27 votes

One of the most difficult keyboard solos to play in history

Even if you dislike or don't listen to classical or baroque music, you will still be amazed!

The Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 by J.S. Bach

This concerto makes use of a popular chamber music ensemble of the time (flute, violin, and harpsichord), which Bach used on its own for the middle movement. It is believed that it was written in 1719, to show off a new harpsichord by Michael Mietke which Bach had brought back from Berlin for the Köthen court. It is also thought that Bach wrote it for a competition at Dresden with the French composer and organist Louis Marchand; in the central movement, Bach uses one of Marchand's themes. Marchand fled before the competition could take place, apparently scared off in the face of Bach's great reputation for virtuosity and improvisation.

The concerto is well suited throughout to showing off the qualities of a fine harpsichord and the virtuosity of its player, but especially in the lengthy solo cadenza to the first movement. It seems almost certain that Bach, considered a great organ and harpsichord virtuoso, was the harpsichord soloist at the premiere. Scholars have seen in this work the origins of the solo keyboard concerto as it is the first example of a concerto with a solo keyboard part.[10][11]

An earlier version, BWV 1050a, exists, and has many small differences from its later cousin, but no major difference in structure or instrumentation. It is dated ca. 1720/1721.

harpsichord solo starts at about 6:30



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What is the purpose of the

What is the purpose of the upper keyboard on the harpsichord?

My worlds are colliding! But

My worlds are colliding! But in a good way. Being a lover of liberty and a classical violinist, you don't usually get to enjoy both at the same time. All my friends and colleagues are far-left liberals. Great piece of music of course. Curious to know what people think of this version. I prefer this one. It's more in style with baroque playing.


Mind blowing speed.

That was beautiful to hear on Easter Sunday morning. Thanks. The waves of sound he generated reminded me of the bridge part of Chopin's Chaunce' a la Dieu (misspelled I'm sure). Wish the Harpsichord was louder though.

Another great composition by Bach!

A beautiful violin piece


Really Enjoyed This

Thanks for posting



one of my favorite Roy Clark

one of my favorite Roy Clark performances!

Impressive indeed

And fairly typical for the Baroque period... although Bach was certainly the best. Baroque music was composed for kings and courts and this remained pretty much the norm until Frederic Handel started giving performances for the public.... so it was composed to impress. This in strong contrast to the Classical period where music was composed to be played in your home because it becoming fairly common to have a piano in your home at that time. It is just my opinion but this is why I find the Classical period to be horribly unfulfilling. Every time I hear that Mozart was a master I start to grind my teeth. Not that he wasn't a master... it is just that he was composing Classical music. I am rambling... aren't I.

bigmikedude's picture

On the subject of unbelievable playing talent

Albert Lee is one who is right in the league of that harpsichord solo but on a guitar instead in other varieties of music. The guy is a jaw dropping prodigal guitar playing freak of nature. Any solo he does is like that. Most guitar players inspired me, Albert Lee made me quit and give up trying to duplicate him after 30 years. Lol. The guy is unbelievable.

If you thought you were a pretty good guitar player, get ready for a reality smack. Lol


that was really awesome.

This guy rocks! his skills are unbelievable.


That was amazing!

I am Ron Paul

I enjoyed that

Thanks for the post. The piano/keyboard is my favorite instrument. Although the somewhat "tinny" sound of the harpsichord isn't exactly my cup of tea, I appreciate the skill it takes to perform on that level.

Here's my favorite player, Marco Benevento performing a solo version of his song "Record Book". He normally plays in a trio with a bassist and a drummer, but every now and again performs solo, to as he puts it, "clear his mind".


Here's a version of the same song performed with his trio:

What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose; the right to create for
yourself the alternative of choice. Without the responsibility and exercise
of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.
-- Archibald Macleish

Actually, to be precise...

Monsieur Marchand had attempted his extemporaneous themes, to which I offered improvisation upon the same, ascending to double fugue with my own motif.

He, divining my intention to continue through to quadrupling the fugues, then fled!

Nevertheless, I thank you for helping keep this artful statement of Spiritual peace and acclamation, as well it's language, alive.

It's message of sublime peace together with adherence to duty, might inspire mankind to think of eternity and it's length when at once pretending to short lived temporal power and wealth. The former far overshadows the latter and makes the individual far more precious a king than the power of the state.


for the insight. :)

That solo was mind blowing,

That solo was mind blowing, but the room was a little stiff. I need to move around a bit.


Bump for music

Bump for Bach




that's some playing...

Bach is fantastic...

the Brandenburg Concertos superb!
Glad to see others appreciate such genius. Thanks for posting.

Bach was buried in an unmarked grave - it was Felix Mendelssohn who revived interest in his music. Hard to believe.

“Music’s only purpose should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.” J.S. Bach

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Wrong on one thing

You are thinking of Mozart, he was buried in an unmarked grave. :)


Was buried in a mass grave cause of the yellow fever

beautiful, thanks

And now for some music that's impossible to be played by a human being:


“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

this is the first time I have been downvoted

for posting music on DP.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

And not that easy (or desirable) to listen to either.,



Thanks for sharing