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Cadenza to the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto of J.S. Bach

for harpsichord

Year:  2003   ·  Duration:  3m 45s

Year:  2003
Duration:  3m 45s

Thomas Goss

Composer:   Thomas Goss

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: 1'26"-2'26"

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Sample Score

Sample: Page 5 and 6

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This cadenza represents part of an attempt to reestablish some of the bravura tradition of the late Baroque, so easily passed over in modern interpretations of the period’s music. A case in point is the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto, which supplies a simple cadence as a stepping-stone between its two movements. On nearly every recording of this piece, one will hear the reverential yet unimaginative error of playing the score exactly as written, with two blunt chords executed with the utmost seriousness, then leading directly on into the next movement. Yet what is called for in style of the period (if not the score itself) is an extended improvisation by the continuo player, more than the few feeble arpeggios that are often heard.

Goss’s cadenza melds some of the muscular, intellectual style of J.S. Bach with other influences from the period, including Frescobaldi, Scarlatti, and a touch of Couperin, blended together with a sensibility and flair borrowed from the approach of Bach’s son Karl Phillip Emmanuel. The overall effect is to evoke the younger Bach in a mischievous mood, alternately eliciting groans and intrigued sighs from an attentive father as the themes of the concerto are whimsically run through a series of transformational episodes. These are in essence private jokes, referring to some of the works like the Well-Tempered Clavier upon which the Bach boys cut their virtuosic teeth.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra

Performance history

06 Mar 2004: Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra, directed by Linda Ghidossi-DeLuca with Rebekah Davis, (keyboard soloist) at the Ives Concert Hall, Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, California, USA

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