Clarinet 4 Bass in B^b part from Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, mvt 3

J. S. Bach arr. Peter Foster
6 minutes
Classical music

The sixth Brandenburg Concerto has the reputation among some string players of being the least flashy, and the most admired by purists of Bach’s spectacular set of six concerti. The purists are perhaps unlikely to approve of a clarinet quartet playing Brandenburg 6; however, the dark tones of a quartet of violas (two gambas and two violas da braccia) undeniably transfer well onto a standard clarinet quartet of two B flat clarinets, plus alto and bass. The third movement is a gigue-like finale that includes much intricate contrapuntal interplay between parts, which precludes it going at too extreme a speed. However, the dance-like quality should not be lost. The observations on dynamics and articulation in the programme note on the first movement apply equally to this one.

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