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Thread: For love of the Baroque...

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa6GFvMoCqU
    Hail Koopman. Ave, Sweelinck. Guy can write - guy can play.
    You know, I just don't like the sound of that Koopman recording. There's something very flat about the harpsichord sound. The Wilson sounds better.


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  3. #47
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    Maybe see what you think of Peter Ella's recording of that fantasy.

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  5. #48
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    You know, I just don't like the sound of that Koopman recording. There's something very flat about the harpsichord sound. The Wilson sounds better.

    [/video]
    Funny you should say that - soon after I posted the YT link to my Facebook page in order to listen to it, and was quite enjoying it, I noticed this exchange on the comments underneath the video, which I reproduce, bar the names, as I think it's of interest.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

    >> This recording, considering who made the instrument and who's playing it, is AMAZINGLY bad!

    >> Totally agree

    >> Just think of it as an extra helping of "chromatica."

    >> As a fan of Ton Koopman I was all ready to leap to his defense but found that I agreed with you so I set about trying to discover why. I think the answer is that Sweelinck, although writing for the 'keyboard' was thinking organ as he composed. Take those opening notes of Fantasia Chromatica I - on the organ with its ability to sustain and natural reverberation they are fine, on the harpsichord they sound, well, silly.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I like harpsichord music and I don't really have enough expertise as a listener to agree or disagree. I will probably listen to the rest of it, but then try the alternative recommendations.

    Thank you, classicalyorkist and Mandryka -
    I'd be interested if you have any more to say about the various musicians performing Sweelinck's music, or other baroque music.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-26-2017 at 15:26.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  7. #49
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    Here it is played in Italy, Romagnano, on a 17th century organ tuned meantone 1/4 comma



    Irena de Ruvo is an interesting musician, I know her through the recording of Giovanni Battista Dalla Gostena.

    The discussion on youtube, which, of course, focuses on the temperament, is worth glancing at because of the way it divides people. I'm more than happy with this level of dissonance, in fact I wouldn't have the piece played any other way.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-26-2017 at 16:42.

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  9. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Here it is played in Italy, Romagnano, on a 17th century organ tuned meantone 1/4 comma

    Irena de Ruvo is an interesting musician, I know her through the recording of Giovanni Battista Dalla Gostena.

    The discussion on youtube, which, of course, focuses on the temperament, is worth glancing at because of the way it divides people. I'm more than happy with this level of dissonance, in fact I wouldn't have the piece played any other way.
    Sweelinck "scored" for Italian baroque organ. Thanks for the link. Very impressive interpretation. I agree with you about the tuning, which is very important in music of this kind. Equal tuning sounds outright tame or lame in comparison.

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  11. #51
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    How about this for volcanic baroque music? God almighty, its composer had a brain the size of Jupiter and talent to match!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln99yU7WNr0

    Bach was bored, or had some leisure time, so he demonstrated equal temperament tuning based upon the principles of Pythagoras.

    Then there's this!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtCBH6XWauo
    Last edited by CountenanceAnglaise; Oct-26-2017 at 22:47.

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  13. #52
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    Today it's ALL Bach, with Brendel. Sitting at the computer preparing next year's program for our community Music Appreciation group (many are retired music professionals), with the Bluetooth going full throttle:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz6P5r3fs8g

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  15. #53
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    This is a wonderful thread. I'll get back to you soon.
    "You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency." Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, FRS, FRSA (1723 - 1792)

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  17. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post

    Thank you, classicalyorkist and Mandryka -
    I'd be interested if you have any more to say about the various musicians performing Sweelinck's music, or other baroque music.
    I personally don't think that Koopman is a bad player, on the contrary in fact. I think the problem lies in the recording process in this instance, it's just a badly recorded harpsichord.

