What’s Wrong with the World

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Why? Because, Without Beauty, Life Is Void of Meaning

I know that the objection will be raised that the piece is being played prestissimo. This is one of the points of contention between partisans of period instrumentation and performance, and the skeptics, as some scholarly evidence suggests that pre-romantic tempos were faster. Nevertheless, the performance seems a good one, and the Allegro of Bach's fifth Brandenburg Concerto features what may be the first cadenza in the keyboard repertoire. To this day, twenty years after first hearing it, it enchants me; it retains the capacity to startle and delight with its inventiveness and novelty. It was, perhaps, a small thing in its time, but it was far in advance of that time.

Comments (6)

Favorited. I remember hearing this for the first time as it chugged along in the usual chirpy Baroque manner, and then the cadenza entered as if the Dexedrine just kicked in. Thanks for linking.

A fine, energetic performance of an endlessly fascinating piece - thanks, JM.

Those interested in something slower and less "correct" might want to check out Glenn Gould's recording. Gould was a strange and often silly person, but - my G-d! what a musician.

Ah, shoot. Just when I was going to play it, it's been pulled from YouTube.

Just when I was going to play it, it's been pulled from YouTube.

Still plays for me.

Huh. It works now. Before it said, "This video is no longer available." I like it at that tempo.

Lydia, part of the greatness of Bach is that his genius comes through at almost any tempo, and on almost any instrument (or combination of instruments).

Quite the opposite of, say, Debussy, or Ravel: their genius comes through *only* when played just so, by just the right players.

Which is part of *their* greatness.

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