Alyssa Porambo, 410.783.8044
BSO Adds Classical Summer Program:
All Six Bach Brandenburg Concertos, Friday, July 13
Baltimore, Md. (May 21, 2012)-The Baltimore Symphony has announced an addition to its summer concert line-up. The Orchestra will perform all six of Johann Sebastien Bach's Brandenburg Concertos on July 13 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, led by Concertmaster Jonathan Carney, Associate Concertmaster Madeline Adkins and Principal Viola Richard Field. The BSO last performed all six concerti on July 2, 1981 at the Kraushaar Auditorium of Goucher College with Sergiu Comissiona conducting. Each concerto has its own distinctive style that distinguishes it from the rest, which creates a unique ensemble of orchestral solo instruments allowing the Orchestra to spotlight many principal musicians.
In an effort to seek employment beyond his position at the court of Cöthen, J.S. Bach assembled a portfolio with six of his best concertos and sent them off to the Margrave of Brandenburg. Though the Margrave never played these six works, he preserved them in his court library, allowing them to be discovered and eventually brought to acclaim more than a century after their creation.
The First Concerto in F major opens the series with a full ensemble piece featuring soloists from the violin, oboe and horn sections. Unlike the other five concertos, the first stays very true to symphony form, with movements scored as allegro moderato, adagio and allegro, with the adagio considered one of the greatest movements from all six concertos.
The Second Concerto in F major follows the first in being scored for a full ensemble and featuring four soloists who are integrated into the themes of each movement, including BSO Principal Trumpet Andrew Balio. The concerto has a celebratory feel in the first movement that is accented by the high, technically challenging trumpet line, and its energetic motion is continued through the second and third movements.
The Third Concerto in G major is unique in comparison to its previous counterparts in not having a group of soloists set against the orchestra. Instead, it is intimately set for nine string players: three violins, three violas and three cellos. This setting allows for each player to in turn be a member of the ensemble as well as a soloist, creating a chamber-like feel.
The Fourth Concerto in G major features three soloists in the most substantial and intricately crafted concerto of the set. Though the piece was originally scored to include a soli by a violin and two recorders, flutes often replace the recorders in modern interpretations. The high nature of all of the solo instruments provides a wonderful color contrast to the accompanying string ensemble.
The Fifth Concerto in D major is the closest to a solo concerto with its feature of the harpsichord. This concerto gives the harpsichord great soloistic liberties in the first movement with a long cadenza that makes way for virtuosic talent to be showcased. Like the third concerto, the fifth again revisits the chamber ensemble idea by using the harpsichord, oboe and flute to highlight the popular chamber trio of Bach's time.
The Sixth Concerto in B flat major is believed to be the first composed of the six concertos and is scored exclusively for strings. This seven-piece ensemble was scored for a mix of modern-day instruments, such as viola, cello and double bass, with sounds of older instruments, like the viola de gamba and the harpsichord, giving this final concerto a truly unique sound.
COMPLETE PROGRAM DETAILS
The Brandenburg Concertos
Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8 p.m. - Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concertos:
No. 1 in F major - Jonathan Carney, leader and violin
No. 4 in G major - Madeline Adkins, leader and violin
No. 3 in G major - Jonathan Carney, leader and violin
No. 2 in F major - Madeline Adkins, leader and violin
No. 6 in B flat major - Richard Field, leader and viola
No. 5 in D major - Jonathan Carney, leader and violin
Tickets range from $25 to $45 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.