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Classics Explained: BACH, J.S. - Brandenburg Concertos Nos 4 and 5 (Siepmann)

    
      

 

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Classics Explained: BACH, J.S. - Brandenburg Concertos Nos 4 and 5 (Siepmann)

Classics Explained
An Introduction to... BACH: Brandenburg Concertos Nos 4 & 5

Author and narrator: Jeremy Siepmann
2 CDs, including the complete work
148-page booklet
Naxos 8.558055-56
ISBN: 1-84379-010-6

Ever since the advent of the LP in the 1950s with its expanded capacity, the six Brandenburg Concertos have been Bach's runaway hit. They were not written as a set but form a collection. Nos. 4 and 5 are the brightest, the most buoyantly happy and the danciest, but in some ways they are also the most complex. By putting these concertos under the musical microscope we can discover how their many ingredients combine to make two of the most irresistible works in the repertoire.

This package contains 2 CDs of incredibly detailed, insightful and enlightening explanation accompanied by a booklet packed full of supplementary material. To actually hear the music as it is described would seem vital to a proper understanding, and yet this is largely unexplored territory. Here, the benefits are clear. As Siepmann tells us, 'the music is in the music'!


Disc 1

Bach, Johann Sebastian

  Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G
1.   Play with flash player The Brandenburgs as concerti grossi 00:01:28
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - First Movement
2.   Play with flash player Introduction: Melody, Theme and Motif; Bach's opening gambit 00:02:15
3.   Play with flash player Onwards and upwards: Motif No. 2 and its function 00:00:51
4.   Play with flash player The two elements of Motif No. 2 and the effect of their combination 00:00:28
5.   Play with flash player The 'motto' rhythm hidden even within the opening bar 00:01:07
6.   Play with flash player Motif No. 3, introduced by the two recorders, has a kind of 'hovering' character 00:00:26
7.   Play with flash player Motif No. 3 repeated for a second, 'directed' listen 00:00:23
8.   Play with flash player Bach reminds us of the opening 00:00:17
9.   Play with flash player Motif No. 4 - a steadily rising derivative of Motif No. 1 00:00:19
10.   Play with flash player Motif No. 5, a lovely, bouncy, syncopated flourish, in which all the instruments join 00:00:23
11.   Play with flash player Opening Ritornello (complete) 00:01:47
12.   Play with flash player Episode 1 begins with virtuoso entry of the solo violin, made up of alternating arpeggios 00:01:15
13.   Play with flash player Motif No. 3 returns, courtesy of the recorders, recently sidelined by the violin 00:00:47
14.   Play with flash player Ritornello 2, a varied repeat of Ritornello 1, arrives after much harmonic movement 00:00:43
15.   Play with flash player Episode 2, Part 1, preceded by the 'fanfare' motif from which its first theme derives 00:00:59
16.   Play with flash player Episode 2 continued, with more bravura dazzle from the solo violin 00:01:05
17.   Play with flash player Repeat of section for purposes of hearing the harmonic movement 00:00:47
18.   Play with flash player Ritornello 3, with the prominent participation of the soloists 00:00:47
19.   Play with flash player Episode 3 proves retrospective, featuring transposed repeats of earlier material 00:00:49
20.   Play with flash player Ritornello 4, not altogether what it might seem; solo violin takes 'motto' motif 00:00:48
21.   Play with flash player Episode 4. Cue to Part 1, focusing on 'soloistic' counterpoint provided by the continuo 00:00:56
22.   Play with flash player Return to Ritornello 4 to hear sources of Episode 4, Part 2 00:00:36
23.   Play with flash player Episode 4 continued, with emphasis placed on conversational interchanges 00:00:28
