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PROGRAM GUIDE 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

 

The four orchestral suites – or ouvertures as Bach called them – are four suites comprised of dance movements. The year of composition of the suites is uncertain, but the first and fourth are believed to have been written first, around 1725. The suite no. 1 opens with a large-scale French overture, attributed to the influence of Jean-Baptiste Lully, and is followed by popular forms of Bach’s days. Each of the suites was written for different players that Bach knew, and has its distinctive personality.
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From Partita no. 2 in D minor for solo violin: Chaconne arranged for string quartet by Boris
Vayner


The Chaconne is one of Bach’s most iconic instrumental works. The original version of this piece is the final movement of the Partita no. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin (from the 6 Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin). It is part of a typical baroque dance suite,following an Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue. A chaconne is a movement built on a ground bass in triple meter, over which a melodic line is repeated and varied.
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Concerto for oboe and violin in C minor, BWV 1060

Neither the date of composition of this concerto nor the first performance of the work is known. The only surviving score of the piece is an arrangement as a concerto for two harpsichords, althgouth the original version was for solo violin and oboe, with strings and continuo. Bach used a truly unique instrumentation, and to this day, not many composers took up the challenge of writing for such dissimilar instruments.
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Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 in G major, BWV 1048

The Brandenburg Concertos are a collection of six instrumental works written for the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721. It is believed that these works were based on concertos composed several years earlier, while Bach was working as Kapellmeister in Köthen. Musicologist Christoph Wolff comments about the concertos : “Every one of the six concertos set a precedent in scoring, and every one was to remain without parallel”.
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