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Concerto for Two Violins, Strings, and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1043 "Double Concerto"

About the Work

J.S. Bach
Quick Look Composer: J.S. Bach
Program note originally written for the following performance:
St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble Sat., Nov. 6, 2004, 2:00 PM
© Dr. Richard E. Rodda

The first movement of the Concerto for Two Violins, a typically Bachian example of ritornello form, is filled with a darkly expressive vitality. The second movement is one of the most poignantly beautiful pieces of music ever written. The soloists soar above a simple accompaniment from the orchestra, which, unlike the first and third movements, makes no attempt to converse with them. This gently swaying lullaby, in a key suffused with cool sunlight, is full of surpassing calm and ravishing beauty. The sense of urgency and drama from the first movement returns in the finale, another ritornello form, propelled by Bach's characteristic rhythmic energy.