Brandenburg Concerto No. 2- Bach

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  • Context
    • Written 24th March 1721, published 1850
    • Brandenburg Concerto No. 2- Bach
      • The Orchestra
        • Concertino
          • Natural Trumpet in F, Treble Recorder, Oboe, Violin
        • Ripieno
          • Violin I and II, Viola, Violon, Cello and Harpsichord
        • Transposing Instruments
          • Trumpet sounds a 4th above what was written
        • Limitations
          • Natural Trumpet: has no valves so can only play notes in harmonic series, melodies worked around what it could play
          • Treble Reccorder: can't play below a middle F, has to split from unison concertino sections. Also quiet, has to play higher in range to be heard over trumpet
        • Techniques
          • Barriolage in strings
          • Double stopping in concertino violin
          • Tasto solo in harpsichord, stop filling in chords
      • Harmony
        • Functional: Uses primary triads, im/perfect cadences eg. perfect cadence at end of ritornello
        • Diatonic
        • Uses harmonic devices such as suspensions, imitation, canons, circle of fifths
      • Melody and Texture
        • Melody
          • Ritornello theme played in unison by treble recorder, oboe and violin, trumpet plays arpeggiaic variation
          • Uses invertible counterpoint, no one instrument has the melody
        • Texture
          • Begins homophonic
          • Generally contrapuntal
    • Written after Bach's trip to Berlin, met Margrave of Brandenburg
    • Thought that the six concertos were collected and rewritten, then dedicated to the Margrave in the attempt of receiving a job offer
    • Likely that concerto was first performed at court of Cöthen, no record of it being played by the Margrave's orchestra
    • Concerto grosso


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