Violin Online: Bach Double

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor

by Johann Sebastian Bach

1st Movement sound files
Melody 1 Melody 2 Full Score
listen listen JPG file
2nd Movement sound files
Melody 1 Melody 2 Full Score
listen listen JPG file
3rd Movement sound files
Melody 1 Melody 2 Full Score
listen listen JPG file

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor Overview

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, is often called the Bach Double and was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The precise date when this concerto was composed is unknown. Although it was originally thought that Bach composed this piece during the time when he was director of music for Prince Leopold of Anhalt at Cöthen (between 1717 and 1723), recent scholarship seems to indicate that Bach composed this concerto during his Leipzig period. Manuscript parts for Bach’s D minor concerto for two violins date approximately 1730-31, [1] a time when Bach was not only the civic director of music for Leipzig (one of the most prestigious musical positions in Germany at the time), but he had also assumed leadership of Leipzig 's collegium musicum, a voluntary organization founded by Telemann in 1702. Members of Leipzig’s collegium musicum included university students and professional musicians, and they contributed to Leipzig’s musical culture with weekly concerts.[2]

Bach’s D minor concerto is scored for two solo violins, continuo and strings, and follows the typical Baroque concerto pattern of three movements (fast-slow-fast). This particular arrangement has been simplified, and has been arranged for three instruments. Bach’s interplay between the soloists is exquisite as the melodies interweave each other in a continual stream of contrapuntal melodies.

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[1] Wolf, Christoph et al. "Bach" Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed August 29, 2013.
[2] Wolf, Christoph and Jones, Richard. "Johann Sebastian Bach," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ed. Stanley Sadie. London : Macmillian, 1980. 1:785-840.

*Sheet music is scored in three-part harmony, and parts are available with interchangeable viola, cello and bass music. Sheet music files are in PDF format, and require Acrobat® Reader. If you don’t have Acrobat® Reader installed, it’s a free download. Click on the following link: Get Acrobat Reader


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