Renaissance and Baroque for the simpleton

tones

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French baroque doesn't get much of a look-in, largely because the French court composers were simply outperformed by the two giants Bach and Handel, and because of the sheer volume of relatively routine stuff churned out for the entertainments of Louis XIV. However, much of it was pleasantly tuneful. Here are a couple of examples, first a couple of bits of Lully's Carrousel du Roy, followed by the prelude to Charpentier's Te Deum (aka The Eurovision Tune):

[video=youtube;HTtFcJE7Jfk]

 

Boxer

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On another French baroque note:

Rebel's Violin Sonatas (Manze, Egarr and ter Linden on Harmonia Mundi) are well worth a listen.

 

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tones

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Nice bit of French baroque:

[video=youtube;XzPF2vCw1y4]

I believe that this was the one in which Jean-Baptiste Lully became the only conductor ever to kill himself with a baton. (He was beating time on the floor with a heavy staff, banged his foot and died from the resulting abscess).

The same programme also has a nice version of the Charpentier Te Deum (the Eurovision tune).

 

RichG

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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
Another amazing Munrow album:

41TbIEbhAyL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Gothic-Era-Munrow/dp/B000046S45/ref=sr_1_40?ie=UTF8&qid=1332802050&sr=8-40

A friend brought this around on vinyl and asked me to record it to for him and I fell in love, especially the first two sides of the set. Eventually I managed to find a copy on CD although I prefer the sound on vinyl.

I'm sure DCD must have heard and been influenced by this.

 
A

Abascal

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And what about music around the Tarentala theme, the spider that beats men and get them into melancholia :

the version by Gregorio Paniagua



or the Christina Pluhar version around traidional music from Naples :



 

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aukhawk

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I have to admit that, given the chance, all my Desert Island Discs would be Bach. (But that doesn't mean I don't also like Thelonious Monk.)

Recently I've been listening to some of the choral recordings (on BIS) by Suzuki and his Japanese band. Beautifully recorded and played in a lovely ambience, but sometimes a bit serious-minded for my taste - I like my Bach with a bit more spring in the step, this version of the St. Matt Pash sounds almost loved-up. But really, it's good to sample a very wide variety of approaches, ol' Johann Sebastian can certainly take it. The Cello Suites are excellent for this - there are about 50 different recordings out there ...

Worth reading up a bit about Bach too - some of the background about his life and the way he worked, and some of the theories about the hidden messages woven into his music, are just fascinating. The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach is a nice mixture of light analysis and trivia.

Someone else I discovered recently, after seeing the TV programme "God's Composer", is Victoria, one of the later Renaissance composers. The Requiem is supposed to be the piece to hear, but I've also bought the "Missa Trahe me post" (Westminster Choir) and like that very much.

 

themadlatvian

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I have to admit that, given the chance, all my Desert Island Discs would be Bach. (But that doesn't mean I don't also like Thelonious Monk.)Recently I've been listening to some of the choral recordings (on BIS) by Suzuki and his Japanese band. Beautifully recorded and played in a lovely ambience, but sometimes a bit serious-minded for my taste - I like my Bach with a bit more spring in the step, this version of the St. Matt Pash sounds almost loved-up. But really, it's good to sample a very wide variety of approaches, ol' Johann Sebastian can certainly take it. The Cello Suites are excellent for this - there are about 50 different recordings out there ...

Worth reading up a bit about Bach too - some of the background about his life and the way he worked, and some of the theories about the hidden messages woven into his music, are just fascinating. The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach is a nice mixture of light analysis and trivia.

Someone else I discovered recently, after seeing the TV programme "God's Composer", is Victoria, one of the later Renaissance composers. The Requiem is supposed to be the piece to hear, but I've also bought the "Missa Trahe me post" (Westminster Choir) and like that very much.
You are using an SBT, and you use the finest turntable ever produced this side of Paradisium!

Good job I agree with you about who is truly 'God's Composer'.

Must speak further.

:^

 

lowendall

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not strictly in the thread but i have just recieved a nice cd recording , dynamics and all, the scotish chamber orchestra vivaldi 4 seasons, the antony marwood some very fine playing and a goodrecording as well,, solo fiddle still a litle too close miked for me , but overall sound is ok ,

if a little mixed up sound stage due to mentioned , spot mic, .

bmg recording , mine cost 4 pounds new !

lowendall.

i wonder whyitseemsnorecording label list themusicians onthese recordings, a shame ,as i like tofollow these sortof things, .

lowendall.

 

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lowendall

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i really like this recording, video, can any one tell me was itissued on cd, or can i get hold of teh same band playing the same tracks,

thanks

lowendall,my sort of classical , really , liked it, . old style, .no mobiles or i thingys there .

