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Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:25 pm
I suppose I wrote off John Eliot Gardner long ago, thinking him irrelevant to the New Baroque Tradition (if that's what it was called). It seems he kept up
with the times in his own way---in spades. These recordings aren't like those of the Northern European music directors/conductors we've been hearing:
more drama, but sincere for a blessed change ? More risks taken; no holds barred, full-bodied . . .
Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:20 pm
Lovers of music seem always to want to see
the performers as well as hear them; here's a video of a rendition of the fifth Brandenburg Concerto,
by an ensemble about as small as could be managed, in which the interaction of musical lines is matched visibly by the interaction between
performers---led (almost imperceptibly) by violinist Shunske Sato, new to me and worth following.
The performance is enhanced by the presence of a vintage 1640 harpsichord [by Ruckers, no less] which was [available]
for the occasion. I'm not sold by the keyboardist [in the first-movement cadenza, anyway] but . . . what fun they are surely having ! For once we
hear the bass notes loud and clear.
The fourth Brandenburg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSZJ__GIbms
Sato flaming; recorders holding their own very nicely, thank you !
(Follow that with this cantata, if you like; a sopranino recorder---or a piccolo, for heaven's sake---picks up nicely from Brandenburg #4.)
[edits in brackets]
Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:34 pm
More Sato. Shouldn't he be opening for Mr Ma in his Bach cello-suites world tour ?
Wait til he really gets into it, about a third of the way through. Much of this Partita is new to me, until a familiar section appears at the half-way point.
Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:02 pm
Jean Rondeau is another young (longhaired) firebrand specializing in Bach and the Baroque; there's a generous supply of his videos online, too . . .
The first movement only, unfortunately; not sure if the rest of it is out there as well.
Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:54 pm
On the "All of Bach" videos, at the end of each, are available short documentary interviews with the various soloists, talking about the music, the period, the performance and/or the instruments.
Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:06 am
For instance, I learned some things I didn't know about the B Minor mass, in this 17-minute "documentary" . . .
Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 5:23 pm
It would be interesting to hear this scaled-down version of the B, but lemme tell ya, singing that Sanctus in a huge choir with a full orchestra is a hell of an experience, like sailing a corsair through rough seas! And the Dona Nobis Pacem is simply the most moving piece of music I have ever sung.
Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 5:43 pm
I was a tenor in my choir-singing days; how about you, Roderick ?
My brother (a bass) reported singing the B minor Mass in college. I haven't had the pleasure. We did the FaurÃƒÂ© Requiem and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, among other delights . . .
Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:27 pm
Baritone. If I had been threatened, I could have hit some of the tenor notes, my high note being D, easier to hit, I reckon, if I were wearing a corset. Pre-teen I could hit the highest A on the piano. I could hit the B above, but it wasn't musical. My low note at that time was about an F below Middle C, so quite a range.
It is the baritone/bass section that gives Sanctus that rolling, seafaring gait. The choir literally swayed (very slightly) back and forth.
The one massive choral piece I regret never having the opportunity to sing is the Berlioz Requiem. I'm old now, and the pipes are not merely rusty, but shot, so that will never happen.
Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:00 pm
I acquired, at a sidewalk sale I think, a single 78 RPM disc from what must have been a vast album of the B minor Mass; it contained the Sanctus.
For a period in my teens I would come home from school and put that disc on a little portable Webcor phonograph I had and turn up the volume . . .
Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:24 pm
Ah, the good old 78s! My mother had a 1917 recording of Amelita Galli-Curci singing "Dov'e l'indiana Bruna (Bell Song) from Delibes' Lakme, possibly the most difficult song in opera. Mother dreamed of singing that song, but alas, Galli-Curci was a Coloratura, while mom was a Spinto.
A friend of mine, Coe Glade, whose claim to fame was having starred in "Carmen" more than any other singer in history, was living in California while the studios were mulling over making her a star. (In addition to having a spectacular voice, she as beautiful as Hedy Lamarr.) The doorbell rang, and Coe's mother went to answer it. Coe heard the door slam. "Who was that?" she asked. "Oh, just another gypsy!" the mother exclaimed. Coe went to the window to see Galli-Curci, Coe's idol, storming off in a rage!
Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:54 pm
Well, I am now a confirmed devotee of the Netherlands Bach Society and their project to record all of Bach. What's out there so far is spectacular.
Here's a bit of the B Minor Mass, arranged by Bach as a Gloria. A chance to hear familiar music at new depths and heights---and tempi ? As the decades pass, those interpreting Bach's music just get further and further into it, it seems...
Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:41 pm
Music lovers, and others, might enjoy the first 7 3/4 minutes (at least) of this video; the "exalted calm" of Herr Bach is on display in full measure...
Wright, writing in 1932: "I have always loved old Germany; Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche, Bach---the great architect who happened to choose music for his form---Beethoven and Strauss..."
Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:03 pm
Follow that with this tenor aria, starting at 5:15---and try to get that accompanying melody out of your head afterwards !
Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:10 pm
And for those who read music---or wish they did---here's a pleasant and possibly rewarding visual exercise and musical feast:
An example of Bach's "architecture," revealed ?
And that might lead you to this: