Documentary

Introduction to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048

By Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Concentus Musicus Wien

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Cast

Concentus Musicus Wien

Nikolaus Harnoncourt — Conductor

Program notes

Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Bach, those two names who fit perfectly together meet again here for the complete Brandenburg Concerto.

"The Third Brandenburg Concerto is a kind of demonstration. It is the only demonstration concerto of that quintessential Italian Baroque instrument – the violin. This may sound a little strange, but violas, celli and double basses are nothing but enlarged violins. This string writing – it uses up to nine parts – is so dense! I feel it radiates a southern fullness of sound, a truly Italian feel. The violin is no doubt a southern instrument, and in the last movement of this concerto you can hear the warm Adriatic breeze very clearly." (Nikolaus Harnoncourt)

Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, named after their dedicatee the Margrave Christian Ludwig von Brandenburg, have been part of Nikolaus Harnoncourt's permanent repertoire ever since he founded his Concentus musicus ensemble. The ensemble has recorded them and played them on their tours throughout the world.

The impulse which led Harnoncourt to establish the Concentus musicus in 1953 was his dissatisfaction with the traditional way of interpreting early music. The uncommon and sometimes radically different style of the Concentus musicus, as well as its exclusive use of historical instruments, secured the ensemble its international reputation. Harnoncourt introduces the concerto with a moving and fascinating analysis of the piece. Interesting musical examples, which Harnoncourt inserts in a humorous and relaxed manner, make this introduction an informative and entertaining guide to this masterpiece of music. The production was filmed in the historical Baroque monastery library in Wiblingen, Germany.

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