Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro

By: Johann S. Bach
For: String quartet
page one of Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro

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Composer
Johann S. Bach
Year of composition
1721
Arranger
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
4 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Johann Sebastian Bach most likely completed his Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050, in 1721. This work is the fifth of six concertos the composer dedicated to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg. The offering was likely a sort of application for employment; Bach got no response, but these pieces have become some of his best-known material. Every one of the concertos is distinct, as are the composer's sets of suites and partitas. Hearing the fifth concerto in the context of the rest of the set makes it clear that, apart from Bach's inimitable strength as a contrapuntist, the key to his ability to make music that is both sublime and entertaining lies in the fact that in his hands, everything is elastic. No other composer of the Baroque era could write through the constraints of form as if it was not there at all. Bach saw more options than anyone else, in form and in influence. The way he blended the Italian sound into his own in these concertos ennobled both Italian and German music. The scope of his vision and his relentless invention, making everything he wrote new, frustrates any attempt at comparison.

This fifth concerto is scored for flute, solo violin, obbligato harpsichord, and strings. It is the only one of the six pieces to have any solo material given to the harpsichord, which is part of the continuo throughout the other works, filling out the harmonies. What is quite bizarre and beautiful about the opening movement is the way the solo instruments and string ensemble seem to be muscling in on each other's musical functions. More specifically, the ritornello is almost carried away by the soloists although it is normally the territory of the tutti ensemble. The harpsichord seems to be holding the work together, and there are episodes in the second half of the movement where everything has ground to a halt except for the harpsichord. At the end of the movement, the other soloists actually support the free-flowing harpsichord line. It is a sort of divide-and-conquer movement, with tutti versus soloists, and also soloists against soloists. The harpsichord wins. No one wrote music with this sort of free play of function before Bach.

The following two movements, briefer than the first, form an admirable contrast. The second movement is for soloists only, somber and cooperative. Though it is intimate and free of the first movement's tension, it is the most concerto-like movement in the traditional sense. This is a colossal irony, considering how the tensions of the concerto form were exploded in the first, which is as much a departure from the form as it is an adherent. The final movement is a charming dance, a lively gigue with fugal powers.

This arrangements is for standard string quartet with an optional bass part.

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O come, O come, Emmanuel, Of The Father's Love Begotten, St. Paul's Suite - 4. Finale (The Dargason), O Little Town Of Bethlehem (2), O mio babbino caro, from "Gianni Schicchi", Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Nocturne, O soave fanciulla, from "La boheme", String Serenade - 2. Waltz, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, In Dulci Jubilo, Ode To Joy, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 1. Allegro, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.11 Furchtenmachen (Frightening), Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 2. Affettuoso, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture, Once in Royal David's City, Song Without Words No.27 "Funeral March" Op.62 No.3, Water Music Suite No.2 in D, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", Birthday Minuet, String Sonata No.1 - 1. Moderato, Morning Has Broken, Piano Sonata No.14 "Moonlight" - 2. Allegretto, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.7 Traumerei (Dreaming), We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Policy King, Habanera from "Carmen", Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven, Preludes, Book 1 No.8 - The Girl With The Flaxen Hair, Radetzky March, Op.228, Roses From The South, Semper Fidelis, Senza Mamma, from "Suor Angelica", Sextet: Chi mi frena, from "Lucia di Lammermoor", Si. Mi chiamano Mimi, from "La boheme", Siegfried Idyll, Silent Night, Sleepy Sidney, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 1. Grave - Allegro, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 2. Adagio cantabile, Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op.42 - No.3 Melodie, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 6. Theme and variations, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 1. Andante grazioso (Theme and variations), Sonata in A, KV 331 - 2. Menuetto and Trio, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 3. Rondo "alla Turca", String Sonata No.1 - 2. Andante, Song to the Moon, from "Rusalka", Espana - 2. Tango, Song Without Words No.30 - Spring Song Op.62 No.6, Song Without Words No.45 - Scherzo Op.102 No.3, Gradual, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 3. Sarabande, St. Paul's Suite - 1. Jig, Suite Bergamasque - No.3 Clair de Lune, Trio No.4, Tales From The Vienna Woods, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, Thais - Meditation, La Cinquantaine, 16 Songs for Children, Op.54 No.6 Legend ("When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child"), A Cyclone in Darktown, Thaxted (I vow to thee, my country), A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Scherzo, A Thousand And One Nights, Advance Australia Fair, Ah! per sempre io ti perdei, from "I Puritani", The Amazon Rag, Angels From The Realms of Glory, Angels We Have Heard On High, Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Au fond du temple saint, from "The Pearl Fishers", Auld Lang Syne, Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, Away In A Manger, Babes in Toyland - March of the Toys, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Bethena - A Concert Waltz, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 2. Andante, The Blue Danube Waltzes, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 3. Allegro assai, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 1. Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 2. Adagio - Allegro, Brook Green Suite - 1. Prelude, Brook Green Suite - 2. Air, Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, Canon in D, Capriol Suite, Chanson de Matin, Chanson Triste, Op.40 No.2, The Blue Danube Waltzes, Che gelida manina, from "La boheme", Pavane, Op.50, Christians, Awake!, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 1, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 2, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 3, The Cannon Ball Rag, Concerto in D minor for 2 Violins - 1. Vivace, Concerto in D minor for 2 Violins - 2. Largo ma non tanto, Concerto in D minor for 2 Violins - 3. Allegro, The Carnival of the Animals - The Swan, Duet: Sous le dome epais, from "Lakme", El Capitan, Emperor Waltz, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, God Save The Queen, Good King Wenceslas, The Coventry Carol, Hands Across The Sea, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Holberg Suite - 1. Prelude, Holberg Suite - 2. Sarabande, Holberg Suite - 3. Gavotte and Musette, Holberg Suite - 4. Air, The Entertainer, Holberg Suite - 5. Rigaudon, Humoresque, Op.101 No.7, I Got The Blues, I Saw Three Ships, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, Jerusalem (And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time), The First Noel, The Gladiator March, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Jingle Bells, Joy To The World, Key-Stone Rag, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.13 Der Dichter Spricht (The Poet Speaks), The High School Cadets, King Cotton, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 1. Allegro, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 3. Allegro, L'Estate ("Summer") - 1. Allegro non molto, L'Estate ("Summer") - 2. Adagio, Presto, L'Estate ("Summer") - 3. Presto, L'Inverno ("Winter") - 1. Allegro non molto, L'Inverno ("Winter") - 2. Largo, L'Inverno ("Winter") - 3. Allegro, La Marseillaise, The Holly And The Ivy, La Primavera ("Spring") - 1. Allegro, The Liberty Bell March, The Manhattan Beach March, La Primavera ("Spring") - 3. Allegro: Danza pastorale, Largo al factotum, from "The Barber of Seville", Le Coucou, Little Jesus, Sweetly Sleep, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, Lullaby, The Stars And Stripes Forever, Lullay My Liking, Maple Leaf Rag, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Minute Waltz, Op.64 No.1, Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix, from "Samson et Dalila", O Christmas Tree, The Washington Post March, Trio No.1, O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis), Trio No.2, Trio No.3, Trombone Johnsen, Trumpet Tune, Un bel di vedremo, from "Madama Butterfly", Unto Us A Child Is Born, Vissa d'arte, from "Tosca", Water Music Suite No.1 in F, Water Music Suite No.3 in G, We Three Kings, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, Who Let The Cows Out?, Who Let The Cows Out? - For Sax Quartet (AATB), Wine, Women and Song, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Symphony No.40 - 3. Menuetto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.8 and 1812 Overture

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