Label: Melodiya, USSR, 1969. Состояние пластинки (condition of plate) — 🟡

Hello, dear friends! The Brandenburg Concertos were written in 1717 – 1723 in the small German town of Köthen, where Bach held the position of “director of chamber music” for the music lover Prince Leopold. Bach titled the score for the concertos: “Six Concertos for Several Instruments.” The inscription on the title page indicates that the concerts are dedicated to Christian Ludwig Margrave of Brandenburg. On this basis, the famous German musicologist AF Shpitt, the author of the first major biography of Bach, called the concerts “Brandenburg”. Since then, this name has been included in all subsequent editions.

Most of the concerts belong to the concerto grosso genre that was established in European music in the first third of the 18th century, the so-called concerto grosso. In these concerts, the group of soloists is contrasted with the bulk of the strings. In the Brandenburg Concertos, Bach was the first to combine into one cycle concerts that were different in instrumental composition of solo groups and very different from each other in principles and character of presentation.

They were composed not in the order in which they were written in the score. Earlier than others, around 1718, there were apparently concerts for some stringed instruments (the third and sixth), which do not have a clear contrast between solo and tutti.

The next stage (1719) – concerto grosso-type concerts (first and second), in which all solo instruments are entrusted with the same thematic material. Finally, there are concerts in which one of the solo parts is of a virtuoso character (fourth and fifth). Most likely, the first of them was written in 1720, the second – in 1721.

After the death of Bach, his orchestral concerts, like all his artistic legacy, remained forgotten for a long time. Interest in the music of the great composer began only at the end of the 30s of the 19th century.

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