Bach: Harpsichord Concertos / Ton Koopman conducting and harpsichord

Bach: Harpsichord Concertos / Ton Koopman conducting and harpsichord
The first complete set of harpsichord concertos I ever bought was an analog record conducted by Jean-Francois Paillard and played by Robert Veyron Lacroix. There were several arrangements of violin concertos lowered by a tone degrees, and in the same way, an arrangement from Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins, etc. It had been a while since I fell in love with Bach’s music, but I remember feeling very fresh and moved by it. Moreover, in recent years, violin and oboe concertos and oboe d’amore concertos, which were “restored” by a tone degrees higher with the same logic, have been often performed, and have become a valuable part of Bach’s repertoire. Many of Bach’s harpsichord concertos are his own compositions from his Weimar and Kothen period, which he later arranged for the “Collegium Musicum” concerts at the “Cafe Zimmermann” in Leipzig. Here are a few of the more impressive pieces from the complete collection by Koopman.
The Concerto in D minor (BWV 1052) is arranged from a violin concerto that is also in D minor which is probably the original. As for Bach’s work, the influence of “Sturm und Drang” can probably be seen. Koopman begins to play the first movement in unison with a brisk touch. The second movement, also in unison, begins in a somewhat grave mood, and its melody is retained in the bass part until the end of the piece. This movement reminds me of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s concerto. The third movement begins with all the ensemble for the first time, but its character is still “Sturm und Drang”. I think this is one of Bach’s most complete harpsichord concertos. As a side note, the Violin Concerto (restored version) performed by the Neathrland Bach Society on YouTube is very good, and I recommend you to listen to it.
The concertos in G minor (BWV 1058) and D major (BWV 1054) are arrangements from the existing violin concertos in A minor and E major. It can be said that they are Bachian developments of Vivaldi’s style, but both of them are much fuller than Vivaldi’s, especially the second movement. The F minor concerto (BWV1056) is often heard restored as the Oboe Concerto in G minor. The second movement is famous as “Galia Largo” by the Swingle Singers. The E major concerto (BWV1053) has been restored as the Oboe d’amore concerto in D major. The same concerto in A major (BWV1055) has been restored to an oboe d’amore concerto in the same key.
By the way, if I were asked to choose just one of Bach’s harpsichord concertos, I think it would be the Concerto for Two Harpsichords in C major (BWV 1061). It is a work with such a rich content. Of course, it is obvious that the highlight is the long fugue in the third movement. The F major concerto (BWV1057) is also worthy of mention, but the original Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 may be superior in tone. The Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C major (BWV 1064) is another masterpiece. However in the end, I would conclude that Bach is all great. #baroque #bach #片山俊幸