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Some of His Jolliest Keyboard Music
' Played by JAMES CHING
Italian Concerto
This important piece dates from 1735, when its composer was fifty years of age. It represents him, then, in his maturity.
This so-called Concerto is an attempt to apply to one instrument the principles of alternation and of contrast observed in the writing of music for a solo instrument or group of instruments used with some form of orchestra. It is in spirit a Concerto, but it is a one-man Concerto. The instrument for which it was intended was a double-keyboard Harpsichord, in which contrasts of tone unavailable in the single-keyboard form could be taken into account by the composer. Bach's use of the one keyboard or the other is indicated by the words forte (loud) and piano (soft), and sometimes one direction.is applied to the right hand part and the other to the left, so prescribing an effect which would have been impossible upon a single keyboard Harpsichord, but is possible on the modern pianoforte.
There arc three Movements:-
I The Movement is a charmingly flowing one.
It will easily be realised in what way the player's performance on a one-keyboard pianoforte imitates the original manner performance on a two-keyboard Harpsichord, which, in its turn, imitated the playing of an orchestra divided into n small group of instruments contrasted with a large group.
II This is really, in effect, a violin tune with keyboard accompaniment, and in the original edition the melody is throughout given to one keyboard and the accompaniment to another.
III A very happy, well worked-out movement, which, typically Bachian as it is in its counterpoint, nevertheless, in its clear use of extended subjects, and in its plain, diatonic harmony, looks forward a little perhaps towards the coming Sonata style of Haydn.


Played By: James Ching

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