J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Organ Concertos

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Peter Hurford
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Richard Hickox
Individual Works:Concerto no.2 in D major, from BWV 49, BWV 169 & BWV 1053
Concerto no.1 in D minor, from BWV 146 & BWV 1052
Concerto no.3 in D minor, from BWV 35 & BWV 1059
Sinfonia in D major, BWV 1045
Sinfonia to Cantata BWV 29 'Wir danken dir'
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Argo
Catalog Number:425 479-2
Year Released/Recorded:1990
Total Playing Time:66.44
Comments:Alastair Asher said:

The organ concertos here are presented as reconstructions based on three of the harpsichord concertos, using the original organ concerto movements from cantatas where available.
The concertos were originally composed for violin or oboe; later they were adapted as movements in cantatas; later still they were adapted as harpsichord concertos as we know them today. So here the cantata movements, where they survive, are used as the basis for the organ concertos no.1 and 2 (which correspond the harpsichord concertos BWV 1052 and BWV 1053), the remainder being adapted from the harpsichord versions by R. J. Schureck. It is surprising how different the music is in this version. Concerto no.3 is reconstructed from the cantata BWV 35 on the basis that it matches the fragment BWV 1059, which is the harpsichord concerto Bach never got around to writing.
The sinfonia to cantata BWV 29 is apparently a transcription from his solo violin suite BWV 1006. There is a an organ transcription of the fragment sinfonia in D major for violin and orchestra, BWV 1045, completed exclusively from Bach's material.
The theory is presented in the notes that Bach may have got the idea of writing organ concertos from seeing Vivaldi's in the library at Dresden, and also that Handel may have got the same idea from the same source when in Italy.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Alastair Asher
Date First Submitted:03/02/2007