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Transcriptions of Concertos By Vivaldi

J.S. Bach Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $17.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 25 Songs, 2013 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2013 $17.78  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 28, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00C30ZB5E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,107 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This recording brings together all the harpsichord arrangements by Bach of instrumental concertos by his Italian contemporary Antonio Vivaldi, adding those of one concerto each by the brothers Alessandro and Benedetto Marcello. Performed by Sophie Yates on harpsichord, she is described by Gramophone as "hugely talented."

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Young Bach Experiments June 15, 2013
Format:MP3 Music
Most of these transcriptions of string concertos by the somewhat older composers Antonio Vivaldi and brothers Benedetto and Alessandro Marcello were made when Bach was in his twenties and represent the young composer stretching his wings by making over already existing works by composers he admired. He was aided in this by his Weimar patron, Prince Johann Ernst, who had discovered some of these concertos in Holland and brought them home. The wonder is that Bach took compositions which are basically incompatible as harpsichord music and made them not only doable but actually quite wonderful pieces. He changes the keys of some of them to make them more agreeable for fingers on a keyboard. He retains all the ornaments that the violin soloist would have been playing in these concerti and made them work for keyboard players. He used a double manual harpsichord in order to make the expected contrast between soloists and the ritornello instruments.

It has been speculated as to why Bach made these transcriptions -- although this CD contains eight of them, Bach actually made seventeen such transcriptions -- and no clear answers have been forthcoming. Certainly he was interested in pleasing his patron, a keen musician -- he transcribed some of Prince Johann's music as well -- but he may also have been an eager young man exercising his compositional muscles by using preexisting works as frameworks for his own efforts. And he may have been making them for private performances when a group of musicians were not available to play these concerted works. Whatever the reasons, these are wonderful works. All of them are from violin concertos except for one by Alessandro Marcello which was for oboe and strings.
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