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Thread: For love of the Baroque...

  1. #181
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    I've not been listening much recently with my personal life being so fraught, but this piece of Monteverdi is lovely - I am looking forward to resuming my OP project in the New Year.



    Do any of you have any baroque music lined up for your 'Christmas stockings' - or maybe as a New Year's Resolution?
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  3. #182
    Senior Member Mowgli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post
    Do any of you have any baroque music lined up for your 'Christmas stockings' - or maybe as a New Year's Resolution?
    I got the BC Bach Edition and Italian Baroque box & DHM 100CD box for Xmas during .de's 3fur2 sale
    Mrs Mowgli & MIL gifted $100 towards it. Whole lotta baroque for ~$200 total
    Last edited by Mowgli; Dec-28-2017 at 19:08.

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  5. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post

    Do any of you have any baroque music lined up for your 'Christmas stockings' - or maybe as a New Year's Resolution?
    I got a nice little haul. Telemann's complete Tafelmusik, Bach's Mass in B Minor, Kunst der Fugue & Musicalishe Opfer and a collection of mid 17th century music from the Netherlands.

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  7. #184
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Taking some time off from Monteverdi, and from my worries about Mum's funeral next week, to listen to Georg Muffat, 12 Concerti Grossi:



    I'm feeling quite pleased with myself because I thought it reminiscent of Lully - and it seems that Muffat studied in Paris, maybe even under Jean-Baptiste himself.

    It's lovely - I like this 'slightly-earlier' baroque music very much - maybe because it's simpler, and maybe because, being 'Lullian', it has a dancy flourish to it. It raises my spirits, and consoles with a statement that 'Whatever happens, beauty is here, music is here, God* is here...'

    And of course Muffat had Scottish blood in him.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Muffat

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    *(or 'something timeless')
    Last edited by Ingélou; Jan-06-2018 at 09:58.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  9. #185
    Senior Member Dirge's Avatar
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    Antonio VIVALDI: L’estro armonico ~ 12 Concertos, Op. 3 (pub. 1711)
    :: Podger/Brecon Baroque [Channel ’14]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoNS...2FZ8BezC6szk1r
    :: Biondi/Europa Galante [Virgin ’97/’98]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uHt...pUuwz-3kZeUfxo

    L’estro armonico was a favorite of mine back in the halcyon days of yore, but it slipped from my consciousness and has been all but absent from my listening since the Reagan/Thatcher/Wojtyła years. Recently, however, it slipped back into my consciousness, and I’ve been checking out the current crop of recordings (focusing on my favorite concertos, nos. 6, 8, 10 & 11). I’ll limit my comments to two of the more interesting and popular sets, one a favorite and one not …

    The current darling of the critics seems to be Podger/Brecon Baroque, a relaxed (low-tension) familial affair that stresses inner dialog and varied, highly inflected phrasing in a clearly punctuated/demarcated rhythmic setting—it’s all very colorful and imaginative in its intimate (but not introverted) way, often sounding more chamber music than concerto. The playing is alert and highly proficient but not especially forceful or dynamic, and attacks tend to be slightly rounded off/eased into, so there’s a certain softness/gentleness to the playing that sometimes comes off as unenergetic, especially when tension is as low as it is. Tempos tend to be moderate or slowish in the fast movements but almost always a good deal faster than usual in slow movements. The set has lots of highlights—the opening of No. 11 is particularly well done—and I admire the imaginative phrasing and engaging interaction of the players, but the general presentation is too gentle and relaxed for my severe and uptight taste. The warm and vivid recorded sound is very appealing and well-suited to the playing.

    As it stands, my tentative favorite is the swashbuckling and tense/suspenseful/dramatic account by Biondi/Europa Galante—not a big surprise given my liking of the same team’s ultra-popular 2000 recording of the Four Seasons. The playing here doesn’t strike me as being quite as bold as it is in the Four Seasons, but that might be a good thing in this less animated and less programmatic music. Rather than delving into dubious specifics, I’ll sum things up in one big dubious generality: if one likes Biondi, one will like this set; if one hates Biondi, one will hate this set. My main reservation about the set is that Biondi is too prominently balanced in the scheme of things, standing out too much from the ensemble in all concertos and also standing out from the other soloists in multi-soloist concertos—though the latter is more about Biondi’s dominant musical personality than about instrumental balances. The recorded sound is a bit dry, opaque, and constricted, but not to an off-putting extent.

