Author Topic: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music  (Read 17313 times)

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Online Que

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #120 on: November 18, 2017, 04:55:55 AM »
Que - I was in touch with Peter Watchorn quite recently, and he told me that he'll be recording vol 2 of the Bull series in the very near future

Wow, that's good news!  :)

Considering that the 1st volume was recorded 8 years ago, I'd given up on a sequel.....

Q

Edit: Oops, that was 8 years ago, not 18.....
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 07:53:28 AM by Que »
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Offline JCBuckley

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #121 on: November 18, 2017, 06:55:12 AM »
Wow, that's good news!  :)

Considering that the 1st volume was recorded 18 years ago, I'd given up on a sequel.....

Q

I've just dug out the last email I received from Peter, dated September. Quote: "Goldbergs and Art of Fugue still to go. John Bull is next. Volume 2 will contain the twelve In Nomine settings and the Hexachord Fantasias"

Offline milk

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #122 on: November 18, 2017, 07:27:57 AM »

Quite a good survey here. Interesting variety of instruments. Lively, intense performances. Almost psychedelic at times (maybe it's those meadow mushrooms)! I'm a fan of Sempe anyway.

Online Que

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #123 on: November 18, 2017, 07:46:29 AM »
I've just dug out the last email I received from Peter, dated September. Quote: "Goldbergs and Art of Fugue still to go. John Bull is next. Volume 2 will contain the twelve In Nomine settings and the Hexachord Fantasias"

Absolutely great..... :) 

I guess in the past years Watchorn was distracted by his Bach project....

Q
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #124 on: November 26, 2017, 05:49:12 AM »
"Global" review of the Phantasm Tye (which I haven't heard) here, though it's a great shame that it doesn't take into account Spirit of Gambo's recording, which I like very much (in so much as I like Tye at all!)

http://wunderkammern.fr/2017/11/26/frettes-folles-la-musique-pour-consort-de-christopher-tye-par-phantasm/

I was particularly struck by the comment that

Quote
rendent justice à l’inventivité d’aventure un peu folle de Tye mais offrent également un écho très convaincant de la personnalité à la fois défiante, un brin arrogante dans la conscience de son originalité tout en étant soucieuse de plaire qui semble avoir été la sienne.

though I fear that being "soucieux de plaire" could kill the music, especially with their "ton plus direct et une fluidité plus allante [compared with Jordi] sans pour autant presser excessivement le pas ou demeurer à la surface des œuvres." We'll see.

The criticism of Savall that his Tye is "d’une beauté parfois un rien trop hiératique." is interesting given the new Acheron Gibbons. Maybe viol music is religious after all, in some sense. In truth I have no idea what's idiomatic and what isn't in English music.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 11:28:21 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Que

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #125 on: November 26, 2017, 06:22:59 AM »
"Global" review of the Phantasm Tye (which I haven't heard) here, though it's a great shame that it doesn't take into account Spirit of Gambo's recording, which I like very much (in so much as I like Tye at all!)

I like The Spirit of Gambo.
Thanks for pointing out their Tye album, I wasn't aware! :)



Quote
The criticism of Savall that his Tye is "d’une beauté parfois un rien trop hiératique." is interesting given the new Archeron Gibbons. Maybe viol music is religious after all, in some sense. In truth I have no idea what's idiomatic and what isn't in English music.

Neither does Savall.....  8)

Q
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 11:25:16 AM by Que »
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Offline milk

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #126 on: November 28, 2017, 03:01:20 PM »
Interesting interview of Jeremy Denk by Leonard Lopate (of WNYC) during which Denk performs William Byrd and makes the case that rhythmic freedom was realized in early music and, to a certain extent, lost in succeeding periods. 
http://www.wnyc.org/story/pianist-jeremy-denk-plays-live/

Offline milk

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #127 on: December 08, 2017, 07:26:20 PM »

