[36] Johann Sebastian Bach – The Brandenburg Concertos

13 Dec

Warm and sprightly.  Beautiful and relaxing.  These six piece form a very pleasing listening experience.

The Brandenburg Concertos

The Brandenburg Concertos











While the tunes themselves are not familiar, the style, the melodic acrobatics are welcome and comforting.  There is a little of the “background music” phenomenon I encountered with Cannonball Adderley, but it is an extremely enjoyable change of pace at my desk.

Each of the concertos has a different instrumentation which keeps the sound varied and interest high as I listen straight through these performances by the Concerto Italiano.

There is a different level of connection to these flowing constructs than I instinctively find with the visceral rock, jazz and blues recordings I discover on my blogging.  At once the connection is intellectual and somehow subliminal.  Feelings sketched out rather than clearly stated.

Classical music effects me in a different way – neither better nor worse, just different.

Did I say the tunes were unknown?  I mistated in one large and significant case.  The opening section of Concerto #5 is burned into my brain through its use in the at once highly entertaining and hugely educational Disney Junior show, Little Einsteins.

Each week four kids (a conductor, a dancer, a musician and a singer) travel through the world of a famous work of art while chasing a famous piece of music.  Bach’s piece here provides the soundtrack for a Birthday Machine, and I am unable to stop myself from singing the silly but catchy lyrics that the kids add to this classical tune:

“Round and round and turning turning turning turning clapping clapping up down.”

The piece also reminds me of my surprisingly strong affection for the sound of a harpsichord!

I am interested to compare and contrast how different these Concerto are to the next three recordings – also by Bach – that led Moon to include all four in his list of 1,000.  To date only John Adams has rated more than one album on the list – two pieces in two very different styles, one Classical, one Operatic, neither recommended.

Fingers crossed.

Owned before blogging? No. (2 of 36. 6%)
Heard before blogging? No. (4 of 36. 11%)
Recommend? Yes. (30 of 36. 83%)

Next Week:  Johann Sebastian Bach – Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

4 Responses to “[36] Johann Sebastian Bach – The Brandenburg Concertos”


  1. [37] Johann Sebastian Bach – Complete Sonatas & Partitas For Solo Violin | . . . To Hear Before I Blog - December 20, 2013

    […] all the sprightly acrobatics of The Brandenburg Concertos, Bach manages to cram even more complexity into these compositions. Whereas The Brandenburg […]

  2. Pride and Prejudice | ballisticxlr - December 28, 2013

    […] [36] Johann Sebastian Bach – The Brandenburg Concertos (avri1000.wordpress.com) […]

  3. [39] Johann Sebastian Bach – Mass in B Minor | . . . To Hear Before I Blog - January 3, 2014

    […] hardly seems fair that the same mind that composed the huge Brandenburg Concertos, the tiny and complex solo violin pieces and the technical exploration of the Well Tempered Clavier […]

  4. [52] Bela Bartok – Concerto for Orchestra / Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta | . . . To Hear Before I Blog - April 4, 2014

    […] (for example the case of the pyrotechnic skill and color of Martha Argerich, or the sweeping arc of Bach’s Concertos), but elsewhere the experience has left me bemused rather than […]

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