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  11. #186
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Thanks for this very interesting review, Dirge - fabulous!
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  13. #187
    Senior Member GioCar's Avatar
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    Mollie, thank you for this wonderful thread.

    My little contribution: I recently acquired this awesome set



    and I'm going through it with immense pleasure.

    I'd say that Telemann, always a bit neglected by me, unveils many gems I wasn't aware of before.

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  15. #188
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GioCar View Post
    Mollie, thank you for this wonderful thread.

    My little contribution: I recently acquired this awesome set



    and I'm going through it with immense pleasure.

    I'd say that Telemann, always a bit neglected by me, unveils many gems I wasn't aware of before.
    I haven't listened to enough Telemann either - but whenever I have, he never disappoints - so this is a very good heads-up, Giocar.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  17. #189
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Re Georg Muffat, I've just seen this comment on the YouTube Link:

    In English speaking countries there is an old nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffat/sat on a tuffet/ eating her curds and whey/ along came a spider/and sat down beside her/and frightened Miss Muffat away! -well Miss Muffat was a real person and she was a daughter of a certain Scottish doctor called Muffat who was the ancestor of the composer(and his son) whose surname was Muffat -they having migrated to the continent.

    It's usually spelled as 'Miss Muffet' but still, it's a fascinating snippet.

    I first found out about Georg Muffat when my fiddle teacher posted a YouTube clip of his on my Facebook page. Here's the composer guestbook we did on him:

    Georg Muffat
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  19. #190
    Senior Member Dirge's Avatar
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    G. F. HANDEL: Zadok the Priest (1727)
    :: Marriner/ASMF [Philips ’84]

    Although this performance is kinder and gentler (softer edged) than I’d prefer, the Academy plays/sings very well in that context, and Marriner does a very good job of building tension and suspense throughout the 1½-minute instrumental introduction in anticipation of the big choral entry—a dying art these days, it would seem. Unfortunately, many directors take the introduction in a deadpan manner without generating any tension or building any suspense or sense of anticipation en route to the choral entry, trying to lull you into a relaxed, unguarded state so that the big/sudden/abrupt choral entry will have maximum surprise/shock value. Fasolis takes such a flatline approach, and Christophers goes one step farther by very slightly fading off a split second before the choral entry. While they do indeed succeed in producing a moment of surprise/shock, it’s very short-lived in effect and comes at the cost of a wasted minute and a half—in other words, Fasolis and Christophers don’t let the audience know that there’s a bomb under the table …

    There is a distinct difference between “suspense” and “surprise,” and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I’ll explain what I mean.

    We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let’s suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!”

    In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.


    — Alfred Hitchcock

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I_4wfw7K7I (Marriner/ASMF)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdtGuU8r_wI (Fasolis/I Barocchisti)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ogph5fmGXs (Christophers/The Sixteen)
    Last edited by Dirge; Jan-16-2018 at 19:56.

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  21. #191
    Member EchoEcho's Avatar
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    I'm joining this thread a little late (great idea and thanks Ingelou), but it will give me a good excuse to make a "traversal" through my baroque music collection, and maybe fill in a few gaps along the way. I'll try to follow at least loosely the wiki Baroque composer list chronologically. But so as not to make a major ordeal of it, I'm gonna try to limit myself to just a few discs per decade. But we'll see how it goes. I'll try to post notes from my traversal here as it progresses.

    By the way, I'm a collector, not a streamer, and never a youtuber (I think I somehow broke youtube in my browser while disabling auto-play of video ads). So unfortunately I won't be able to partake in the youtube links shared above. Also, as a collector, I try to listen through my entire collection every year or two, so a lot of what I listen to will be stuff that I bought thanks to that (very expensive for me) Pre-1700 thread that appeared here a year or two ago.

    I'm not a huge fan of Baroque, but I like it, and I especially like some of the off-the-beaten-path stuff which sounds more casual than some of the highly structured and/or mainstream stuff. I also don't really know that much about Baroque music, so this traversal will also help me form some opinions, re-listen to some music I've only heard once or twice, and make some new discoveries.

    With that rather longish intro, I'll start my traversal with this disc from 1589:

    Intermedi per "La Pellegrina"

    R-7024982-1431942915-7533.jpeg.jpg

    Peri was one of the contributors I think, so I can tick that name off the list.

    Listening Notes:

    Notwithstanding the huge historical significance of this album, my own self-satisfaction at finding it some years ago, or even the excellent voices (Emma Kirkby, etc), I'm giving it a Pretty Good to Good on my listenability scale (2.5 stars).

    Although there is good variety between tracks (soloist and/or chorus, usually with instrumental accompaniment), for the most part these are pretty simple melodies still sung fairly stiffly. Although no doubt revolutionary for the time, there's not much passion or spontaneity for this modern listener.

    Still, I'm glad to have it in my collection and look forward to hearing it again. It would be nice to carefully listen, try to make out the stylistic differences between composers, etc. With more general knowledge, more would be revealed to the listener.
    Last edited by EchoEcho; Jan-19-2018 at 05:39.

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  23. #192
    Member EchoEcho's Avatar
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    Next up:

    Giovanni Bassano Amor sacro Amor profane
    Capricornus Ensemble Stuttgart, Monika Mauch
    Coviello Classics

    COV21108.jpg

    I'm struggling to understand how this album got in my collection, or why I have the date for all the tracks as 1591. Apparently I picked it up during a browsing session about a year ago, after sampling tracks. Download without booklet.

    Anyway, Bassano was a big part of the scene in Venice before and after 1600, arguably the man behind Giovanni Gabrieli, and also an influence on Heinrich Schütz. Also on the album are tracks from Marenzio, Rore, Palestrina, and Striggio.

    I find this album quite enjoyable. The brass works from the time of course sound wonderful, and there are some nice brass "duets" with organ and/or soprano. Monika Mauch also sounds great.

    This music breathes. I give it a 3.5 (Good to Very Good) – on the listenability scale. I'm a bit of a tightwad with the stars, so that's a good score in my book.
    Last edited by EchoEcho; Jan-19-2018 at 08:12.

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  25. #193
    Member EchoEcho's Avatar
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    Staying in Venice.... (if only!)

    A New Venetian Coronation, 1595
    Gabrieli Consort & Players, Paul McCreesh

    31Tjh62mBZL._SS500.jpg

    Hardly worth posting that album cover.

    Nevertheless, this disc strikes me as a wonderful and extremely realistic historical re-enactment, all very tastefully and artistically performed. I am tempted to give it four stars, but it's not the kind of thing you listen to on repeat. The first track is absolutely stunning, but by the time you make to the end of the disc you are ready for it to end.

    So 3.5 stars!

    It occurs to me that it is a little unfair to judge historical works based upon how pleasant they are to listen to, since often they were not intended to give pleasure.

    Oh well. Nothing in life is perfect.

    Now what to listen to next....
    Last edited by EchoEcho; Jan-19-2018 at 08:12.

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  27. #194
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    EchoEcho, thanks for these posts - very interesting to read, and I look forward to more!
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  29. #195
    Member EchoEcho's Avatar
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    Back to Florence....

    LI DUE ORFEI - Giulio Caccini & Jacopo Peri

    MI0004036341.jpg

    This is "nuovo musiche" aka "monody". What does that mean? In this case, one person singing while his wife plays a plucked instrument (Arpa doppia a tre registri).

    Caccini and Peri are perhaps more famous for larger works, but both apparently had illustrious singing careers, and wrote and performed music like this.

    This is of course at once an ancient and modern style of music. I suppose that "nuovo musiche" was at least in part a "return to roots" and/or an escape from the highly stylized formalism of church polyphony, but no doubt the movement was more complicated than that.

    Here's a telling quote from the booklet:

    As Vicenzo Galilei commented at the time: ‘The greater the number of singers singing simultaneously, the less one can understand an aria’s true meaning and the less its character will move the soul of the audience.’

    Anyway, this is very pleasant music. 3.5 stars.
    Last edited by EchoEcho; Jan-19-2018 at 20:40.

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