Johann Sebastian Bach's Concerto for Four Harpsichords
and String Orchestra in A minor is an adaptation from
around 1730-1733 of Vivaldi's B minor Concerto for Four
Violins and String Orchestra in B minor, No. 10/3. Bach
had gotten to know Vivaldi's Op. 3 while an organist at
Weimar, where he transcribed ten of them for solo
harpsichord and six of them for organ. This later
adaptation is far more ambitious. In it, Bach has both
tightened and expanded Vivaldi's counterpoint, enriched
his harmonies with lusher harmonies, and expanded the
solo parts with greater complexity and greater clarity.
The result is a work that not only avoids the criticism
of being too thickly textured, but actually improves on
the original work. Written in the standard
three-movement concerto form of the Baroque period,
Bach's Concerto for Four Harpsichords is a brilliant
virtuoso piece for the soloists.
Although originally written for 4 Harpsichords Strings
and Continuo, I created this Transcription of the
Concerto in A Minor (BWV 1065) for 2 Concert (Pedal)
Harps, Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon) &
Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).