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Classics Explained: BACH, J.S. - Brandenburg Concertos Nos 4 & 5

An exploration of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 narrated by Jeremy Siepmann

2 CDs

$13.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days

No digital booklet included

Contents

 Excerpt, Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV1049

1:28
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The Brandenburgs as concerti grossi

1:28
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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - First Movement

27:25
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Introduction: Melody, Theme and Motif; Bach's opening gambit

2:15
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Onwards and upwards: Motif No. 2 and its function

0:51
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The two elements of Motif No. 2 and the effect of their combination

0:29
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Show 24 remaining tracks for Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - First Movement

The 'motto' rhythm hidden even within the opening bar

1:07
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Motif No. 3, introduced by the two recorders, has a kind of 'hovering' character

0:27
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Motif No. 3 repeated for a second, 'directed' listen

0:23
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Bach reminds us of the opening

0:17
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Motif No. 4 - a steadily rising derivative of Motif No. 1

0:19
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Motif No. 5, a lovely, bouncy, syncopated flourish, in which all the instruments join

0:23
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Opening Ritornello (complete)

1:47
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Episode 1 begins with virtuoso entry of the solo violin, made up of alternating arpeggios

1:15
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Motif No. 3 returns, courtesy of the recorders, recently sidelined by the violin

0:47
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Ritornello 2, a varied repeat of Ritornello 1, arrives after much harmonic movement

0:43
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Episode 2, Part 1, preceded by the 'fanfare' motif from which its first theme derives

0:59
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Episode 2 continued, with more bravura dazzle from the solo violin

1:05
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Repeat of section for purposes of hearing the harmonic movement

0:48
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Ritornello 3, with the prominent participation of the soloists

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Episode 3 proves retrospective, featuring transposed repeats of earlier material

0:49
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Ritornello 4, not altogether what it might seem; solo violin takes 'motto' motif

0:48
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Episode 4. Cue to Part 1, focusing on 'soloistic' counterpoint provided by the continuo

0:56
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Return to Ritornello 4 to hear sources of Episode 4, Part 2

0:37
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Episode 4 continued, with emphasis placed on conversational interchanges

0:28
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Return to opening Ritornello in order to enhance awareness of the contrast

0:53
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Ritornello 5, beginning

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Ritornello 5 continued, with emphasis on the determined banishment of B minor

0:56
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Cue to complete performance of First Movement

0:46
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First Movement (complete)

6:20
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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - Second Movement

17:26
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Introduction: Rhythmic Motif provides basis for whole movement

1:17
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The melody not much to write home about; nor is the meek 'answer' offered by the soloists

0:14
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Putting the two together, thereby establishing a relationship

0:21
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Contrast and syncopation - their relationship in opening section

2:18
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Listening from the 'botton up'

2:48
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The intertwining and alternation of solo and orchestra; the irregularity of metrical groupings

2:14
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The next orchestral phrase; slowing the pace but not the tempo

0:28
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The First Section (complete)

1:37
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The next section; foreground symmetry and background variety

1:29
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The central section's groupings are hugely asymmetrical

1:12
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Cue to Second Movement as a whole

0:11
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Second Movement (complete)

3:17
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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - Third Movement

26:19
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Introduction to the Third Movement...

4:57
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Fugue subject

1:04
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First counter-subject

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Second counter-subject

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Bass entry of the subject

0:14
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Exposition (complete)

0:33
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First Episode; the use of fragmentary derivatives

0:33
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The difference a detail can make!

0:15
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Harmonic Rhythm defined; back to the beginning to find the seed...

