Violin Concerto in A minor (Bach)

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Bach, the composer of the Violin Concerto in A minor in 1748

The Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041, was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is "generally thought to have been composed at Cöthen in 1717-23",[1] although Christoph Wolff has raised the possibility that the work may have been written in Leipzig,[2] perhaps during Bach's time as director of the Collegium Musicum. In any event, the only autograph source to survive are parts Bach copied out (along with other copyists)[3] in Leipzig circa 1730 [4] from a now lost score or draft.

Structure and analysis[edit]

The piece has three movements:

  1. Allegro, in C (2/4) meter;
  2. Andante, in C (4/4) meter;
  3. Allegro assai, in C (9/8) meter.

The motifs of the theme of the Allegro moderato appear in changing combinations and are separated and intensified throughout the movement.

In the Andante Bach uses an insistent pattern in the ostinato bass part that is repeated constantly in the movement. He focuses the variation in the harmonic relations.

In the final movement Bach relies on bariolage figures to generate striking acoustic effects. The meter and rhythm are those of a gigue.[5]

The piece is a baroque concerto which is in ritornello form. This means that there is a main section that comes back in fragments in both the solo violin, piano and orchestral parts. This 'ritornello' can be found in the first movement up until bar 24.

Instrumentations and transcriptions[edit]

The Clavier Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058, is an arrangement of this concerto with piano or harpsichord.

The first twelve bars of the third movement

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robin Stowell, "Violin Concertos," in Oxford Composer Companions: J.S. Bach, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 492
  2. ^ Christoph Wolff, "Bach's Leipzig Chamber Music," in Bach: Essays on His Life and Work, Harvard University Press, 1991, pp. 234-237
  3. ^ the copyists were J. S. Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Ludwig Krebs, and an unknown copyists: URL=http://www.bach-digital.de/servlets/MCRSearchServlet?mode=results&id=-1eoy0c7t6t1edhg1l0msk&numPerPage=10&mask=content/index.xml&query=%28source32%20contains%20%221041%22%29%20AND%20%28objectType%20=%20%22source%22%29%20AND%20%28source44%20=%20%220001%22%29%20AND%20%28source42%20=%20%220001%22%29&maxResults=0&inventsource.sortField.1=ascending
  4. ^ Christoph Wolff, "Bach's Leipzig Chamber Music," in Bach: Essays on His Life and Work, Harvard University Press, 1991, pp. 234-237
  5. ^ Robin Stowell, "Violin Concertos," in Oxford Composer Companions: J.S. Bach, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 493

External links[edit]