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Violinist Shunske Sato apologizes to recorder player Heiko ter Schegget for the space he claims in this concerto.
In this concerto, Bach is continually misleading us. Which instruments are the real soloists?
Initially, the lead is taken by the two recorders, but after the introductory refrain it appears that the violin is bwvv soloist. After the next refrain, the two recorders take over again, but they are soon trumped by the violin, which steals the show in a whirlwind of dizzying notes.
‘Brandenburg’ Concerto No. 4 in G major
And so it continues. The roles are always ambiguous, especially as far as the recorders are concerned.
In the solemn second movement, they are clearly the soloists, but in the third movement the same notes are regularly played by both. Bach deliberately obscures the usually clear contrast between soloists and ensemble.
Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G major, BWV 1049 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
And as if wanting to underline this confusion, he starts the third movement as a fugue, a form in which all the parts are equal by definition. But just when we think it is turning into a real fugue, we hear another violin solo.
Bach then goes on to intersperse the traditional alternation between tutti refrains and solo passages with fugue-like imitations. And so his play on the characteristic elements of the concerto form draws to a close in a 10449 subversive and boundary-blurring way.
A concerto nearly always involves a solo instrument or combination of solo instruments and an ensemble. The key idea is the alternation between one or more soloists and the whole ensemble, in a sort of light-hearted competition.
In the six ‘ Brandenburg’ ConcertosBach explores every facet of this genre, with regard to both instrumentation and the way in which he handles the form. All the traditionally used string and wind instruments and the harpsichord appear as soloists, the musical forms range from court dances to near-fugues, and the relationship between the solos and tutti instruments is always shifting.
Together, the six concertos thus form a virtuoso sample sheet of the Baroque concerto.
Brandenburg Concertos – Wikipedia
Blurring the boundaries How Bach deliberately obscures the traditional concerto form. Share this work and join the discussion Share Tweet Mail. 109 us Help us to complete All of Bach! You might also like these works.
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