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Thread: interesting topic-Romantic vs Baroque

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    I saw a thread in 8notes.com recently regarding how music is 'so much not' emotional during Baroque peroid, whereby composers had only, and therefore wrote only tunes. And these tunes are not intense or emotional unlike Romantic works. Well, I think it's a Really Wrong viewpoint. What do u think? This's an interesting thread.
    I think Baroque music is often alot more emotional than Romantic pieces, but it`s actually of a different `package`. They`re emotions within a tightly integrated structure, so they feel more contained but at the same time more intense. This intensity, unlike Romantic pieces, will not accumulate to a bubbling point and escalated outburst. But becaz of the restrained notes contour, it tends to `speak` more to the oblivious listener, and is more intimate. And much of the music in the slower movements are just `heavenly`. Take for instance : Vivaldi`s Concerto in A minor, 2nd movement. The melody anchors and moves freely around the tonic, supertonic and mediant throughout.
    And, not forgetting Bach's 2nd movement ( Double Concerto ). The staggered entrance and interaction between the different instruments is beautiful. In fact, the interaction is so 'real' that one hears them as voices, not just instrumental parts.
    And I think there's a whole deal of wistfulness in the Vivaldi's Four Seasons. For instance the slower 'snowflakes' movement. And talking about 'impressionism' in its earliest form. Don't u think that the plucked notes potray the snowflakes and the semiquavers( in the faster section ) potray the rustling wind really well?
    Actually, alot of sentimental music that speaks to the listener( even in Romantic period ) tends to be rather restrained in notes contour. It will linger around the main theme ( normally constructed upon steps or simple outlines ), which can be quite mallismatic at times...much to the likes of a human speaker.
    So I think people needs to get this right... Music need not be colourful and decorative to be meaningful... Just like u need not shout to make yr point. Right?
    U know, I always feel that there's something that Romantic music cannot offer- The beauty of simplicity just like Baroque music. If u think abt. all the music that move/speak to u the most... Romantic or not... I believe then that your 'special' piece is quite spaced and simple in structure.

    Talking about atmospheric music... The most atmospheric music for me is Rach`s Prelude in C# minor. I love the music from lord of the rings also, esp. Billy Bloyd`s part ( very Gregorian sounding ). I think Mussorgsky is quite atmospheric for me also...esp. his `evil` music in his Pictures at an exhibition... Very dark and twisted music. But my ultimate fav. has got to be Vaughan`s Williams`s Song Cycle ` On wenlock Edge`. The modal and Mallismatic treatment in folklore structure is really intriguing.

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Indeed this topic is rather interesting.

    I agree absolutely with you. The simplicity is really underrated today. Simplicity is not primitisme! One thing is very important i think: The directness to heart.

    The counterpoint: Invented more and less in early baroque, especially the fugue technique has an individuel status in the music progres. In Classic and Romanticisme it is an epochal independent art. When you hear Mozart fugatos (like in Juppiter symphony) Mendelssohn Fugues and Fugatos up to Reger's big big fugues, you see that is a thing outsite epoches. Talking about Fugatos: i just came back from listening to the Gould Bernstein Brahms recording (*had to listen after talking about that in the other thread*) Remember the Fugato in the 3 rd movement? - Wonderful

    The polyphonic music: I think it is that great art: you have a topic and your knowledge of counterpoint. when you combine it, you have the inner structure and the extroverte structure, all is held together from a covering thing around . hmmm, difficult to explain, maybe you understand what i mean.

    The four seasons: they are ingenious...it shows you how music can describe so direct events of clearness and which reach you absolute clear. Romantic is sometimes more like fog coming to you...different maybe.
    The winter 3 rd movement. Wind hm could be ice skaters too

    I think baroque music is emotional, but the emotions are shown in other dimensions, in the technique which was developed then.

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    DW, I totally agree. I think the Baroque era is definitely more expressive than the Romantic period. Baroque music, like you said, is more tightly knit around, what I feel, to be "technical expressiveness." What I mean, is changing the main theme. I was actually going to use the Vivaldi a minor as my example, as I'm playing it right now. Vivaldi changes the main theme, using many sequences, and using the parallel major. So phrasing is key....every time you hit a new sequence, a different level of expressiveness needs to be shown by the performer! While, like you said, Romantic pieces although impressive, keep the same feel, and don't leave the listener so fulfilled. Just my two cents.

