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J. S.

Bach
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV 1047
1st movement

ANALYSIS

By Andrew Coxon

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J. S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV 1047, 1st. movement.

Johannes Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) wrote a set of six Brandenburg Concertos at the request of the
Margrave of Brandenburg, completing them in 1721. Each concerto is an example of the concerto
grosso style where a group of soloists (= concertino) is set against a string orchestra and continuo (=
ripieno). Bach wrote each concerto for a different solo group

Ritornello Form.

‘Ritornello’ means ‘little return’. It is a form where a main theme alternates with contrasting episodes.
For the ‘little return’, only a part of the main theme needs to recur and it can be in any key (unlike the
later Rondo Form where the main theme – or A – returns in full and in the original key each time).

N.B. other commentaries on this movement may divide it up differently from the following analysis.
Ritornello Form is not always clear-cut. In an examination situation, a range of approaches will be
allowed as long as you are able to justify your viewpoint.

Key: F major

Concertino: Trumpet in F (i.e. a transposing instrument, sounding a perfect fourth higher than
written), Flute (though, in Bach’s day, this would be a recorder), Oboe, Violin

Ripieno: Violins I & II, Violas, Violone, Cello & Cembalo = Continuo

Bars 1-8³: Ritornello 1: F major

The ritornello theme has four phrases, each two bars long, referred to as x, y, xI and z.

x: the melodic idea is in flute, oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I; the trumpet has a figure based on
the triad of F major as do the violas; Violin II moves largely in thirds with Violin I; Violone and
continuo have a semiquaver figure which decorates F and A.

y: the melodic material remains in flute, oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I; the trumpet repeats high
C (sounding pitch) as quavers then an extended trill; Violin II has a one-bar phrase played twice which
follows ‘y’ mostly in thirds; violas have another one-bar phrase based on chords V & I, again played
twice; Violone and continuo also have a repetitive figure based on notes from chords V & I.

xI: the main melodic material, still in flute, oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I, is based largely on
an inversion of ‘x’; the trumpet emphasises the tonic chord; Violin II introduces a very important idea
while the violas add a countermelody to the main ‘xI’ idea, mainly in thirds; Violone and continuo also
emphasise the tonic chord.
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z: this final cadential phrase retains the melody in flute, oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I; the
trumpet initially emphasises the dominant before settling on the tonic triad in bar 8; Violin II and
violas have a slightly syncopated idea which finally cadences onto the tonic; Violone and continuo
follow this harmonic pattern in quavers I / V Vb I Ib V Vb I Vb / I IV V V I.

Bars 8(4)-24(4): Episode 1: F major and C major

A new ‘solo’ theme is introduced by the solo violin accompanied simply by the continuo.

This two-bar phrase is followed by phrase ‘x’ from full orchestra and soloists in F major.
Still in F major, the oboe takes up the ‘solo’ theme while the solo violin adds a semiquaver decorative
countermelody and the continuo repeats its part an octave higher; again, phrase ‘x’; follows tutti but
now in C major (the dominant).
Remaining in C major, it is now the flute’s turn to play the ‘solo’ theme while the oboe takes on the
counter-melodic idea previously played by the solo violin; the continuo plays its pattern in C major;
phrase ‘x’ follows in C major tutti.
Finally, and still in C major, the trumpet plays the ‘solo’ theme while the flute has the decorative
countermelody and the continuo again plays its pattern; it is followed by phrase ‘y’ from the ritornello
tutti on the dominant of C major, leading to 

Bars 24(4)-28³: Ritornello 2: C major, the dominant of F major

This is based on the two two-bar phrases ‘xI’ and ‘z’ from the ritornello.

‘xI’ is played by solo oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I.


As ‘xI’ is a one-bar phrase played twice, so the accompanying figures are one bar long and played
twice:
The solo trumpet introduces a new figure based on a rising arpeggio of C major.
The solo trumpet figure from Ritornello 1 is here played by the flute, now in C major.
Violin II has the same pattern as it played in Ritornello 1.
Violas play a stepwise descending countermelody to ‘xI’.
Violone and continuo play broken chords of C major, corresponding to their F major broken chords in
Ritornello 1.

‘z’ is played by solo flute, solo oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I.
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The solo trumpet carries on in a rhythm similar to that used to decorate ‘xI’.
Violin II and Violas introduce some syncopation in their accompanying lines.
Violone and continuo play broken chords alternating between V and I in C major before the final
Perfect Cadence.

28(4)-35(4): Episode 2: F major, the tonic

Like Episode 1, this start with the ‘solo’ theme, played by solo trumpet, accompanied by detached
quavers on solo flute and solo oboe, running semiquavers on solo violin and steadily moving quavers
in continuo, following the same pattern as the first statement in Episode 1.

This single statement is followed by the two-bar phrase ‘x’ in D minor (the relative minor), played by
solo violin, ripieno Violins I & II and Violas.
Solo trumpet plays a long dominant trill.
Solo flute, Violone and continuo have rushing semiquaver lines.
Solo oboe starts a third lower than ‘x’, completing the chord of D minor.

A sequence (Sequence 1) begins in solo trumpet at the end of bar 32 based on the interval of a 4th. It is
repeated in imitation by the solo oboe after two beats and the music follows a circle of fifths:
From Dm  Gm  C  F  B flat  Em  A  Dm
Notice how Bach uses a diminished 5th. from B flat to E to foreshorten the circle and bring the music
more quickly back to its starting point of Dm.
Solo flute plays semiquavers mostly in parallel thirds with the continuo.
Solo violin also plays but with some double-stopping.
This is the start of the sequence:

The two ripieno violin parts play sustained notes which provide suspensions – i.e. notes which clash
with the prevailing harmony but then resolve.
The Violone has a one bar sequence which underlines a V - I progression each time.

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36-39³: Ritornello 3: D minor, the relative minor of F major
This Ritornello is also based on ‘xI’ and ‘z’.

‘xI’ is played by solo flute, solo violin and ripieno Violin I.


Solo trumpet plays the same countermelody as in Ritornello 2, here a tone higher.
Countermelodies in solo oboe, ripieno Violin II, Violas, Violone and continuo also correspond to those
played by those instruments in Ritornello 2, transposed a tone higher into Dm.

‘z’ is played by solo flute, solo oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I.
Solo trumpet affirms the dominant, A, in a short repeated pattern.
Ripieno Violin II and Violas play their syncopated rhythms as in Ritornello 2.
Violone and continuo play broken chords alternating between V and I in C major before the final
Perfect Cadence.

39(4)-56¹: Episode 3: Dm but ending in Cm.

This consists of two parts:


Initially, there is a new sequence (Sequence 2) based on ‘x’ and using a circle of fifths (39(4)-47(4))
and ending with ‘y’ then this is followed in bars (49(4)-56¹) by a further sequence (Sequence 3), which
again uses a circle of fifths but with new rhythms and harmonic sequence, and now based on (xI).

Sequence 2: (N.B. the trumpet part is shown here at sounding pitch)

First statement: Bars 39(4)-41(4):


There are five parts to this contrapuntal texture:
(i) Solo trumpet plays (x).
(ii) Solo flute adds swirling semiquavers decorating high F and D.
(iii) Solo oboe and solo violin also add swirling semiquaver patters but two octaves lower than the
flute and in contrary motion.
(iv) Ripieno Violins I & II and Violas play Violin II’s pattern from the opening ritornello, decorating
the keynote, D.
(v) Violone and continuo play broken chords of Dm.

These five strands remain in the texture for the rest of this sequential section with some slight
reallocation of parts, though part (iv) stays in the same instruments throughout and part (v) moves only
for the fourth and final statement.

Bars 41(4)-43(4): Now in G major, (x) is passed to the solo flute.


The solo trumpet takes over the solo flute’s strand – i.e. (ii).

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Solo oboe and solo violin continue their semiquavers – i.e. (iii) - now in contrary motion to the solo
trumpet.
Apart from the transposition, ripieno violins and violas, Violone and continuo repeat their patterns.

Bars 43(4)-45(4): Moving on to C major for the third statement, the solo trumpet is silent while (x)
passes to solo oboe.
(ii) Solo flute adds swirling semiquavers decorating high E and C.
(iii) Solo violin has the swirling semiquavers in contrary motion to the solo flute, now an octave lower;
(iv) This pattern remains in ripieno Violins I & II and Violas;
(v) Violone and continuo play broken chords of C.

Bars 45(4)-47(4): the final statement is in the tonic, F major.


(v) The solo trumpet plays broken chords of F major, taking over the role previously filled by Violone
and continuo;
(i) Solo flute plays (x);
(ii) Solo violin plays swirling semiquavers decorating A and F;
(iv) This pattern remains in ripieno Violins I & II and Violas;
(iii) Violone and continuo take on the swirling semiquaver pattern in contrary motion to the solo violin
and two octaves lower;
A further strand is added to the counterpoint by the solo oboe derived from the figure first heard in
solo trumpet at the beginning of Ritornello 2, bars 24(4)-26(4), and used again at the start of Ritornello
3, bars 35(4)-37(4).

Bars 47(4)-49(4):
Phrase (y) is used to round off this sequence:
Phrase (y) is played by solo flute, solo oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I, as in the opening
ritornello;
Solo trumpet plays a short fanfare-style figure emphasising the dominant (C) and reminiscent of
Ritornello 1, bars 6(4)-8³ and Episode 1, bars 22(4)-24³;
Ripieno Violin II and Violas repeat their figures from the opening ritornello;
Violone and continuo also repeat their patterns from the opening ritornello, emphasising the dominant-
tonic harmony which underpins this phrase.

Sequence 3: based on phrase (xI), this is a passage of intricate counterpoint.

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In the opening ritornello, this one-bar phrase is always played twice. In this episode, it is a one-bar
modulating sequence. The chord sequence alternates 3rd. inversions with root positions and movement
by third with movement by 5th. : F7d D7 G7d E7 A7d F7 then cadencing into B.

Bar 50: F7 in 3rd. inversion (F7d).

(xI) is played by solo violin;


Solo trumpet plays the broken chord of F in quavers;
Solo flute has a passage of flowing semiquavers;
Solo oboe has repeated Cs, emphasising the dominant;
Ripieno Violin I has a syncopated figure on the triad of F;
Ripieno Violin II and Viola play separated quavers rising through the chord of F;
Ripieno Violone plays separated quavers on E while the continuo plays 8 E quavers.

Bar 51: D7 in root position.

(xI) is played by solo oboe;


Solo trumpet and solo violin have repeated quavers, the trumpet on A, emphasising the dominant
again, the violin playing F# and A, double stopped;
Solo flute continues its passage of flowing quavers;
Ripieno Violin I retains its syncopated figure, now based on D7;
Violin II and Viola play separated quavers rising through the chord of D7;
Ripieno Violone plays separated quavers on D while the continuo plays 8 D quavers.

Bar 52: G7 in 3rd. inversion (G7d).

(xI) is played by solo flute;


Solo trumpet continues with repeated quavers, again emphasising the dominant, now D;
Solo oboe plays the arpeggio of G major;
Solo violin plays the passage of flowing semiquavers;
Ripieno Violin I continues its syncopated figure, now based on G;
Violin II and Viola play separated quavers rising through the chord of G;
Ripieno Violone plays separated quavers on F while the continuo plays 8 F quavers.

Bar 53: E7 in root position.

(xI) is played by solo violin;


Solo trumpet has the flowing semiquavers;
Solo flute and solo oboe has repeated quavers: 3rd. and 5th. respectively;
Ripieno Violin I continues its syncopated figure, now based E7;
Violin II and Viola play separated quavers rising through the chord of E;
Ripieno Violone plays separated quavers on E while the continuo plays 8 E quavers.

Bar 54: A7 in 3rd. inversion (A7d).

(xI) is played by solo oboe;


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Solo flute has the passage of flowing semiquavers;
Solo violin plays the broken chord of A major;
Ripieno Violin I continues its syncopated figure, now based on A major
Violin II and Viola play separated quavers rising through the chord of A;
Ripieno Violone plays separated quavers on G while the continuo plays 8 G quavers.

Bar 55: F7 in root position.

(xI) is played by solo trumpet, though slightly varied;


Solo flute continues its passage of flowing semiquavers;
Solo oboe and solo violin played repeated quavers: the 3rd. and 5th. respectively;
Ripieno Violin I continues its syncopated figure, now based on F7;
Violin II and Viola play separated quavers rising through the chord of F7;
Ripieno Violone plays separated quavers on F while the continuo plays 8 F quavers.

Bars 56-59³: Ritornello 4: B major (submediant of D minor, subdominant of F major)

This ritornello is based on phrases (x1) and (z).

Bars 56-57:
(xI) is played by ripieno Violone and continuo;
Solo trumpet plays a figure it previously played in Ritornello 2, bars 25-27, and Ritornello 3, bars 36-
37, and which featured in the solo oboe part in bars 46-47;
Solo flute, solo oboe and solo violin play a figure based on the chord of B major;
Ripieno Violins I & II plus ripieno violas resume the figure first heard in bars 5-6 of the opening
ritornello.

Bars 57(4)-59³:
(z) in solo flute, solo oboe, solo violin and ripieno Violin I;
Solo trumpet has a fanfare-like repetition of F for one bar followed by a written out trill on B and C;
As in Ritornello 2, Violin II and Violas introduce some syncopation in their accompanying lines;
Violone and continuo play broken chords alternating between V and I in B major before the final
Perfect Cadence.

Bars 59(4)-67(4): Episode 4: modulating sequence.

This is based on the two-bar ‘solo’ theme from Episode 1 though now played without the alternation
with phrase (y). Each soloist presents the phrase in turn, building from a 3 to a 5-part texture. The
modulating sequence is by thirds, alternating minor with major:
B G E C

Bars 59(4)-61(4): B major


‘Solo’ theme is played by solo flute with semiquaver counterpoint in solo violin and a quaver bass in
continuo as in Episode 1.
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Bars 61(4)-63(4): G minor
The solo roles are reversed: the ‘solo’ theme is played by solo violin with semiquaver counterpoint in
solo flute, still with a quaver bass in continuo.
Bars 63(4)-65(4): Emajor
The ‘solo’ theme is played by solo oboe with semiquaver counterpoint returning to solo violin, a new
3-quaver figure in solo flute and the quaver bass in continuo.
Bars 65(4)-67(4): C minor
The ‘solo’ theme is played by solo trumpet with semiquaver counterpoint in solo oboe, the 3-quaver
figure continuing in solo flute (for one bar before a cadence figure) and also solo violin with the quaver
bass pattern again in continuo.

Bars 67(4)-71(4): Ritornello 5: C minor (dominant minor)

This is based on phrases (x) and (y).

Phrase (x):
Solo oboe, ripieno Violin I & II and ripieno Violas play this figure;
The inverted counterpoint semiquaver figures, so much a feature of the first part of Episode 3 return
here in solo flute and inverted in ripieno Violone and continuo;
Solo trumpet plays broken chords of C minor in quavers;
Solo violin plays a repeated pattern of four semiquavers.

Phrase (y):
This is played by solo oboe and ripieno Violin I;
Solo trumpet plays a short, fanfare-like motif on the dominant G;
Solo flute plays largely in parallel sixths or thirds with phrase (y);
Solo violin plays a one-bar phrase twice initially in parallel with phrase (y);
Ripieno Violin II, Viola, Violone and Continuo provide a dominant (G) pedal.

Bars 71(4)-79: Episode 5: modulating sequences based initially on (xI) – sequence (3) - then, from G
minor, further modulating sequences bases on (x) and elements of (y) – sequence (1).

Sequence (3):
This lasts for three bars: (xI) is played just as a one-bar, modulating phrase but with intricate
counterpoint.
72: chord C7, 1st. inversion:
(xI) is played by solo oboe;
Solo trumpet repeats B, the 7th.
Solo flute plays the broken chord of C;
Solo violin has a semiquaver phrase;
Ripieno Violin I plays a syncopated phrase of the falling chord of C;
Ripieno Violin II and Viola plays separated quavers rising through the chord of C;
Violone plays separated quavers on E while the continuo plays 8 E quavers.

73: chord F7, in 3rd. inversion:


(xI) is played by solo flute;
Solo violin plays repeated Fs and Cs, double-stopped;
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Solo oboe has the semiquaver phrase;
Ripieno Violin I plays its syncopated phrase, now the falling chord of F;
Ripieno Violin II and Viola plays separated quavers rising through the chord of F;
Violone plays separated quavers on E while the continuo plays 8 E quavers.

74: chord D7, in root position:


(xI) is played by solo violin;
Solo trumpet repeats A, the 5th.
Solo flute also plays repeated notes - F#, the 3rd.
Solo oboe has the semiquaver phrase again;
Ripieno Violin I plays its syncopated phrase, now the falling chord of D7;
Ripieno Violin II and Viola plays separated quavers rising through the chord of D7;
Violone plays separated quavers on D while the continuo plays 8 D quavers.

75-76: just as in Episode 2, (x) occurs, now in G minor.

Phrase (x) is played by solo oboe and ripieno Violin I;


Solo trumpet matches this rhythm, playing mostly in parallel sixths;
Solo flute sustains high D (the dominant/5th. of the chord);
Solo violin and ripieno Violone/continuo play semiquavers, mostly in 10ths.
Ripieno Violin II and Viola play G/F# in the pattern first heard in Ritornello 1, bars 5-6.

77-79: Sequence 1, modulating via a sequence of chords a fifth apart:


From Cm  F7  B  E  Am  D
Solo oboe and solo trumpet have the imitative idea based on a rising/falling 4th derived from the end of
phrase (x);
Solo violin and continuo have semiquaver passages a 10th apart, derived from the opening of phrase
(y);
Solo flute plays a figure derived from the solo violin pattern in Episode 2, bars 33-35;
The two ripieno violin parts play sustained notes which provide suspensions – i.e. notes which clash
with the prevailing harmony but then resolve – as in Episode 2;
Ripieno viola and ripieno Violone also have a one-bar imitative figure derived from phrase (y) and
ending with an octave leap.

Bars 80-83³: Ritornello 6: G minor, subdominant minor, based on phrases (x1) and (z).

80-81: (xI)
Solo violin and ripieno Violin I have phrase (xI);
Solo trumpet plays a broken chord of G minor;
Solo flute plays flowing semiquavers;
Solo oboe has the figure first heard in solo trumpet in Ritornello 2 (bars 25-26) and in other places
where phrase (xI) is used;
Ripieno Violin II has G/F#, based on its figure from Ritornello I, bars 5-6, and used a lot since;
Ripieno Viola plays a one-bar descending pattern, moving in parallel with phrase (xI);
Ripieno violone and continuo play the broken chord of G minor, with two quavers on each note (i.e. D
D B B G G etc.)

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81(4)-83³: (z)

Solo flute, solo violin and ripieno Violin I play phrase (z);
Solo oboe continues its pattern, though inverting the movement of the opening semiquavers;
Ripieno Violin II and ripieno Viola have the syncopated phrase they have always played along with
phrase (z);
Ripieno Violone and continuo play quavers on dominant and tonic before the final cadence:
I IV Ic V I

Bars 83(4)-98: Episode 6: initially G minor, then a modulating sequence;


Based mostly on phrase (x), sequence 1 and a brief variant of sequence 2;

Bars 83(4)-85(4): G minor

Although there are seven instrumental lines, this is essentially a 4-part texture:
phrase (x) is in solo oboe;
solo trumpet and solo flute plays semiquavers in contrary motion;
solo violin, ripieno Violin I & II and ripieno Viola play broken chords of G minor.

Bars 85(4)-87(4): a fuller texture now: A7, dominant seventh of D minor;

Solo oboe and solo violin play phrase (x), though the opening two beats are now decorated to become
continuous semiquavers;
Solo trumpet plays repeated As, emphasising the new chord – A7;
Solo flute, as is so often the case, plays flowing semiquavers;
Ripieno Violin I & II and ripieno Viola sustain notes – G, C# & E respectively;
Ripieno Violone and continuo play broken chords of A major.

Bars 87(4)-89(4): D minor


(N.B. the trumpet part – the upper stave – is shown at concert pitch).

Phrase (x) is played initially by ripieno violone and continuo and the imitated after half a bar by the
solo trumpet;
Solo flute; solo oboe and solo violin play swirling semiquavers, the woodwind in parallel thirds, the
violin in contrary motion;
Ripieno Violin I & II and ripieno Viola sustain notes – F, D & A respectively.

Bars 90-91: based on a variant of Sequence 1, this is a modulating passage, moving through chords a
fifth apart: Gm C F Bm (this is just a diminished 5th. from F but it enables Bach to
move on to a chord of E and then into A minor.)

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Solo trumpet plays the variant of Sequence 1 while the other soloists play answering semiquaver
phrases, the solo violin harking back to its figuration from bars 32(4)-35(4);
Ripieno Violin I & II and ripieno Viola play a sequence of suspensions as usual;
Ripieno Violone and continuo play notes from the triads of the four chord involved, using root and
third.
(N.B. solo trumpet part again shown at concert pitch)

Bars 92-93(4): chord of E major, modulating to A minor

Over an E pedal in ripieno Violone and continuo, the ripieno upper strings continue their minim
movement, completing chords of E7, Am, E and then a final crotchet Am;
Solo trumpet, solo flute and solo oboe play repeated quavers, giving half-bar chord of E7, Am (with an
added 6th. in solo oboe to end bar 92), then E in woodwind leading to the crotchet Am while the solo
trumpet plays decorative semiquavers to emphasise the cadence;

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Finally, the solo violin has a semiquaver pattern which sees it alternating fingered notes with the open
A string.

Bars 93(4)-95(4): based on phrase (x) in A minor

Phrase (x) is presented in overlapping entries by solo flute then solo trumpet and solo oboe with solo
violin playing in mostly parallel sixths;
Ripieno Violin 1, II and Viola play the A G#A figure from Ritornello 1, bars 4(4)-6(4) – played on that
occasion on F E F and, of course, used there with phrase (xI);
Ripieno Violone and continuo have the semiquaver figure as in the opening bars, though now in A
minor.

This overlaps with a return of Sequence 1 in bars 95³-98(4)

This is another passage where Bach modulates through a circle/cycle of fifths, moving from the initial
Am  Dm  G  C  F  Bm  E Am
Notice that Bach again uses an interval of a diminished fifth F B to shorten the circle of fifths and
hasten the return to Am.
Solo flute and solo violin have the main sequence phrase in turn;
Solo trumpet has a half-bar pattern based on a rising/falling third;
Solo oboe has a half-bar sequential pattern of semiquavers, starting a fourth higher each time and in
parallel tenths with the continuo;
Ripieno Violin I & II have the passage of suspensions as before;
Ripieno Viola and Violone share an imitative pattern as on the first occurrence of this sequence within
Episode 2;
Continuo has a pattern of semiquavers decorating the root and third of each chord.

Bars 99-106(4): Ritornello 7: based on phrases (xI) and (z), in A minor, the mediant, initially, then on
phrases (x) and (y) in F major, the tonic.

99-100: (xI)
On this occurrence, (xI) is scored quite differently from Ritornello 6, though most of the same
elements are present.
(xI) is in the Ripieno Violone and continuo;
Solo trumpet plays just 4 quaver As, i.e. the tonic;
Solo violin, solo flute and solo oboe treat their figure imitatively, the figure first heard in solo trumpet
in Ritornello 2;
Ripieno Violin I & II and Viola play a quaver figure based on the chord of A minor, a pattern heard in
the bass instruments in Ritornello 6, there in G minor.

Phrase (z) picks up on the last quaver of bar 100 

Bars 101-102³: (z)


Phrase (z) is played in unison by solo oboe, solo violin and Ripieno Violin I;
Solo flute has a figure based on the inversion of that just imitated in solo violin/flute/oboe and similar
to that played by solo oboe in Ritornello 6
As usual, Ripieno Violin II and Viola play a syncopated phrase and the bass instruments play root to
third of chords V and I in A minor before the cadence into this key, using I IV Ic V I

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Bars 102(4)-104(4): (x) in F major – the tonic

Bach does not modulate from A minor to F major – he merely cadences in A minor in bar 102 and then
promptly restarts in F major.
(x) is played by solo flute, solo oboe, solo violin and the entire Ripieno in octaves: N.B. the continuo
part is marked tasto solo: i.e. no chords to be added, just the bass part to be played;
Solo trumpet plays this same rhythm on the triad of F major.

Bars 104(4)-106(4): (y) in F major.

(y) is played by solo flute, solo oboe, solo violin and Ripieno Violin I;
Solo trumpet has a fanfare-like figure on C;
Ripieno Violin II and Viola have one-bar phrases, played twice;
Ripieno violone and continuo alternate tonic/dominant harmonies.

Bars 106(4)-114(4): Episode 7: Sequence 2, as Episode 3 and, briefly, in varied form as in Episode 6

This is played over repeated quavers in the bass (Ripieno violone and continuo) and is the most
chromatic section of this movement. Bach is very precise with his figured bass, leaving the continuo
player in no doubt as to his precise intentions.
The chords are:
B7 3rd. inversion  G7  C7 3rd. inversion A7  D7 3rd. inversion  B dim. 7  C7 as
preparation for the return to the tonic and the final ritornello.
This is an outline of that chord sequence from bar 107 (N.B. there should be a natural sign below bar 2
to indicate B natural):

The link to the ritornello in this episode is the use of phrase (xI) as a one-bar pattern, heard initially in
solo violin and subsequently in solo oboe (108), solo flute (109), solo violin (110), solo oboe (111),
solo flute (112), and, finally, ripieno violone and continuo (113-114);

Other patterns to be found include:

Repeated notes in one or more higher pitched instruments: solo trumpet (107), solo trumpet and solo
violin (108), solo oboe (109), solo trumpet and solo flute (110), solo trumpet (111), and solo trumpet
and solo oboe (112);
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Flowing semiquavers can be found in solo flute (107-108), solo violin (109), solo oboe (110), solo
flute (111), and solo violin (112);
Syncopated triadic figuration in Ripieno Violin I is present from 107-112;
Rising arpeggio patterns in ripieno Violin II and Viola are constant features from 107-112;
Occasionally, there are arpeggio-based figures elsewhere: e.g. solo oboe (107), solo trumpet (109), and
solo violin (111).

Bars 113-114 provide C7/dominant 7th preparation for the tonic in bar 115.
In these two bars, (xI) is played by ripieno violone and continuo;
Solo trumpet returns to its normal figure to accompany (xI);
Solo flute, solo oboe and solo violin play pairs of repeated quavers from V7;
Ripieno Violin I, Violin II and Viola sustain C, G & E respectively.

Bars 115-118 (end): Ritornello 8: phrase (xI) and phrase (z) in F major, the tonic

An exact repeat of the corresponding bars form Ritornello 1 brings this movement to a close.

Summary of the form of this movement as set out in this analysis:

Bars 1-8³: Ritornello 1: F major

Presentation of the four phrases of the ritornello theme

Bars 8(4)-24(4): Episode 1: F major and C major

A new ‘solo’ theme is introduced by the solo violin accompanied simply by the continuo followed by
phrase (x) and then passed to the other soloists in turn, always alternating with phrase (x)

Bars 24(4)-28³: Ritornello 2: C major, the dominant of F major

This is based on the two two-bar phrases ‘xI’ and ‘z’ from the ritornello.

28(4)-35(4): Episode 2: F major

Like Episode 1, this start with the ‘solo’ theme before a sequence (Sequence 1) begins in solo trumpet
at the end of bar 32 based on the interval of a 4th. It is repeated in imitation by the solo oboe after two
beats and the music follows a circle of fifths

36-39³: Ritornello 3: D minor, the relative minor of F major


This Ritornello is also based on ‘xI’ and ‘z’.

39(4)-56¹: Episode 3: Dm but ending in Cm.

This consists of two parts:

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(i) a new sequence (Sequence 2) based on ‘x’ and using a circle of fifths (39(4)-47(4)) and ending with
‘y’; (ii) followed in bars (49(4)-56¹) by a further sequence (Sequence 3), which again uses a circle of
fifths but with new rhythms and harmonic sequence, and now based on (xI)

Bars 56-59³: Ritornello 4: B major (submediant of D minor, subdominant of F major)

This ritornello is based on phrases (x1) and (z).

Bars 59(4)-67(4): Episode 4: modulating sequence.

This is based on the two-bar ‘solo’ theme from Episode 1 though now played without the alternation
with phrase (y).

Bars 67(4)-71(4): Ritornello 5: C minor (dominant minor)

This is based on phrases (x) and (y).

Bars 71(4)-79: Episode 5: modulating sequences based initially on (xI) – sequence (3) - then, from G
minor, further modulating sequences bases on (x) and elements of (y) – sequence (1), then from 75-76,
just as in Episode 2, (x) occurs, now in G minor. Finally, in bars 77-79: Sequence 1 returns,
modulating via a sequence of chords a fifth apart: from Cm  F7  B flat  E flat  Am  D

Bars 80-83³: Ritornello 6: G minor, subdominant minor, based on phrases (x1) and (z).

Bars 83(4)-98: Episode 6: initially G minor, then a modulating sequence;


Based mostly on phrase (x), sequence 1 and a brief variant of sequence 2

Bars 99-106(4): Ritornello 7: based on phrases (xI) and (z), in A minor, the mediant, initially, then on
phrases (x) and (y) in F major, the tonic.

Bars 106(4)-114(4): Episode 7: Sequence 2, as Episode 3 and, briefly, in varied form as in Episode 6

Bars 115-118 (end): Ritornello 8: phrase (xI) and phrase (z) in F major, the tonic

An exact repeat of the corresponding bars form Ritornello 1 brings this movement to a close.

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