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Thread: For love of the Baroque...

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Monday morning - raining hard outside - and I'm listening to Vivaldi's Stabat Mater.



    This was recommended by Flamencosketches in post #7 of my thread Vivaldi - Five of the Best Vivaldi - five of the best., and was already one of my favourites. I am delighted to listen to it again. What a great start to the week.

    I love it - such elegantly patterned alternation of instruments and voice, and yet the emotion is there underneath.
    And that gooseflesh moment of 'Eia, mater'...!

    Stunning.

    It never fails.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-07-2019 at 09:10.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    At the suggestion of Marinera (post no. #10, in my thread Vivaldi - Five of the Best), I listened to some of Vivaldi's Operatic Arias:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5NxUZE2LTQ
    THE VIVALDI EDITION | 20 - Arie d'Opera

    I found them always elegant & sometimes heartfelt. I think I would love seeing a Vivaldi opera if I got the chance.
    Beautiful singing and melodies.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-08-2019 at 11:53.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  5. #1053
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Today's Vivaldi offering is a personal memory.

    I was reaching back to recall the first Vivaldi piece that I ever heard.
    It was this one, Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in A minor,RV 356 Op 3 No 6, played here by Itzhak Perlman.



    This burst onto my perception like a meteor when I was for a short while in the senior section of the York Schools Strings Orchestra, aged about 14.
    The soloist was a sixth-form boy, with a (twin?) sister - both brilliant violinists.

    Listening to the epiphany of Perlman's playing, and looking at the posts below the video, I can well sympathise with this comment :

    "My practice routine:
    Get stuck on piece
    Listen to better people play piece
    Cry at my lack of skill
    Repeat."


    And there's another comment I can echo too -
    "How can the human spirit go so far and be able to create such a wonderful thing? It's more than just wonderful, it's absolutely SUBLIME! Thanks for sharing."

    I am so grateful that York Education Committee in the 1950s and 1960s had the policy of allowing pupils to learn the violin in their schools. I started aged about ten at junior school, and loved it and practised at first - so I was asked to go to the junior section of the York Schools Strings Orchestra, which I did for 4 years. But once I got to grammar school, I stopped practising much, and after being promoted to the senior section, I just couldn't cope and left at my own request.

    The man who ran the York Schools Strings Orchestra was called Mr Easy, and he was very kind and very enthusiastic. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Through that orchestra I got to know pieces by Handel, Mozart & Bach which I still love.

    I wonder if anyone reading this post remembers the York violin scheme and lovely Mr Easy?
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-09-2019 at 09:02.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  7. #1054
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    And here's a gorgeous bit of Buxtehude, from Bulldog's latest baroque game round -
    Dietrich Buxtehude: Trio Sonata in B♭Major, BuxWV 259.



    This was the only version I could find on YouTube, apart from this snippet with the correct bass viol.



    Joyful & timeless. Lovely.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    SOUTH GERMAN ORGAN MUSIC AROUND 1750

    JOHANN ERNST EBERLIN (1702–1762)

    9 Toccatas & Fugues

    1. Toccata prima in D minor 00:00
    2. Toccata secunda in G minor 07:39
    3. Toccata tertia in A minor 14:59
    4. Toccata quarta in E minor 23:40
    5. Toccata quinta in C major 29:49
    6. Toccata sexta in F major 39:35
    7. Toccata septima in D major 46:27
    8. Toccata octava in G major 52:59
    9. Toccata nona in E minor 59:22

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    I haven't been listening to a lot of Baroque lately, been obsessed with HIP Classical era, but I do havexa couple of things lined up. However, Vivaldi eh? He's alright isn't he but for some reason he doesn't move me. There's nothing wrong with his music and I love it when I hear it but I never think 'ooh I must listen to some Vivaldi today'. Buxtehude, on the other hand, would be as massive thumbs up from me.

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  13. #1057
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I haven't been listening to a lot of Baroque lately, been obsessed with HIP Classical era, but I do havexa couple of things lined up. However, Vivaldi eh? He's alright isn't he but for some reason he doesn't move me. There's nothing wrong with his music and I love it when I hear it but I never think 'ooh I must listen to some Vivaldi today'. Buxtehude, on the other hand, would be as massive thumbs up from me.
    I do understand that. There are some Vivaldi pieces that do move me - the piece I mentioned above because of my personal history, and also the Gloria & Stabat Mater - but many that simply make me marvel at the craftsmanship or feel awestruck by his energy.

    I'm listening to Vivaldi at the moment because I've arrived at that point on the Wiki List that I mention in the OP as my Listening Project.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_composers

    I want to listen to a bit more Vivaldi recommended in my thread Vivaldi - Five of the Best, but then give him a rest for a while.

    Next up is Zelenka - I once started a thread called Wallpaper, anyone? based on the fact that I listened to this composer and felt underwhelmed -
    Wallpaper, anyone?

    But I'm a bit more attuned to baroque now, so I hope I'll find some good stuff - actually I've listened to some nice Zelenka pieces in Bulldog's game.

    (I've just re-read that Wallpaper thread - voices from the past, and so kind and funny. Amazing, and rather sad. TC seems a bit different now, to me, at least. )
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-09-2019 at 19:23.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post
    I do understand that. There are some Vivaldi pieces that do move me - the piece I mentioned above because of my personal history, and also the Gloria & Stabat Mater - but many that simply make me marvel at the craftsmanship or feel awestruck by his energy.

    I'm listening to Vivaldi at the moment because I've arrived at that point on the Wiki List that I mention in the OP as my Listening Project.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_composers

    I want to listen to a bit more Vivaldi recommended in my thread Vivaldi - Five of the Best, but then give him a rest for a while.

    Next up is Zelenka - I once started a thread called Wallpaper, anyone? based on the fact that I listened to this composer and felt underwhelmed -
    Wallpaper, anyone?

    But I'm a bit more attuned to baroque now, so I hope I'll find some good stuff - actually I've listened to some nice Zelenka pieces in Bulldog's game.

    (I've just re-read that Wallpaper thread - voices from the past, and so kind and funny. Amazing, and rather sad. TC seems a bit different now, to me, at least. )
    From the little of Zelenka that I've heard I was impressed. His masses in particular I thought contained something special. If you have a playlist I'll try and listen along with you.

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  17. #1059
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    From the little of Zelenka that I've heard I was impressed. His masses in particular I thought contained something special. If you have a playlist I'll try and listen along with you.
    I would love to have your responses to Zelenka - but since you're the one with the knowledge, I wonder if I shouldn't rather listen to your playlist?

    (I'm afraid that, not having much technical expertise, I tend to just pick & choose from YouTube videos once I have decided what would be 'representative' of a particular composer.)

    I need a bit of guidance with Zelenka. I will see what I can harvest from Bulldog's current Baroque Game and from the Composer Guest Book - link here: Jan Dismas Zelenka

    A quick scan seems to show that TC members regard his Masses the most highly, as you do.

    I like Clavichorder's description of Zelenka's music as 'bouncy & quirky'.

    Anyway - I would be most grateful for any suggestions from you, @classical yorkist , and from anyone else reading this thread, as to what are the Zelenka 'must-listen' pieces.

    Thank you.

    Will now just 'finish' off Vivaldi in a couple of posts...

    Wishing everyone a nice day - I can see the York riverbank bathed in sunlight as I type.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-10-2019 at 10:50.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingélou View Post

    Wishing everyone a nice day - I can see the York riverbank bathed in sunlight as I type.
    My wife and I had the pleasure of a short break to York last week. We went to Fairfax house where I was most interested in the spinet and early square Fortepiano they had. It really is such a wonderful place.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    My wife and I had the pleasure of a short break to York last week. We went to Fairfax house where I was most interested in the spinet and early square Fortepiano they had. It really is such a wonderful place.
    I've never been there, but I hope to go in the next week or two.

    I'll look out for the spinet & fortepiano.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member josquindesprez's Avatar
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    Zelenka can be quite a bit more intense than lots of other baroque composers. The first and last movements of his De Profundis would be a good example. His last three masses in particular are well-regarded (Missa dei Patris, Missa dei Filii, and Missa Omnium Sanctorum), though I enjoy all of the masses. The Responsoria pro Hebdomeda Sancta and Invitatorium are long but very good. If you want oratory-style works, Jesu al Calvario is good, and the shorter pieces Immisit Dominus and Deus Duc Fortissime are good choices. I never got into his chamber works, they don’t work for me for some reason, but he mostly did vocal works so it wouldn’t take overly long to work through the chamber pieces.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    To finish off Vivaldi (for the time being) I listened to these violin concertos played by Rachel Podger, as recommended by MollieJohn and J.e.greenwood on my thread Vivaldi - Five of the Best.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efyf...4W-E-M9uJ800rU

    I found them spirited and beautiful.

    And of course I had to listen to the Four Seasons. I chose this version by La Serenissima (solo violinist & director, Adrian Chandler) because my fiddle teacher plays viola on it.




    What's there to say, except that it is justly popular. Maybe it's the associations, but it seems like Nature itself - vital, with organic development, and utterly itself. The version by La Serenissima I find particularly striking and beautiful.