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    Talking

    I don't have the music education to support my argument, but Baroque is my favorite style. I love to play it on the violin and a large chunk of my CD collection is Baroque because it relaxes me so much. I guess it feels more intimate to me than the Romantic music. I love the Romantic composers, too, I just like the Baroque better.
    <span style='color:red'>Carpe Jugulum</span>

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    Originally posted by daniel@Jul 19 2004, 07:14 PM
    One thing is very important i think: The directness to heart.....

    In Classic and Romanticisme it is an epochal independent art........ Talking about Fugatos: i just came back from listening to the Gould Bernstein Brahms recording (*had to listen after talking about that in the other thread*) Remember the Fugato in the 3 rd movement? - Wonderful.....

    The polyphonic music: I think it is that great art: ......


    The winter 3 rd movement. Wind hm could be ice skaters too

    I think baroque music is emotional, but the emotions are shown in other dimensions, in the technique which was developed then.
    [snapback]70[/snapback]
    I agree&#33; Yap...the Directness to heart.
    Yes, Fugal and counterpoint writing is an art. And to listen therefore and able to appreciate thereafter is an even greater art. U&#39;ll have to integrate the many layers and &#39;commotions&#39; at one same moment of time.
    Ice Skaters? Yeah...definately. The to and fro movement of the semiquavers.
    I never get tired of Vivaldi&#39;s 4 seasons.
    I can feel the flowers dancing in the spring, snowflakes and wind, and rustling leaves and iceskaters so vividly... Who do u think is the best recording artist for Vivaldi? I think it all comes down to Perlman. I think nobody does play Baroque music quite like him, esp. at the slower movements. Which leads me into thinking about what U said :but the emotions are shown in other dimensions, in the technique which was developed then....
    DEFINATELY&#33; Imagine someone with complete disregards to baroque feel, understanding and technic performed Vivaldi&#39;s &#39;Winter&#39;. I think all those cascading notes will sound like &#39;poop&#39;... it will be meaningless, and esp. so at the slower movements. So I think all those who don&#39;t appreciate baroque should work on their technic to better justify the music, if not, then get a better recording artist. Make sure u select a performer that belies the serious emotional intent of Baroque music. <_<

    Quoted :...Vivaldi changes the main theme, using many sequences, and using the parallel major. So phrasing is key....every time you hit a new sequence, a different level of expressiveness needs to be shown by the performer&#33; ...
    I agree Masetro&#33;

    Quoted:... I guess it feels more intimate to me than the Romantic music....
    Yes&#33; Agree&#33;

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Who do u think is the best recording artist for Vivaldi?
    My fav is Fabio Biondi with his Ensemble Europa Galante. Didn&#39;t listen to Perlman, but must check it out.
    Biondi is only amazing: He studied archives and autographes, compared versions...and brought up a recording which spreads of fever and details you never heard: The dog in the 2 nd movement of Spring is barkings so clear. You listen to echoes of thunder in first movement, which are usually not played. The summer you burst of heat. The final summer movement ends with a this long note done in bright and strong vibrato, so a natural painting recording. The winter: in the first movement the harpsichord makes you FEEL the coldness, also described in thte middle part of 1 st mov when strings play coll&#39;legno. Snowflakes of course and the skaters...is a wonderful recording. (This recording is a painting like perfomance, natural, maybe not authentic, but i love it)

    About the directness of Baroque and the fog like music in Romantic. The Romantics searched BEHIND our world to find the definet being, they are standing at a door looking through.

    One of the best examples in art: Casper David Friedrichs picture "wanderer in the sea of fog" (which you can see as my Avatar)

    I never get tired of Vivaldi&#39;s 4 seasons.
    Yes&#33; Vivaldi gave us here one of the great masterworks on earth.

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    Originally posted by daniel@Jul 16 2004, 04:22 PM
    About the directness of Baroque and the fog like music in Romantic. The Romantics searched BEHIND our world to find the definet being, they are standing at a door looking through.

    One of the best examples in art: Casper David Friedrichs picture "wanderer in the sea of fog" (which you can see as my Avatar)

    [snapback]26[/snapback]
    Yes&#33; Great discription&#33; Where did u get this?-----About the directness of Baroque and the fog like music in Romantic. The Romantics searched BEHIND our world to find the definet being, they are standing at a door looking through. ........

