Johann Sebastian Bach

Concerto for 3 harpsichords, strings & continuo in D minor, BWV 1063

    Description by James Leonard

    There are two different scholarly explanations of the origin of Bach's Concerto for Three Harpsichords in D minor. One holds that the work is a transcription or arrangement of works by other composers in the manner of Bach's adaptation of the violin concertos for organ. Given the originality and the expressivity of the D minor concerto, this explanation seems unlikely to other scholars, who assert instead that the work was composed by Bach for domestic musicmaking between himself and his two eldest sons, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philip Emmanuel. These scholars point to the dominance of the first harpsichord part, especially to its two cadenzas in the opening movement, and to the Germanic gravitas of the unison theme that permeates the opening movement like the unison theme of the Harpsichord Concerto in D minor (BWV 1052). Whichever explanation is correct (and at this point, it is unlikely that conclusive proof will ever be found), all scholars agree that the Concerto for Three Harpsichords in D minor is one of Bach's finest concerted works. The weight and power of the fast outer movements, the pathos of the central Alla Siciliano, the beauty of the work's melodies, and the contrapuntal skill with which they are developed all place this concerto among Bach's best harpsichord concertos.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro
    2. Alla Siciliana
    3. Allegro

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Erato 0190295632281
    2019 Alpha ALPHA 446
    2018 Erato
    2018 Erato 573807
    2018 Doremi / Doremi Records DHR 80568
    2017 Raumklang RK 3007
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95303BR
    2016 CPO 777681
    2015 Portland Baroque Media CPEPBO 8916
    2015 Archive / Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 L'Oiseau-Lyre / Decca 4786753
    2013 Sony Classical 5477932
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94421
    2011 Archiv Produktion
    2011 Archiv Produktion 4779510
    2011 Alpha / Alpha Productions 811
    2011 Alpha Productions 168
    2011 Brilliant Classics 93578
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2010 Decca 4782363
    2010 Decca
    2010 Archiv Produktion 4000412
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Plectra Music 20901
    2008 Landscape Classics / Zebralution
    2008 Accord 465893
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93187
    2007 EMI Classics
    2007 EMI Classics 00948
    2007 Cascade Records 2100
    2007 Apex
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Warner Classics
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 47063
    2005 Erato
    2005 Warner Classics 4619502
    2005 Apex / Warner Classics 256462116
    2005 Platinum Entertainment 3721
    2004 Delta Distribution 40028
    2004 Delta Distribution 16376
    2003 Delta Distribution 40036
    2003 Delta Distribution 40100
    2003 Vanguard 1249
    2003 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 40043
    2002 Archiv Produktion 471754
    2002 Haenssler 92571
    2001 Aura Classics 0199
    2001 Virgin 561716
    2001 Teldec 81218
    2001 Music & Arts CD1080/6
    2000 Naxos 8508005
    2000 Archiv Produktion 463 725-2AB5
    2000 Haenssler 92130
    2000 Naxos 8 554605
    2000 Veritas 45336
    2000 Centaur Records 2678
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Chandos 636
    1999 Teldec 3984-25717-2
    1999 Archiv Produktion 400041
    1997 Point Classics 267123
    1997 MDG 0682
    1997 Philips 456 377-2PB9
    1996 Virgin 724354520426
    1996 Naxos 553505
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 67179
    1995 Teldec 97452
    1995 Vanguard 2523
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 007777470632
    1993 Laserlight 15932
    1993 Laserlight 14133
    1993 Vox 8752
    1992 Vox 3018
    1990 Laserlight 15663
    1990 Laserlight 15860
    1990 Laserlight 35885
    1985 Deutsche Grammophon 415 655-2GH
    Brilliant 93102-VOL1
    Brilliant 99701
    Digital Concerto 719
    Vox 5040
    Erato
    Brilliant 99701/8
    Brilliant 93102/8
    Brilliant Classics 935788
    L'Oiseau-Lyre 433053
    Stradivari 6061
    Laserlight 14833
    Archiv Produktion 413634
    EMI 47063
    Cascade Records 2119