1:06
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...and now the blossom

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The First Solo Episode; a confusion of terms; onwards, to the introduction of the solo episode

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Ritornello 2 complete

1:11
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Solo Episode 2 dominated by thrilling virtuosity from the solo violin

1:47
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Ritornello 3: highly contrapuntal and dominated by subject-derivatives, with much harmonic fluidity

0:47
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Ritornello 3 continues: engine of harmonic motion repeated at higher pitch

0:06
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More on Ritornello 3: the use of long, sustained, slightly syncopated notes in upper strings

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Ritornello 3 (complete)

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Solo Episode 3 - less solo than earlier ones, what with (albeit very discreet)

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The two recorders converse in canon, accompanied for six exhilarating bars by cello 'continuo'

0:22
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Finishing Solo Exposition 3: orchestral cellos introduce what sounds

0:34
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Approaching the final Ritornello; stretto explained

0:56
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Cue to Finale Ritornello, noting tension-building 'pedal point' in cellos and double bass

1:02
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Coda - the 'tail-piece', with its surprising 'hammer strokes'

0:58
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Cue to Third Movement

0:20
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Third Movement (complete)

4:32
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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D - First Movement

36:22
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Opening Music; analysis and phony analysis; Shaw quote; music: Motif No. 1

3:08
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Music, energy and relationship

0:59
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The outlines of a melody emerge

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The opening bar again

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Motif No. 2: ta / dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya

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Motif No. 3, and an important feature of its rhythm

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Beethoven Fifth Symphony (opening)

0:20
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Motif No. 4

0:12
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Motif No. 5

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Motif No. 6

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Episode 1: a 'Love Duet'

1:39
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Episode 1 continued; violin and flute reverse direction of their theme

1:01
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'False' Ritornello; soloists interrupt; rising 'sighing' motif; harpsichord continues downwards

0:59
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Four things going on at once, in violin, flute, harpsichord right hand, harpsichord left hand

0:39
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The orchestra returns, picking up at exactly the spot where it was interrupted

0:28
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The harpsichord intervenes with derivative of Motif 4; key shifts from A major to B minor

0:25
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The orchestra returns to foreground and brings this section to an end

0:42
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Harpsichord emerges as virtuoso; a series of expectations are frustrated

2:33
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A backwards look; blurred distinctions between soloists and orchestra; 'Mozartian' development

4:36
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Out of the Twilight Zone; a sequence of surprises

1:57
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The epoch-making harpsichord cadenza and the final Ritornello

4:51
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Cue to First Movement

0:52
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First Movement (complete)

9:00
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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D - Second Movement

18:32
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Introduction; the opening Ritornello

2:34
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The first bar; the first main building block

0:16
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The flute motif

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Opening of the first solo episode

1:04
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An important motif; the second main building block

0:17
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The second main theme

0:33
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Ritornello 2; violin and flute as 'orchestra'

0:52
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Episode 2; inversion of original motifs

0:38
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More on Episode 2

0:10
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Episode 1 and Episode 2 compared

0:21
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Episode 2; key shifts from D major to F sharp minor

0:49
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Ritornello 3: an exact transposition of Ritornello 1

0:47
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Episode 3 contrasted with Episode 1

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Episode 3 described in detail

1:05
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Ritornello 4; second main theme's first appearance in a Ritornello

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Episode 4: dominated by inversions

1:34
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Cue to Second Movement

0:06
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Second Movement (complete)

5:39
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Bach, J S: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D - Third Movement

24:15
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Introduction: Ritornello 1

0:54
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The Fugue Subject: close juxtaposition of contrasting elements

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Flute takes the 'answer', with countersubject in the violin

0:33
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Contrary motion as a contrapuntal device

0:23
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Contrary motion as a listening aid; a new theme

0:32
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Playing with the counter-subject; a musical game of tag

0:51
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Hidden rhythms: background variety behind foreground uniformity

0:44
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Fugal writing and the compatibility of parts; the Exposition

1:35
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Episode 1, taken by soloists, contains important 'seeds'

0:37
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The orchestra enters at last, but by stealth

1:19
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Stretto and musical football

1:02
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Key changes to B minor, introducing extensive Middle Section

1:24
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The Middle Section a precursor of the Mozartian 'development'

3:06
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The Fugue Subject out in force: first four immediately consecutive entries yet

1:51
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Ambiguity of mode and a Scottish twist

0:38
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Middle Section sontinued; harpsichord dominates

2:11
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Cue to Last Movement

0:19
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Last Movement (complete)

4:55
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