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Thread: I don't have enough time to explore Baroque period

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Default I don't have enough time to explore Baroque period

    I have been listening to Baroque and Early music almost exclusively (along with Baroque, Renaissance period) since I was 20 years old, that is 13 years at this moment. I feel there are lots of recordings and works I will never explore. I usually dedicate some hours each week to listen to Bach cantatas but there are lots of compositions I haven't even explored. I am now interested in Telemann cantatas, oratorios and passions, there are many Telemann Passions I want to listen to. This is a list of the Passions that Telemann composed:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passions_(Telemann)

    Unfortunately most of them are missing, but there are some recordings of those that survived. Along with Telemann Passions, I can mention Graupner's orchestral and keyboard works, Froberger keyboard works, Pachelbel organ works, some Handel operas, and several sacred cantatas from 17th century german composers: Scheidt, Pachelbel, Förtsch, and several madrigals of Monteverdi and Palestrina.

    Is a fascinating period of history that caught my attention several years ago and the more I listen the more time I want to dedicate to it.

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    Yeah. Baroque composers were so prolific, you can't hear and fully digest all that was written. My main interest is sacred music, and in that genre alone, it's overwhelming, with not just the famous ones but also the obscure ones, neglected not so much for their inherent quality but because they haven't found the proper champion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    , it's overwhelming,


    The phenomenon is exacerbated as soon as you get interested in renaissance and medieval music.

    A while ago I said to myself that the only thing to do to avoid superficiality is to choose a few composers and focus, read, study, listen, compare. I chose Ockeghem.

    But it’s not possible, there’s too much beautiful stuff to hear. This afternoon I’ve been listening to a mass by Hellinck (who he?) sung by Egidius Kwartet, part of the Leiden Choirbooks. It’s stunning music, but my response is reptilian - I just let it wash over me and cry “oh how beautiful”, like a reptile basking in the sun.

    Maybe I’m condemned to be a lizard, bad Karma.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-16-2018 at 14:21.

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    It was quite some time ago that I found the return on listening to new Baroque pieces was very small. Often I would enjoy a piece the first time but would tire of it quickly. For me, it turned out that most Bach, a lot of Handel and Vivaldi, and some Telemann are essential ... and a fair bit of Purcell as well if you want to include him as Baroque. Other than these I continue to enjoy the odd piece by Zalenka and a few others. I am not sure why but I never warmed to Corelli.

    Still, the Baroque did pretty well for me because I think that I only find two Classical composers to be as worthwhile.

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    No one does. .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    T

    A while ago I said to myself that the only thing to do to avoid superficiality is to choose a few composers and focus, read, study, listen, compare. I chose Ockeghem . . . But it’s not possible, there’s too much beautiful stuff to hear. This afternoon I’ve been listening to a mass by Hellinck (who he?) .
    And I have appreciated the knowledge of Renaissance music which you've shown around this forum.

    At least Ockegehem is good to study because there is so little of his music out there, and you can take the time to explore the nuances of his fertile imagination.

    Who is Hellinck? Ha! Before Sinatra and Martin had the Rat Pack, there was the Wolf Pack: Johannes Lupi and Lupus Hellinck.
    Last edited by Manxfeeder; Sep-16-2018 at 15:22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I never warmed to Corelli.
    I just got the complete works of Corelli from Brilliant Classics - 10 CDs worth. That alone is overwhelming, trying to see the merits of each piece and not get dulled by the similarities of sound (mostly trio sonatas).

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    ^^^ It's not the similarities between the pieces that got in my way (I enjoy Vivaldi a lot, for example). I just haven't really liked anything I have heard of Corelli ... and I have tried quite a lot.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    I very much like Baroque music, but a 10 CD set of Corelli might be a bit much. I almost certainly would not listen to many of them in one sitting.

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    Senior Member Blancrocher's Avatar
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    If you haven't heard them yet, you might try the Avison Ensemble in Corelli. Magical sound quality. Their recent release of the Concerti Grossi is on its way to me.

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    A while ago I said to myself that the only thing to do to avoid superficiality is to choose a few composers and focus, read, study, listen, compare. I chose Ockeghem.
    Ockeghem is one of my favourite Renaissance Polyphony composers, I have 4 recordings of his Requiem being Pro Cantione Antiqua my favourite, maybe because of the inclusion of Desprez Missa L'homme armé and because is the only one using instruments doubling voices. For Ockeghem and Desprez I usually prefer male choir ensembles specialized in this repertoire: Cappella Pratensis (Stratton Bull), The Hilliard Ensemble, among others.

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    Diabolus in Musica are about to release a recording of the Ockeghem Requiem; I saw them perform it in Holland a few weeks ago. No instruments, all male, very forceful.

    Cappella Pratensis are very much at the top of the field at the moment, I heard them sing some motets and it was very memorable indeed, and I also heard them sing Obrecht's Missa Maria Zart. I know some people who have been to their masterclasses and workshops and all speak of them with great affection and respect.

    For my part I adore the recordings they made with Rebecca Stewart, I like her ideas about tempo and voice production. Some of those ideas seem to me to be still around with Stratton Bull
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-16-2018 at 20:23.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    I just got the complete works of Corelli from Brilliant Classics - 10 CDs worth. That alone is overwhelming, trying to see the merits of each piece and not get dulled by the similarities of sound (mostly trio sonatas).
    I have the same box set and I remember I liked it but is one of the things related to my post, I listened to it around 10 years ago, I may come back to Corelli soon. I also have the Concerti Grossi Op.6 by Ensemble 415 and Violin Sonatas Op.5 by Accademia Bizantina.

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    you will never be able to listen to all the works written by all the composers, even if you concentrate just on one period of time. My approach in first instance is to listen to 2-3 best works of each composer and thus forming an opinion whether I like his music or not. And what I like best I will dig deeper, but never with the goal to listen to all works of any composer. Life is too short.

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