24.   Play with flash player Return to opening Ritornello in order to enhance awareness of the contrast 00:00:53
25.   Play with flash player Ritornello 5, beginning 00:00:10
26.   Play with flash player Ritornello 5 continued, with emphasis on the determined banishment of B Minor 00:00:56
27.   Play with flash player Cue to complete performance of First Movement 00:00:46
28.   Play with flash player First Movement (complete) 00:06:19
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - Second Movement
29.   Play with flash player Introduction: Rhythmic Motif provides basis for whole movement 00:01:17
30.   Play with flash player The melody not much to write home about; nor is the meek 'answer' offered by the soloists 00:00:14
31.   Play with flash player Putting the two together, thereby establishing a relationship 00:00:21
32.   Play with flash player Contrast and syncopation - their relationship in opening section 00:02:18
33.   Play with flash player Listening from the 'botton up' 00:02:48
34.   Play with flash player The intertwining and alternation of solo and orchestra; the irregularity of metrical groupings 00:02:14
35.   Play with flash player The next orchestral phrase; slowing the pace but not the tempo 00:00:28
36.   Play with flash player The First Section (complete) 00:01:36
37.   Play with flash player The next section; foreground symmetry and background variety 00:01:29
38.   Play with flash player The central section's groupings are hugely asymmetrical 00:01:12
39.   Play with flash player Cue to Second Movement as a whole 00:00:11
40.   Play with flash player Second Movement (complete) 00:03:17
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G - Third Movement
41.   Play with flash player Introduction to the Third Movement... 00:04:57
42.   Play with flash player Fugue subject 00:01:04
43.   Play with flash player First counter - subject 00:00:31
44.   Play with flash player Second counter - subject 00:00:51
45.   Play with flash player Bass entry of the subject 00:00:14
46.   Play with flash player Exposition (complete) 00:00:33
47.   Play with flash player First Episode; the use of fragmentary derivatives 00:00:33
48.   Play with flash player The difference a detail can make! 00:00:15
49.   Play with flash player Harmonic Rhythm defined; back to the beginning to find the seed... 00:01:06
50.   Play with flash player ... and now the blossom 00:00:21
51.   Play with flash player The First Solo Episode; a confusion of terms; onwards, to the introduction of the solo episode 00:01:59
52.   Play with flash player Ritornello 2 complete 00:01:11
53.   Play with flash player Solo Episode 2 dominated by thrilling virtuosity from the solo violin 00:01:47
54.   Play with flash player Ritornello 3: highly contrapuntal and dominated by subject - derivatives, with much harmonic fluidity 00:00:46
55.   Play with flash player Ritornello 3 continues: engine of harmonic motion repeated at higher pitch 00:00:06
56.   Play with flash player More on Ritornello 3: the use of long, sustained, slightly syncopated notes in upper strings 00:00:21
57.   Play with flash player Ritornello 3 (complete) 00:00:31
58.   Play with flash player Solo Episode 3 - less solo than earlier ones, what with (albeit very discreet) 00:00:28
59.   Play with flash player The two recorders converse in canon, accompanied for six exhilarating bars by cello 'continuo' 00:00:22
60.   Play with flash player Finishing Solo Exposition 3: orchestral cellos introduce what sounds 00:00:33
61.   Play with flash player Approaching the final Ritornello; stretto explained 00:00:56
62.   Play with flash player Cue to Finale Ritornello, noting tension - building 'pedal point' in cellos and double bass 00:01:02
63.   Play with flash player Coda - the 'tail - piece', with its surprising 'hammer strokes' 00:00:58
64.   Play with flash player Cue to Third Movement 00:00:19
65.   Play with flash player Third Movement (complete) 00:04:31


Disc 2

Bach, Johann Sebastian

  Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D - First Movement
1.   Play with flash player Opening Music; analysis and phony analysis; Shaw quote; music: Motif No. 1 00:03:07
2.   Play with flash player Music, energy and relationship 00:00:58
3.   Play with flash player The outlines of a melody emerge 00:00:41
4.   Play with flash player The opening bar again 00:00:25
5.   Play with flash player Motif No. 2: ta / dee - ya, dee - ya, dee - ya 00:00:11
6.   Play with flash player Motif No. 3, and an important feature of its rhythm 00:00:32
7.   Play with flash player Beethoven Fifth Symphony (opening) 00:00:19
8.   Play with flash player Motif No. 4 00:00:12
9.   Play with flash player Motif No. 5 00:00:04
10.   Play with flash player Motif No. 6 00:00:05
11.   Play with flash player Episode 1: a 'Love Duet' 00:01:39
12.   Play with flash player Episode 1 continued; violin and flute reverse direction of their theme 00:01:01
13.   Play with flash player 'False' Ritornello; soloists interrupt; rising 'sighing' motif; harpsichord continues downwards 00:00:59
14.   Play with flash player Four things going on at once, in violin, flute, harpsichord right hand, harpsichord left hand 00:00:39
15.   Play with flash player The orchestra returns, picking up at exactly the spot where it was interrupted 00:00:28
16.   Play with flash player The harpsichord intervenes with derivative of Motif 4; key shifts from A Major to B Minor 00:00:25
17.   Play with flash player The orchestra returns to foreground and brings this section to an end 00:00:41
18.   Play with flash player Harpsichord emerges as virtuoso; a series of expectations are frustrated 00:02:32
19.   Play with flash player A backwards look; blurred distinctions between soloists and orchestra; 'Mozartian' development 00:04:35
20.   Play with flash player Out of the Twilight Zone; a sequence of surprises 00:01:57
21.   Play with flash player The epoch - making harpsichord cadenza and the final Ritornello 00:04:50
22.   Play with flash player Cue to First Movement 00:00:52
23.   Play with flash player First Movement (complete) 00:08:59
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D - Second Movement
24.   Play with flash player Introduction; the opening Ritornello 00:02:33
25.   Play with flash player The first bar; the first main building block 00:00:16
26.   Play with flash player The flute motif 00:00:16
27.   Play with flash player Opening of the first solo episode 00:01:04
28.   Play with flash player An important motif; the second main building block 00:00:17
29.   Play with flash player The second main theme 00:00:32
30.   Play with flash player Ritornello 2; violin and flute as 'orchestra' 00:00:52
31.   Play with flash player Episode 2; inversion of original motifs 00:00:38
32.   Play with flash player More on Episode 2 00:00:10
33.   Play with flash player Episode 1 and Episode 2 compared 00:00:21
34.   Play with flash player Episode 2; key shifts from D Major to F - Sharp Minor 00:00:49
35.   Play with flash player Ritornello 3: an exact transposition of Ritornello 1 00:00:46
36.   Play with flash player Episode 3 contrasted with Episode 1 00:00:33
37.   Play with flash player Episode 3 described in detail 00:01:05
38.   Play with flash player Ritornello 4; second main theme's first appearance in a Ritornello 00:00:57
39.   Play with flash player Episode 4: dominated by inversions 00:01:34
40.   Play with flash player Cue to Second Movement 00:00:06
41.   Play with flash player Second Movement (complete) 00:05:39
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D - Third Movement
42.   Play with flash player Introduction: Ritornello 1 00:00:54
43.   Play with flash player The Fugue Subject: close juxtaposition of contrasting elements 00:01:21
44.   Play with flash player Flute takes the 'answer', with countersubject in the violin 00:00:33
45.   Play with flash player Contrary motion as a contrapuntal device 00:00:23
46.   Play with flash player Contrary motion as a listening aid; a new theme 00:00:31
47.   Play with flash player Playing with the counter - subject; a musical game of tag 00:00:51
48.   Play with flash player Hidden rhythms: background variety behind foreground uniformity 00:00:43
49.   Play with flash player Fugal writing and the compatibility of parts; the Exposition 00:01:35
50.   Play with flash player Episode 1, taken by soloists, contains important 'seeds' 00:00:37
51.   Play with flash player The orchestra enters at last, but by stealth 00:01:19
52.   Play with flash player Stretto and musical football 00:01:02
53.   Play with flash player Key changes to B Minor, introducing extensive Middle Section 00:01:24
54.   Play with flash player The Middle Section a precursor of the Mozartian 'development' 00:03:05
55.   Play with flash player The Fugue Subject out in force: first four immediately consecutive entries yet 00:01:51
56.   Play with flash player Ambiguity of mode and a Scottish twist 00:00:38
57.   Play with flash player Middle Section sontinued; harpsichord dominates 00:02:10
58.   Play with flash player Cue to Last Movement 00:00:19
59.   Play with flash player Last Movement (complete) 00:04:55

Total Playing Time: 02:31:18






Composer(s):
Bach, Johann Sebastian

Reader(s):
Siepmann, Jeremy

Label: Naxos Educational

Genre: Music Education

Period: Baroque

Catalogue No: 8.558055-56

Barcode: 0636943805527

Release Date: 04/2002

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