Brandenburg Concerto No.6

By: Bach
For: String orchestra
page one of Brandenburg Concerto No.6

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Composer
Bach
Arranger
Lyricist
Paul Wood
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
16 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

The absence of violins is unusual. Viola da braccio means the normal viola, and is used here to distinguish it from the "viola da gamba". When the work was written in 1721, the viola da gamba was already an old-fashioned instrument: the strong supposition that one viola da gamba part was taken by his employer, Prince Leopold also points to a likely reason for the concerto's composition´┐ŻLeopold wished to join his Kapellmeister playing music.

The two violas start the first movement with a vigorous subject in close canon, and as the movement progresses, the other instruments are gradually drawn into the seemingly uninterrupted steady flow of melodic invention which shows the composer's mastery of polyphony. The two violas da gamba are silent in the second movement, leaving the texture of a trio sonata for two violas and continuo, although the cello has a decorated version of the continuo bass line. In the last movement, the spirit of the gigue underlies everything, as it did in the finale of the fifth concerto.

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