London Festival Orchestra

LFO_Cornucopia LFO-black Copy (2) of Studio 1b


The Warehouse

13 Theed Street




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Johann Sebastian Bach

Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1048

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750), Kapellmeister at the Court in Kothen, was a so called specialist of Italian instrumental music and appreciated especially the concerti grossi by Antonio Vivaldi. His influence can't be denied when listening to the Brandenburg Concertos even though Bach did feel free to introduce his own musical ideas. Bach wrote during the years in Kothen a lot of instrumental and chamber music for the Chapel of Kothen. The Fourth Brandenburg Concerto BWV 1049 in three movements 'fast, slow, fast' is essentially a concerto for violin and orchestra, since Bach never considered the two recorders of the second movement as solo instruments but rather as playing the role of 'Flauti d'eco'. The Fifth Brandenburg Concerto BWV 1050 which equally follows the same construction is one of the first concerto examples including a harpsichord concerto-part. Bach takes marvellous profit from the instrument's technical and musical possibilities and therefore it has been considered as being the earliest form of piano concerto. Indeed, in the first movement the flute and the violin are one step behind the harpsichord which underlines its leading role with a wonderful candenza. A very clear and dynamic separation of solo and tutti characterises the second movement, where flute, violin and harpsichord together take over the leadership.  A fresh and vigorous Allegro concludes the piece. The last of the six Brandenburgh Concertos BWV 1051 resembles the English viol ensembles of the 17th century, because of its deep sounding and subsequently sounds somehow old-fashioned. At the same time it shows Bach's personal preference: he was himself a passionate viola player. In the original score, Bach wrote the middle voice for viols which, because of their translucid sound, were able to let the viols stand out and avoid an undefinable sound of the ensemble. Other accents are set by a virtusoso cello solo part.


Bach dedicated these three concertos along with three other autographed ones to Margrave Cristian Ludwing of Brandenburg, wich explaines the origin of their name. They are still among the most popular compositions of the St. Thomas cantor and are still played in concert halls all over the world: could the mrgrave think of a better memorial?


                                                                                             Text: Daniel Brandenburg

                                                                                            Translation: Petra de Castro

London Festival Orchestra

Ross Pople, conductor

Anna Pyne, Fiona Fowes & Edward Beckett, flutes

Malcolm Messiter, oboe

Mark Bennett, trumpet

Steven Smith, violin

Sarah Jane Bradley & Marina Ascherson, violas

Mark Levy & Catherine Finnis, viola da gamba

Marilyn Sanson, cello

Michael Freyhan, harpsichord


ARTE NOVA musikproduktions GmbH

Distributed by BMG A Bertelsmann Music Group Company

Producer: Wulf Weinmann

Recorded at The Warehouse (1995)


J S Bach Brandenburgh Concertos Vol. 1  Nos. 1-3


74321 37295 2


01  Allegro

02  Adagio

03  Allegro

04  Menuet - Trio - Polonaise

     Menuet - Trio - Menuet



05  Allegro

06  Andante

07  Allegro assai



08  Allegro

09  Largo (from Sonata for Violin    

     and Harpsichord BWV 1019)

10  Allegro