    Talking about art... I have this small print in Perlman&#39;s CD that I really like : Walter Crane;The Seasons. I like yr avatar also. But the size&#39;s a little funny for me. Something&#39;s not right about the dimensions... :unsure:

    Yeah, I have heard Fabio Biondi with his Ensemble Europa Galante. His playing is breath-taking, with great panache and versatility. I love the way he communicates through his bowing...highly convincing phrasing and remarkably keen, skilful articulation. His fiery staccatos and heightened ornamentations drive me insane all the time ...LOL ...it&#39;s great&#33;
    I think Biondi&#39;s nowhere beneath Perlman&#39;s achievement or technicality. In fact, I think he&#39;s superior, and deserves to be marvelled in all aspect. I think it all comes down to personal preferance. Perlman is refined and velvety and perhaps more &#39;introvert&#39; sounding, whereas Biondi&#39;s bowing is more crisp, and definately more &#39;urgent-sounding&#39;.
    But I think this is what everyone will agree : Biondi is an expert in articulation. ---That brusque bowing, propulsive accents and estatic rhythmic vitality. OMG&#33; No wonder he&#39;s the champ&#33;

    You listen to echoes of thunder in first movement, which are usually not played.
    Hmmm? Interesting? Echoes of thunder? I must listen to the recordings a few more times. U were saying where? The first movement of spring? :unsure:

    (This recording is a painting like perfomance, natural, maybe not authentic, but i love it)
    I agree. Biondi&#39;s superb and convincing playing is much like painting...one with much warmth and colours.
    Biondi to Perlman reminds me of a metaphor:
    Biondi is an oil paint, warm and brilliant palette.
    Perlman is watercolour, simple and beautiful.

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    About the painting "the wanderer above the seafog". the best pic online i found is this one:
    http://www.artofeurope.com/friedrich/fri3.htm

    Cranes Painting ( http://www.victorianartinbritain.co.uk/pai...ane_seasons.jpg - too black unfortunetly)
    The women look like allegories. Interesting fact: follow there hands, you will see there is a magical line which combines the spring with summer (hand direction) with autumn and winter.

    You made me anxious to the Perlman recording, will try it.

    Romantic had the so good aim to get free of the more material view like in the enlightenement. They integrated feelings and because there world stood in contrast to them they had to search behind this material being...i think a very good aspect. Look to poems and paintings, there are so many which show you windows, doors, or wanderes in nature (important point&#33, to search and search, but they failed, it couldnt be managed with their life, and they were searching and didn&#39;t find what they searched for. Is it ficitional what they searched for? I think it isn&#39;t.

    A deprimating painting, which describes this failure: http://www.wooop.de/zg_ht4.asp?Bild_Nr=mwm...r=1&userpass=a1

    The first movement of spring?
    Yes in first movement is the thunder, when the birds sang, there is this little thunderstorm, there are 32- notes for Violin I and II together, he made it violin I first violin II makes the echo
    Biondi is an oil paint, warm and brilliant palette.
    Perlman is watercolour, simple and beautiful.
    Indeed, wonderful described. I love metaphors. :P they say so more than description words could

    P.S. Do you know the recording with Carmignola? He is so much applauded for his recording. For me its dry, with no feeling or heart - kinda uninteresing.

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    Yikes... I don&#39;t like the last picture...http://www.wooop.de/zg_ht4 ......
    Yes, yr right about the romantics searching for the beyond... Actually yr avatar reminds me of Brahms later works ( his retired period ): Op 118-120. His un-requited search reflects earnestly in his surreal, almoost foggy and spacious kinda music.
    LOL... I hear his op118 no 2 whenever I saw yr pic. What about u? What were your first thought when u came across that pic?

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    I don&#39;t like the last picture
    Neither do I. It makes you so sad

    What were your first thought when u came across that pic?
    This painting did really move me, because it is so yearning.... :unsure: What contrast to this ideal values (which are searched for) and our material world today.

    I think especially the old Brahms resembles to this wanderer.

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    I agree completely that Baroque is not unfeeling. I, however, like romantic more because it tends to let the musician distribute whatever they feel more than baroque; it is not usually as set a Baroque.
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

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    Lots of Baroque Music was not written with "emotion" in mind... yes, that&#39;s true...

    but much of it was....

    and even some of it that wasn&#39;t... still is emotional in it&#39;s own ways....
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    I am very glad to find a group of people who like baroque music best&#33;&#33;&#33; I have been frustrated before by the fact that most people are into Romantic music instead. The main difference I find between baroque and romantic music is that while in the Baroque era the emotions that are expressed are joy, peace, sadness, pensiveness, and passion, the Romantic added emotions such as anger, lostness, moodiness, and disunity, even though to a certain extent they did not discard the first set. These are emotions that all of us feel sometimes, but they are also questionable emotions that can very quickly be overused, and in my opinion they were overused in the Romantic era. So my take on it is that the main point is not how much emotion, but which emotion. Both periods were emotional, but I find Baroque music more moving. (That is of course just a generalization, as there are several Romantic pieces in particular that I find even more moving than Baroque music&#33

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    P.S. Do you know the recording with Carmignola? He is so much applauded for his recording. For me its dry, with no feeling or heart - kinda uninteresing.
    Dry...yes,
    Like without a heart...quite agree.
    But I think this is what baroque puritans will go for. It reminds me of the very &#39;canadian&#39; school of classical music sound. But the strange thing is he&#39;s Italian...NVM, well, this&#39;s how the canadians play or like their baroque...plain and simple. To us its unfeeling and weak, but to em it&#39;s counterpoint playing at its finest. They love the pure, airy and &#39;clear&#39; tone.
    Personally, I really don&#39;t like it also. But not so much due to his violin playing. What I really don&#39;t like is the balance of the ensemble as a whole. The harpsichord sounds really horrible( too dry, overbearing and inconsistent ), and the balance is really off. I think they&#39;ve got to do some serious re-arrangement. It&#39;s like the ensemble is towering the soloist, esp so at slower movements like Adagio. And I feel the constant clash between the harpsichord, the ensemble and Carmignola himself... For me, the ensemble arrangement is really not working. :angry:
    Have u heard his recordings with the Venice Baroque Orchestra for Bach? OMG... I don&#39;t know whether it&#39;s just me...( sometimes I don&#39;t dare to discuss such controversies...as he&#39;s one of Italy&#39;s finest...for all I know, I might be wrong.)...Ok, back to his Bach. I often find myself disagreeing with his articulation and interpretation, and more especially so for playing on long held notes. People love the way he varied his tone and &#39;seamless&#39; smooth bowing for those &#39;supposedly&#39; beautiful long notes. But all I could agree on was his sweet, silvery timbre. Caz I believe this&#39;s not the way to play Bach. Bach&#39;s long held notes have to come in with a gentle, yet&#39; firm&#39; bite and then MOVE foward or rather FLOW . I particularly don&#39;t like his tonal direction, esp so when Carmignola plays in higher registers. I find that they don&#39;t &#39;travel&#39; enough. And becaz of his &#39;seamless&#39; manner of bowing without bite or accents on important notes etc... SO U can&#39;t hear Bach&#39;s unique language. U know, it&#39;s like reading a passage with no punctuation marks. :blink:
    But his midrange notes are really lovely,velvety and down to earth. He has a very refined, typical italian tone that sings, and I really consider that a big plus point.
    But I think that his recording of Vivaldi is slightly better.
    Maybe Vivaldi suits his style more.
    If there&#39;s anything that I don&#39;t agree on, it&#39;s got to do with his interpretation then.
    AND not forgetting the ensemble as well. I certainly think that it&#39;s a less than &#39;desirable&#39; collaboration. :unsure:
    I personally prefer the Israel Phil Orchestra when it comes to Baroque divertissiment as such.

    I think especially the old Brahms resembles to this wanderer.
    Yes&#33;...And it reminds me of Schubert also. Have u seen this painting of Schubert staring/thinking about a moutain? It&#39;s supposed to represent his struggles for his unfinnished symphony and his tear towards classicism and romantism.

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    I quite like Carmignola&#39;s playing. I find his tone colour very alluring. Sweet and refined. But I don&#39;t like his ornamentation. The sole purpose of ornaments is to embellish the music. His doesn&#39;t, and occassionally he sounds too &#39;sweet and meek&#39; for me.
    I find his playing very French in style. And personally, I would prefer other recordings of Vivaldi or Bach to his. But I think it really depends on personal preferance.

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