Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Marriner, St. Martin-in-the-Fields
"Bach: Brandenburg Concerto no. 6" (Vinyl)

Of the six Brandenburg concerti that Bach wrote, this one may have the most unique instrumental arrangement.

Featuring two violas as the solo voices, there are no violins in the ripieno, but instead two viola de gamba and no wind instruments.

This makes the timbre of the piece markedly different than his other concertos; not only does the entire work have a more luscious, dark sound, but the first movement is written in a very close canon between the two solo voices which gives the work an impression of a very ornate, highly organized wall of polyphonic sound.

Sir Neville Marriner has been at it for a long time with those boys with the funny sounding orchestra name (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields) and you can see why.  For the solo parts on some of the more well-known concertos he collected the talents of Henryk Szeryng and Jean-Pierre Rampal.

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