Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia will have their season opening concert on November 6, at the Washington Center! Several students from our studio will be in the orchestras, and Ramona will be featured on the harpsichord for Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.
This concerto is possibly the very first example of a solo keyboard concerto, as it has a wonderful, virtuosic and lengthy cadenza. Scholars believe Bach was in fact the featured soloist, and that it was composed to show off the qualities of a brand new "modern" harpsichord. It is also rumored that Bach wrote it to play in competition with a French organist named Louis Marchand. Apparently, Marchand was so intimidated by Bach's talents, he ran away before the contest could take place!
Some interesting factoids about the Brandenburg Concertos:
- Bach wrote 6 Brandenburg Concerti altogether.
- Each concerto featured daring combinations of instruments, never seen or heard before Bach! They are considered to be some of the best orchestral works of the Baroque Period.
- These were not widely known or performed during Bach's lifetime and were sold at an auction for about $25. They were rediscovered and published about 100 years after Bach's death.
- The manuscript was almost lost during during WW2. It was being moved to Prussia for safekeeping, but the train came under bombardment. It only survived because the librarian escaped into the woods with the manuscript under his coat!