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Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major (BWV 1043)

by Johann Sebastian Bach
arranged for piano, four hands by Anderson & Roe

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Notes on the arrangement

After learning and recording Max Reger's 1905 arrangement, we were inspired to create a more readable, pianistic four-hand version of the piece. When it came to writing for piano duet, Reger, like a lot of composers, seemed to draw a line down the middle of the keyboard: “Primo, you play everything above this note; secondo, you play everything below.” It’s a nice theory, but in practice it creates some nearly unresolvable difficulties for the pianists. Take, for instance, the following passage in which Reger challenges the primo pianist with some devilishly dense passagework. In our version, we reworked the material to better distribute the material; in some cases we omitted non-essential accompaniments. In our version, the pianists cross hands at times, but this results in something both more playable and more representative of the original instrumentation.

The Brandenburg Concertos were originally dedicated to a German nobleman in an attempt to land the court composer gig in Brandenburg. In Bach's dedication (dated March 24, 1721) he noted the Margrave’s interest in “the little talents which Heaven has given me for Music.” Despite Bach’s undeniable talent (and adorable modesty) the nobleman never responded. Yes, even brilliant composers like Bach get left on “Read.” 😆 The pieces (eventually sold for about $20) sat on a library shelf for over a century, but have since become one of Bach’s best known works.

Enjoy!

Pro tip: start hitting the gym now to build up your forearms for that last movement. #ouch #feeltheburn 💪