Elegant Insanity: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

The Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach are among the most famous pieces of music, ever. As a trumpet player, No. 2 is up there as one of the most revered and feared pieces in the repertoire. I have never played it (nor could have, even in my heyday) and there are many great trumpet players who just don’t even attempt it. What’s interesting about this recording is that the players are playing on period instruments, so that’s why some of them may sound different, and certainly look different, from the instruments you may be more familiar with. In particular, notice the trumpet—no valves! This means all the trills are mostly done using the lips alone, and many of the note changes are made similarly to a woodwind, where you cover holes. I think this is an excellent interpretation by the Freiburger Barockorchester (Baroque Orchestra) of a truly monumental piece. Enjoy.