Friday, March 27, 2020

Music in a Time of Cancelations: A Bit of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos

As concerts are being canceled due to the fears about the spread of the Coronavirus, Market Square Concerts has canceled its March and April concerts. The Harrisburg Symphony, where frequent MSC performers Stuart Malina is the music director (celebrating his 20th Anniversary with the orchestra this year) and MSC Artistic Director Peter Sirotin is the concertmaster, has also canceled its concerts for March (where principal flutist David DiGiacobbe was to be the soloist for Kevin Puts' Flute Concerto) and April (where Peter Sirotin was to be the soloist for Beethoven's Violin Concerto), we felt it appropriate to feature several musicians of the Harrisburg Symphony – including Peter Sirotin and David DiGiacobbe – from the concert that opened the 2018-2019 Season with the complete Brandenburg Concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach, collectively one of the Great Works of the Baroque Era if not of Classical Music in general.

Here are the excerpts Peter chose for the second week of “weekly doses of great chamber music”:
from Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F Major, the opening Allegro:

and the concluding Minuet:

From Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, the Andante, with soloists Peter Sirotin, violin, David DiGiacobbe, flute, Andreas Oeste, oboe (in which the trumpeter Scott Sabo gets to rest his chops between the work-out of the two outer movements):

...and to conclude, the complete Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, featuring violinist Peter Sirotin, flutist David DiGiacobbe, and harpsichordist Arthur Haas:

If you are interested in learning more about the background of this music, you can read my blog-post from October 6th, 2018, “The Brandenburg Concertos, Together Again.”

- Dick Strawser

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