Vivaldi and Bach

The Bach-Vivaldi Conversations are particularly interesting as they span a wide swathe of Bach’s career.  First up, Bach’s transcription of Concerto No. 11 in D Minor for Organ.

Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto Op. 3, No. 11 in D Minorhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8UmlKEWIyY

J.S. Bach, Organ Concerto in D Minor (After Vivaldi): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2upDLfG2Os

This is more or less a straight transcription.  It is thought among some musicologists that Bach was commissioned to transcribe these for a patron; hence, the lack of invention.  Or they were simply how Bach studied music—no one knows for sure either way.  But here is a more mature Bach, in his Concerto for Four Harpsichords and Strings in A Minor, which is based on Vivaldi’s No. 10 for 4 violins in B minor. This is a true Conversation (seemingly composed for Gert with four harpsichords)—Bach takes a brilliant Vivaldi original to new heights, adding additional textures and harmonies.  When Gert first asked for a list of great harpsichord works, this was the first piece I thought of.

Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto Op. 3, No. 10 in B Minorhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jf4tp4-m4k

J.S. Bach, Concerto for Four Harpsichords and Strings in A Minorhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUqXpbSR7yM

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