Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord, strings & continuo in A minor ("Triple"), BWV 1044

    Description by Blair Johnston

    Each of Bach's harpsichord concertos, save perhaps one, is really a new arrangement made by him of a concerto conceived for another solo instrument (invariably violin or oboe). A similar origin can be ascribed to the Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord, and strings in A minor, BWV 1044 (the Triple Concerto, as it is known), though in the case of this most unusual of all Baroque concertos it is not another concerto, but rather two separate keyboard works that Bach plundered. The occasion for which Bach crafted the Triple Concerto is unknown, but it very likely falls among those works composed for performance by the Leipzig Collegium Musicum; a tentative composition date of ca. 1730-1735 is usually assigned. Whereas in most of the harpsichord concertos Bach remains relatively true to his sources -- the original solo part is of course fleshed out in wholly new ways and the tutti scoring is sometimes adapted to suit, but the course of the music usually remains largely untouched -- in BWV 1044, Bach treats his two sources very freely indeed, so much so that one cannot really call the work a transcription or arrangement; it is, rather, a new composition "after" the other two. The two sources are: for the first and last of the Concerto's three movements, the Prelude and Fugue in A minor for harpsichord, BWV 894; and for the middle movement, the middle movement of the Organ Sonata in D minor, BWV 527. Throughout the triplet-driven opening Allegro, which takes its material only from the prelude half of BWV 1044, the harpsichord is utterly superior to the flute and the violin, who spend most of their time working out countermelodies to and brief commentaries on the harpsichord's often dense oratory (the Concerto is properly called a concerto for "harpsichord, flute, and violin," though one will hardly ever find the soli listed in that order). In the Adagio, ma non tanto, e dolce second movement, however, the flute and violin come to the fore, the former engaging in a pleasant pastoral dialogue with the harpsichord while the latter accompanies them with strolling pizzicati. Bach converts the fugue of BWV 1044 into an Alla breve movement, throughout which the harpsichordist again reigns supreme.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro
    2. Adagio ma non tanto e dolce
    3. Alla breve

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Accent ACC 24341
    2017 Berlin Classics 0300764 BC
    2016 Archiv Produktion 4795384
    2016 Passacaille PAS 1019
    2016 Erato 557841
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95303BR
    2016 Haenssler / Haenssler Classic / Hänssler Classic HC 16006
    2016 CPO 777681
    2013 Archiv Produktion 002894791045AB55
    2013 Channel Classics CCSSA 34113
    2013 Erato
    2012 Naxos 8501061
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2011 Newton Classics 8802075
    2011 Archiv Produktion 4779510
    2011 Archiv Produktion
    2011 Alpha / Alpha Productions 811
    2011 Alpha Productions ALPHA 889
    2011 Newton Classics 8802086
    2011 Brilliant Classics 93578
    2011 RCA Red Seal 88697828122
    2011 Sony Classical 88697742912
    2011 Masterworks / Sony Classical 88697824292
    2010 Soli Deo Gloria 165
    2010 PentaTone Classics 5186149
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Decca 4782363
    2010 Decca
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945631
    2010 Decca
    2010 Hyperion CDA 30003
    2009 Alpha Productions 137
    2009 Naïve NC 40002
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 2907283
    2009 Early-Music.com EMCCD7753
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926413
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926419
    2008 Archiv Produktion 4777429
    2008 Landscape Classics / Zebralution
    2008 Landscape Classics / Zebralution
    2008 Channel Classics CCSSA27208
    2008 Channel Classics 27208
    2008 Accord 465893
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93668
    2008 Sony Classical 88697318972
    2008 Brilliant 93160
    2007 Arts Music 47716
    2007 Harmonia Mundi HMA195 1740
    2007 Brilliant 93179
    2007 Resonance CDRSN3087
    2006 Brilliant 99697
    2006 Brilliant 93102
    2006 Hyperion CDA67607/8
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon
    2005 Hyperion 67307
    2005 Hyperion 67307SACD
    2005 Virgin
    2005 Camerata Records 28057
    2005 Delos 3359
    2004 Delta Distribution 40028
    2004 Brilliant 92391
    2004 St. Clair 93962
    2003 Cascavelle 3061
    2003 Pearl 202
    2003 Archiv Produktion 474220
    2003 Naïve 20011
    2003 Virgin 62281
    2003 Sony Classical Essential Classics 87326
    2003 Sony Classical 87326
    2003 Naïve 8891
    2002 Harmonia Mundi HMU90 7283/4
    2002 Archiv Produktion
    2002 Archiv Produktion 471656
    2002 Vox 3608
    2002 Haenssler 92571
    2001 Virgin 561726
    2001 Astree Naive E 8837
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 74439
    2001 Harmonia Mundi 901740
    2001 St. Clair 7323
    2001 Music & Arts CD1080/6
    2000 Naxos 554608
    2000 Naxos 8508005
    2000 ASV CDQS6243
    2000 Archiv Produktion 463 725-2AB5
    2000 Haenssler 92130
    2000 Opus 111 2018
    2000 Virgin 45190
    2000 RCA 77412
    2000 St. Clair 30552
    2000 Boxsets / St. Clair 94112
    2000 St. Clair 30142
    2000 Disques Pierre Verany 730075
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Astree 128523
    1999 Chandos 641
    1999 Teldec 3984-25717-2
    1999 MDG 3090684
    1999 Erato / Virgin 7243561558
    1999 Madacy 9503
    1998 Masterpiece 90003
    1998 Decca 4600312
    1998 RCA 57130
    1997 Opus 111 30153
    1997 Philips 456 377-2PB9
    1997 Virgin 45255
    1996 Erato 16163
    1996 Naxos 553505
    1995 Teldec 97473
    1995 Madacy 7680
    1994 Astree 8523
    1993 Laserlight 15932
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 54654
    1993 Laserlight 14134
    1992 Vox 3018
    1992 RCA 60900
    1988 Archiv Produktion
    1988 Archiv Produktion 4271122
    1987 Archiv Produktion 423116
    1984 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    1984 Archiv Produktion 4137312
    Brilliant 93102-VOL1
    Brilliant 99701
    Philips 442387
    Erato
    Archiv Produktion 9032/4
    Cantabile 5
    EMI Music Distribution 4571
    Archiv Produktion 413731
    Denon Records 7064
    Brilliant 93179/9
    Brilliant 93102/9
    Brilliant 93160/4
    Brilliant Classics 93668/6
    Brilliant 92391/6
    Brilliant 99701/9
    Brilliant / Brilliant Classics 935789
    Erato 91929
    Accord 205712
    Archiv Produktion 413629
    Laserlight 14834
    RCA 7991
    Archiv Produktion 000303002
    Madacy 0835
    Madacy 0842
    Deutsche Grammophon 4776210