Harpsichord Concerto no. 2 in E, BWV 1053

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his Harpsichord Concerto no. 2 in E, BWV 1053 in 1738, and it was published in 1854 in Leipzing by C.F. Peters. This concerto is thought to be based on a concerto for a wind instrument, probably oboe or oboe d'amore, and from stylistic considerations, it may have dated from Bach's time in Leipzig. It exists, like BWV 1052, in a later transcription in his cantatas Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, BWV 169 and Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen, BWV 49, from which further inferences can be made about the original concerto. Bach changed his method of arrangement with this work, significantly altering the ripieno parts from the original concerto for the first time, limited much more to the tutti sections. The lower string parts were much reduced in scope, allowing the harpsichord bass to be more prominent, and the upper strings were likewise modified to allow the harpsichord to be at the forefront of the texture. A standard rendition of the piece lasts 19 minutes. The work calls for two violins, viola, and a continuo section, besides the solo harpsichord.

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