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  19. #55
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    You know, I just don't like the sound of that Koopman recording. There's something very flat about the harpsichord sound. The Wilson sounds better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post
    Funny you should say that - soon after I posted the YT link to my Facebook page in order to listen to it, and was quite enjoying it, I noticed this exchange on the comments underneath the video, which I reproduce, bar the names, as I think it's of interest.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

    >> This recording, considering who made the instrument and who's playing it, is AMAZINGLY bad!

    >> Totally agree

    >> Just think of it as an extra helping of "chromatica."

    >> As a fan of Ton Koopman I was all ready to leap to his defense but found that I agreed with you so I set about trying to discover why. I think the answer is that Sweelinck, although writing for the 'keyboard' was thinking organ as he composed. Take those opening notes of Fantasia Chromatica I - on the organ with its ability to sustain and natural reverberation they are fine, on the harpsichord they sound, well, silly.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I like harpsichord music and I don't really have enough expertise as a listener to agree or disagree. I will probably listen to the rest of it, but then try the alternative recommendations.

    Thank you, classicalyorkist and Mandryka -
    I'd be interested if you have any more to say about the various musicians performing Sweelinck's music, or other baroque music.
    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I personally don't think that Koopman is a bad player, on the contrary in fact. I think the problem lies in the recording process in this instance, it's just a badly recorded harpsichord.
    Well - - I just finished listening to the Koopman, and, um, I loved it, every last jangle, even the single harsh reverberating notes. I admit that I don't have a connoisseur's ears, and also that, as a passionate lover of traditional Scottish music, my liking is for a gritty raspy fiddle sound rather than smooth violins. Maybe, then, I am suffering from Rustic Ear Syndrome.

    Also, though I like harpsichord music, I haven't listened to enough of it, on good equipment, to know what is good recording and what is bad.

    I have now put the other Sweelinck recordings recommended on to my Facebook page and will listen to them. Maybe that will make me see the error of my ways...!
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  21. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by premont View Post
    Sweelinck "scored" for Italian baroque organ. Thanks for the link. Very impressive interpretation. I agree with you about the tuning, which is very important in music of this kind. Equal tuning sounds outright tame or lame in comparison.
    Glen Wilson writes this about it

    An interesting aspect of the piece is the appearance of five D sharps (and only one E flat at a very dissonant moment)—a majority of the nine appearances of this unusual note in all of Sweelinck’s keyboard music. At the time, these were not the same key, as on a piano, but two mutually exclusive pitches. Keyboards with split sharps to accommodate the difference were unknown in Holland, but common in Italy. It has been argued that this shows the work to have been intended for harpsichord, which can be retuned at will – but it seems to burst the bounds of the tiny instruments Sweelinck knew.

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  23. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I personally don't think that Koopman is a bad player, on the contrary in fact. I think the problem lies in the recording process in this instance, it's just a badly recorded harpsichord.
    I thought Koopman was a bit linear, I mean I thought the transitions between the three sections of the music could have been made a bit clearer. Admittedly this isn't easy to do on a harpsichord -- if you watch the Ruvo video you'll see (and hear) her changing registrations.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-27-2017 at 10:40.

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  25. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I thought Koopman was a bit linear, I mean I thought the transitions between the three sections of the music could have been made a bit clearer. Admittedly this isn't easy to do on a harpsichord -- if you watch the Ruvo video you'll see (and hear) her changing registrations.
    Well, to be honest, I think Sweelinck is composing primarily for an organ rather than a harpsichord anyway. The performance you have mentioned is superb. There is a cd by Masaaki Suzuki of the Bach Collegium Japan of Sweelinck's organ music I'm meaning to buy.

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  27. #59
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    You know, I just don't like the sound of that Koopman recording. There's something very flat about the harpsichord sound. The Wilson sounds better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Here it is played in Italy, Romagnano, on a 17th century organ tuned meantone 1/4 comma



    Irena de Ruvo is an interesting musician, I know her through the recording of Giovanni Battista Dalla Gostena.

