The Tallahassee Bach Parley Presents “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4”

By: Tallahassee Bach Parley Release
By: Tallahassee Bach Parley Release

A donation of $5 is suggested for this Tallahassee Bach Parley concert and free childcare is available. For additional information about the Tallahassee Bach Parley, visit

Tallahassee, FL – October 19, 2011

The Tallahassee Bach Parley will begin the 2011-2012 season with J.S. Bach’s beautiful and popular Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, and will also feature the Telemann “Paris” Quartet in E minor and two vocal works by Handel. Tallahassee Bach Parley concerts are unique to our area because the musicians use period instruments--both antique instruments from the 18th century and modern reproductions--that give the audience a glimpse into the past. By using the same models of instruments that Bach, Handel and Telemann would have used themselves, Bach Parley concertgoers will hear Baroque music performed as it might have sounded when composed over 300 years ago. “Parley” means discussion in French, so true to the spirit of the Bach Parley name, music director Valerie Arsenault will offer commentary before each piece to help the audience to understand what to listen for in the music, providing background for listeners new to Baroque music and offering musical and historical insights to experienced Baroque fans as well. The concert will be held at 3 PM, Sunday November 13, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 211 North Monroe Street in Tallahassee.

The centerpiece of this concert is a perennial favorite, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, published in 1721. This light and joyful piece is scored for two recorders, solo violin, and strings. The violin part is extremely virtuosic in the first and third movements. There is a section of the third movement in which the solo violin produces a special effect by moving the bow back and forth between two strings almost as quickly as hummingbird wings.

At this Bach Parley concert, listeners will be able to compare the sound of two different types of wooden instruments that are often generically known as “flutes”: the traverso and the recorder. The most obvious difference is the way they are played. The recorder has a mouthpiece and the player blows straight through the instrument and it is held perpendicular to the floor, while the traverso has a headjoint that has an air hole that the player blows air across and the instrument is held parallel to the floor. The Brandenburg concerto will feature two recorders, while the “Paris” Quartet in E minor by Telemann will feature the traverso.

Tucker and Mary Biddlecombe will sing two different Handel duets. The first duet, “O Worship the Lord,” is sacred and sung in English, and the second, “Caro autor,” is secular and sung in Italian.

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