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Jody Kruskal

3Rd Brandenburg Concerto

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I don't know if this has been posted before, but I was playing a dance in New Jersey yesterday with my band Strumbow Squeezeblow and in attendance was the excellent Mike Agranoff who is an EC wizz. He joined the band for our final waltz... delightful! At the break, he was telling me about this project of his and sent me a link. I'm passing it on to you. Sounds great!

 

Here's a link to the 2-concertina transcription of the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto (1st Movement). http://www.mikeagranoff.com/audio/StraightLines/08-Brandenburg.mp3

The original is scored for 3 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, bass, and continuo. What I did was to take the violins and violas, and condense them into two concertina parts. So each concertina part is often playing two string lines, and very occasionally 3 parts simultaneously. Since in the original score the string lines are often doubling or laying out, almost every note Bach wrote is there in the transcription. I also created a simplified single cello line from the three written parts, which was played by a friend, Liz Cabrera. And Marco Brehm played the bass line! I don't know if you knew it, but Marco is quite an accomplished classical bassist. I also made a "music minus one" mix of the 2nd concertina part, bass, and cello, which allows me to perform the piece live on stage against the recorded other lines.

Mike Agranoff

www.MikeAgranoff.com

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That is really beautiful. I go to classical concerts occasionally and would love to see a concertina playing such pieces live but I suspect it would take the public some time to realise that this music is possible on a concertina and that it can sounds great.

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That is really excellent. Thanks for posting it.

 

(I saw Mike Agranoff perform in Ithaca, NY some 18 or 19 years ago, and haven't thought about him in ages. Great to see that he's still going strong. The show was in a beautiful old church-like building, and during the break he gathered the audience in the antechamber [nave? I don't know my church architecture] to all sing together, Pete Seeger-style. The acoustics were wonderful, and it was a lovely experience. I know he did one or two numbers on the concertina, but I don't recall what they were now.)

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I don't know if this has been posted before, but I was playing a dance in New Jersey yesterday with my band Strumbow Squeezeblow and in attendance was the excellent Mike Agranoff who is an EC wizz. He joined the band for our final waltz... delightful! At the break, he was telling me about this project of his and sent me a link. I'm passing it on to you. Sounds great!

 

Here's a link to the 2-concertina transcription of the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto (1st Movement). http://www.mikeagranoff.com/audio/StraightLines/08-Brandenburg.mp3

The original is scored for 3 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, bass, and continuo. What I did was to take the violins and violas, and condense them into two concertina parts. So each concertina part is often playing two string lines, and very occasionally 3 parts simultaneously. Since in the original score the string lines are often doubling or laying out, almost every note Bach wrote is there in the transcription. I also created a simplified single cello line from the three written parts, which was played by a friend, Liz Cabrera. And Marco Brehm played the bass line! I don't know if you knew it, but Marco is quite an accomplished classical bassist. I also made a "music minus one" mix of the 2nd concertina part, bass, and cello, which allows me to perform the piece live on stage against the recorded other lines.

Mike Agranoff

www.MikeAgranoff.com

I am reminded, of course, of Lea Nicholson's production of the 4th Brandenburg Concerto in 3 parts from his concertina album. The 3rd part, the solo, is my favorite.

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What it reminds me of is the recording of the 3rd Brandenburg on the 1968 album: "Switched-On Bach." Played by W. Carlos on a Moog Synthesizer.

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I don't know if this has been posted before, but I was playing a dance in New Jersey yesterday with my band Strumbow Squeezeblow and in attendance was the excellent Mike Agranoff who is an EC wizz. He joined the band for our final waltz... delightful! At the break, he was telling me about this project of his and sent me a link. I'm passing it on to you. Sounds great!

 

Mike is a consummate performer and musician. His guitar work, singing, and recitattions are, in my opinion, even better than his concertina, and that's not to belittle his concertina playing.

 

A fiddler/violinist/music teacher friend of mine told of meeting him at a folk festival, outside the performance area. He asked if she was familiar with the classical repertoire. "Yes." Could she play the allegro of the Bach double violin concerto from memory? "Yes." So they sat under a tree and played it together on violin and concertina. :)

That piece (though not with her) is also one of the numbers on his CD "The Modern Folk Musician". The Brandenburg is on his recent CD "Straight Lines". (So is one of my own tunes, "Diana Hanson".) And on his CD "Ain't Never Been Plugged" (and his 1987 casette "Rocking the Boat") is the Gavotte from Bach's Partita no. 3 in E major. (That makes a beautiful exercise for the English concertina, by the way.)

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