From 1717 to 1723 Bach had a relatively light workload, his sole responsibility being conductor of the court orchestra of the Prince of Cöthen. This gave him much time for composing, and most prominent of his output were six concertos devoted to Duke Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg. This dedication may have been in the hope of a job offer from the Duke, Bach being keen to move after the death of his first wife.
The concerto was originally scored solely for strings and harpsichord, variety being achieved through use of different groupings of the instruments.
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