Between 1708 and 1717 Johann Sebastian Bach was employed at the court of Weimar, first as organist and later as Konzertmeister (director of music). During this period, he undertook a "Grand Tour of Italy", spending long hours behind his desk copying the works of great Italian composers such as Corelli and Vivaldi. These efforts produced results in the course of Bach's next employment at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen, where the composer was expected to write instrumental pieces for the orchestra (17 musicians) at his disposal.
From then on, Bach turned his back on church music to concentrate on orchestral compositions. While the Six Brandenburg Concertos and some of the Suites were undoubtedly written during this period, the dating of the violin concertos is less obvious. It has long been an accepted fact that the three extant concertos (Bach most probably wrote at least three other violin concertos, which have since disappeared) also date from the Köthen period. In the Bach tercentenary issue of the "Early Music" journal, German musicologist Christoph Wolff surmised that the two violin concertos might be later compositions. Bach could have written them for the Collegium Musicum that he conducted in Leipzig between 1729 and 1737 and for which he wrote his keyboard concertos (many of which are transcriptions of earlier works, including the violin concertos).
The three concertos BWV 1041,1043 and 1043 are all based on the three-movement form of the Italian concerto (fast-slow-fast), which Bach embellished with a personal twist to give each of these concertos its own character.