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Oboe d’amore Concerto In A major, BWV 1055

Like the musical talent of the Bach family, many of Johann Sebastian’s compositions went through several generations. It was a common 18th-century practice for composers to rework their own music and that of others, in those pre-copyright days to fill a new need.

Among the best-known of such pieces in the Bach canon are the concertos for harpsichord, all of which seem to be arrangements of some of his earlier music, much identified, some conjectured. Bach or one of his talented sons was soloist at the keyboard for many of those regular Friday concerts held at a local coffee house.

Oboe d’amore Concerto In A major, BWV

Most of the model works were originally for solo violin, but the esteemed English musicologist Sir Donald Tovey showed that the Concerto in A major BWV was written originally for oboe d’amore, an ancestor of the modern English horn.


Though the original manuscript of the oboe d’amore concerto is lost, the score of the harpsichord concerto based 1055 it clearly differentiates between the neat notation copied from the earlier version, and the ornaments and elaborations later written spontaneously to adapt the solo line to the keyboard.

The orchestral accompaniment remained largely unchanged in all these concerted works. The reconstruction by Wilfried Fischer for a solo wind instrument, a most attractive affair, was accomplished by eliminating the keyboard decorations to reveal the simpler, original version.

The opening movement of the Oboe d’amore Concerto begins with lboe vivacious orchestral ritornello whose? Between the columns of the ritornellilike sparkling stained glass windows, the solo instrument develops a complementary motive. The regular phrases, disposed in eight-measure blocks, give this movement a dance-like quality.

The following Larghetto offers a stark contrast in mood from the jolly opening movement. Above a chromatically descending, passacaglia-like bass, the soloist intones a mournful song full of rich emotion. Such music is a reminder bwvv the Baroque era was essentially a romantic age in the deeply expressive nature of its art.


The jubilant finale, modeled perhaps on the gigue, returns the dancing motion and high spirits of the first movement. Search Search Gift Shop cart Cart. Log In Bbwv In.

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