The story of a prince, a priest and a Protestant

Bach ❤ Vivaldi

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.

Blown away by Vivaldi’s virtuoso concertos.“

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


Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BWV 135
Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21

‘Allegro’ from Concerto grosso in D minor, RV 565, ‘l’ Estro Armonico’
Aria ‘Piango, gemo, sospiro e peno’, RV 675

Concerto in D major


Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Shunske Sato

Stefanie True, soprano
Ulrike Malotta, alto
Guy Cutting, tenor
Felix Schwandtke, bass

Experience more

View this work on All of Bach

Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis

cantatas, BWV 21

Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder

cantatas, BWV 135