• 618

    Bach's Brandenburg Concertos by Candlelight

  • When
    12 May 19:30 - 22:30
  • Returning to Edinburgh in May to continue their 2018 Scottish season at St Giles’, London Concertante perform two hallmark works of the Baroque era: J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos nos. 4 & 5. Compiled as a set of six concertos in 1721, and dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg, Bach employed a varied and daring combination of textures throughout the pieces pushing new boundaries with each manuscript: the first is in four movements while the rest have three; the second boasts a contrapuntal masterclass with five soloists playing simultaneous; and the sixth has no violins! The works remain peerless in their singularness even today.

    The fourth concerto in G major, scored for strings and solo violin and recorder (“Fiauti d’echo”), is a work fit for the royal courts of Prussia for which the composer intended, but also bursts with dazzling virtuosity. In the first and third movements in particular, the solo violin part is mesmerising. Though written for recorder, the work, in modern times, is also performed with flute. Interestingly, Bach also reduced this work for concerto on Harpsichord, BWV 1057. Speaking of harpsichords, the fifth concerto is perhaps the earliest example of a keyboard concerto in a fashion that the 21st century ear would recognise. Though formally scored as concerto for harpsichord, flute and violin, it is truly the keyboard player who comes to the fore. Influenced heavily by the Italian ritornello form of divided tutti and solo passages (omnipresent in Vivaldi’s concerto oeuvre) the harpsichord overtakes it’s soloist partners in dramatic fashion, particularly in the final passages of the first movement where it dominates the landscape with a kaleidoscopic demonstration of technical wizardry. Expect the harpsichordist to dress accordingly.

    Guest Soloist / Director: Ben Norris