Sunday 23 July

Amici Ensemble present “Brandenburg”

A concert packed with abundant colour, variety and some of the world’s greatest music – all six of Bach’s legendary Brandburg Concertos.


J.S. Bach

Brandenburg Concerto No 1 in F Major, BWV 1046
Brandenburg Concerto No 2 in F Major, BWV 1047
Brandenburg Concerto No 3 in G Major, BWV 1048
Brandenburg No 4 in G Major, BWV 1049
Brandenburg No 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
Brandenburg No 6 in Bb Major, BWV 1051

This is a very special occasion. The opportunity to hear all six of Bach’s legendary Brandenburg Concertos in one concert is very rare. Donald Armstrong’s Amici Ensemble have brought us some remarkable concerts over the years, but this surpasses them all.

Twenty musicians, mostly NZSO players plus other top New Zealand artists, will gather to bring us this amazing music.

The concertos are in the front rank of the masterpieces of Western music and are Bach’s best-known and most often performed works. Bach brings together the widest possible combination of instruments, with different soloists for each concerto, combining them in daring partnerships with a wide range of moods and structures, frequently demanding virtuoso performances from the soloists.

Concerto No 1 has several solo instruments with the two horns taking much of the limelight.  The second concerto features an extremely high trumpet part as well as solos for flute, oboe and violin.  No 3 has three each of violins, violas, and cellos.

Soloists in the fourth concerto include two flutes and a violin.  Flute, violin and harpsichord star in the fifth concerto.  No 6, the only one with no violins, focuses on the lower strings and harpsichord.

 The Concertos will not necessarily be played in this order.

“I have taken the liberty of rendering my most humble duty to Your Royal Highness with the present Concertos, which I have adapted to several instruments; begging Your Highness most humbly not to judge their imperfection” – from Bach’s letter to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt

Please note: This concert will be longer than normal and is unlikely to finish before 4.30pm.