Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, performed on original instruments including the rarely heard “echo flutes”. 4K, UHD video from the award winning ensemble Voices of Music.
Carla Moore, baroque violin solo; Hanneke van Proosdij & Andrew Levy, recorders & echo flutes. Performance and 4K UHD Video by the Early Music ensemble Voices of Music.
In March of 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach carefully inked six of his best concertos into a book for the Margrave of Brandenburg, Christian Ludwig. The original title, “Six Concerts à plusieurs instruments” is now known as the “Brandenburg” Concertos in English or “Brandenburgische Konzerte” in German.
These six concertos represent the summa of chamber music in the high baroque period: for the fourth concerto (BWV 1049), Bach chose the unique and imaginative texture of baroque violin and “echo flutes” (a type of baroque recorder) for his soloists.
In his autograph manuscript of Brandenburg 4 (BWV 1049), Bach writes the title as follows:
“Concerto 4to à Violino Principale, due Fiauti d’Echo, due Violini, una Viola è Violone in Ripieno, Violoncello è Continuo.” For our video, we use the “echo flutes” for the slow movement, then break them apart for the first and third movements. The outside movements feature exceptionally virtuosic writing for the violin, with extended passagework spanning the entire range of the instrument. For his fourth concerto in the set of Brandenburgs, Bach is especially careful with the orchestration: this creates space for the recorder sound to breathe; in addition, his compositional style flows with sparkle and wit.
The fourth Brandenburg concerto is unusual in that Bach specifically calls for “echo flutes”, or “fiauti d’echo”. For many years musicologists have debated what an “echo flute” exactly is, and have also uncovered a great deal of historical detail, but the work is usually performed with two alto recorders.
YouTube now has a limit on the length of the description text; more information about the echo flutes and this recording here:
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