Author Topic: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music  (Read 8581 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2016, 11:38:47 PM »
I find Richard Egarr's style generally erratic.

I never know what to expect from him, except that it is going to be different and that it will probably sound off stylistically....and plainly odd.
Gave up on him years ago...so there might be repertoire where he gets it just right8)

Q

I wish I had your knack of telling what is off and on stylistically.

I think there are two Egarr styles: the style he used for Froberger, and the rest. But maybe I'm wrong.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 11:41:46 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13375
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2016, 11:44:59 PM »
I wish I had your knack of telling what is off and on stylistically.

You don't seem to have any difficulty in determining what you like and not. :)

To me Egarr seems an acquired taste, but I know that plenty of his recordings are valued by some of our most esteemed fellow forum members.

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3194
  • Location: Germany
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2016, 12:15:48 AM »
I have the Egarr/Gibbons CD and will re-listen (not too familiar with the music, though). My only other Egarr recordings are Handel's op.3 and op.4 and they are very good in their way but tend towards bland/middle of the road. The only erratic things here is that Egarr messes with one concerto (the one that also exists for harp) by leaving out the recorder parts (or something like that) and maybe some ornamentation. [From what we now know from musical clocks and also an annotated copy of Handel's 1720 suites it seems that ornamentation could hardly be too excessive at the time, so Egarr is probably on the right track...]
The concerti grossi op.3 are completely inoffensive, as far as I remember.

One of my favorite "Elizabethan" disc is a Recital by Pinnock from the 70s that also has a very beautiful sounding virginal (unfortunately only in a few pieces, most are played on a in my ears less distinctive sounding instrument, and it's short, LP length with less than 50 min)



Probably my first encounter with music of that time was the following disc almost 20 years ago. This is a lot of fun, probably not serious enough for Mandryka... ;) The Baltimore Consort has many more discs (I have about 4 or so) but most have more vocal pieces (this one has only about 3, most are instrumental).

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2016, 12:36:32 AM »
You don't seem to have any difficulty in determining what you like and not. :)



Q

Yes I do!
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Online (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5624
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2016, 03:43:45 AM »

The striking thing about this CD is that it is uncompromisingly oneric.

For Egarr, Gibbons is a romantic before his time, and the music is an exploration of the most profound and mysterious states of soul.

Egarr is helped in this respect by a poetic virginal. And he is helped by a fabulous technique - like no other active harpsichord player I can I can think of, Egarr can vary attack and touch.

An early recording in Egarr's career I think (it's a Globe CD), but it's one which seems to me to be more in the spirit of his Louis Couperin than his Froberger. See what you think.

On your recommendation I acquired this Egarr-CD and Laurence Stewart´s Gibbons/Byrd-CD some months ago, and I was very taken by Egarr's intimate, expressive (oneiric may be a bit overstated IMO) almost vocal style - a strong contrast to Stewart's straightforward instrumental, effective approach. These two CDs complement each other in a most telling way.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2016, 09:28:04 AM »
oneiric may be a bit overstated IMO

I was maybe feeling a little sleepy.

I wonder if you have heard Egarr's Frescobaldi CD also on Globe. I've just started to listen to it and it seems to have some of the same qualities as his Gibbons.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Online (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5624
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2016, 02:06:17 PM »
I wonder if you have heard Egarr's Frescobaldi CD also on Globe. I've just started to listen to it and it seems to have some of the same qualities as his Gibbons.

Yes, and I much agree. A very touching style, not like anything else.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2016, 01:37:32 PM »
A very touching style, not like anything else.

He makes the music relatively linear and seamless, as if he wants to suppress sharp changes. It's like the extreme polar opposite of Vartolo.

The central part of the Cento Partite is really very touching.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2016, 07:10:58 AM »


Pieter-Jan Belder plays a large selection of music by Giles Farnaby, being the latest instalment of his Fitzwilliam Book series, released last week. Half dedicated to Farnaby, the other half to Bull. This is just my initial impression.

It's a bit heavy, a bit clunky even, a bit samey in terms of texture, a bit  too much like he's decided on a pulse and he's sticking to it. In short, this is reductive: Farnaby reduced to virtuoso music for harpsichordists rather than soulful poetry for dreamers.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 07:29:41 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13375
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2016, 09:38:36 AM »


Pieter-Jan Belder plays a large selection of music by Giles Farnaby, being the latest instalment of his Fitzwilliam Book series, released last week. Half dedicated to Farnaby, the other half to Bull. This is just my initial impression.

