NAM 1: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (Movement 1) J. S. Bach

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1 NAM 1: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (Movement 1) J. S. Bach

2 Context Bach wrote six Brandenburg Concertos composed between 1717 and Concerto No.4 in G is an example of Concerto Grosso Two main types of Baroque Concerto Solo Concerto one instrument with orchestra Concerto Grosso (large concerto) group of solo instruments (concertino) with orchestra (ripieno) Bach s six Brandenburg Concertos feature a variety of soloists: two horns, three oboes, bassoon and violin in no. 1 and high piccolo, trumpet, oboe, recorder and violin in No. 2 Bach was employed by Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen in Germany and wrote music for the court orchestra (around 18 players), in which the prince also occasionally played the violin Bach redrafted the 4 th concerto became a harpsichord concerto in F but this was lost and rediscovered in the 19 th century.

3 Performing Forces: The Concerto Original score for: Concertino Solo violin Two flauti d echo (recorders) Ripieno First and second violins Viola Cello Violone (6 string double bass viol) Cembalo (harpsichord)

4 Performing Forces Differences in sound from a modern orchestral recording and a recording using typical period instruments NAM recording is modern. In period recording there is more of a chamber sound, with relatively few players. Recorders would be used in place of flutes, violone in place of double basses, and the performance would be directed from the harpsichord rather than from the conductor

5 Performing Forces Shorter neck and fingerboard Smaller range up to 6 th position Strings made of cat gut (less bright/brilliant sound) Shorter, curved bows with less tension in hair Little vibrato, lighter phrasing Baroque Modern Longer neck, finger board, bigger pitch range Metal strings, stronger tone Longer, straight bows, more robust sound Vibrato, more varied/colourful timbre Sustaining power for longer notes

6 Performing Forces Baroque Modern Wooden, limited projection Metal (nickel or silver, stronger sound)

7 Performing Forces Baroque Modern 6 stringed member of viol family Less vibrant sound Larger range (Bach requires a low D) 4 strings Fuller sound Requires extension for notes below E

8 Performing Forces Concerto, popular instrumental form of period Virtuosic opportunities in an ensemble No dynamic markings (apart from pp in 235 and 251) Contrast achieved through well thought-out parts for various instruments Two flutes almost always pair together (apart from interplay and imitation ). Placed at top of texture, heard above violins. Range from F above middle C to top G (two octaves above). First flute almost always higher than second

9 Performing Forces Solo violin has solo parts and also plays in trio with flutes Virtuosic writing includes: String crossing (83-124) Continuous demi-semiquavers ( ) Double and triple stopping ( ) Ripieno players provide dynamic contrast, harmonic support and textural contrast Violoncello and double bass (sound octave lower than written) = bassline Harpsichord fills in harmonies No figured bass as it s likely that Bach would have directed the performance from the harpsichord

10 Texture Bottom 3 staves linked texturally (violoncello, double bass and continuo) this bassline underpins texture throughout Double bass sometimes plays in unison with cello ( ) and sometimes even octave above (243). Heterophony achieved at where double bass plays a simplified version of cello line and also at where harpsichord plays florid version of cello line. Occasionally, viola and continuo play bassline lighter texture Most reduced texture at (violin solo) single line melody suuported by infrequent bass notes (outlining harmony). Dense, 8 part counterpoint at

11 Texture Homophony Monophony

12 Texture Contrapuntal Antiphony

13 Rhythm 3/8 suggests three quavers in a bar; feels like one dotted crotchet beat per bar - joyous buoyancy to the rhythmic flow. As with many Baroque pieces, once the rhythmic patterns have been established at the start, there are continuous semiquavers in the melody parts almost throughout the movement, usually over a more slowly moving bass in rhythmic counterpoint. Semiquavers occur in all parts, e.g. bars 38 = rhythmic vitality Ties across the bar line = syncopation (bars 43-46) - add energy and direction to the melodic shapes. Hemiola effect in the final bars of each ritornello section (e.g. bars 79-80). Subtle changes of stress in bars 162 and 164 where combination of harmonic and textural change (and trills in the melody) throws the accent on to the second beat of the bar.

14 Structure Ritornello form Bach integrates solo and tutti sections; important solo work in the tutti sections ripieno reiterates the main motto idea in the solo episodes (bar185) Ritornello form (literally Little return form) Long opening section Solo episodes do not stay in one key They modulate from the key of the previous ritornello to the key of the next

15 Structure Bars 1-83 Opening ritornello G major (begins with I V I progression) Bars Episode 1 (violin solo) Bars Second ritornello E minor Bars Episode 2 (flute duet followed by violin bravura passage) Bars Third ritornello C major Bars Episode 3 (3 part stretto imitation) Bars Fourth ritornello B minor Bars Fifth ritornello G major

16 Harmony Functional Frequent perfect cadences: opening motto theme based on the perfect cadence structure of I V I. Harmonic sequences are used, e.g. bars Circles of 5ths occur, e.g. bars Dissonances include 7th chords (e.g. bar 35) suspensions (e.g. 4-3 suspension at bars and 7-6 suspension at bars Harmony is diatonic, except for Neapolitan chord - at bar 155 (beat 1) and 337 (beat 1) Diminished 7th, e.g. bar 195 Harmonic rhythm often one chord per bar (e.g. at the opening) but speeds up towards cadences at end of sections, e.g. bars 79-83, chord every quaver Lengthy dominant pedal points, e.g. bars Avoidance of cadence points to keep the music moving forward restlessly, e.g. bars

17 Melody Mainly four motifs / groups of motifs, subjected to constant elaboration through Fortspinnung: repetition, sequence and inversion: Bars 1-6, with arpeggios (bars 1-2), and rising and falling 3 note scalic figures (bars 4-6) Semiquaver rising scalic figure followed by falling thirds (bars 13-14) Conjunct figure (bars 35-36) Closing figure with jagged rising fourths (bars 79-83). These motifs are extended through: sequence (solo violin bars 13-18, based on a two-bar sequence, and bars 18-22, a onebar sequence) inversion (Recorder I, bar 21) repetition (bars 7-12 are a repetition of bars 1-6). Violin solos based on arpeggios, scales, are diatonic throughout (use of the melodic minor scale patterns in bars 188 and ).

18 TABOO!

19 Baroque Period Classical Renaissance

20 Concerto Grosso Group Ensemble Concertino Ripieno

21 Imitation Copy Overlap Texture Antiphony

22 Heterophonic Homophonic Monophonic Polyphonic Texture

23 Ritornello Form Structure Pattern Organisation

24 Functional Harmony I IV I Perfect Cadences Primary Chords

25 Arpeggio Broken chord Scale Ascending/descending

26 Sequence Melody Repeated Higher Lower Pitch

27 Syncopation Off On Weak Beat Rhythm

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