Brandenburg Concertos
Johann Sebastian Bach


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The third highest of Bach's 11 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. Bach is the fifth most popular composer in this chart after Mozart, Beethoven, Elgar and Tchaikovsky.

While there is no doubt that J. S. Bach did write the Brandenburg Concertos, he would not have recognised them by that name. When he penned the six concertos, almost certainly during his time at Köthen the composer gave them the title Concertos for Several Instruments. It was only his decision to package them up as a present for Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg (a margrave is roughly on a par with a marquis) that gave them their title.

Each of the six concertos appeals most to different listeners, from the galumphing First, the more 'stately-home' styling of the Second, the homely Third, the lofty Fourth and the galloping Fifth, right through to the joyous Sixth.