Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, live, UHD video from the Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music concert, December, 2017.
Please consider a donation to support our musicians https://voicesofmusic.org/donate.html
In March of 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach meticulously inked six of his best concertos into a book for the Margrave of Brandenburg, Christian Ludwig. This original score is one of the great treasures of the 18th century. The original title, “Six Concerts à plusieurs instruments” is now known as the “Brandenburg” Concertos in English or “Brandenburgische Konzerte” in German. The sixth concerto features both the baroque viola and the viola da gamba (Concerto 6to à due Viole da Braccio, due Viole da Gamba, Violoncello, Violone e Cembalo).
These concertos in style, quality, diversity and originality represent the summa of chamber music in the high baroque period.
Brandenburg VI is at once the most innovative in terms of scoring and the more brilliant in terms of pure contrapuntal artistry of the set of six. Though not as popular as the lively 2nd and 3rd concertos, it is nonetheless an absolute masterpiece. The dazzling opening stretto, with the fugue subjects separated by the flick of a cat’s paw, is followed by a lyrical slow movement that uses inversion of the theme to create both countersubject and episodes. Despite the ingenuity of the design, the counterpoint never intrudes on the steadily unfolding lyricism of the upper parts. The rollicking, relentless syncopation of the finale is leavened by a playful, conversational interchange between the viola parts.
This video is part of the Voices of Music Great Works project. A Creative Commons edition of the score, based on the composer’s manuscript, will be published to accompany the complete recording, and the recording will be available worldwide on Blu-Ray and CD, and for free on MP3 and high-definition, 24 bit FLAC files.
Kati Kyme and Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque viola (viole da braccio),
Elisabeth Reed and William Skeen, viola da gamba
Tanya Tomkins, baroque cello
Farley Pearce, violone
Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord
Performed on original instruments from Bach’s autograph score.