The Concerto No 3 in D major, BWV1054 will be immediately recognizable as a transcription of the Violin Concerto in E major, BWV1042. The key change was to enable it to be played on the harpsichord where the highest note was D. It is a marvellous example of how the instrumentation in Bach’s music is often secondary to the music itself. The violin part is taken over by the right hand and frequently embellished, while the left hand reinforces the bass part, occasionally adding an extra flourish itself. The Adagio is similar to the great slow movement of the D minor Keyboard Concerto in its intensity and expressiveness. The change to D major from B minor after a slight pause in the middle of the movement is magical. The closing rondo is a dance in 3/8 time which can’t fail to lighten our spirits. I am always talking about the dance rhythms in Bach’s music and how they give it such great vitality, and this is an excellent example. The four episodes, each gaining in virtuosity, give the soloist a chance to shine.
from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2005