KARAJAN - BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER JS BACH - BRANDBURG CONCERTOS BOX SET
*** 1980 GERMAN PRESS ***
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - NM+ 9/10
Considered my many audiophiles as the “Master of Bach,” In 1955 Karajan was appointed music director for life of the Berlin Philharmonic as successor to Wilhelm Furtwängler. From 1957 to 1964 he was artistic director of the Vienna State Opera. Karajan was closely involved with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Salzburg Festival, where he initiated the Easter Festival, which would remain tied to the Berlin Philharmonic's Music Director after his tenure.
He continued to perform, conduct and record prolifically until his death in Anif in 1989, mainly with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. In his later years, Karajan suffered from heart and back problems, needing surgery on the latter. He increasingly came into conflict with his orchestra for an all-controlling dictatorial style of conducting that had vanished from use everywhere else. Karajan officially retired from conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, but at his death was conducting a series of rehearsals for the annual Salzburg Music Festival. His last concert was Bruckner's 7th symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic. He died of a heart attack in his home on 16 July 1989 at the age of 81.
The Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1046–1051, original title: Six Concerts à plusieurs instruments) are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bhachu to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721 (though probably composed earlier). They are widely regarded as some of the best orchestral compositions of the Baroque era.
Bach's dedication to the Margrave was dated 24 March 1721. Most likely, Bach composed the concertos over several years while Kapellmeister at Köthen, and possibly extending back to his employment at Weimar (1708–17). The first sentence of Bach's dedication reads:
“As I had the good fortune a few years ago to be heard by Your Royal Highness, at Your Highness's commands, and as I noticed then that Your Highness took some pleasure in the little talents which Heaven has given me for Music, and as in taking Leave of Your Royal Highness, Your Highness deigned to honour me with the command to send Your Highness some pieces of my Composition: I have in accordance with Your Highness's most gracious orders taken the liberty of rendering my most humble duty to Your Royal Highness with the present Concertos, which I have adapted to several instruments; begging Your Highness most humbly not to judge their imperfection with the rigor of that discriminating and sensitive taste, which everyone knows Him to have for musical works, but rather to take into benign Consideration the profound respect and the most humble obedience which I thus attempt to show Him.” ~ Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1710, Antoine Pesne) ~
The dedication page Bach wrote for the collection indicates they are Concerts avec plusieurs instruments (Concertos with several instruments). Bach used the "widest spectrum of orchestral instruments … in daring combinations," as Christoph Wolff has commented. "Every one of the six concertos set a precedent in scoring, and every one was to remain without parallel." Heinrich Besseler has noted that the overall forces required (leaving aside the first concerto, which was rewritten for a special occasion) tallies exactly with the 17 players Bach had at his disposal in Köthen.
Because King Frederick William I of Prussia was not a significant patron of the arts, Christian Ludwig seems to have lacked the musicians in his Berlin ensemble to perform the concertos. The full score was left unused in the Margrave's library until his death in 1734, when it was sold for 24 groschen (as of 2014, about US$24.00) of silver. The autograph manuscript of the concertos was only rediscovered in the archives of Brandenburg by Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn in 1849; the concertos were first published in the following year.
In the modern era these works have been performed by orchestras with the string parts each played by a number of players, under the batons of, for example, Karl Richter and Herbert von Karajan. They have also been performed as chamber music, with one instrument per part, especially by (but not limited to) groups using baroque instruments and (sometimes more, sometimes less) historically informed techniques and practice. There is also an arrangement for four-hand piano duet by composer Max Reger. (AMG)
Bach*, Karajan*, Berliner Philharmoniker – Brandenburgische Konzerte / Brandenburg Concertos / Les Concertos Brandebourgeois
Label: Deutsche Grammophon – 2707 112
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Box Set
Country: Germany Released: 1980
Konzert Nr. 5 D-Dur BWV 1050
A1 Allegro 10:45
A2 Affettuoso 6:10
A3 Allegro 5:51
Konzert Nr. 1 F-Dur BWV 1046
B1 (Allegro) 4:01
B2 Adagio 4:43
B3 Allegro 4:21
B4 Menuet - Trio - Menuet - Polonaise - Menuet - Trio - Menuet 9:56
Konzert Nr. 2 F-Dur BWV 1047
C1 (Allegro) 5:26
C2 Andante 4:26
C3 Allegro Assai 2:38
Konzert Nr. 4 G-Dur BWV 1049
C4 Allegro 7:18
C5 Andante 4:33
C6 Presto 4:47
Konzert Nr. 3 G-Dur BWV 1048
D1 (Allegro) 6:32
D2 Adagio 0:15
D3 Allegro 5:10
Konzert Nr. 6 B-Dur BWV 1051
D4 (Allegro) 7:00
D5 Adagio Ma Non Tanto 5:42
D6 Allegro 5:18
Printed By – Gerhard Stalling AG
Composed By – Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor – Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra – Berliner Philharmoniker
Booklet printed in West Germany by Gerhard Stalling AG, Oldenburg. The triple pentagon on the box cover is a factory added sticker.
Matrix / Runout: 2531 148
Matrix / Runout: 2531 149
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