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Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged by Nancy Nourse
Of the six Brandenburg Concertos, the Concerto No. 3, despite the fact it is composed for string orchestra, is the least like the traditional baroque concerto grosso, in that there is no solo or concertino group used in contrast to the full ensemble. Far predating Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, is this concerto by Bach which challenges all the members of the ripieno to perform a concerto without designated soloists. Another distinctive feature of this concerto is that it consists of only two movements separated by a single measure of two chords.
The scoring of this concerto for flute choir attempts to follow the original intentions of the work as closely as possible. The flutes are grouped in threes to represent the three separate sections of violins, violas and 'cellos. The key has been transposed form the original G major to accommodate the various flutes' ranges. The doubling of parts is not only acceptable but recommended when possible. Instruments with the low B should be used for Flute 7, and, if a C flute substitute is used, for Flute 8. If a bass flute is not available, an alternate bass part is provided. If the second movement is to follow, the adjoining Adagio may be used as a bridge.