It's a bit heavy, a bit clunky even, a bit samey in terms of texture, a bit  too much like he's decided on a pulse and he's sticking to it. In short, this is reductive: Farnaby reduced to virtuoso music for harpsichordists rather than soulful poetry for dreamers.

Hey!  :) We converge in our impression of Belder's style in English repertoire.  What??  ??? :D

Anyway, a reminder of a great Farnaby disc I picked as one of my favourites of 2015, I doubt if you would regret it.. 8)


http://www.early-music.com/music/farnabys-dreame/

Q
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 09:40:41 AM by Que »
À chacun son goût.

Online (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5624
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2016, 12:15:51 PM »
I think Belder is very fine in Byrd and Bull. His no-nonsense style is better suited to these composers.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2016, 01:44:20 PM »
I've heard from several people that Timothy Roberts' Farnaby CD is good. It's obtainable from the harpsichord factor Malcolm Rose in Lewes, who made the instrument he uses. I'll phone them on Monday and get a copy.

As far as Belder goes, the thing I really like is vol 3, the Peter Philips. The playing is really lyrical. I should say I haven't heard the Bull in vol. 4 yet.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 01:46:30 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2016, 12:19:59 AM »
Brace yourself for some big claims, probably incorrect, proposed for refutation.

Peter Philips, mate of Sweelinck and of Frescobaldi, was a composer on the cusp of a major style revolution. It's not clear whether his music is best seen as stile antico, that's to say played  voix égales to reveal complex counterpoint. Or whether it's best done madrigal style, picking on one voice to act as main melody, to be  supported by a sort of basso continuo.

Belder is in the stile moderno, madrigalesque school I think. Anneke Uittnbosch and maybe Siegbert Rampe are more like stile antico.

The interesting case is Elizabeth Farr. What distinguishes her style in Philips (and even more so in Byrd) is the arpeggiation. Basically, she plays British music like it's French, with broken chords buzzing around, which serve to mark out a pulse.

(Now get ready for the bit I'm not sure of) The result is something which is a sort of half way house between voix égales and basso continuo. The prominence of a simple melody remains: it doesn't sound like a motet for keyboard.

But the textures are rich and strange and complex. It's not like a nice hummable tune and a foot tapping rhythm.

I think Egarr plays Purcell and Handel in a halfway house way too - but that's another story.




« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 12:22:19 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Online (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5624
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2016, 04:28:58 AM »
Brace yourself for some big claims, probably incorrect, proposed for refutation.

Peter Philips, mate of Sweelinck and of Frescobaldi, was a composer on the cusp of a major style revolution. It's not clear whether his music is best seen as stile antico, that's to say played  voix égales to reveal complex counterpoint. Or whether it's best done madrigal style, picking on one voice to act as main melody, to be  supported by a sort of basso continuo.

Belder is in the stile moderno, madrigalesque school I think. Anneke Uittnbosch and maybe Siegbert Rampe are more like stile antico.

The interesting case is Elizabeth Farr. What distinguishes her style in Philips (and even more so in Byrd) is the arpeggiation. Basically, she plays British music like it's French, with broken chords buzzing around, which serve to mark out a pulse.

(Now get ready for the bit I'm not sure of) The result is something which is a sort of half way house between voix égales and basso continuo. The prominence of a simple melody remains: it doesn't sound like a motet for keyboard.


Arpeggiation is not necessarily a "basso continuo" element. Well, if you just roll the chord upwards in an egal way, it is much like a basso continuo chord. But if you do it more differentiated, you may be able to highlight the individual parts in the chord and clarify the polyphony. Leonhardt's desynchronized chords fall into that category. I would say, that this is the way most informed harpsichordists use the arpeggio in polyphonic harpsichord music, and most renaissance and baroque harpsichord music is polyphonic music, style antico or not. The plain basso continuo effekt is more seldom sought, except when it is obvious, e.g. the first chord in Bach's Italian Concerto. The broken chords in French music (style brisé) serve IMO first and foremost to clarify the polyphony and not so much to point out the rhythm, and accordingly wide variations of rubato, which "disturbs" the rhythm also may be used for this style.
res severa verum gaudium

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2016, 11:38:16 AM »


The way Tilney plays the enormous partita called The Second Ground is both courageous and extraordinary. He completely eschews any attempt to draw the listener in by means of drama or rhetoric. Instead it's like a flânerie in music, a long and pointless shaggy dog story. Whether the music, and the performer, can bear such an austere, modest, self effacing treatment is something I leave as a question without an answer: I have certainly enjoyed it more with repeated listening, but it certainly confounds expectations.

At first I thought that Asperen's Swellinck Fantasias on NM were close to the Tilney style here, but Asperen's more dramatic. Maybe Egarr playing Froberger's capricci and toccatas is closer.

Anyway we have something unique in this new Byrd CD, and something quite challenging.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 10:04:10 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9641
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2016, 11:47:47 AM »


The way Tilney plays the enormous partita called The Second Ground is both courageous and extraordinary. He completely eschews any attempt to draw the listener in by means of drama or rhetoric. Instead it's like a flânerie in music, a long and pointless shaggy dog story. Whether the music, and the performer, can bear such an austere, modest, self effacing treatment is something I leave as a question without an answer: I have certainly enjoyed it more with repeated listening, but it certainly confounds expectations.

At first I thought that Asperen's Swellinck Fantasias on NM were close to the Tilney style here, but Asperen's more dramatic. Maybe Egarr playing Froberger's capricci and toccatas is closer.

Anyway we have something unique in this new Byrd CD, and something quite challenging.

Thank you, I just ordered it.
For benefit of others, ASIN number is B018UPNBMA.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2016, 02:00:28 PM »


Other people tell me things about Lawes which quite frankly, I don't hear. They tell me that his music is bold and rumbustious and unpredictable and imaginative and emotionally complex. But mostly I hear just wonderfully constructed genteel Italianate galant light entertainment.

Then I discovered this antique recording from the Elizabethan Consort with Thurston Dart. Although the nature of the music is unchanged, these performances  so exude a love of the music and a total at-ease-ness with the idiom, it really would be churlish to do anything other than lie back and wallow in the beauty of it all. The beauty and the life - they make it come alive.
 
I knew Thurston Dart in solo music by Froberger and Bach, performances which are a bit of a let down to me because I think he tends to take things too fast all the time. But here in ensemble he's restrained by the others I guess, and the result is fabulous.

The label, Argo, issued some really rare recordings by Kenneth Gilbert a couple of years ago - recordings which had never been on CD. His first Purcell, and his D'Anglebert and Chambonnières. But the downloads lasted for a very short time and are now like hen's teeth. This is one to snap up.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 02:12:44 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2016, 03:01:51 AM »



John Ward (1590–1638);  William Lawes (April 1602 – 24 September 1645)

Not much in it by the birth and death dates, but a world of difference in their consort music for largish ensembles. (Lawes's music for solo viol and two viols seems a different kettle of fish - different genre almost.)

My feeling is that John Ward is much less influenced by the galant idea of simple emotional sunniness, and a lyrical soloist padded out by the other instruments,  an idea which may well  come from Corelli and which, IMO, heralded  a sort of dumbing down of music all over Europe.

Ward sounds much more like earlier music, with more interesting inner voices, more varied affects, more striking dissonances, more surprising twists and turns, less extrovert virtuoso stuff, more meditation. I couldn't help but think of chamber music by Scheidemann, Scheidt, Buxtehude and Frescobaldi.

Phantasm seem well up to the task in this recording, it's a good thing they've taken Ward under their wing because, as far as I can see, everyone else ignores him. Both in concert and on record I've sometimes been disturbed by the sort of balance Phantasm favours, which seems to me to give prominence to the higher voices. But here it seems less worrying for some reason.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 03:39:40 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7748
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2016, 01:54:49 PM »


I find these consorts by Matthew Locke more inventive and surprising on the whole than Lawes's and even Ward's.  Ensemble de Violes Orlando Gibbons is impeccable - refined and focused, serious. Maybe you could criticise them for obliterating any quintessentially English buffoonery and grotesqueness from the music, but you can't have it all ways at once.  Lovely CD of lovely music. Surprisingly the music is later than Lawes, but seems quite interesting in all the voices - certainly there are unexpected harmonies and changes of direction - but always in the best possible taste, as Cupid Stunt would have said.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 02:34:56 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13375
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2016, 11:13:52 AM »


I find these consorts by Matthew Locke more inventive and surprising on the whole than Lawes's and even Ward's.  Ensemble de Violes Orlando Gibbons is impeccable - refined and focused, serious. Maybe you could criticise them for obliterating any quintessentially English buffoonery and grotesqueness from the music, but you can't have it all ways at once.  Lovely CD of lovely music. Surprisingly the music is later than Lawes, but seems quite interesting in all the voices - certainly there are unexpected harmonies and changes of direction - but always in the best possible taste, as Cupid Stunt would have said.

I'm confused - didn't you just start a viols thread?  ::)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK