The first movement of the Violin Concerto in E major (BWV1042) is in a clear ternary form. The opening rising major triad provides the basis for Bach’s exceptionally rich thematic workings of this material in both the outer major sections, and the more lyrical minor centre section, which closes with a mini-cadenza for the soloist. Checking the soloist’s line against the original Hering manuscript produced an interesting melodic variant in the two bars before the cadenza: the ‘new’ version has been included in this performance. The middle section has some particularly fine writing for the violas—another example of Bach never ignoring the parts which lesser composers might treat simply as an accompaniment to the soloist. As with the A minor concerto, the Adagio second movement (in the relative minor) is based on an ostinato bass line, over which the solo violin unfolds its gently ornamented melody. The final dance-like movement is a relative rarity amongst Bach’s works, a rondo. Between five repetitions of this sixteen-bar dancing theme, come four episodes in which the soloist shines, each episode increasing in speed and brilliance.
from notes by Robert King © 1989