Bach - Concerto in D minor for Two Violins

Composed in 1717, BWV 1043, otherwise known as the 'Bach Double' is one of the most famous of his works - and a fine example of a Baroque concerto.

When Bach arrived in Leipzig in 1723, he inherited a professional music staff of four town pipers, three violinists and one apprentice. At the age of 48, he had taken what seemed to him to be a backward move in his career, becoming Kantor of St Thomas’s. He built up his force of musicians by recruiting from his school and the nearby university.

Composed in 1717, the 'Bach Double', as it is often called, came with him from his previous job in Cöthen, but seven years after he had arrived in Leipzig, he made a transcription for two harpsichords. Many of Bach’s orchestrations were for purely pragmatic reasons, so we might presume that none of the three fiddlers were up to playing it in its original form. However, when the Cöthen version of the work was lost, Bach specialists were able to reconstruct it from the harpsichord version. The slow movement is surely one of Bach’s most sublime creations.