Title

Transplanting the Harpsichord: The Keyboard's Rise to Prominence in Bach's Concerto, BWV 1061

Type of Submission

Performance

Campus Venue

Dixon Ministry Center, Recital Hall

Location

Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-10-2013 4:20 PM

End Date

4-10-2013 4:40 PM

Comments

Abstract:

J. S. Bach was the first prominent composer to write and arrange concertos for multiple solo harpsichords. Many of his harpsichord concertos were transcribed from concertos originally composed for other solo instruments. His Concerto for Two Keyboards in C Major, BWV 1061, is the only concerto believed to be specifically written for two harpsichords. This shows the higher level of prominence given to harpsichords toward the end of the Baroque era as they were transplanted from the supporting basso continuo and into the foreground. This piece was not only written for double harpsichord with orchestral accompaniment, a unique solo instrument combination for the Baroque era, but it may have been originally written for an unaccompanied harpsichord. Only the two harpsichord parts survive in Bach's handwriting. The orchestral parts were pieced together from other copies by his family members. They do not present new material and simply provide emphasis on cadences through doubling the keyboard parts. Also, the second movement is unusually scored for only two harpsichords. Even though this piece may have been originally composed for solo harpsichords, since Bach was at the Collegium Musicum at the time, he had the orchestral performing forces at his disposal. The piece debuted with chamber orchestra at the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig in 1735. This piece demonstrates a new prominence given to an instrument that, in the Baroque era, was usually used for the supporting basso continuo. We will be performing the Concerto for Two Keyboards in C Major, BWV 1061, on two pianos and presenting using historical documentary research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Lowrance CU Symposium Presentation.pdf (35 kB)
Transplanting the Harpsichord

 
Apr 10th, 4:20 PM Apr 10th, 4:40 PM

Transplanting the Harpsichord: The Keyboard's Rise to Prominence in Bach's Concerto, BWV 1061

Cedarville, OH