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Bach -- Why No Organ Concerti?


mrbouffant
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Topic Title says it all really.

 

Whilst browsing thru the monumental "complete Bach" 155 CD set I picked up on Amazon for a paltry £70, I wondered why - unlike G.F.Handel - a Bach organ concerto does not survive in the 21st century. Is there any received wisdom on this subject?

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For wisdom look elsewhere, but I would guess that it is because he never needed to write one. Which of his churches would ever have required one? Did he ever mount orchestral concerts in churches?

 

The interesting thing is that the first movement of the D minor harpsichord concerto does exist in a version with organ solo in place of the harpsichord - it's the Sinfonia to one of the cantatas (I forget which one, but I mentioned it a year or two back in a thread about the Radio 3 Bachfest). If memory serves, the second movement of the concerto also appears in the same cantata, again with organ solo, but with added choral parts!

 

There are also other canatas with a Sinfonia featuring a solo organ.

 

Such movements are the nearest he got. Inevitably the D minor harpsichord concerto has been recorded as an organ concerto, but as far as I know (which admittedly isn't very far at all) the evidence for it is slender to non-existent.

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