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Bach, 'Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, I. Allegro' (Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin)

Think of your favorite pop song. Will it still be a crowd-pleaser 300 years from now? That's a question J.S. Bach probably never thought to ask when he presented his set of six concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg in Berlin in March of 1721. These so-called Brandenburg Concertos have endured three centuries because of their sheer effervescent beauty and bold innovation. The opening movement of the Fifth Concerto, with its virtuoso harpsichord part, complete with a thrilling cadenza, is nothing less than a blueprint for the flamboyant Romantic piano concertos that would come 100 years later. These concertos have been recorded hundreds of times, but this new full throttle performance by Berlin's Akademie für Alte Musik sizzles with white hot intensity.

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Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.
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