    The discussion on youtube, which, of course, focuses on the temperament, is worth glancing at because of the way it divides people. I'm more than happy with this level of dissonance, in fact I wouldn't have the piece played any other way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Maybe see what you think of Peter Ella's recording of that fantasy.
    I have now listened to the Wilson video and the organ video by Irena de Ruva. I liked the Wilson video, though it did confirm to me that I actually like a bit of harshness in the harpsichord sound. I liked the organ rendition of Sweelinck's Fantasia, and though again I don't know enough to say anything of any musical or academic value, I enjoyed the 'dissonance'. I am obviously a person who likes strong decrepit Stilton, not luxury cream cheese.

    I'm not saying it's 'just a matter of taste', though. I recognise that I've come far too late to Classical Music to develop a really sensitive ear to the nuances. The physical equipment is starting to falter, too - I have had tinnitus in my right ear for a number of years. But I am open-minded and eager to learn.

    Comments from music students, scholars, or more-well-versed listeners help give someone like me a mind-map of baroque music, its principal issues, composers and musicians. So thank you again for posting on this thread - topics raised are of great interest to me.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I am limiting myself to YouTube for my present project of 'working through' the Wiki list of Baroque Composers, and the Peter Ella I found was this one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66oUNSAHULg
    The clavichord sounds very nice in a different way - gentle and sweet and 'lute-like'. Lovely.

    When I've done a bit more listening to YouTube samples of baroque composers, I will probably buy some cds, because I'll have more of an idea.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I'm now going to take some time out form The List to listen to the Bach links posted by CountenanceAnglaise in posts #51 and #53, above.

    (Well, maybe not right at this moment. Fiddle practice calls!)
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-27-2017 at 11:18.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taplow View Post
    I am constantly amazed by how much more there is to discover in the baroque that is still relatively unknown. Astounded also that therein lies beauty largely untapped by major labels and performers. Thank you for this thread. I've already learned one new name I never heard before (Reincken) and have added some recordings of his works to my wishlist. I look forward to discovering more.

    I have always felt that the determination of the start of the baroque period as around 1600 to be somewhat arbitrary. We seem to love labels, but a label such as this, or 'classical' or 'romantic', also foments the expectation of some sudden and dramatic change in style. This just doesn't happen in the real word. Much early baroque music is, to me, still firmly rooted in the styles of the renaissance. There are strong echoes of the renaissance in the music of Monteverdi, for example. Indeed, there is also much late renaissance music that bears the hallmarks of early baroque—I am thinking primarily of complex counterpoint and rudimentary ornamentation—while still sounding essentially renaissance. The samples of the music of Peter Philips provided by Taggart, above, sound to me not too far removed from that of Holborne or Dowland. Was English music of the time somewhat more conservative and resistant to change than music on the continent? I doubt it.

    Please keep this thread going with new suggestions and discoveries.
    When did Composers start to have a sort of self awareness that they were starting a new period in music? Most of these designations are retrospective, particularly in the transition from Renaissance to Baroque. I doubt that someone like Monteverdi
    Woke up one morning and decided he was going to evolve from Renaissance to Baroque.
    Otoh, in the Romantic era, one sees Composers such as Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner quite consciously announce they were seeking new paths and (I think) even referring to themselves as Romanticists. Closer to our time Modern Composers can be very self conscious about their style de hour. Stravinsky changed his about as often as he changed his underwear, going to neo classicism, Serialism, and then when he needed more money he would change the triangle part of Petrouchka, recopywright it and become a bitonalist again for a week.
    Composers such as C.P.E. Bach or Haydn were striving after originality but weren’t labeling themselves rococo or High Classicist.
    Did Schubert and Beethoven play with Legos in a Viennese coffee house and decide to build a bridge together from Classicism to Romanticism?
    Sorry, Ingelou, didn’t mean to hijack your thread. My point, if I have one (?), is that using labels to categorize and pigeon hole Composers is a relatively recent phenomenon. Or is it?

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