The Kennedy Center

Harpischord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056

About the Work

J.S. Bach Composer: J.S. Bach
© Dr. Richard E. Rodda

The Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F minor is thought to have been based on a lost violin concerto in G minor. The right hand of the solo probably follows the original violin part quite closely, though suitable embellishments have undoubtedly been added, especially in the ornate middle movement. The left hand is closely related to the bass of the orchestra, but elaborated. The opening movement, in ritornello form, is music of grave countenance but vigorous rhythmic energy that embodies the Baroque ideals of touching sentiment allied with physical stimulation. The lovely second movement resembles an operatic cantilena in its lyrical flow and florid decorations. It leads with only a pause for a single breath into the finale, which returns the bracing vitality of the first movement. Amid its dashing rhythmic motion appear some particularly felicitous echo effects between orchestra and soloist.