Tafelmusik launches its 2012-13 season with Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos in the excellent acoustics of Koerner Hall (Sept 21-23, 2012) and George Weston Recital Hall (Sept 25, 2012). Tafelmusik musicians are in the spotlight as soloists for Brandenburg Concertos nos. 1, 3, and 5, as well as Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 4.
The Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach are considered by musicians, critics and audiences alike among the finest musical compositions of the baroque era. Bach presented the concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg in Berlin in 1721, with the hopes that some patronage would come his way. The music was preserved in the Brandenburg archives, and when rediscovered in the 19th century, became some of the most beloved music of all time. Tafelmusik’s 1995 JUNO Award Winning recording of the complete Brandenburg Concertos was recently re-released on the Tafelmusik Media label.
The sheer variety of Bach’s instrumentation for the Brandenburg Concertos far exceeds that of any comparable set of concertos from the period. The First Concerto is the largest of the six, scored for 13 musicians. In the Third Concerto, Bach creates an orchestra out of a group of solo string players, in this case three violins, three violas and three cellos, with double bass and harpsichord continuo. The Fifth Concerto has been described as both revolutionary and evolutionary, with the harpsichord assuming a solo role — performed by Tafelmuisk’s Charlotte Nediger — for the first time. The harpsichord overshadows the two other solo instruments (flute and violin), claiming all the virtuoso passages and culminating in a massive solo cadenza.
Each performance of the three Brandenburg Concertos is preceded by Bach’s Fourth Orchestral Suite, and will be followed by an informal question-and-answer session with members of the orchestra.