February 2018

Dear ECMC Member,

Our next concert will be on Monday 12th February, preceded by a run-through of Brandenburg 5 from 7.00; string players, please confirm with David or Hilary if you want to be in the orchestra.

Andrew Lewandowski, accompanied by Li Lin Teo, will start the concert with two arrangements of songs by Mahler for Clarinet and piano, arranged by Ronald Kornfeil and Andreas Ottensamer (Principal clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic).

The songs are from the Kindertotenlider, poems by Friedrich Ruckert (1788-1866);

  1. Oft Denk ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen!
  2. Ich bin der Welt abhanden bekommen

We will finally start our Brandenburg Concerto series with No.5; the soloists will be  Saori Howse (violin), Theresa Cory (flute), and Li Lin Teo (piano). Bach wrote his fifth Brandenburg Concerto, BWV 1050, for harpsichord, flute and violin as soloists, and an orchestral accompaniment consisting of strings and continuo. An early version of the concerto, BWV 1050a, originated in the late 1710s, and in its final form it was dedicated to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg on 24 March 1721. It was probably written in his later years at Cothen, when the new and more powerful “traverso” flute, then considered a French novelty, was beginning to take over from the treble recorder. Bach had met a distinguished traverso player on a visit to Dresden in 1717.

Because of the limited input of the violin and flute solo parts, as compared to that of the harpsichord, the concerto can be seen as a harpsichord concerto, moreover, the first harpsichord concerto ever written.  Nowhere throughout the concerto is the concertato violin allowed to shine with typical violinistic solo passages: Bach allotted all of the specific solo violin idiom, including extended violin-like arpeggio and bariolage passages, to the harpsichord. Nor does the naturally quiet traverso get a chance to cover the harpsichord’s contributions to the polyphony. Neither the violin nor flute soloists get solo passages faster than thirty-seconds: these very fast episodes, typical for a concertato violin, are in this concerto also exclusively reserved for the harpsichord. There are three movements: Allegro – Adagio – Allegro.

We are now planning Brandenburg No.4, hopefully in the April concert; would string payers please let Hilary or David know if you would like to be in the orchestra.

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