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Sinfonia in D major BWV 1045
Commentary

Church cantata (text unknown), BWV 1045
NBA 1/34, p. 307

Only the introductory sinfonia of this work survives, and even that is incomplete, breaking off after 149 1/2 bars. In the Bach literature, this fragment is sometimes described as the opening of a violin concerto in D, but the heading of the autograph score (c. 1743/6) clearly reveals that the work as a whole required four voices:

J J Concerto. a 4 Voci. 3 Trombe, Tamburi, 2 Hautb: Violino Cone: 2 Violini, Viola e Cont.

The tide 'Concerto', contrary to its modern associations, here excludes a secular occasion and indicates a church cantata (see 'concerto' below). The surviving fragment leaves a mixed impression and doubt has been cast on its authenticity:16 possibly it is all that survives of Bach's arrangement of a concerto movement by another composer. It has also been conjectured17 that the movement might have formed the sinfonia to the lost graduation cantata Siehe, der Hüter Israel, BWV Anh. I 15. The appearance of the score suggests that the wind parts are subsequent additions and that only the strings and continuo belonged to the sinfonia in its original form.18

16. By RudoIf Stephan, 'Die Wandlung der Konzertform bei Bach', Die Musikforschung 6 (1953), 127-43. The absence of the composer's name in the heading would provide insufficient grounds for doubts over the work's authenticity (the name might have been inscribed on the lost wrapper) if such doubts were not reinforced by stylistic considerations.
17. By Reinmar Emans, 'Überlegungen zur Genese der Kantate Du Hirte Israel, hore (
BWV 104)'.
18. See R. Higuchi, KB, NBA I/34. 129-30.
concerto (It.): in Bach's day, as now, an instrumental work in several movements. In the contect of church music, however, it was often used specifically to denote settings of biblical words for an ensemble of voices and instruments; it was also synonimous with the present day term 'church cantata'.

 

Source: Alfred Dürr: The Cantatas of J.S. Bach (Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 793
Contributed by Aryeh Oron (October 2008)

Sinfonia BWV 1045: Recordings | Discussions

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Last update: żOctober 21, 2008 ż13:40:14