BACH'S
BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS

A bigger picture

Contextualising
a masterpiece

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In 2024, the Ensemble Diderot begins a cycle of 6 programmes devoted to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos with the aim of taking a fresh look at these summits of Baroque instrumental music and allowing the public to discover them in new ways.

 

True to their artistic approach, the artists develop a transversal and historical approach that goes beyond mere rehearsal in order to develop a truly personal interpretation. Prior to the musical work, there is a semantic questioning: What is the nature of these 6 concertos beyond their divergences (variable lengths, unusual instrumentations, formal structures)? What did they mean to their recipient, Christian Ludwig the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt? 

 

The current state of our knowledge suggests that Bach, through this astonishingly diverse set, pays homage to the very image of the prince, defined by his codes and ceremonial.  The courtly culture of the late Baroque leaves little room for chance. As with the layout of gardens or the hanging of paintings in a gallery, the arrangement of rooms is deeply thought out and must command respect and demonstrate social superiority. 

How does Bach, a simple musician, accomplish this task? How can we interpret these pieces for the diverse audience of the 21st century?

 

In a cycle of six programmes, Johannes Pramsohler explores the subtext of this famous body of work through rhetorical analysis and questions of instrument choice. Each programme is built around one of the six concertos, with one or more solo instruments acting as protagonists. The cycle thus recreated makes it possible to present works to the modern audience which inspired and served as models for Bach. 

Bach's "Six Concertos à plusieurs instruments" the Ensemble Diderot way:
A rich, new context and performances
packed with wit and imagination

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Brandenburg Concerto No. 1

Princely privileges

PROTAGONIST: violino piccolo - the small outsider

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