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Thread: For love of the Baroque...

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Default For love of the Baroque...

    For love of the Baroque, I vow to undertake a delightful project...



    If you love Baroque music - you will know about that sense of connection with all the beauty in the Universe when you listen to it.

    I was idly looking at the Wiki list of baroque composers:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baroque_composers


    I had never heard of the first on the list - Jacopo Peri ((1561-1633) - and at first could find no examples of his work on YouTube. Then I looked up his Wiki biography and located this link for his opera Euridice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNIv0gQMLQA

    I started to listen - and a wonderful voice spoke to me out of the past, saying 'I was once alive, like you, and now I reach out to you from Eternity, your destination too...'

    Then I thought that I haven't seen much on TC lately about the Beauties of the Baroque.

    I am going to try and listen to items from the Wiki list in chronological order and write about my experiences, and I would love it if you, dear reader & Baroque-Lover, could post your listening experiences using composers from the list, though not necessarily in order - unless you want to.

    You might also like to highlight baroque composers who have somehow not appeared on the list, if any there be.

    I invite you also - or as an alternative - to post on this thread any new discoveries you have made, and/or any observations on baroque music that occur to you.

    Just wondering now whether to change the thread title to Baroque Epiphanies -
    but no, Amor Vincit Omnia!
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-14-2017 at 11:33.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    I too love the baroque, it holds many mysteries in it's music and is always challenging me to unravel them. It is an odyssey that can never be completed and I am all the happier upon realising that. That is truly my baroque epiphany.

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    I recommend the magnificent music of Cavalli from 17th century Italy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ga5h9B1XI4

    I recently showed my grand daughter the clip of the dancing bear and the commedia character, which occurs here at circa 5:25 and she loved it!!
    Last edited by CountenanceAnglaise; Oct-14-2017 at 13:09. Reason: Not a clown!

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    I've made a new baroque discovery today; Johann Adam Reincken. Wow, amazing music but so little preserved for posterity.


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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    One of the beginnings of the Baroque in England is the Fitzwilliam Virginal book. So I'll start there with a range of composers to choose from. One of the more interesting is Peter Phillips. He feld to Europe because of anti-Catholic persecution in England. After the death of his wife, he became a Jesuit. He travelled extensively in Europe and met many composers including Sweelinck and Frescobaldi. As well as much sacred music he also wrote a range of secular compositions.





    He also wrote a pavan on the passamezzo ground here played on a range of recorders

    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by classical yorkist View Post
    I've made a new baroque discovery today; Johann Adam Reincken. Wow, amazing music but so little preserved for posterity...
    I've just listened, and it's lovely. Thank you for sharing your discovery!

    So much doesn't survive - Jacopo Peri's first opera Dafne, the very first ever, doesn't for example. Oh for a time machine to go and listen to some of these lost items.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    I finished listening to Peri's Euridice - just the music, and it's hard to imagine that the performance can be very dramatic, as it's really just one long song - but what a song. Hauntingly beautiful and melancholic.

    Because it was written to celebrate the marriage of Henri IV and Marie de Medici, the opera has a happy ending - Orpheus wins his wife back and the nymphs and shepherds rejoice!

    Looking into Peri's life, I see that he collaborated with Giulio Cacchini, who didn't make the Wiki list, (unless I'm missing something) and who will therefore be my next port of call. His esteemed daughter Francesca didn't either, although I've been told that she was better than Barbara Strozzi, whose songs I love. But I think that much of her work has been lost.

    Another point that occurs to me, after reading about Jacopo Peri's life, is that this thing where you had to please patrons had a real downside - the rival who was trying to cut you up. Cacchini was ten years older than Peri and because his daughter was singing he took over some of the writing - then rushed out his own version of Euridice so that he could claim to have published the first opera!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Iq6bB4kE8s
    Last edited by Ingélou; Oct-15-2017 at 09:20.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    The style of the music by Peter Phiips is prima facie so different from the style of that fugue by Reincken, I wonder if much is served by putting them in the same category ("baroque")

    Peter Philips's music is so sweet I've never heard a performance which is less than alluring.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-15-2017 at 10:12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    The style of the music by Peter Phiips is prima facie so different from the style of that fugue by Reincken, I wonder if much is served by putting them in the same category ("baroque")

    Peter Philips's music is so sweet I've never heard a performance which is less than alluring.
    You know I was thinking exactly the same thing this morning. 'Baroque' is too monolithic a label for a period that lasts roughly 150 years and encompasses such wildly varying styles.

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    Senior Member Taplow's Avatar
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    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.

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    I'm probably preaching to the converted here, and excuse me if I sound patronising, but I feel that Sweelinck's Chromatic Fantasy has to be posted in here just in case we have newcomers to the baroque checking this thread out. I adore Sweelinck and think his music is groundbreaking and exemplifies what the baroque is about and lays so many foundations for what is to follow.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Taggart View Post
    One of the more interesting is Peter Phillips. . . .He travelled extensively in Europe and met many composers including Sweelinck and Frescobaldi.
    Interesting to think about what Philips got out of the connection to Frescobaldi, or vice versa. I think I can hear an affinity between the composers in the way Vartolo plays the toccate Bk 2 - but I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Oct-15-2017 at 11:47.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    The style of the music by Peter Phiips is prima facie so different from the style of that fugue by Reincken, I wonder if much is served by putting them in the same category ("baroque")
    I agree. Dates are no guide. The opera by Jacopo Peri sounds baroque, yet it dates from 1600. The English music from this date sounds firmly 'Renaissance' to my ears. (Lovely, though!)

    For the purposes of this thread, please discuss any music that usually comes under the label of 'baroque', even if like Monteverdi they are really an amphibious beast.

    I love Early Music, Renaissance Music and Baroque, so the label doesn't really bother me.

    It might be interesting if someone with a bit of knowledge could describe the 'usual characteristics' of baroque compared with what came before and after. But there'll always be composers who straddle the various epochal styles or who are just themselves.
    ~ Mollie ~
    My fiddle my joy.

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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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. ...

    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. .... Was English music of the time somewhat more conservative and resistant to change than music on the continent? I doubt it.
    The English in the early 17th century specialised in the viol consort - think Coprario, Byrd, Jenkins, Ward or Ferrabosco - all English. They all developed out of the English madrigal movement with links to both viol consorts and keyboard works. Jenkins in the 1640's was reviving the In Nomine which was also taken up by Purcell. The big change did not come until the Restoration in 1660 when Charles II brought in the violin in imitation of Louis XIV's Les Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi. However even in 1665 Simpson was writing The Division Viol although the violinist and composer Banister was also writing divisions for the violin at the same period.

    That barely scratches the surface of early 17th century English music but it was a fairly conservative period.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member Gaspard de la Nuit's Avatar
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    I stopped playing the piano 5-6 years ago but back then I had very, very little appreciation for the baroque.....I just started getting really into it. I made the thread about Wanda Landowska, if you saw it, and her Bach, Rameau and Couperin (unfortunately she didn't record so much Couperin) are the creme of the crop, for any keyboard instrument.

    I can't get enough of the baroque keyboard....Purcell, The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Buxtehude, Couperin, Rameau, J.S. Bach....

    Having been a music student for a period of time....I'm quite aware that 80% of what people will learn, hear or play from the baroque is J.S. Bach.....and I think this worked to greatly diminish my experience of Bach's music, that it had become so commonplace. Put in context, played alongside the other baroque composers, you can really see it from a better angle. Also it sounds better played on a deluxe harpsichord, IMO.
    Last edited by Gaspard de la Nuit; Oct-15-2017 at 13:54.
    "Only in being hidden does the Divine reveal itself."

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