Theme and Variations

Thoughts and experiences of exploring classical, jazz, and other art music.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bach's Brandenburg Concerti

Not as much of a delay as usual for this post; when building my CD classical music library, Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concerti were among the first acquired.

Since the Wikipedia entry for the pieces does such a good job of providing a simple, concise history (and even sound files) I will just mention that the recording I have features the Bath Festival Orchestra under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin.

My personal experience with the Brandenburgs began with my earliest explorations of classical music, during my years in college. The notion of various styles occurring during certain periods was not yet clear for me; mostly I heard one of the concerti on the radio, and went to a Half Priced Bookstore in Corpus Christi and found a copy featuring Wendy Carlos playing a synthesizer (a roommate later told me she used to be Walter Carlos). Though I couldn't say why, I liked the album very much.

Over the years, my affinity for Baroque music cycles from waxing to waning and then back again, and it is the Brandenburgs that typically lead the way.

I might add that the beginning of the first movement of the Fifth Concerto is the music that introduces lectures in the audio versions of Teaching Company courses.

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