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A new edition of JS Bach's monumental concerto for 4 violins and strings.

Digital Download.


Bach made several transcriptions of concertos by Italian composers during his tenure as organist to the Weimar court. These pre-dated and served as models for his original concerto compositions. Most of the transcriptions were made for solo organ and many from Vivaldi’s L’estro Armonico, opus 3 set published in 1711. This influential set of twelve concertos used a variety of instrumentation, calling for one, two and four solo violins with the ripieno instruments, and Bach utilised the organ’s two manuals and pedals to a full extent when arranging five of the concertos for one instrument. Calling Bach’s works mere transcriptions, however, belies the ingenuity of Bach in his compositional additions and embellishments. Along with the five L’estro Armonico concerto transcriptions for solo organ is the tenth concerto arranged for four solo harpsichords with strings. The textural complexity of Vivaldi’s original could not be replicated on the organ without compromising the interplay between the four solo parts and the timbres of the middle movement achieved by four different methods of articulating arpeggios simultaneously.

The current edition is based on the earliest source, held at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Am.B 69). The manuscript is headed with the title: Concerto. da Vivaldi, accommodato a 4. Cemb: da Gio: Seb: Bach.


Listen to Bach's Concerto for 4 Harpsichords on YouTube.

J S Bach - Concerto for 4 Harpsichords. Digital Download

  • Scoring: 4 solo harpsichords, 2 violins, viola, basso (cello, bass). 

    Contents: Full score, harpsichord 1, harpsichord 2, harpsichord 3, harpsichord 4, violin 1, violin 2, viola, basso.

    Total pages: 108

    File size: 4.6 MB

    Work duration: 10'

    Catalogue number: CK0056

    ISMN: 9790708170556

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