Bach ❤ Vivaldi

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Bach ❤ Vivaldi Bach ❤ Vivaldi

The background

Bach ❤ Vivaldi

A Vivaldi edition from Amsterdam was to mark music history. On discovering the Italian concerto, Bach was immediately sold on it.

Already at the age of fifteen, Johann Ernst, son of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, was studying law in the Netherlands. As a music-lover – and creditable composer – he could really indulge himself there. For instance, he got Vivaldi’s brand-new opus 3 L’estro armonico hot off the press, which caused a true sensation once back in Thüringen. After receiving the score from Johann Ernst and being blown away by the virtuoso concertos of ‘the red priest’, Bach lost no time in setting his own hand to the revolutionary genre. When the young prince fell fatally ill shortly after his return, Bach incorporated a bit of a theme from Vivaldi’s concerto grosso in D minor into his cantata Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis; a reference that the future duke would have recognised immediately. A few years later, Johann Ernst’s own violin concertos in the style of Vivaldi were published.

The concert

Works and Performance


Johann Sebastian Bach
Cantata ‘Erschallet, ihr Lieder‘, BWV 172

Antonio Vivaldi
Aria ‘Piango, gemo, sospiro e peno’, RV 675 from cantata ‘Piango, gemo, sospiro e peno’
Allegro from ‘Concerto grosso in D major’, opus 3 nr. 11, RV 565 from l’ Estro Armonico

Johann Ernst von Sachsen Weimar
Concerto nr. 1 in B flat major

Johann Sebastian Bach
Cantata ‘Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis’, BWV 21


Netherlands Bach Society
Shunske Sato, violin and leader


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Experience more

Bach ❤ Vivaldi in picture

Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis

cantatas, BWV 21