Bach Double

Bach Double Concerto

Johann Sebastian Bach composed this sublime concerto while employed at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen from 1717 to 1723. From this happy and productive period came the exuberant Brandenburg Concertos, the first book of the Well-tempered Clavier, the Orchestral Suites and many other important works.

The  Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D Minor or Bach Double Concerto (jokingly called the Dark Bubble) is revered as the most perfect concerto of the baroque era. The voices of two violins intertwine in a fugue of matchless invention: from Bach’s musical imagination and mastery came a timeless wonder.

In a bold move, Suzuki placed violin II of the 1st movement at the end of Volume 4, perhaps using its allure to inspire students to overcome the challenges of learning. The melody line is more complex than the Vivaldi concertos and takes more time to memorize, but there are not too many daunting technical difficulties to surmount. There are a couple of leaps in the melody that require careful study and some sections that look awkward at first, but all these can be worked through in the buoyant momentum of discovery.

The Study Points

When we teach or study any piece of music, it’s useful to think about two broad perspectives: the purely musical or artistic view – how to perform and communicate the piece as a whole; and the physical techniques we must to master in order to play with unrestricted expression. Read More →

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