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Thread: "Tragic" Baroque Sacred Music Recommendations

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    Member Bxnwebster's Avatar
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    Default "Tragic" Baroque Sacred Music Recommendations

    I've been listening a lot recently to melancholy/tragic (at least in my own perception) Baroque sacred music. What are some of your favorite tragic Baroque sacred works, especially those similar to the pieces I have listed below?

    The pieces I have been enjoying are:
    - Bach: Nach dir Herr verlanget mich, BWV 150
    - Biber: Requiem
    - Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri, BuxWV 75
    - Pergolesi: Stabat Mater
    - Vivaldi: Stabat Mater
    - Zelenka: Lamentationes Jeremiae prophetae pro hebdomada sancta, ZWV 53 (although not all of it is tragic)
    - Zelenka: Miserere (also not completely tragic)

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Interesting that you chose BWV 150 as a Bach representative, a very youthful and disjointed work that is by no means bad but it is not even accepted to be by him in some scholarly circles. Besides the passions of course, try BWV 12, 13, 23, 55, 56, 101, 125, 127, 199...for starters.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jan-13-2021 at 05:21.

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    Not sacred music in the narrow sense but a tragic religious theme: Just listened to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's Händel aria album. "Lord to Thee each night and day" from Theodora is particularly moving.

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    Addendum to previous post : Maybe even more touching: "As with rosy steps the morn" - the music clearly depicts the tragic theme of Theodora and is almost in contrast with the message of hope in the text.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    BWV 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit 'Actus tragicus'
    If this in not tragic, what is?
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    Christoph Graupner did "tragic" in his own unique style. An excellent example is his cantata reflecting on the story of the Widow of Nain (18:55 in the video) .

    Also his 10 cantata passion cycle of 1741 contains some wonderfully desolate music. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3s...hHQSOrs8aU0Aww
    Last edited by Tasto solo; Jan-25-2021 at 22:17.

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    Senior Member RICK RIEKERT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    BWV 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit 'Actus tragicus'
    If this in not tragic, what is?
    The earliest surviving manuscript, in the hand of Christian Friedrich Penzel, was copied in 1768 after Bach’s death. It introduced the title Actus tragicus. The work was intended for a funeral and is sober and calm, but does not strike me as particularly tragic as the text expresses Christian belief in eternal life, juxtaposing and contrasting eternity (“God’s time”) with the temporal. Bach makes a stark contrast between the earthly death of the Old Testament (everyone must die) and the joys of eternal life to come in the light of Christ’s redemption. It starts with a joyful and confident chorus: 'God’s time is the very best time (to die)' for 'With peace and joy I travel there as God so wills. My heart and mind are confident, Peaceful and calm.' The spiritual journey of the whole cantata is a slow descent towards death followed by an ascension leading to the light and joy of resurrection through Jesus Christ: 'May godly strength make us triumph through Jesus Christ, Lord, Amen.'

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Handel - Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline: The ways of Zion do mourn.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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