Renaissance and Baroque for the simpleton

Spacehopper

Wammer
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Aug 2, 2009
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Time to 'fess-up. I like listening to classical music on the odd occasion and I even have some albums and CD's but very few (the Four Seasons anyone :oops: ) but, when I was a yoof I bought the Dead Can Dance album Aion which is their interpretations of renaissance songs and have loved it ever since. So over the years, I had occasionally dabbled with this type of stuff but never really bought anything; however lately, I've got pretty bored with my usual fare and have thought about finding out a bit more so might as well ask the experts.

If you wouldn't mind could I get some suggestions for good CD's of renaissance and baroque music - bearing in mind I'm a classical simpleton. Ta muchly.

 

tones

Wammer
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Apr 10, 2006
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Tony
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To me, the must-have baroque pieces are:

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos - I recommend the recent Gardiner versions

Bach: Violin concertos - the recent Julia Fischer recording is marvellous

Handel: Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music - I recommend the ancient Pinnock versions (his Water Music remains my standard test disc)

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (yes, really) - I have a soft spot for the gritty Drottningholm version on BIS.

For Renaissance:

Praetorius: Dances from "Terpsichore" - the brilliant New London Consort/Philip Pickett version has been re-released - all the ornaments on the mantelpiece dance with joy when this goes on.

David Munrow: A collection of this pioneer of early music was recently released. I'll see if I can find a reference. Ah, yes, here 'tis:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Renaissance-Dances-Munrow-Consort-London/dp/B000CEBOQ8/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1286221552&sr=1-3

I've avoided choral music, but there's some glorious stuff in there.

 

Spacehopper

Wammer
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Tony that's excellent, what I plan to do is keep a list on Amazon of recommendations and work my way through them - so many thanks. I do love The Four Seasons but thinking back most of the versions I've owned have been pretty average so I look forward to hearing the Drottingholm version.

 

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tones

Wammer
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Tony
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My pleasure. And if you want a nice bit of Renaissance choral, try this:

G99 B.JPG

The final chorale, In dulci jubilo, the famous old Christmas carol ("Good Christian men, rejoice"), with brass, drums, soloists and every chorister in Denmark singing the part of the congregation will rip your ears off and deposit them somewhere behind the settee - assuming that you haven't already been killed by the speaker voice coils flying across the room at you

 

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SSM

Wammer
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Several beautiful recommendations from the veritable Tones. Bach's compositions are wonderful, harmonized music for peaceful souls. :^ Every classical music collection must have some space for his music.

However my own Bach corner is gathering dust these days. I think I've fallen into a ditch with regards to my appreciation of his era of music. The last Bach I played was a set of violin concertos. The music-making was pleasant but after the CD stopped spinning, I looked up with a blank stare and somehow felt that I had wasted an hour of my time listening to that. That was in September and I haven't spun any Bach since.

I'm not saying this to rouse the rabble but I think I'm done with Bach for good. :(

SS

 

tones

Wammer
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Tony
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Chacun à son goût, ol' hoss. You always struck me as essentially a Romantics man. Curiously, I went the other way. I started with the Romantics and ended up with the Baroque. Unlike yourself, I wouldn't say that I've played my last Beethoven or Tchaikovsky, but I find Bach in particular very satisfying. There's a basic strength and robustness that I find nearly nowhere else (Beethoven is in the same ball park). But then, wouldn't the world be a dull place if we all thought the same?

Tones (who is wondering what to do with his life, now that the last of the Gardiner Cantata Pilgrimage recordings have arrived)

 

SSM

Wammer
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Tones (who is wondering what to do with his life, now that the last of the Gardiner Cantata Pilgrimage recordings have arrived)
That may be a sign that your time is up. :p This weekend you may wake up to hear Dame Joan sing Alcina amongst the clouds, with a toasted Vegemite sandwich and mug of Horlicks for your refreshment. Heaven. :mrgreen:

(and goodness gracious me, has that dratted Gardiner encyclopedic enterprise only just ended?!! :shock: :nup: )

You said it. I'm definitely a Romantic. :)

SS

 

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Spacehopper

Wammer
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Tones - first to arrive via Amazon is Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - Drottningholm version on BIS. I've not had the chance to listen to it yet - so I'll leave it for the weekend and some peace to enjoy it but will let you know how I get on. I think the Bach Brandenberg Concerto will be next up for ordering.

 

tones

Wammer
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Tony
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That may be a sign that your time is up. :p T
In which case, time for one of my favourite arias:

Fall asleep, you weary eyes,

close softly and pleasantly!

World, I will not remain here any longer,

I own no part of you

that could matter to my soul.

Here I must build up misery,

but there, there I will see

sweet peace, quiet rest.

 

Spacehopper

Wammer
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Aug 2, 2009
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Tony just a quick update - I have just finished listening to the Drottningholm Four Seasons recording for the first time and all I can say is wow and thank you.

It's certainly quite different from my previously owned versions but the power in the recording was quite a room-shaking shock :shock: . I'm really looking forward to getting the other recommendations you made. :^

 

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Boxer

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More Bach: by the time you've eased yourself in with some Brandenburgs, the violin concertos (Grumiaux on Phillips at mid-price is good), the violin sonatas and partitas, possibly some harpsichord concertos, you may be ready for the Cello Suites! The likes of Tortelier, Casals and Fournier are all available on bargain or mid-price discs. I also like Isserlis.

On a more Italianate note: Albinoni's Oboe concertos(Robson, Standage, Collegium 90) are very pleasant.

A bit odder: Biber's Mystery Sonatas for violin (Andrew Manze) are excellent.

For some Bohemian Baroque try Zelenka's Trio Sonatas (Zehetmair, Holliger et alia on ECM).

Let me know when you are ready for the Renaissance choral music...

 

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Spacehopper

Wammer
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Thanks Boxer, I've added them to my Amazon Wish List - 13 CD's in no time !

I want to take my time buying them as I don't want to over-do it, but the suggestions made by everyone look excellent - so many thanks to everyone :^

 

peterh

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Spacehopper, before you order the Brandenburgs (and they should be on your list of stuff to have a listen to), have a search in the tent for free downloads. NCdrawl put up a link to a very nice free download (and entirely legit). The recording may not be the last word but it is fine. And free.

If you're looking at the Four Seasons, try Christoper Hogwood & The Academy of Ancient Music version on original instruments. Very nice, in my ill-informed opinion.

 

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