 

tones

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Worth reading up a bit about Bach too - some of the background about his life and the way he worked, and some of the theories about the hidden messages woven into his music, are just fascinating. The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach is a nice mixture of light analysis and trivia.
Probably THE book on Bach is this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Learned-Musician/dp/0199248842/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333552366&sr=1-1

For the cantatas, it's this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Cantatas-Bach-librettos-German-English/dp/0199297762/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333553045&sr=1-1

 

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tones

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On Good Friday, I went to hear the Bach St. Matthew Passion, done by local amateur choirs. It was well done, the enthusiasm and spirit more than making up for any technical deficiencies. If anyone would like to hear/see this wonderful, austere masterpiece, now's your chance:

[video=youtube;jm1os4VzTgA]

The locals did the Mendelssohn version, which is about 45 minutes shorter than the original. Mendelssohn really sparked the Bach revival. He lived in Leipzig, where Bach died and was buried. By the time Mendelssohn came along, Bach had been forgotten almost completely, apart from a few vague memories of a great organist. Young Felix, in his early twenties and regarded as somewhat of an enfant terrible in the music world, came across the old St. Matthew score in Leipzig library while looking for something else. As he leafed through it, his eyes got wider and wider, and he knew he just HAD to perform this. He moved heaven and earth to do so, and conducted the first performance since Bach's day, over 70 years earlier.

[correction: apparently the story of Mendelssohn finding it in the Leipzig library is apocryphal - the actual story appears to be that he was given the score as a 20th birthday present - with the abovementioned consequences]

The star of the show is not Jesus (who gets a few lines now and then), but the Evangelist, a tenor, who tells the story of the Passion. A good Evangelist is essential, otherwise it doesn't work. The choruses are also good. The funny thing is that The Big Tune, which occurs three times, is not by Bach at all, but by Hans Leo Hassler, more than a century earlier. The famous words are by Paulus Gerhardt (O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, still sung in English churches as "O Sacred Head, sore wounded"), and they are used here at 1:59:13. In those pre-copyright days, plagiarism wasn't considered a sin in those days; indeed it was probably regarded as a compliment.

 
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aukhawk

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St Matthew Passion seems to me to occupy the same place in music, that Hamlet does in literature. Though I must admit I often edit out the Evangelist and go mainly for the arias - Simon of Cyrene dragging the cross is my favourite.

Back to Bach's Cello Suites - there are so many good versions out there I honestly think it's hard to go wrong. My new favourite is this

61hoTZgu7cL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


http://www.amazon.co.uk/J-S-Bach-Suites-Solo-Cello/dp/B003INJERQ/ref=sr_1_8?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1334252607&sr=1-8

energitic and fairly 'free' performance, and huge, larger-than-life recording.

Straying off-topic -

You are using an SBT, and you use the finest turntable ever produced this side of Paradisium! :^
The turntable only used now for digitizing a few prized LPs from my collection - once that's done, it'll be off to the skip! :D

 

tones

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Just found that someone nice has put the whole of Gardiner's Proms performance of Monteverdi's Vespers on YouTube:

[video=youtube;TC1A512ywoI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC1A512ywoI

This is my very favourite piece of music, a place where Renaissance and Baroque meet. The big psalm settings are wonderful (e.g. Nisi Dominus at 40:41 and Lauda Jerusalem at 55:18). The Monteverdis are at their superb best.

 

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tones

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This is great:

LL_16XG.jpg


Not only all four Coronation Anthems but also The arrival of the Queen of Sheba, some splendidly-sung arias from Semele and a not-so-splendidly-played organ concerto. The other problem is a BBC announcer blethering on (and on, and on, and on...), fine for a once-only TV performance perhaps, but not for repeated viewing. However, Christophers and The Sixteen (more like The Thirty actually) give a brilliant demonstration as to why British Choirs are regarded as being at the top of the heap.

 

NAM

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Actually, the proper title of these pieces is The Rosary Sonatas: I get mixed up sometimes `cos the different sections are Mysteries of this, Mysteries of that...Oh, and I'm making this one a sticky as it's a question that has come up a few times before.
Really enjoying these Biber sonatas (Manze on spotify). Was just having a nosey around the classical section for recommendations. Haven:'t been able to stop listening to thrm the last couple of days....thanks!

 

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tones

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Time for a spot of Christmas - and none better than this, the mediaeval carol In Dulci Jubilo, the ear-ripping off climax to Paul McCreesh's synthesis of a Renaissance Lutheran Christmas morning mass:

[video=youtube;Q3p6nAaOmyU]

 

tones

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This is a rather nice disc:

22647_400x400.jpg


Counter-tenor Damien Guillon sings the solo cantatas BWV170 and 35 very nicely. The orchestra, the delightfully-named Le Banquet Céleste, plays beautifully, and there's a bonus of a couple of organ pieces from the organist who plays in the cantatas. A nice, bright, lively recording rounds off the whole package nicely.