Author Topic: Gurn's Classical Corner  (Read 502445 times)

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Offline Mozart

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #500 on: May 24, 2009, 04:34:45 PM »
Actually...it seems they do it there too...im trying out the op 76 d minor one and they do it there also.
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #501 on: May 24, 2009, 04:39:06 PM »
In my recording of Mozart's Haydn quartets they repeat the recap section, and it becomes 4 minutes longer than other recordings of the d min 1st mov quartet I have. What's the deal with that? Was it common to do that or are they just being weirdos? I got these cds because of their recordings of Haydn's quartets but I don't think they repeat the recap section in those.

Who are the performers?

Generally speaking, the repeats are written but not played. This is something that developed over the years because performers were reacting to the audience having a short attention span. Repeats give the proper proportion and balance to classical sonata form, and so should not be skipped. It is unusual for a repeat to be an exact repetition of the exposition, even if it was written that way. In the Classical Era, performers were expected to ornament differently, or put some nuance that made it different. In the later periods, composers (Beethoven is a good example) actually wrote it out slightly differently. In any case, it is now becoming more usual to play the repeats. IMO, this is a good thing. :)

8)
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #502 on: May 24, 2009, 04:40:33 PM »
Actually...it seems they do it there too...im trying out the op 76 d minor one and they do it there also.

Let me guess... Quattors Mosaiques?  :)

8)
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Offline Mozart

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #503 on: May 24, 2009, 04:51:54 PM »
Let me guess... Quattors Mosaiques?  :)

8)

Yeppo, I actually didn't like their Mozart recordings as much as their Haydn ones, but I'm not sure why yet.


Well at least now I have something new to pay attention to, in the past I didn't really follow the structure, I would just sort of memorize what would come next.

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #504 on: May 24, 2009, 04:56:29 PM »
Yeppo, I actually didn't like their Mozart recordings as much as their Haydn ones, but I'm not sure why yet.


Well at least now I have something new to pay attention to, in the past I didn't really follow the structure, I would just sort of memorize what would come next.



:D

I haven't heard their Haydn yet, but I liked the Mozart. I found their Beethoven to be a bit... "draggy", but that might have just been me on that day. I really like the Festetics' Haydn, and the Smithson's Mozart & Beethoven, but I would certainly not reject the Mosaiques' Haydn, in fact, I'm just a bit jealous... :D

8)
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Offline Valentino

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #505 on: May 24, 2009, 11:23:43 PM »
You should be, Gurn.  ;D

We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #506 on: May 25, 2009, 05:50:27 PM »
I'm now posting the promised review on the works by Krommer included in the recent release of the Marcolini Quartett. I will focus on Krommer's compositions, and therefore I won't make any comment on the performances.

When I last posted about this CD, I had just listened to some available clips so to form an image of the Krommer sound in the field of string quartet. During his lifetime it was considered as his specialty, so I didn't expect to face a bad work. I guess I remarked in that post that there was something strange in the Krommer sound.

Anyway, I will start chronologically, for there are three works included: op. 19 n. 2, op. 74 n. 3 and op. 103 n. 3.

The first one, op. 19 n. 2 (F major), wasn't a surprise at all. I own a recording of the quartets op. 18 and, as these ones, op. 19 n. 2 is written in an excellent 1800 style, like late Haydn or early Beethoven. It is a very beautiful work and lovers of this style will not be disappointed.

But we meet the real Krommer in the two later quartets, that clearly show Krommer inventing his way for evolving classical style. I will remark some points that I found very interesting (the booklet notes, by the way, do not contain special remarks on Krommer's style and very slight ones concerning these works, so I hope mine might be useful for interested listeners).

I would say that op. 74 n. 3 (D minor) is quite an irregular work. I don't have too much to say about the second and fourth movements, but on the other hand I think the first and third are very interesting.
  • The heart of this quartet is the opening Allegro moderato, written in sonata form. It sounded at first listening quite conventional, but there was something that bothered me and I didn't know what it was. When I listened to it carefully I understood what it was. I began to check the timing for each section, and found out that there was a disproportion; by listening again I understood what Krommer was doing: he exposes an A subject, then a B subject, and then he introduces a variation on the B subject as long as the original version,  as if it were a C subject. The most delightful thing is how he plays with all these resources: for example, he introduces false transitions, in the development he brings out residual items of the main subjects and not the main phrases, and he ends vibrantly with a false coda.
  • The third one, Menuetto, is remarkable in its mixture of sophistication and folkloric mood. The minuet is quite sophisticated and there is a delightful figure for the cello in the subject that is treated later in counterpoint; the trio is deliciously popular, with a strange harmonic turn that makes me think of some hungarian influence.

