic FM website, "the 'Bach Double' is one of the most famous of his works." The uDiscover Music website lists it among ten essential pieces by the composer.
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