    I have seen both Rachel Podger (twice) and Adrian Chandler at Norwich Cathedral - playing with Norwich Baroque (my fiddle teacher is the director). I loved Rachel Podger - she was like an angel playing Bach from the pulpit - but Adrian Chandler blew me away.
    Not so much his playing, I dare say, as his explosive personality.

    What I love about Vivaldi is his elan and verve - semper Vivaldi, semper vivens.

    His religious music I find very moving.

    His melodies are elegant and evocative.

    What don't I like? - Occasionally I feel he's a bit samey. Some pieces seem to use a sort of Vivaldi formula, the abrupt pulse of chords at the start of a piece - for example. The pieces that I like best have more individual character.

    And as said above, sometimes it's his artistry and spirit I'm admiring, but it doesn't touch me emotionally.

    All the same, I love his music and I consider him to be a genius. (Ducks under table...)
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-13-2019 at 15:19.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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  26. #1064
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josquindesprez View Post
    Zelenka can be quite a bit more intense than lots of other baroque composers. The first and last movements of his De Profundis would be a good example. His last three masses in particular are well-regarded (Missa dei Patris, Missa dei Filii, and Missa Omnium Sanctorum), though I enjoy all of the masses. The Responsoria pro Hebdomeda Sancta and Invitatorium are long but very good. If you want oratory-style works, Jesu al Calvario is good, and the shorter pieces Immisit Dominus and Deus Duc Fortissime are good choices. I never got into his chamber works, they don’t work for me for some reason, but he mostly did vocal works so it wouldn’t take overly long to work through the chamber pieces.
    quotation from Wiki -
    Zelenka's pieces are characterized by a very daring compositional structure with a highly spirited harmonic invention and complex counterpoint. His works are often virtuosic and difficult to perform, but always fresh and surprising, with sudden turns of harmony. In particular, his writing for bass instruments is far more demanding than that of other composers of his era. His instrumental works, the trio sonatas, capricci, and concertos are exemplary models of his early style (1710s –1720s). The six trio sonatas demand high virtuosity and expressive sensitivity from performers. As Zelenka was himself a violone player, he was known to write fast-moving continuo parts with driving and complicated rhythm.
    Zelenka was aware of the music in different regions of Europe. He wrote complex fugues, ornate operatic arias, galant-style dances, baroque recitatives, Palestrina-like chorales, and virtuosic concertos. Zelenka's musical language is closest to Bach's, especially in its richness of contrapuntal harmonies and ingenious usage of fugal themes. Nevertheless, Zelenka's language is idiosyncratic in its unexpected harmonic twists, obsession with chromatic harmonies, large usage of syncopated and tuplet figures, and unusually long phrases full of varied musical ideas. He is sometimes considered Bach's Catholic counterpart.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Dear classical yorkist, and other TC readers (if any! ) -

    I'm on to Zelenka in my Listening Project for this thread.

    As I know nothing about him, I am going to take the advice of TC member josquindesprez & also Wikipedia.

    I'm going to listen to the following - I include links to YouTube (just what I could scratch up - not necessarily very good performances).

    De Profundis:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_p_lTxWMMo

    Missa Omnium Sanctorum:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBE0QcbXm3Q

    Jan Dismas Zelenka - pt1/3, Responsoria pro Hebdomada Sancta: Maundy Thursday - ZWV 55 - Lumen Valo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k08tb_kb-t4

    Jan Dismas Zelenka Sonatas for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and B.C. 1/2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mU7prHJIUU

    Jan Dismas Zelenka Capriccio in A major ZWV 185, Ludwig Guttler
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDkAK_Td6mY

    J.D. Zelenka Capriccio II ZWV 183. Ludwig Guttle
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grUD-YM1xnE

    Zelenka - Concertos and sonatas for orchestra
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANX2q47Lcgw

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

    Knowing me, it will take me ages even to listen to these few links.

    We have all the worry of Taggart's hospital visit (a serious cause, and experimental treatment) in the next fortnight, plus the uncertainties of waiting to see if we can buy a house near York before our rental runs out, and it's not always that I feel in the frame of mind for sustained listening.

    I don't think it's feasible, therefore, that I can listen to works by Zelenka at the same time as you, classical yorkist, but if you cared to listen to these pieces at your own leisure, I would be so glad to have your opinion.
    I expect you'll be able to find superior performances, or other masses or orchestral pieces that I really shouldn't have overlooked.

    I would also be very grateful for any other posts from anyone here on Zelenka - for example, whether you agree with the Wiki assessment.

    Yours in Baroque Music,
    Ingélou.
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-13-2019 at 16:29.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    I can't improve on the excellent list by Josquin and I will endeavour to listen to your list and offer some opinions. My best wishes for Taggart and I dearly hope everything falls into place for you. I know it can be hard but baroque music has a wonderful power so listening may be an aide.

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