I was about to begin this text with something like this: "True minimalists lived in the 16th – 17th centu- ries." And then I thought you might say: "Hmm, there he goes again talking about that minimalism." And it’s true: the word is so unfit. Human language is very limited, and every time we attempt to express something important we discover that our language simply doesn't work.
How can we explain what this music sounds like? How can we explain that it is more contemporary than contemporary music?
How can we explain that in the sounds written 300 – 400 years ago one can hear the whole volume of all European music of several centuries, as well as everything we now call ethnic music, from bagpipes and Celtic fiddles to Indian sitars?
A refined scent of jazz, and a punk band playing in a club around the corner. A dramatism stronger than Beethoven's, and the larger-than-life boundless space of a rock ballad.
As for the compositional technique, it is pretty simple. Composers of that time used to write the same things over and over again: exercises of sorts, endless variations on a chord sequence. Not only does this never get boring, but the longer you listen, the less you want it to stop. Each variation opens a door in front of you, and you walk through this endless enfilade and realize that it is none other but a way home.
And this, you could say, is minimalism.
All compositions included in this album were written certainly not for piano. The works of William Byrd are for the virginal (a British modification of the harpsichord). The works of Johann Pachelbel are for organ (Chaconne), and for strings (Canon). I play them on a modern piano, and I treat the scores with a lot of freedom. I don't change even a single note but for some reason it sounds as if it was written this morning.
The recording was made on a 1959 Steinway B. Each composition has its own sonic atmosphere. The way this piano responds to different types of touch and different playing styles is amazing. I emphasized all the distinctions through studio processing. It would make no sense to describe them with words. Just listen. - Anton Batagov
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 07:58:22 PM by milk »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #128 on: December 13, 2017, 12:04:32 PM »
Robert Hill, Bull on a meantone tuned harpsichord with 19 notes in an octave

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/hpDkbRpxwKw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/hpDkbRpxwKw</a>

It's the sort of thing that makes me think that "normal" ways of playing 16th century music are still heavily tainted by 19th and 18th  century presuppositions about enharmonics and tuning. The situation may be like the way medieval music used to be sung before Michael Morrow etc. What Hill does makes the music sound as strange as . . . a song by Solage.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 12:15:02 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #129 on: December 13, 2017, 12:30:27 PM »

Quote
The criticism of Savall that his Tye is "d’une beauté parfois un rien trop hiératique." is interesting given the new Archeron Gibbons. Maybe viol music is religious after all, in some sense. In truth I have no idea what's idiomatic and what isn't in English music.

Neither does Savall.....  8)

Q

I don't think anyone really, truly, does, i.e., know what early music sounded like during those times.  Which is why Richard Taruskin wrote at least one book on how our realizations of early music are a quintessential example of modernism.  Taruskin argues that when we perform early music, we are playing the music according to our modern tastes, and not according to some sense of what is authentic (a word which isn't used much anymore among early music musicians); because we don't and cannot ever know what is really, truly, authentic for these periods.

So, more power to Savall, I say.   :)

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #130 on: December 13, 2017, 09:25:38 PM »

I don't think anyone really, truly, does, i.e., know what early music sounded like during those times.  Which is why Richard Taruskin wrote at least one book on how our realizations of early music are a quintessential example of modernism.  Taruskin argues that when we perform early music, we are playing the music according to our modern tastes, and not according to some sense of what is authentic (a word which isn't used much anymore among early music musicians); because we don't and cannot ever know what is really, truly, authentic for these periods.

So, more power to Savall, I say.   :)

Well, we know something - even if only a little. When this we know is taken into account in performance we call the performance informed, The word authentic is more tricky, But we can say with certainty, that a performance of, say the AoF by a saxophone quartet is inauthentic as to important elements, and generally we know more about what is inauthentic than about what is authentic. But there is a tendency to justify all possible inauthentic interpretations with the claim, that we don't know anything at all about what is authentic.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #131 on: December 14, 2017, 02:15:55 AM »
Well, we know something - even if only a little. When this we know is taken into account in performance we call the performance informed, The word authentic is more tricky, But we can say with certainty, that a performance of, say the AoF by a saxophone quartet is inauthentic as to important elements, and generally we know more about what is inauthentic than about what is authentic. But there is a tendency to justify all possible inauthentic interpretations with the claim, that we don't know anything at all about what is authentic.

Yes, but my general point was regarding the relative authenticity of Jordi Savall's performances.  He does not lead a saxophone quartet.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #132 on: February 23, 2018, 11:08:49 AM »


I think this recording of Tye's music from Phantasm has exceptional sound, I don't just mean the sound engineering, I mean the blended harmonious sound they make when they play together.

To give an example of what they do, in Sit Fast, Phantasm take it quite fast. This, combined with the blended sound and the sweet harmonies, make parts of it sound rather modern, like Michael Nyman or Philip Glass. This is silly of course, but it's what I felt. In the in nomine "death" or "my death" or "death bedde" they also take it fast, if it is about death, it's a jolly dance to the grave - very different in conception from Savall and Spirit of Gambo. I have no idea why it's called "death" by the way, and even if it's about death it could be cheerful (ich habe genüg), so that's not meant as any sort of negative criticism. A similar story for the in nomine "blameless"

So a tentative preliminary picture  is taking shape, Phantasm's Tye is more lively,more sunny, more blended and less astringent in the harmony department than previous versions.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 11:25:28 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #133 on: March 06, 2018, 10:58:49 AM »




I played the Pavans and Galiards on Charlston's Byrd CD last night, I like it, I especially like the sound of his harpsichord, the supple rhythms, the way he doesn't pound the pulse out.

The CD arrived today, I'd previously been listening on spotify, and the notes confirmed my suspicion that the instruments are tuned 1/4 comma meantone -- what a difference it makes! This is a very satisfying Byrd harpsichord recording.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #134 on: May 08, 2018, 09:00:14 AM »


There's something a bit dated about this recording. Payne's unnuanced touch, with all that that means for lack variety in the colour and texture and attack of the music;  his tendency to move the music forward in big phrases. These are things which make me think more of people like Scott Ross and indeed Payne's teacher Wanda Landowska than the sophisticated sensitive playing we've come to expect from contemporary harpsichordists. Listening to it makes you realise how much harpsichord playing has come on - if someone played like this today no one would give them a contract or even a degree.

But there are some important positive things to be said this recording. First, the mere fact that Payne had the vision to collect together so many (all?) of Bull's Pavans and Galliards is in itself revealing, just as is Moroney's Harmonia Mundi Byrd. It reveals that Bull as much as Byrd made an interesting exploration of this form - one of the major keyboard forms. And second, I've found a way of enjoying the almost naive frankness and enthusiasm of Payne's music making, just as I  found a way of enjoying Tilney's Scarlatti. His style in fact seems to suit the harpsichord, which, although it avoids sounding crude, is certainly not an elegant or refined or delicate instrument. Let's say that it touches the crude, a dance hall harpsichord.

So while I sense that this music can be better played, I'm  not sure anyone has succeeded in doing more to make me aware of its importance than Joseph Payne. Indeed,, I'm not sure anyone has been more successful with it on record - Hantaï maybe recorded some of them, maybe Leonhardt recorded one or two, I'll have to check.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 09:15:09 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Que

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #135 on: May 08, 2018, 10:41:01 AM »
I believe I shared my admiration before of this set by Peter Watchorn and Mahan Esfahani:



Stephen Midgley wrote on Amazon an interesting comparative review.

Q
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2018, 11:22:49 AM »
The one I listen to most, que, is Bob van Asperen's, I forgot that he included a pavan and galliard, we're in a different world from Payne of course.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #137 on: May 16, 2018, 08:32:06 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/_UuZP-2Bvs8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/_UuZP-2Bvs8</a>

Pierre Hantai plays Byrd
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: English Renaissance and Baroque Instrumental Music
« Reply #138 on: May 17, 2018, 05:34:43 AM »
Anyone heard this?



I assume it's a new recording and not a reissue of this: