Aspen Music Festival And School

Special Event: Brandenburg Recital I

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With special thanks to Joan Fabry and Michael Klein

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J. S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046
J. S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
J. S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
J. S. BACH: Concerto for Three Violins in D major, BWV 1064

Also don't miss the Brandenburg Recital II on July 11.

Virtuosic, invigorating, and overflowing with rich melodies, rhythms, and counterpoint, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are as fresh and exciting as when they were written over 300 years ago.

During a period of job insecurity, Bach composed them as a kind of musical job application for the Margrave of Brandenburg (then a territory in the kingdom of Prussia). Like many job seekers today, Bach never found out what the Margrave did with his “resume.” These brilliant pinnacles of the Baroque were finally published in 1850 in commemoration of the centenary of Bach’s death, and only then began gaining in popularity.

Bach had a thing for sixes; in addition to the six Brandenburgs, he composed six cello suites and six keyboard partitas. He even wrote a poem about smoking a pipe that consisted of six stanzas. This first of two recitals of the complete Brandenburg Concertos begins with the First Concerto, the only one in four movements. It showcases the principal violinist, two horns, and three oboes and has a swaggering first movement, a profoundly expressive slow movement, a rollicking third movement, and a surprise minuet for the last movement. The Third Concerto is the most compact and perhaps the most viscerally exciting of the set. Between the two breathless outer movements, Bach simply places two chords, inviting the performers to improvise or insert a slow movement of their choice. The Fourth Concerto is the only Brandenburg with the same instrumentation in all of its movements. It’s full of grace and buoyancy, and features sublime writing for recorders.

Discover or rediscover these supreme masterpieces in the intimate acoustics of Harris Concert Hall!

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO