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1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Vie Nov 05, 2010 3:21 pm

87. Georg Friedric Handel -
Rodelinda (1725)



Recording

Title: Rodelinda
Performers: Simone Kermes, Marijana Mijanovic, Il Complesso Barroco
Director: Alan Curtis
Year: 2005
Length: 3 hours 20 minutes

Review

After the truly great Handel Opera that was Giulio Cesare, Rodelinda pales in comparison. It is firstly a much slower paced opera, while Cesare alternated sad arias with vengeance or bright arias, this is mostly composed of mopy arias.

The music is still very good, but it leads to a certain amount of boredom, there is only about 1 minute of chorus at the very end, and the palatial conflict theme is at times too convoluted to keep your attention.

On the other hand Handel has shortened the arias here, while making a bigger number of them, and this is as it should be, avoiding some of the fatigue of the 10 minute long arias in Cesare. But in the whole the Opera is slightly boring.

The music remains at a very high standard and this recording is a great one, the embellishments by the singers are perfect, so if you get any version get this one. I watched it on DVD in the William Christie directed version, but the singing, even with Andreas Scholl as Bertarido was not as interesting as in this recording.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

It was first performed at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket, London, on 13 February 1725. It was produced with the same singers as Tamerlano. There were 14 performances and it was repeated on 18 December 1725, and again on 4 May 1731. It was also performed in Hamburg. The first modern production was in Göttingen on 26 June 1920.

Dove Sei, Andreas Scholl in the Christie Production:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Vie Nov 05, 2010 3:25 pm

88. Antonio Vivaldi -
Four Seasons (1725)



Recording

Title: Le Quattro Stagioni
Performer: Concerto Italiano
Director: Rinaldo Alessandrini
Year: 2002
Length: 44 minutes

Review

We all knew this day had to come sooner of later... one of the most popular and overused pieces of music ever, the Four Seasons by Vivaldi... and here they are. Thankfully you lose the most famous of them right after the first movement and you move on to the rest of the set.

This is an amazing piece of composing, it is actually Programme Music at its best, each of the concertos is accompanied by a sonnet, probably written by Vivaldi himself which describe the feelings evoked by each movement, and it does a pretty job at it.

The recording is amazing, trying to breathe fresh live into an overused piece of music, and manages that very successfully. It is a particularly aggressive recording, the storm in summer almost kills you with the violence of it, and the quiet movements are quiet to the point of hard to hear at times, demanding your constant attention, and this only creates a sharper and more interesting contrast, making you listen to this with fresh ears. If you have only one recording of the Four Seasons, get this one, you'll get plenty of the other ones on commercials and films.

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve, Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Contest of Harmony and Invention). The first four concertos were designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing the Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi's original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form. In modern times, others have made transcriptions and arrangements to be performed on different instrumentation.

Anne-Sophie Mutter plays in her trailer of her CD the Four Seasons by Vivaldi with her group:


JM

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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Vie Nov 05, 2010 3:29 pm

89. Johann Sebastian Bach -
Violin Sonatas (c.1725)



Recording

Title: Violin Sonatas
Performer: Andrew Manze, Richard Egarr, Jaap ter Linden
Year: 1999
Length: 2 hours 20 minutes

Review

These are some lovely pieces, but unfortunately not the most exciting music Bach ever composed. Well, they are quite exciting in terms of some of the innovations that are introduced here, but not as much as something to listen attentively to.

The interplay of the three instruments, Violin, Harpsichord, and Viola da Gamba are the most interesting and innovative thing about the pieces, but the whole thing is very subdued, very gentle, even in the more animated movement. I am not certain if this is the fault of the performers or the composition.

The playing is amazing throughout, however, even the little play of having the famous toccata and fugue in d minor attributed to Bach opening the second CD, transcribed for solo violin works quite well. Very gentle music, but a bit over-sentimental and not particularly exciting.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Johann Sebastian Bach's contributions to music, or, to borrow a term popularised by his student Lorenz Christoph Mizler, his "musical science", are frequently bracketed with those by William Shakespeare in English literature and Isaac Newton in physics. Scientist and author Lewis Thomas once suggested how the people of Earth should communicate with the universe: "I would vote for Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging of course, but it is surely excusable to put the best possible face on at the beginning of such an acquaintance. We can tell the harder truths later."

BWV 1016, 3rd movement:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Vie Nov 05, 2010 9:35 pm

90. Johann Sebastian Bach -
Keyboard Partitas (1726-31)



Recording


Title: Six Partitas
Performer: Gustav Leonhardt
Year: 1986
Length: 1 hour 39 minutes

Review

The harpsichord has always been a slightly boring instrument to me. Nothing like the organ, mind you, but still quite dull. The fact that these partitas did not bore me immensely is a good sign, but I am more than ready for the invention of the piano, thank you very much.

Although the partitas did not bore me, they were not particularly exciting as well. This is still not the Harpsichord album with a capacity to beat Rameau, I am terribly sorry.

I love Bach, I really do, but I like him best doing his orchestral and choral stuff, or even violin stuff, that is where he shines the most. This is not to say that his Harpsichord compositions are not of an extremely high calibre, they are. But if I had to put a Bach recording on, this would not be it.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The Partitas, BWV 825–830, are a set of six harpsichord suites written by Johann Sebastian Bach, published from 1726 to 1730 as Clavier-übung I, and the first of his works to be published. They were the last of his keyboard suites to be composed, the others being the 6 English Suites, BWV 806-811 and the 6 French Suites, BWV 812-817.

Partita 4 for Harpsichord - Allemanda


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:31 pm

91. Johann Sebastian Bach -
Motets (1726-35)



Recording

Title: Motets BWV 225-231
Performers: Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists
Director: John Eliot Gardiner
Year: 1980
Length: 1 hour 40 minutes

Review

Ahh, this is more like it. Bach brings us yet again his prowess in composing for choirs. This is a collection of all the known Motets and motet like movements by Bach, and it is a really beautiful collection.

Bach manages to be alternatively sorrowful, bombastic, joyful and very touching. What I admire most about these pieces, however, is the sense of controlled chaos which seems to be almost always present in the music, as the voices interweave always leading to an harmonious result but many times sounding like it is all going to implode.

The recording is fantastic, with only very limited use of instrumentation, except where it is really called for, this makes for a perfect album if you are interested in the choral work more than the instrumental work, as they don't intrude on each other. This is a huge leap forward since the last album of Motets we have had on this list. Onwards to more Bach.

Final Grade


9/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Johann Sebastian Bach also wrote seven surviving works he called motets; Bach's motets were relatively long pieces in German on sacred themes for choir and basso continuo. Bach's motets are:

* BWV 225 Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (1726)
* BWV 226 Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf (1729)
* BWV 227 Jesu, meine Freude (?)
* BWV 228 Fürchte dich nicht (?)
* BWV 229 Komm, Jesu, komm! (1730 ?)
* BWV 230 Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden (?)
* BWV 231 Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren (?)

There is also a piece of a cantata that is classified as a motet.

* BWV 118 O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (1736-1737?)


The beginning of Jesu, Meine Freude:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:36 pm

92. Johann Sebastian Bach -
St. Matthew Passion (1727)



Recording

Title: Matthaus-Passion
Performers: Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra
Director: Karl Richter
Year: 1958
Length: 4 hours

Review

This is the longest of the two amazing Passions by Bach, and it is also the one I was most familiar with. It is a pretty long affair, but also a particularly enjoyable one, even the recitatives are somewhat more enjoyable than the ones in St. John's, as they are constantly interrupted by choruses.

And the choir work is one of the most amazing things here, Bach really exceeds himself here, but then the arias are equally perfect, and particularly in the second part of the Passion (in the third CD) there are a couple of truly spectacularly beautiful arias. Still, in every one of the three CDs there is something you kind of can't live without, from the opening of the Passion to the exquisite arias.

A truly spectacular piece of work which is made justice by the now quite old Karl Richter interpretation, all the epic power of the thing is preserved here, Matthew's Passion has all the power compared to the more transcendent St. John's. Great.

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Two distinctive aspects of Bach's setting spring from his other church endeavors. One is the double-choir format, which stems from his own double-choir motets and the many such motets from other composers with which he routinely started Sunday services. The other is the extensive use of chorales, which appear in standard four-part settings, as interpolations in arias, and as a cantus firmus in large polyphonic movements, notably “O Mensch, bewein dein’ Sünde groß,” the conclusion of the first half—a movement this work has in common with his St John Passion—and the opening coro, Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir Klagen, in which the soprano in ripieno crowns a colossal buildup of polyphonic and harmonic tension, singing a verse of the chorale O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig.

The surviving manuscripts consist of eight concertato scores, used for eight soloists who also served in the two choirs, a few extra "bit parts", and a part for the soprano in ripieno. Unlike Bach's Johannespassion, where parts are extant for ripieno doubling on the choruses, there is little evidence that additional singers beyond the soloists were used in the "choirs".

Koopman - Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Soloists:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:38 pm

93. George Friedric Handel -
Coronation Anthems (1727)



Recording

Title: Coronation Anthems
Performers: Choir of King's College Cambridge, The Academy of Ancient Music.
Director: Stephen Cleobury
Year: 2001
Length: 36 minutes

Review

Solely for the first track this recording is worth listening to. Zadok the Priest has of course been raped by modernity, being modified to be the Champions League theme (thankfully modified enough that it doesn't affect the original), and in Britain it is also the music for the adverts for P&O cruises.

Other than that, however it is one of the most spectacular openings of any music, the slow build-up of strings, followed by a little harmonic side-step, and then by the powerful opening chorus just makes for really exciting music.

The rest of the anthems are equally good, representing different aspects of the whole ceremony of the coronation, however, none of them beats Zadok, for cheer pomp and circumstance. And for that reason it has played in every British coronation since it was composed.

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Zadok the Priest is written for SS-AA-T-BB chorus and orchestra (two oboes, two bassoons, three trumpets, timpani, strings, continuo). The music builds up tension in its orchestral introduction, by layering semiquavers and quavers together, and then—when the choir comes in—a sense of drama by having the choir sing in the longer notes of crotchets and minims.

The middle section "And all the people rejoic'd, and said" is an imitatory dance in 3/4 time, mainly with the choir singing chordally and a dotted rhythm in the strings.

The final section "God save the King, etc" is a return to common time (4/4), with the "God Save the King" section heard chordally, interspersed with the Amens incorporating long semiquaver runs which are taken in turn through the six voice parts (SAATBB) with the other parts singing quaver chords accompanying it. The chorus ends with a largo Baroque cadence on "Alleluia".

Zadok the Priest, by Robert King and the King's Consort:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:40 pm

94. John Gay -
The Beggar's Opera (1728)



Recording

Title: John Gay's The Beggar's Opera
Performers: Jeremy Barlow, Sarah Walker, Bob Hoskins etc.
Director: Jeremy Barlow
Year: 1991
Length: 2 hours 30 minutes

Review

Well this is pretty funny in the context of the Handel's operas we've been having lately. John Gay's "opera" is a direct response to Handel's opera seria. This piece eschews recitative and works basically as a play with some singing in it, which makes it kind of hard to actually consider it an opera.

This piece works much better seen than played on CD, about 70% of it is talking, this gives the sense of a musical play more so than an opera, still it is pretty interesting.

That said it will not be a CD I'll be putting on again, I would actually be more likely to see it again than play it. It just doesn't work as an exclusively aural piece, this is a play. But if you are a fan of Handel's operas it is an essential and very funny farce. It is of course also a social farce and not just a musical one, the themes of opera seria are transposed to the lowest criminals, prostitutes and beggars.

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The Beggar's Opera is ballad opera, a satiric play using some of the conventions of opera, but without the recitative. It is one of the watershed plays in Augustan drama. The lyrics of the airs in the play are set to popular broadsheet ballads, opera arias, church hymns and folk tunes of the time. The original run of The Beggar's Opera, of 62 successive performances, was the longest run in the theatre up to that time.

Mrs. Peachum:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:44 pm

95. Johann Sebastian Bach -
French Suites (1730)



Recording

Title: French Suites
Performer: Davitt Moroney
Year: 1990
Length: 2 hours 20 minutes

Review


Another set of Harpsichord suites by Bach, basically if you liked the English Suites you will probably like these equally. They are pretty much a continuation of the same kind of music through all of it, although I might marginally prefer the French Suites.

This recording is an interesting one in that it contains BWV 818a and 819a which are frequently found in the same publications as the French Suites proper, and they fit nicely in the set, and even if less well-known are equally as good.

As I have already said repeatedly, I am ready for the invention of the Piano, Bach hasn't really challenged my indifference for the Harpsichord in the same way Rameau did, for example, so it still leaves me pretty cold.

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

The French Suites, BWV 812-817, refer to six suites written by Johann Sebastian Bach for the clavier (harpsichord or clavichord). They were later given the name 'French' (first recorded usage by Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg in 1762) as a contrast to the English Suites (whose title is likewise a later appellation). The name was popularised by Bach's biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel, who, in 1802, claimed they were written in the French style. This claim, however, is inaccurate: like Bach's other suites, they follow a largely Italian convention. Two additional suites, one in A minor (BWV 818), the other in E-flat Major (BWV 819), are linked to the familiar six in some manuscripts.

Aria from Suite number 2:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:46 pm

96. Georg Philipp Telemann -
Paris Quartets (1730)



Recording

Title: Paris Quartets 1-12
Performers: Barthold, Sigiswald and Wieland Kuijken and Gustav Leonhardt
Year: 1997
Length: 3 hours 14 minutes (3 CDs)

Review

Telemann is one of those people for whom the expression 'Even a stopped clock is right twice a day' was invented. This man produced so much music, at such a fast rate that it was invariably not amazing.

However, that same fact led to the production of some winners, and this is one of those. These quartets are delightful pieces, and the instrument that really stands out is the flute, with a particularly virtuosistic role in the whole thing. The Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord work mainly as continuo but have their own moments to shine.

What is most interesting about Telemann here in terms of style is the fact that this is not a recognisably German composer in these pieces, there are elements of Italian, even Polish music as well as the obvious French, they are called Paris Quartets after all and most of the track titles are in French. Sprightly music in a great recording by a very good ensemble.

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

A little known fact about Telemann is his proclivity for pillowbiting. This is supported by the following excerpt from a memoir of Count Erdmoir II in whom the composer had found a steady patron. “He went through pillows like they were sunflower seeds. Just chew ‘em up and spit ‘em right out. Sometimes ten at a time. In fact, that’s how the German textile industry really came into its own. Making pillows for Telemann.”

I shit you not. It seems someone might have vandalised Telemann's entry.

Chaconne from the 12th, they added a lute making it a quintet, oh well:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:50 pm

97. Georg Philipp Telemann -
Tafelmusik (1733)



Recording

Title: Tafelmusik
Performer: Musica Antiqua Koln
Director: Reinhard Goebel
Year: 1988
Length: 4 hours 16 minutes (4 CDs)

Review

Here we are with the last Telemann recording on the list, which for a guy who composed so much isn't really a lot. But to be honest, I think it is quite enough, Telemann has a problem, he is not immediately recognisable as himself, his style is not marked enough to make you immediately think "Ah! Telemann!", you have to know the specific piece to identify it.

The same is not true of the great late baroque composers, Handel, Bach and Vivaldi are all immediately recognisable, Telemann seems to use a bit of everything ending up sounding like 'generic baroque'. This is not to say, however, that Tafelmusik is a bad collection of music, in fact it is pretty good, it is especially good in the sense that there is a lot of variety here.

Each of the three productions which constitute Tafelmusik are composed of a suite-like overture, followed by a quartet followed by a concert, a trio, a solo and finally a conclusion harking back to the overture. This allows Telemann to experiment with a lot of different instrumentation, and the listener not to be bored, because there is something different around the corner. But unfortunately, even if it is quite pretty music, with a very varied style, it does not seem to have enough character to make an indelible impression on the listener. Telemann was doing it for the cash, and you can kind of tell.

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Tafelmusik (German: literally, "table-music") is a term denoting music from the 16th and 17th centuries which was used as background music for feasts, banquets and other outdoor events. Often the term was also used as a title for collections of music, some of which was intended to be so used.

Some of the most significant composers of Tafelmusik included Johann Schein, whose Banchetto musicale of 1617 acquired considerable fame, and Michael Praetorius, who wrote about the phenomenon of Tafelmusik in his Syntagma musicum of 1619. Music from Schein's collection is still performed by early music ensembles with some regularity.

The Tafelmusik or Musique de Table by the Baroque composer George Philipp Telemann is perhaps his most celebrated collection of music. Composed in 1733, Telemann's Tafelmusik has been compared as a collection to the renowned Brandenburg Concertos of Johann Sebastian Bach in clearly demonstrating the composer’s supreme skill in handling a diversity of musical genres and a variety of instruments.

Tafelmusik, Ouverture Nr.2
Bach Consort Wien
Dir. and Cello: Rubén Dubrovsky:



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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 1:54 pm

98. Johann Sebastian Bach -
Christmas Oratorio (1734-35)



Recording


Title: Weihnachtsoratorium. Christmas Oratorio
Performer: Collegium Aureum
Director: Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden
Year: 1973
Length: 2 hours 40 minutes (3 CDs)

Review


Again we have a choral work by Bach, this time an oratorium, and it is also a pretty good one, but again not on the scale of the passions. In the present day we all seem to give a lot more importance to the Christmas period than the Easter one, but in religious terms what happens is very much the opposite, and that might explain why this isn't as inspired as the Passions.

Bach is of course still a prize composer and the six cantatas that compose the oratorio are all pretty good. The fact that it is divided into six cantatas kind of keeps the attention of the listener, the different cantatas have different moods, themes and sound quite different.

So, not the best of Bach, but still pretty great Bach. listen to it for the great choral ensembles more than anything.

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia


From wikipedia:

It is likely that the text was written by Picander. It is in six parts, each part being a cantata intended for performance on one of the Twelve Days of Christmas (although the work is nowadays often performed as a whole). It is narrated by a Tenor Evangelist, and also makes extensive use of Lutheran hymns.

The first cantata, for the first day of Christmas, focuses on Mary, (sung by the alto) in the period around the birth of Jesus; the second, for the second day of Christmas, the appearance of the angel to the shepherds; the third, for the third day of Christmas, the visit of the shepherds to Jesus in the stable; the fourth, for New Year's Day, the Circumcision of Christ; the fifth, for the Sunday after New Year's Day, the arrival of the Three Wise Men at Herod's palace in Jerusalem; and the last, for the Feast of the Epiphany, the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem and the Flight into Egypt.

Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 - Part I 'For the First Day of Christmas' - Mvt. I
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 3:12 pm

99. George Friedric Handel -
Ariodante (1735)



Recording

Title: Ariodante
Performers: Anne Sofie Von Otter, Lynne Dawson, Musiciens du Louvre etc.
Director: Mark Minkowski
Year: 1997
Length: 2 hours 40 minutes

Review


Handel's operas are all quite interesting, but some are a bit hit and miss, and none of them on this list until now has hit the greatness of Giulio Cesare. Ariodante is more on the level with Rodelinda than Cesare, which was such an amazing opera.

Actually Ariodante is possibly slightly more interesting than Rodelinda, the character of the play is less dark, the resolution is faster and there is quite deep exploration of the characters' psyche. Even so the resolution is too fast, feeling quite rushed while the first act does little more than introducing the characters, feeling too long.

So there is a problem of pacing in the opera, Handel has shortened the arias considerably with very few going over the 6 minute mark, and while this is good considering they are da capo arias that tend to sprawl, it kind of limits their emotional impact on the listener. Still a pretty good opera, but nothing to write home about.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

The opera was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. Ariodante opened Handel's first season at Covent Garden and successfully competed against the rival Opera of the Nobility, supported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal. The opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden.

Like Handel's other works in the opera seria genre, Ariodante, despite its initial success, fell into oblivion for more than two hundred years. An edition of the score was published in the early 1960s, from the Hallische Händel Ausgabe. In the 1970s, the work began to be revived, and has come to be considered one of Handel's finest operas.

Trailer for English Touring opera's production of Handel's Ariodante:

Ariodante Trailer from Thalia Chan on Vimeo.


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 3:26 pm

100. George Friedric Handel -
Organ Concertos (1735-51)



Recording

Title: Organ Concertos
Performers: The Brandenburg Consort, Paul Nicholson (organ), Frances Kelly (harp)
Director: Roy Goodman
Year: 1996
Length: 2 hours 34 minutes

Review

These Handel concertos make organ bearable to me, while usually it is one of most reviled instruments when it is being played against a tutti it feels much better, there is none of the usual dullness associated with the organ and these end up being quite good concertos.

If you are like me and aren't the greatest organ fan this is definitely something you should check out, it won't change your ideas about what it sounds like solo but it will make it bearable.

Some of the pieces here are particularly interesting, the first movement of the Harp concerto on the collection is perhaps one of the most famous harp pieces ever, even if it now sounds like hotel lobby music. The concerto that follows it D Minor, Op.7 no.4 has a particularly classical opening adagio, which sounds quite ahead of its time. An impressive collection based around my most reviled instrument of all, so I can't give it a 9 or 10 but a very solid 8.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Like all types of instrumental concertos, an organ concerto is a piece of music for an pipe organ soloist with an orchestra. The form's heyday was in the 18th century, when composers such as George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach among others wrote organ concertos, with a small orchestra, and solo parts which rarely call for the organ pedal board. Although the organ concerto repertoire was hardly expanded during the Classical and Romantic periods, there are some 20th- and 21st-century examples, of which the concerto by Francis Poulenc has entered the repertoire, and is quite frequently played.

The organ concerto form is not usually taken to include orchestral works that call for an organ used as an extra orchestral section, examples of which include the Third Symphony of Camille Saint-Saëns, Gustav Holst's The Planets or Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra.

Hotel Lobby Music extraordinarie, the Harp concerto Op.4 No 6:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 3:45 pm

101. Jean-Philippe Rameau -
Les Indes Galantes (1735)



Recording

Title: Les Indes Galantes
Performers: Les Arts Florissants
Director: William Christie
Year: 1990
Length: 3 hours 20 minutes

Review

I am still debating with myself how much I like this opera, after having heard it three times and seen it on DVD I am still uncertain. There certainly are problems with it, but then the good bits are so good that it is impossible to dislike it.

Rameau is a radically different Opera composer to Handel for example, the arias never take as long, he makes great use of choirs and he inserts dances and ballets into the opera. The problem is that the opera is divided into 5 parts, a prologue and 4 entrées, which are like acts with independent stories. The fact that each act has a story makes them all pretty crap plot-wise, with very fast exposition of the problem followed by even faster resolution to leave some time for the amazing choirs and dance pieces. This is definitely a move from Opera as theatre to opera as visual and auditory spectacle.

Then even the way the plot is exposed (mostly in long recitatives at the beginning of each act) is not the most attractive one, but when the music kicks into gear, and Rameau explores the amazing set-pieces for each act it is so joyous and accomplished that you forgive the sins of the opera. Still, it is an immensely enjoyable but very far from perfect piece of music, you feel that Rameau is not that comfortable with having to put dialogue across, and feels much better when he is given some musical freedom, so he gets done with the recitatives and does his thing brilliantly.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

At the revival of Les Indes galantes on 10 March 1736, the 30th performance of the work, a Fourth entrée was added, with Mme Pélissier as Zima, Jelyotte as Damon and Dun as don Alvar. The complete work was played for the 185th and last time in 1761.

Nevertheless, parts of it were revived from time to time: the Prologue in 1762 (20 performances) and 1771 (26 performances); the Entrée des Incas in 1771 (11 performances) and the Entrée des Sauvages in 1773 (22 performances). Thereafter, the Académie Royale (Paris Opéra) abandoned this work for 179 years. Nevertheless, the Opéra-Comique did present the Third entrée, the Entrée des Fleurs, with a new orchestration by Paul Dukas, on 30 May 1925, with Yvonne Brothier as Zaïre, Antoinette Reville as Fatima, Miguel Villabella as Tacmas and Emile Rousseau as Ali, and Maurice Frigara conducting.

Finally, there was a reprise at the Opéra itself, the Salle Garnier of the Académie Nationale de Musique et Danse, with the Dukas orchestration supplemented for the other entrées with music by Henri Busser, the 186th performance, on 18 June 1952, with sets by Arbus, Jacques Dupont, Wakhévitch, Carzou, Fost, Moulène and Chapelain-Midy for a production by the Académie's own director, Maurice Lehmann.

The very danceable Danse du Grand Calumet de la Paix followed by Forets Plaisibles:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 4:30 pm

102. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi -
Stabat Mater (1736)



Recording

Title: Stabat Mater/ Salve Regina
Performers: Jorg Waschinski, Michael Chance
Director: Helmut Muller-Bruhl
Year: 2003
Length: 43 minutes

Review


Now we go back to religious music after a little hiatus, but there is some difference to it here, one can tell that Pergolesi is trying to do something different here, but not different enough.

Pergolesi brings elements of opera and profane music into the world of sacred vocal works, it is an interesting transition that makes this recording a worthy one, but then it is a bit top heavy with a great first movement, and lags quite a bit in the middle.

Pergolesi died when he was my age, 26, and had he lived many good things could have come from him, this is a promising work, but nothing that blows me out of the water. Still, an interesting and influential work that is worth listening to more than having in your library.

Final Grade


7/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Pergolesi also wrote sacred music, including a Mass in F. It is his Stabat Mater (1736), however, for male soprano, male alto and orchestra, which is his best known sacred work. It was commissioned by the Confraternità dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo (the monks of the brotherhood of San Luigi di Palazzo) as a replacement for the rather old-fashioned one by Alessandro Scarlatti for identical forces which had been performed each Good Friday in Naples. Whilst classical in scope, the opening section of the setting demonstrates Pergolesi's mastery of the Italian baroque 'durezze e ligature' style, characterized by numerous suspensions over a faster, conjunct bassline. The work remained popular, becoming the most frequently printed work of the 18th century, and being arranged by a number of other composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, who used it as the basis for his psalm Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083.

Stabat Mater (1st movement):


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 09, 2010 4:39 pm

103. Jean-Phillipe Rameau -
Castor et Pollux (1737 rev. 1754)



Recording


Title: Castor & Pollux
Performer: Les Arts Florissants
Director: William Christie
Year: 1992
Length: 2 hours 48 minutes

Review

Another opera by Rameau, and this one was one that I didn't get the chance to see, I did read the libretto while listening to it but it is not the same thing. William Christie as always does an excellent job in this opera taking advantage of the extreme drama of Rameau's choirs.

Still, it is not one of the most exciting operas to pass through here, some of the recitatives are very extensive, particularly in Act IV which might make for interesting watching but to listen to it is a bit dull.

There are some quite innovative choirs in this, like the very impressive funeral one at the start of Act II or the powerful Choir Of Demons in Act III or the amazing Choir of Planets at the end of Act V. But these work very much as highlights, Rameau's arias are never of the standard of Handel's, but Rameau compensates for it with the amazing Choirs which are absent from Handel.

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Castor et Pollux appeared in 1737 while the controversy ignited by Rameau's first opera Hippolyte et Aricie was still raging. Conservative critics held the works of the "father of French opera", Jean-Baptiste Lully, to be unsurpassable. They saw Rameau's radical musical innovations as an attack on all they held dear and a war of words broke out between these Lullistes and the supporters of the new composer, the so-called Rameauneurs. This controversy ensured that the premiere of Castor would be a noteworthy event. As it turned out, the opera was a success. It received twenty performances in late 1737 but did not reappear until the substantially revised version took to the stage in 1754. This time there were thirty performances and ten in 1755. Graham Sadler writes that "It was [...] Castor et Pollux that was regarded as Rameau's crowning achievement, at least from the time of its first revival (1754) onwards."

Revivals followed in 1764, 1765, 1772, 1773, 1778, 1779 and 1780. The taste for Rameau's operas did not long outlive the French Revolution but extracts from Castor et Pollux were still being performed in Paris as late as 1792. During the nineteenth century, the work did not appear on the French stage, though its fame survived the general obscurity into which Rameau's works had sunk; Hector Berlioz admiringly mentioned the aria Tristes apprêts. The first modern revival took place at the Schola Cantorum in Paris in 1903. Among the audience was Claude Debussy.


Always trust geeks to give you something interesting, someone made a video of Final Fantasy X-2 mixed with Que Tout Gemisse, the funeral choir from the first act:


JM

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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 12:05 pm

104. George Friedric Handel -
Serse (1738)



Recording

Title: Serse
Performers: Les Arts Florissants, Anne Sofie Von Otter, et al.
Director: William Christie
Year: 2003
Length: 2 hours 40 minutes

Review

Another Handel Opera, the last one on the list, and another version by William Christie, undeniable king of Baroque opera. Still, Serse, despite its occasional moments of brilliance does not stand out enough in Handel's repertoire to be up there with Cesare.

Serse starts very well indeed with a couple of great moments in Fronde Tenere and Ombra Mai Fu but then as the music develops there are little more interesting moments, although there are telling differences in this opera. Handel is most obviously taking notes from people like Rameau, his arias are considerably shorter, gone are the 9 minute 'da capos', some of the arias do not even repeat the first part at the end.

Then Handel is raising his number of choirs in an opera from 1 at the end, and 2 at most as in Cesare to having at least one in each Act and two in the last Act, for a grand total of 4 choral scenes! This is unprecedented in Handel. That and the inclusion of a purely comic relief character like Elviro show a more populist move from Handel. And then the plot is the usual non-sense of mistaken identities and silliness, even if it is more comedic than usual.

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

The opening aria, "Ombra mai fu", a love song sung by Xerxes to a tree (Platanus orientalis), is set to one of Handel's best-known melodies, and is often played in an orchestral arrangement, known as Handel's "largo" (despite being marked "larghetto" in the score).

Frondi Tenere followed by Ombra Mai Fu, from here on out it's all downhill:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 12:08 pm

105. Johann Sebastian Bach -
Harpsichord Concertos (c.1739)[/b
]

[b]
Recording


Title: Concertos
Performers: The English Consort
Director/Soloist: Trevor Pinnock
Year: 1979-84
Length: 3 hours 20 minutes (First 3 CDs of 5 CD box set)

Review

We might have heard several of these 13 harpsichord concertos before in other ways on this list, in fact all but one concerto here are transcriptions from other works to fit the harpsichord concerto format. So you get bits from the Brandenburg Concertos and Violin Concertos as well as other works.

Interestingly Bach seems to extend the pieces for work with the harpsichord giving them a different dimension, both in length and in how it is played. It ends up being a superb collection of very interesting concerts, sometimes for 1 harpsichord but sometimes for 2, 3 or even and most spectacularly 4 harpsichords!

The performances are flawless in an early collection of period instrument music by Trevor Pinnock making the music exciting and accessible, unfortunately Bach did not compose so much secular music like this as he did sacred music, but he was a talented harpsichord composer indeed and with the addition of an orchestra of which he was a master you get some very good listening indeed.

Final Grade

9/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

From 1729 to 1741, Bach was director of the Collegium musicum in Leipzig, a student musical society, founded by Georg Philipp Telemann in 1703 and run before Bach by Balthasar Schott. The Collegium musicum often gave performances at Zimmermann's coffee-house. It was for these occasions that Bach produced his harpsichord concertos, among the first concertos for keyboard instrument ever written. It is thought that the multiple harpsichord concertos were heard earlier than those for one harpsichord, perhaps because his sons C. P. E. Bach and W. F. Bach (both excellent harpsichord players) were living at home until 1733 and 1734, respectively. It is likely that Johann Ludwig Krebs, who studied with Bach until 1735, also played harpsichord in the Collegium musicum.

The concertos for one harpsichord, BWV 1052-1059, survive in an autograph score (now in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek Berlin, Mus. ms. Bach P 234) which is not a fair copy but a draft, or working score, and has been dated to about 1738. Bach may of course have played the works much earlier, using the parts from an original melody-instrument concerto and extemporising a suitable harpsichord version while playing.

The works BWV 1052-1057 were intended as a set of six, shown in the manuscript in Bach's traditional manner beginning with 'J.J.' (Jesu Juva) and ending with 'Finis. S. D. Gl.' (Soli Deo Gloria). Aside from the Brandenburg concertos, it is the only such collection of concertos in Bach's oeuvre. The concerto BWV 1058 and fragment BWV 1059 are contained at the end of the score, and are an earlier attempt at a set of (headed J.J.) which was abandoned for one reason or another.

Bach's harpsichord concertos were, until recently, often underestimated by scholars, who did not have the convenience of hearing the benefits that historically informed performance has brought to works such as these; Albert Schweitzer wrote 'The transcriptions have often been prepared with almost unbelievable cursoriness and carelessness. Either time was pressing or he was bored by the matter.' Recent research has demonstrated quite the reverse to be true; he transferred solo parts to the harpsichord with typical skill and variety. Bach's interest in the harpsichord concerto form can be inferred from the fact that he arranged every suitable melody-instrument concerto as a harpsichord concerto, and while the harpsichord versions have been preserved the same is not true of the melody-instrument versions.

Here's the concerto for four harpsichords played on the piano... there were no pianos in Bach's time so it annoys me a bit, but it was the best video on youtube, although you can get most of the Pinnock versions there as well, only with no image:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 12:12 pm

106. Georg Friedric Handel -
Concerti Grossi, op.6 (1739)



Recording


Title: Concerti Grossi, Op.6
Performers: Academy Of Ancient Music
Director: Andrew Manze
Year: 1997
Length: 2 hours 20 minutes

Review


Despite all of Handel's musical brilliance nothing in this collection of Concerti Grossi leads me to think that Britain was not a bit of a backwater in musical terms at the time. These Concerti Grossi really show little evolution since the time of Corelli at the beginning of the century.

Handel's individual brilliance is however quite apparent here, but he does nothing much different, He keeps hanging to the old structure of concertos without following the much more current by this time Fast-Slow-Fast Vivaldian structure, but the concertos are saved by his capacity as a composer, there is some very beautiful music here.

Still nothing that will really blow anyone out of the water or which hasn't been done before. Handel is really quite a conservative composer, a brilliant one, but one that sticks to his formulas pretty well. The same can be seen in his operas, after Cesare, the most brilliant of all Opera Serias he goes on to reproduce the same formula less successfully ad infinitum with some slight changes along the way. These Concerti Grossi could easily have been composed 20 years earlier. Pleasant but not amazing.

Final Grade


8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Handel has generally been accorded high esteem by fellow composers, both in his own time and since. Bach apparently said "[Handel] is the only person I would wish to see before I die, and the only person I would wish to be, were I not Bach." Mozart is reputed to have said of him, "Handel understands effect better than any of us. When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt", and to Beethoven he was "the master of us all". The latter emphasized above all the simplicity and popular appeal of Handel's music when he said, "Go to him to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means."

Promotional video for Il Giardino Armonico's Handel 12 Concerti grossi, op.6 album:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 1:43 pm

107. Johann Sebastien Bach -
The Well-Tempered Clavier (1740-42)



Recording

Title: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier 1 and 2
Performer: Gustav Leonhardt
Year: 1968,73
Length: 4 hours 20 minutes (4 CDs in two separate boxes)

Review


There are some pieces of art in all kinds of arts in which you can recognise the importance and greatness of the thing, while at the same time having a guttural aversion to it. Such is my case with the Well-Tempered Clavier.

Firstly, as I have said before, solo harpsichord is second only to the organ in boring me, of course some pieces are the exception and I frequently feel like listening to Rameau's Cyclopes. But this, despite its formal and technical innovation bores me. Particularly when you have to listen to 4 hours of it. It is best digested in small doses.

Still, Bach was not the first to compose Harpsichord pieces in all 24 possible notes but he was the first influential composer to do it and that makes this an impressive and more than that influential and extremely important work, definitely a piece of musical history being made here, and I recognise that... but then, it bores me.

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia


Although the Well-Tempered Clavier was not the first pantonal (using all keys) composition, it was by far the most influential. Beethoven, who made remote modulations central to his music, was heavily influenced by the Well-Tempered Clavier, since performing it in concerts in his youth was part of his star attraction and reputation. The WTC (Well-Tempered Clavier) does not include very remote modulations but instead demonstrates the ability of a single instrument in tempered tuning to play in all 24 keys without having to be tuned to new fundamentals. Further reaching modulations to remote harmonic regions were mostly associated with later Romantic and post-Romantic music, ultimately leading to the functional extension in jazz harmony. The atonal system of the 20th century, although still taking the 12-tone chromatic scale (that Bach used) as a foundation, effectively did away with musical keys altogether.

The Well Tempered Clavier Book 2 - Prelude e Fugue In A, BWV 888:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 1:48 pm

108. Domenico Scarlatti -
Keyboard Sonatas (1740s)



Recording


Title: Complete Keyboard sonatas Vol.5
Performer: Benjamin Firth
Year: 1999
Length: 1 hours 12 minutes

Review


This was a pretty amazing piece of music, the CD consists of a selection of some of Scarlatti's 555 sonatas, and they are all not only amazing but incredibly ahead of their time. Interestingly for this list, which prides itself on trying to be quite historically faithful and with good reason, these pieces are played on the piano. But then they sound so modern that it works, they sound like they were always meant for the piano, which they weren't.

Interestingly Scarlatti was quite isolated from the rest of the musical world, being in the Iberian Peninsula for most of his life, first in Portugal and then in Spain. Scarlatti started doing something that you would only hear about being done in a large extent with the Romantics: including inspirations of folk music in his piano compositions. This leads to some very unique and beautiful music. Scarlatti is very much beyond the constrictions of the Baroque period.

This has been the most exciting discovery lately on this list, the music is pretty amazing, it reminds me of Schubert at times, which is pretty much impossible but it is played in a sensitive way that really highlights Scarlatti's innovation and brilliance as a composer.

Final Grade


10/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

Only a small fraction of Scarlatti's compositions were published during his lifetime; Scarlatti himself seems to have overseen the publication in 1738 of the most famous collection, his 30 Essercizi ("Exercises"). These were rapturously received throughout Europe, and were championed by the foremost English writer on music of the eighteenth century, Dr. Charles Burney.

The many sonatas which were unpublished during Scarlatti's lifetime have appeared in print irregularly in the two and a half centuries since. Scarlatti has, however, attracted notable admirers, including Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, Heinrich Schenker and Vladimir Horowitz. The Russian school of pianism has particularly championed the sonatas.

Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas are single movements, mostly in binary form, and are almost all intended for the harpsichord (there are four for organ, and a few where Scarlatti suggests a small instrumental group). Modern pianoforte technique owes much to their influence. Some of them display harmonic audacity in their use of discords, and also unconventional modulations to remote keys.

Other distinctive attributes of Scarlatti's style are the following:

* The influence of Iberian (Portuguese and Spanish) folk music. An example is Scarlatti's use of the Phrygian mode and other tonal inflections more or less alien to European art music. Also some of Scarlatti's figurations and dissonances are guitar-like.

* A formal device in which each half of a sonata leads to a pivotal point, which the Scarlatti scholar Ralph Kirkpatrick termed "the crux", and which is sometimes underlined by a pause or fermata. Before the crux Scarlatti sonatas often contain their main thematic variety, and after the crux the music makes more use of repetitive figurations as it modulates away from the home key (in the first half) or back to the home key (in the second half).

Horowitz plays Sonata L.33 :


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 1:51 pm

109. Johann Sebastian Bach -
Goldberg Variations (1741)



Recording

Title: Variations Goldberg BWV 988
Performer: Pierre Hantai
Year: 2003
Length: 1 hour 18 minutes

Review

The Goldberg Variations have for a long time been one of my favourite, if not my favourite piece by Bach. Weirdly enough I had never listened to them the way they were meant to be played: i.e. the Harpsichord, I had listened to several versions on the Piano and even Organ.

While I still prefer the sound of the piano to that of the harpsichord, I have to defer to historical correctness and the vision of Bach, and that was to have this music on the harpsichord, so even if it is an instrument that I am not a big fan of I understand, respect and agree with the decision to chose the best recording of it as being one on the harpsichord.

And it is a great recording, Hantai manages to drawn the best possible performance from his instrument, and the variations are such immediately attractive tracks that he could have been playing them on the spoons and it would still be great. If you don't know the variations this is the time to start knowing them. Get to it.

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia


From Wikipedia:

The tale of how the variations came to be composed comes from a biography of Bach written by Johann Nikolaus Forkel:

[For this work] we have to thank the instigation of the former Russian ambassador to the electoral court of Saxony, Count Kaiserling, who often stopped in Leipzig and brought there with him the aforementioned Goldberg, in order to have him given musical instruction by Bach. The Count was often ill and had sleepless nights. At such times, Goldberg, who lived in his house, had to spend the night in an antechamber, so as to play for him during his insomnia. ... Once the Count mentioned in Bach's presence that he would like to have some clavier pieces for Goldberg, which should be of such a smooth and somewhat lively character that he might be a little cheered up by them in his sleepless nights. Bach thought himself best able to fulfill this wish by means of Variations, the writing of which he had until then considered an ungrateful task on account of the repeatedly similar harmonic foundation. But since at this time all his works were already models of art, such also these variations became under his hand. Yet he produced only a single work of this kind. Thereafter the Count always called them his variations. He never tired of them, and for a long time sleepless nights meant: 'Dear Goldberg, do play me one of my variations.' Bach was perhaps never so rewarded for one of his works as for this. The Count presented him with a golden goblet filled with 100 louis-d'or. Nevertheless, even had the gift been a thousand times larger, their artistic value would not yet have been paid for.