The jewel of the CD is op. 103/3, in A minor. It is a very regular work; every movement hides interesting features. Very briefly:

  • The Allegro moderato, in regular sonata form, presents very peculiar subjects (the second one isn't almost one at all, but an ascending figure), as well as transitions that are some of the best examples of a grotesque style in the high classical period, and a development in which Krommer remembers the "curtain" that opened the movement, treated with a quite unusual chromaticism for the time.
  • If there is a highlight of this quartet, it is the Andante con scherzo. It is strange from every point of view. Harmonically, it follows the strange chromatic figures presented first in the previous movement, introducing a quite unpleasant atmosphere. There are contrapuntal elements used with discretion but very good taste. But the greatest achievement is a formal one, that appears just by repeated listening. Krommer inserted a structure that is meant to deceive concentrated listeners: he exposes (A) and (B), and then repeats (A), so inducing to think it is a traditional sonata form (or a binary one), but this repetition of A stops very quickly and changes to a subject closer to a (C) pattern than to a strange development of (A). Then he repeats (A) and (B), and "pushes" (it's a bit subjective, but I feel it this way) towards another (A) so it would be a complete rondo-sonata form. But (A) never comes back, he just throws an unexpectedly short and strange coda and finishes. Deceiving... and, in my opinion, brilliant.
  • The Menuetto sounds a bit perverse, but is a very beautifully written movement, showing some sparkling exchanges among the instruments. The most important formal feature is the (almost) fusion of minuet and trio. I'd say it is difficult to notice the change in a first listening, but it is there. The result, a kind of "block"  menuet-trio-menuet is very interesting. There is another brief and strange coda.
  • The most relaxed movement, Finale. Allegretto, in sonata form, has its power in the subjects shown. They are very characteristic; for instance, the second sentence of (A) seems a transposition of a bel canto figure, and the second part of (B) is wonderfully asymmetrical, with a phrase with long intervals and one almost cacophonic in its repetition of close notes.

I hope this short review will motivate GMG posters to explore these hidden corners of classicism. I was really delighted to see how Krommer, far from being the excellent but light-hearted composer of wind music could develop a style that was quite his own during the first three decades of the nineteenth century; this is confirmed by other of his works from this period that I've been so happy to discover. I hope this suggested enthusiasm for recording Krommer's string quartets will go on, for I am sure that there is a lot of really excellent music waiting to delight listeners around the world.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 05:54:08 PM by Gabriel »

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #507 on: May 25, 2009, 05:59:16 PM »
That is a fascinating and very insightful review, Gabriel, thanks so much. This disk has already worked its way considerably up my "to buy" list, and this will have it leapfrogging a few others. As much as I greatly enjoy Krommer's lighter works, and his wind works in particular, it will be a pleasure to see him at his secret best. :)

8)

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Offline Sorin Eushayson

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #508 on: May 26, 2009, 05:50:44 PM »
Just popping in the Corner to say, "Hi."  ;)

Gurn,
You might be interested to know that I just ordered ten CD's of Vivaldi, most of it Biondi's work - I'll let you know what I think after I've listened to it all!  ;D

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #509 on: May 27, 2009, 05:11:39 AM »
I'm now posting the promised review on the works by Krommer included in the recent release of the Marcolini Quartett. I will focus on Krommer's compositions, and therefore I won't make any comment on the performances......


Gabriel - thank you for that thorough and insightful review of the Krommer SQs disc - now, I must go back w/ your comments in mind and re-listen to my copy of that recording!   :D  Dave

karlhenning

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #510 on: May 28, 2009, 04:00:38 AM »
J.B. Vanhal (1739-1813)

Introducing one of the most remarkable but still largely unknown composers of the 18th century. Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813) .  A man whose  career has been often overshadowed by Mozart but who, in fact, had close and vital musical association with him. Vanhal’s career in Vienna came to an abrupt end around 1781 in Vienna (the official reason being some sort of mental illness) though in fact he continued to compose up until the time of his death in 1813. Composer of over 60 symphonies, around the same number of masses, chamber music and concertos. Many of them of very fine quality.

The rediscovery of this man’s music and recent recordings have done much to restore our appreciation of Vanhal's remarkable talents.

Johann Baptist Vanhal
Symphony in G Major
c.1776/7
1st Movement

http://www.mediafire.com/?00fnytymhn4


It's already clear that you are here solely for purposes of flogging your own project;  and that you cannot be bothered to investigate the Forum outside your blinkers.  Also, that you have appointed yourself emcee of any and every topic tangential to your own obsession (see flogging, above).

But here is a perfectly active thread wherein discussion of Vanhal is germane.

karlhenning

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #511 on: May 28, 2009, 04:31:26 PM »
I was a little taken aback (but, I guess, needn't have been) by how difficult it was, trying to find specs on the Vanhal symphony I heard on WCRB (referenced here).  In some of the 'catalogues' given as external links at the bottom of the Wikipedia article, for instance, there is no Symphony in F to be found.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #512 on: May 28, 2009, 04:34:54 PM »
I was a little taken aback (but, I guess, needn't have been) by how difficult it was, trying to find specs on the Vanhal symphony I heard on WCRB (referenced here).  In some of the 'catalogues' given as external links at the bottom of the Wikipedia article, for instance, there is no Symphony in F to be found.

Well, I have at least 1 of them, but it doesn't have a Bryson number (virtually the only one I have without one!) so I can't be more precise... :-\

8)

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Offline Gabriel

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #513 on: June 03, 2009, 11:01:46 AM »
Gabriel - thank you for that thorough and insightful review of the Krommer SQs disc - now, I must go back w/ your comments in mind and re-listen to my copy of that recording!   :D  Dave

Dave, I hope you'll find my descriptions useful. The mood of Krommer's later works is very particular and these quartets (I mean opp. 74 and 103) show it very clearly.

:)

I would just like to post some impressions on my recent trip to Austria, where I participated in the Haydn commemorations for the 200th anniversary of his death. Even if these events don't have the magnitude of - for instance - Mozart years, I think that they had the advantage of being strictly musical and not a global process of marketing on a composer that is popularly known even by people who don't know his music. I felt among attendants a genuine musical interest and being there was really a delight.

It would be mistaken to think that there were no elements of marketing on Haydn's year, however. In Vienna, tourism offices and music shops, for instance, made it very clear that something was happening. But naturally it was in Eisenstadt where this situation was more clearly perceptible. For such a small town, this was really a great event, and Haydn was everywhere: restaurants (there was even a "Haydngoulash" that I didn't try), bookshops, music shops, shoe distributors, pharmacies... Everything turned around Haydn and it didn't look just like plain marketing; there was a kind of emotional approach beyond simple marketing, a simultaneous exhibition of legitimate musical pride.

I visited Haydn's houses in Vienna and Eisenstadt. I had visited the former 11 years ago, and if it is true that it doesn't keep many Haydn belongings, it has a wonderful atmosphere. The Eisenstadt house was something new for me, and it impressed me quite a lot. One of the anecdotes is that for the first time I saw an illustration of Haydn without the usual wig (so to discover that he had considerably less hair than the wig had). I was impressed to notice that, for this Haydn year, the original portraits of Mozart by Krafft and of Beethoven by Mähler were being displayed there. There were some other interesting manuscripts (for example, a copy in Beethoven's hand of a Haydn string quartet) or original printed works (for example, a copy of the emotive dedication from Mozart to Haydn of his six quartets).

In the most emotional moment of the trip, on May 30th I went to the Bergkirche in Eisenstadt to visit the Haydn Mausoleum and leave some flowers there for him. The beautiful bunch of flowers I bought was, alas, "confiscated" ten minutes later by the organization, arguing that there were some restrictions concerning the perspective of the TV broadcasts. I was told that the flowers would be kept and put back in the mausoleum once these activities would have been finished. In any case, those ten minutes were very profoundly emotional, because I actually went into the mausoleum and had some time for being "alone" with Haydn, as there was nobody else (I'm not sure if the gates of the mausoleum are usually open, but during those minutes they were, as it seemed that the TV people were installing some devices). So I can say I had the joy of praying for Haydn there; it was so beautiful a moment, that I didn't care too much about the incident of the flowers some minutes later.

