Hyperion Records

Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D major, BWV1050
composer

Recordings
'Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos' (CDD22001)
Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDD22001  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  
'Bach: Brandenburg Concertos' (CKD430)
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
CKD430  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Bach: Keyboard Concertos' (CDA30003)
Bach: Keyboard Concertos
Buy by post £8.50 CDA30003  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
'Bach: Keyboard Concertos' (CDA67607/8)
Bach: Keyboard Concertos
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67607/8  2CDs  
'Bach: The Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 1' (CDA67307)
Bach: The Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 1
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67307 
'Bach: The Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 1' (SACDA67307)
Bach: The Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 1
SACDA67307  Super-Audio CD — Deleted  
Details
Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Affettuoso
Movement 3: Allegro

Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D major, BWV1050
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The most important thing to note about the Brandenburg Concerto No 5 in D major, BWV1050 is that this was the first time ever that the harpsichord had been used in a concerto for anything other than the continuo. Always in the background, providing the necessary colour and rhythmic stability (and often conducting as well), the continuo player never really had a chance to shine; but here he takes his revenge! At the beginning of the opening Allegro it almost seems as though the other soloists (flute and violin) have the more important musical dialogue, but gradually the keyboard asserts itself, finally brushing all others aside and launching into an extraordinary sixty-five-bar cadenza. If I say that it is all entirely written out by Bach, it is only because I am frequently asked after concert performances if I wrote it myself! It begins quite lyrically, but then comes a tremendous build-up over a long pedal point in the bass. Some really wild figurations and large jumps in the left hand take us to a climax in B minor. A brief five-bar bridge masterfully returns us to the tonic and the orchestral ritornello. It is thought that Bach might have been inspired to write such a piece to show off the new two-manual harpsichord he had just received from Berlin. It was certainly written with a powerful instrument in mind.

The second movement in B minor, marked Affettuoso, is a touching trio sonata for the three soloists. Unlike the middle movement of the Triple Concerto, however, there is need for a continuo group to accompany the flute and violin when the keyboard is not playing as a soloist. Normally, of course, the one harpsichordist would do both, but here we have used both instruments to clearly separate those passages. The mood is gentle and tender, but with the sense of sorrow that often seems to come with the key of B minor.

The final Allegro is a spirited gigue with an upbeat that gives it a wonderful ‘lift’. Throughout this concerto there is no second violin part – only a small ‘ripieno’ group. Bach himself usually played the viola, but obviously in this piece was seated at the harpsichord, so his place was no doubt filled by the second violinist.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2005

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