Forkel wrote his biography in 1802, more than 60 years after the events related, and its accuracy has been questioned. The lack of dedication on the title page of the "Aria with Diverse Variations" also makes the tale of the commission unlikely. Goldberg's age at the time of publication (14 years) has also been cited as grounds for doubting Forkel's tale, although it must be said that he was known to be an accomplished keyboardist and sight-reader. In a recent book-length study, keyboardist and Bach scholar Peter Williams contends that the Forkel story is entirely spurious.

Pierre Hantai plays the Aria:


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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 3:41 pm

110. Georg Firedric Handel -
Messiah (1742)



Recording

Title: Messiah
Performers: Clare College Choir, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Director: René Jacobs
Year: 2006
Length: 2 hours 20 minutes (2 CDs)

Review

This has been my favourite baroque sacred music piece since I was a small child, I can sing through most of it (badly), and that is a testimony to how "catchy" the music is. This is Handel at his best, comparable to how good he was in Caesar, songs that stick with you with a great epic feel to them.

The concept of the thing is the story of Christ divided into three sections, the first one concerns the advent and birth of Christ, the second the Passion and the third has to do with revelation and second-coming. One of the best things about it is how Handel manages to change the emotional sound of the work to fit these three events.

One piece here is particularly well-known, the Hallelujah is one of the most famous pieces of choral music ever, but it has also been overused and loses its potency because of that, but the music here is indeed potent, and listening to the whole thing you get a perspective on the bits that you already know and are bound to discover some pearls. Jacobs recording emphasises the best aspects of the composition, this is a grandiose recording which suits the music perfectly. Highly Recommended.

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

In the summer of 1741 Handel, at the peak of his musical prowess but depressed and in debt, began setting Charles Jennens' Biblical libretto to music at his usual breakneck speed. In just 24 days, Messiah was complete. Like many of Handel's compositions, it borrows liberally from earlier works, both his own and those of others. Tradition has it that Handel wrote the piece while staying as a guest at Jennens' country house (Gopsall Hall) in Leicestershire, England, although no evidence exists to confirm this. It is thought that the work was completed inside a garden temple, the ruins of which have been preserved and can be visited.

It was premiered during the following season, in the spring of 1742, as part of a series of charity concerts in Neal's Music Hall on Fishamble Street near Dublin's Temple Bar district. Right up to the day of the premiere, Messiah was troubled by production difficulties and last-minute rearrangements of the score, and the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Jonathan Swift, placed some pressure on the premiere and had it cancelled entirely for a period. He demanded that it be retitled A Sacred Oratorio and that revenue from the concert be promised to local hospitals for the mentally ill. The premiere happened on 13 April at the Music Hall in Dublin, and Handel led the performance from the harpsichord with Matthew Dubourg conducting the orchestra. Dubourg was an Irish violinist, conductor and composer. He had worked with Handel as early as 1719 in London.

Hallelujah by Helmut Rilling , Bach-Collegium Stuttgart (1991) :


Handel Messiah -"Hallelujah"
Cargado por cho2000. - Explorar otros videos musicales.

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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

Mensaje  JM el Miér Nov 10, 2010 3:47 pm

111. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach -
Keyboard Sonatas (1742-44)



Recording

Title: Prussian Sonatas, Wurttemberg Sonatas
Performer: Bob Von Asperen
Year: 1977-79
Length: 2 hours 15 minutes (3 CDs)

Review

CPE Bach shows us a marked difference from his fathers use of the keyboard, this is harpsichord really on the edges of the classical period, it is almost there, but still recognisably baroque, even if it is for the simple fact that it is being played on an harpsichord.

That being said, it is still not spectacularly fascinating, but it is quite good. His father isn't much of an innovator, but CPE is much more so. But it is still more harpsichord, and it is kind of driving me crazy, there is one more solo harpsichord recording on the list then we are done with it.

So, yeah it's a welcome development of keyboard music and a kind of essential composition for that, but still too dull to be a real highlight of this list, it is more modern but not as good as the Goldberg variations.

Final Grade

7/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was born in Weimar, Germany.

When he was ten years old he entered the St. Thomas School at Leipzig, where his father had become cantor in 1723, and continued his education as a student of jurisprudence at the universities of Leipzig (1731) and of Frankfurt (Oder) (1735). In 1738, at the age of 24, he took his degree, but at once abandoned his prospects of a legal career and determined to devote himself to music.

A few months later (armed with a recommendation by Sylvius Leopold Weiss) he obtained an appointment in the service of Frederick II of Prussia ("Frederick the Great"), the then crown prince, and upon Frederick's accession in 1740 Carl Philipp became a member of the royal orchestra. He was by this time one of the foremost clavier-players in Europe, and his compositions, which date from 1731, include about thirty sonatas and concert pieces for harpsichord and clavichord.

In Berlin he continued to write numerous musical pieces for solo keyboard, including a series of character pieces- the so-called "Berlin Portraits" including La Caroline.

His reputation was established by the two sets of sonatas which he dedicated respectively to Frederick the Great and to the grand duke of Württemberg; in 1746 he was promoted to the post of chamber musician, and for twenty-two years shared with Carl Heinrich Graun, Johann Joachim Quantz, and Johann Gottlieb Naumann the continued favour of the king.

Norberto Broggini plays the 1st movement from the Prussian Sonata n° 1 by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach on the Unfretted Clavichord by Johann Adolph Hass (Hamburg, 1763) of the Russel collection at the St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh.


JM

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Re: 1001 classical works (The best) II- 1700-1750

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