Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Baroque Birthday

This last Wednesday, March 21 was the 327th birthday of the greatest and most important composer of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach.  While he was the quintissential Baroque composer, certainly the greatest composer in the Baroque era, he was much more than that.  His development of so many of the techniques and forms in the Baroque era, like point/counter point, polyphony, harmonic organization, etc. was studied not just by the Baroque composers, but by the great composers in the classical and even Romantic eras of music.  That continues today as young children learning an instrument [piano, violin] almost always starts out with the Baroque era and Bach.   You could say J.S. Bach started it all. Without him, it makes you wonder how music would have developed differently.

Happy Birthday Johann.  Thank you for the legacy of music you have left.  To honor Bach on this Tales classical weekend I give you these great pieces by the master.  The ultra beautiful "Air on a G String" [the second movement from his 3rd  orchestral suite in D major] and the first and third movements of Bach's Brandenberg Concerto #2.  Note: In the first movement there is no tempo indicated, but obviously played allegro. Also, notice the [Baroque] period instruments [like recorder,and shape of the trumpet].    In the last video, the Allegro Assai movement, I'll bet you remember this [for those of you old enough to have watched the late, great conservatve Bill Buckley's "Firing Line."]

J.S. Bach: "Air on a G String":

J.S. Bach: Brandenberg Concerto #2 in F Major, Movement 1:

J.S. Bach: Brandenberg Concerto #2 in F Major, Movement 3, Allegro Assai:

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