The IUP Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Stanley Chepaitis, will present the cycle of six “Brandenburg Concerti” by Johann Sebastian Bach. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 25, in the DeCicco Room in Cogswell Hall. Faculty soloists will include Chepaitis, violin; Stephanie Caulder, oboe; Therese Wacker, flute; Christine Clewell, harpsichord; and Heidi Lucas, French horn. Student and guest soloists include Swana Chepaitis, violin; Brenden Goff and Natalie Smith, flutes; and Andrew Koss, soprano saxophone.
In 1719, Bach performed in Berlin for an audience that included Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg. The margrave was deeply impressed with Bach and requested some compositions. Two years later, Bach sent “Six Concerti for Diverse Instruments” along with a dedication to Christian Ludwig. As far as is known, the margrave never had the pieces performed and also failed to pay the composer for them. The scores gathered dust, and at the margrave’s death they were sold for the modern equivalent of about 25 U.S. dollars. It wasn’t until 1849 that these scores were discovered in the archives of Brandenburg. Publication followed, and the works became known as the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach.
Each of the six concerti is unique and without parallel in the history of music. Bach employed daring combinations of instruments and wrote for them in ways that still challenge 21st-century musicians. While they are often presented separately, the six together create a majestic and unified structure that makes them even more thrilling as a group.
Department of Music