I attended two concerts in the splendid Haydnsaal of the Esterházy castle. One was on May 30th, Paul Goodwin leading most excitingly the AAM in the performance of symphonies n. 26, 30, 44 and 49 (number 44 was particularly remarkable). And the other was on May 31st, the bicentennial concert in which The Creation was most wonderfully performed by Adám Fischer, the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonia, Annette Dasch, Christoph Strehl, and Thomas Quasthoff. The performance was truly splendid, in every way: the acoustics of the Haydnsaal are particularly vivid, so the sound of the instruments (particularly the wind instruments) was unforgettable. The singing was simply remarkable: the powerful dark tone of Dasch was an excellent counterpart to the brilliant, beautiful voice of Strehl. But for me the star of the performance was Quasthoff. I had never listened to him live, and I can just say I will not forget his magnificent performance; he was as solid in the high register as in the low one, and every line was sung with the most excellent taste and with the most splendorous beauty of tone and powerful expression.

Further anecdotes. After the concert finished, I went to the hotel to change my costume and wear more confortable clothes in order to have a walk through the gardens of the Esterházy palace. When I arrived to the Orangerie, I noticed there was some activity inside, and not knowing what it was, I sat on a nearby bench for trying to figure out what was happening to my camera, that didn't want to work properly. Suddenly, a voice in the Orangerie began to sing "Moon river". I told myself "this voice sounds like someone I know". When at the end the unknown singer reached a particularly low note, I realized that it was Thomas Quasthoff who was singing. Some minutes later he and Annette Dasch got out of the Orangerie and got into a car.

On Monday morning I was leaving back to Vienna. Before checking out of the hotel I went to have my breakfast... to discover that the main artists were having their breakfast there too! I didn't know they were staying in the same hotel were I was; as the same concert was to be performed again on Monday, it was natural that they stayed in Eisenstadt. Quasthoff, Strehl and Dasch were having a most animated conversation in their table, and in one moment, when Quasthoff and Dasch had left, I had the opportunity to congratulate Strehl personally for the splendid performance of the previous day. Some minutes later, when checking out, Thomas Quasthoff appeared at the reception so I also congratulated him. Annette Dasch and Adám Fischer appeared a bit later, but they were already leaving to the concert. I was particularly happy - and moved - of meeting briefly these great artists who serve music so beautifully, and especially in this important Haydn celebration.

That's a short account of this memorable trip to Austria. If its content doesn't belong to the Classical Corner, dear Gurn, I will gladly transpose it to the Diner, but I wanted to share these impressions with all GMG members.

Offline Opus106

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #514 on: June 03, 2009, 11:18:25 AM »
That was a wonderful read, Gabriel. Thanks for sharing it with us. :) I think I might have caught a little bit of one of those concerts on TV, in a sort of news item on the Haydn year. Alas, they were all speaking German and I couldn't understand anything. The concert hall, which I suppose was the Haydnsaal, was magnificent -- even through the idiot box! I cannot help but imagine how wonderful it would have been to experience it all live.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #515 on: June 03, 2009, 11:52:45 AM »
You are far too humble, my Dear Gabriel; I couldn't think of a more appropriate setting for your travelogue! No wonder you were so quiet all weekend, you were having a momentous occasion!  I am envious, but above all, pleased that you were able to take part. :)

Cheers,
8)


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« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 04:11:35 PM by Gurn Blanston »
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karlhenning

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #516 on: June 03, 2009, 03:08:33 PM »
Lovely, Gabriel!

snyprrr

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #517 on: June 03, 2009, 04:58:12 PM »
I just saw that Krommer SQ disc the other day. Your review makes it inevitable!

Why can't I get much info on Albrechtsberger? Another one of those "wrote 100 SQs" types?

I wrote a little list of classical composers on the SQ thread.

The SQ is 250!!!

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #518 on: June 03, 2009, 05:09:34 PM »
I just saw that Krommer SQ disc the other day. Your review makes it inevitable!

Why can't I get much info on Albrechtsberger? Another one of those "wrote 100 SQs" types?

I wrote a little list of classical composers on the SQ thread.

The SQ is 250!!!

Info on Albrechtsberger is... uncommon, it's true. What i have picked up has mainly been from reading about others, in whose lives he figured, mostly as a teacher of counterpoint. This is what his reputation was based on. Some of his more famous students were Beethoven, Hummel and Reicha.

(from Wiki and other websites)

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Composer)

Born: February 3, 1736 - Kloserneuburg, near Vienna, Austria
Died: March 7, 1809 - Vienna, Austria

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was an Austrian musician, master of musical theory, and teacher of Hummel and Beethoven.

