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Bach's Brandenburg Concertos by Candlelight

Ben Norris & London Concertante
  • Saturday 17 March
    7.30 – 9.30pm
Ticket typeCost
Band A £28
Band B£24
Band C£19

London Concertante perform Bach's magnificent Brandenburg Concertos under the charm of candlelight.

Returning to Sheffield in March to continue their 2018 Bach UK tour, the London Concertante perform two hallmark works of the Baroque era: J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos nos. 4 & 5. Compiled as a set of six concertos in 1721, and dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg, Bach employed a varied and daring combination of textures throughout the pieces, pushing new boundaries with each new manuscript: the first is in four movements while the rest have three; the second boasts a contrapuntal masterclass with five soloists playing simultaneous; and the sixth has no violins! The works remain peerless in their singularness even today.

The fourth concerto in G major, scored for strings and solo violin and recorder (“Fiauti d’echo”), is a work fit for the royal courts of Prussia for which the composer intended, but also bursts with dazzling virtuosity. In the first and third movements in particular the solo violin part is mesmerising. Though written with solo recorder, the concerto, in modern times, is performed alternatively with flute. Interestingly, Bach also reduced this work for concerto on Harpsichord, BWV 1057. Speaking of harpsichords, the fifth concerto is perhaps the earliest example of a keyboard concerto in a fashion that the 21st century ear would recognise. Though formally scored as concerto for harpsichord, flute, and violin, it is truly the keyboard player who comes to the fore. Influenced heavily by the Italian ritornello form of divided tutti and solo passages (omnipresent in Vivaldi’s concerto oeuvre) the harpsichord overtakes it’s soloist partners in dramatic fashion, particularly in the final passages of the first movement where it dominates the landscape with a kaleidoscopic demonstration of technical wizardry. Expect the harpsichordist to dress accordingly.

If you don’t consider yourself ‘in the know’ about Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach, fear not, this is the orchestra for you. The London Concertante boasts an impressive audience record in which 50% of spectators are first time classical concert goers! The London Concertante has its audience laughing at jokes, gasping at virtuosity, moved by gorgeous string playing, and leaving with a smile on their faces.


Ben Norris (Violin) and London Concertante


  • W.A. Mozart: Divertimento in D K. 136
  • J.S. Bach : Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 BWV1050
  • G.F. Handel : Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 7
  • W.A. Mozart : Flute Quartet in D K. 285
  • J.S. Bach : Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 BWV 1049

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