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In it's original form, Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.2 is a concerto featuring four prominent instruments ? trumpet, recorder, oboe, and violin ? against a foundation of strings and continuo. The work basically follows the Italian concerto grosso pattern, punctuating the solo group's music with tutti outbursts for the strings, although here the soloists are often more integrated into the musical fabric than in the Italian model. Revamping a theme from the first movement, the Allegro assai takes counterpoint more seriously. In the earlier movements, Bach had passed a melody from one instrument to another, fully exploiting their contrasting colors. Now, in this final movement, the soloists in the piece's original form each provide different voices in a full-fledged fugue, with the string orchestra merely reinforcing key moments. This fugue is no academic exercise; the music is bright and festive, clearly intended to show how a learned structure could be incorporated into popular entertainment at the margrave's court.
This arrangement is for standard string quartet with an optional double bass part for use with string orchestra.
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