Life
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger began his musical career at the early age of seven as a choir-boy with the Augustinians in Klosterneuburg, , where he also studied the organ and composition. The pastor of St. Martin's, Klosterneuburg, observing the boy's talent and his remarkable industry, and being himself an excellent musician, gave him the first lessons in thoroughbass, and even had a little organ built for him. Young Albrechtsberger's ambition was so great that he did not even rest on Sundays and holidays. To complete his scientific and musical studies he repaired to the Benedictine Abbey at Melk (from 1749). Here his beautiful soprano voice attracted the attention of the future Emperor Leopold, who on one occasion expressed his high appreciation and presented the boy with a ducat. The library at Melk gave him the opportunity to study the works of Antonio Caldara, Johann Joseph Fux, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Georg Frideric Handel, Graun etc. He also studied philosophy at a Benedictine (Jesuit) seminary in Vienna (1754) and became one of the most learned and skillful contrapuntists of his age. His his profound knowledge of music gave him a high rank among theorists.

Having completed his studies, J.G. Albrechtsberger became organist at the Melk cathedral, where he remained for twelve years. He next had charge of the choir and organist at Raab in Hungary (1755), and at Mariatfel (1757), and back in Melk (1759-1765). Subsequently, in 1765, he went to Vienna having been named choir-director of the church of the Carmelites. Here he took lessons from the court organist, Mann, who was highly esteemed at that time. Mann became his friend, as did also Joseph and Michael Haydn, Gassmann, and other excellent musicians. In 1772 he obtained the position of second court organist (and in 1792 promoted to First organist) in Vienna, which Emperor Joseph had promised him years before. This position he held for twenty years. He became Assistant Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Cathedral in 1791, where he was promoted to Kapellmeister in 1793.

J.G. Albrechtsberger's fame as a theorist attracted to him in the Austrian capital a large number of pupils, some of whom afterwards became eminent musicians. Among them were Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Joseph Eybler, Ignaz Moscheles, Josef Weigl (1766-1846), Ludwig von Beethoven and others. Beethoven had arrived in Vienna in 1792 to study with Haydn but quickly became infuriated when his work was not being given attention or corrected. Haydn recommended (This isn't true, Beethoven went off in secret to study and didn't tell Haydn GB) his friend Albrechtsberger, with whom Beethoven then studied harmony and counterpoint (1794-1795). On completion of his studies, the young student noted, "Patience, diligence, persistence, and sincerity will lead to success," which reflects upon Albrechtsberger's own compositional philosophies. The Swedish Academy of Music at Stockholm made him an honorary member in 1798. J.G. Albrechtsberger died in Vienna on March 7, 1809, less than three months before Josef Haydn. His grave is in St. Marx cemetery. His status in musical history rests mainly on his theoretical writings and his knowledge of counterpoint.

Works
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger will probably always hold a high rank among musical scientists, his treatise on composition especially will ever remain a work of importance by reason of its lucidity and minuteness of detail. He composed nearly 300 church works, around 300 keyboard works (mainly organ) and over 240 various other works. His many church compositions, on the other hand, while technically correct and ornate, are dry, and betray the theorist. Of his compositions, only 27 are printed; of the unpublished remainder, the larger part is preserved in the library of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde at Vienna. His published compositions consist of preludes, fugues and sonatas for the piano and organ, string quartets, etc.. His compositional style derives from Johann Joseph Fux's counterpoint, who was Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Cathedral 1713-1741, a position that Albrechtsberger would hold 52 years later. Around 1765, Albrechtsberger wrote at least seven concerti for Jew's harp and strings (three survive in the Hungarian National Library in Budapest). They are pleasant, well written works in the galant style. One of his most notable works is his concerto for Alto Trombone and Orchestra in Bb Major. As the trombone has few works dating back to the classical period, his concerto is often highlighted by the trombone community.

Probably the most valuable service he rendered to music was in his theoretical works. As a highly influential composition teacher, he published in 1790 at Leipzig his famous Treatise on composition, a clearly written and accessible work in which he formulated 18th-century theory, of which a third edition appeared in 1821. His complete works on thoroughbass, harmony and composition were published, in three volumes, by his pupil, Ignaz Von Seyfried (1776-1841) in 1826. An English version of this was published by Novello in 1855.


That's not much, but it might give you a little bit.
8)


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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
« Reply #519 on: June 03, 2009, 05:22:33 PM »
And there is this:



which I haven't heard yet, but which looks interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if Gabriel has heard it... :)

8)

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Listening to:
Joanna Leach - Hob 17 06 Variations in f for Keyboard - Square Piano
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