Triple Concerto, BWV 1044

The Triple Concerto, BWV 1044, is a concerto in A minor for traverso, violin, harpsichord and string orchestra by Johann Sebastian Bach. He based the composition on his Prelude and Fugue BWV 894 for harpsichord and on the middle movement of his Organ Sonata BWV 527, or on earlier lost models for these compositions.


Bach based the Triple Concerto on two earlier compositions:

Regarding the origin of the models for BWV 1044:

Dietrich Kilian, the editor of the New Bach Edition volume which contains the Triple Concerto, assumes that Bach composed the concerto after 1726: most likely he composed it in his later years.[10][11]

Movements and scoring

Bach scored the concerto for the same instruments as his fifth Brandenburg Concerto, BWV 1050, with the addition of a second violino di ripieno part.[1] The concerto has three concertato parts (harpsichord obligato, flute and violin) and four ripieno parts (first and second violins, viola and continuo).[12][13] Throughout the concerto the harpsichord has the predominant solo part.[14] The middle movement is performed by the concertino without the ripieno instruments.[15]

The concerto has three movements:[11][6]

  1. (No tempo indication, usually interpreted as Allegro) – based on BWV 894/1
  2. Adagio ma non tanto e dolce, in C major – based on BWV 527/2 (there in F major)[6]
  3. Tempo di Allabreve – based on BWV 894/2 (there in 12

The outer movements were developed from the harpsichord piece with added tutti sections.[17] The middle movement was expanded from the organ piece to four voices.[6][15]


Schott published the concerto in 1848.[18][19][20] The Bach Gesellschaft published the concerto in 1869 as No. 8, "Concert in A moll für Flöte, Violine und Clavier mit Begleitung von Zwei Violinen, Viola und Continuo" (Concerto in A minor for flute, violin and keyboard with an accompaniment of two violins, viola and continuo), pp. 221–272 in the 17th volume of their complete edition (Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe, BGA). The seven other concertos in that volume, which was the BGA's second volume of chamber music, were the Harpsichord Concertos BWV 1052–1058. The incipits of the Triple Concerto's movements are rendered on p. 217 of the BGA's thematic catalogue (Volume 46, published in 1899):[13][2][21][22]

Philipp Spitta describes the concerto as an arrangement "of really dazzling artistic quality and splendour",[2] and considers the transformation of the keyboard solo BWV 894 into the Triple Concerto more remarkable than the transformation of the violin solo BWV 1006/1 into the opening sinfonia of the cantata Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29.[23]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Schulenberg 2006, pp. 145–146
  2. 1 2 3 Spitta 1899 Vol. 1, p. 420
  3. 1 2 BDW 1226
  4. Spitta 1899 Vol. 3, pp. 142–146
  5. BWV2a (1998), pp. 311–312
  6. 1 2 3 4 Rust 1869, p. XXI (Preface)
  7. 1 2 Dirksen 2010, p. 22 (Introduction)
  8. D-LEb Peters Ms. R 9 (Depositum im Bach-Archiv) and D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 801, Fascicle 4 at Bach Digital website
  9. D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 804, Fascicle 29 and D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 1084 at Bach Digital website
  10. Kilian 1986, p. 105ff.; Kilian 1989, p. 43ff.
  11. 1 2 BWV2a (1998) p. 425
  12. (manuscript) Bach St 134
  13. 1 2 (score edition) Rust 1869
  14. Douglas 1997, p. 1
  15. 1 2 Douglas 1997, pp. 2–10
  16. Abravaya 2006, p. 61–64
  17. Douglas 1997, pp. 4–28
  18. (score edition) Bach 1848
  19. Hofmeister 1848, p. 151
  20. Schneider 1907, p. 106
  21. Kretzschmar 1899
  22. Terry 1920, p 233
  23. Spitta 1899 Vol. 2, p. 450



Score editions


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