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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 08:05:20 AM

Title: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 08:05:20 AM
After 15 years of listening to classical music, I've finally settled down to a favorite era. I have a lot of Baroque music that I truly enjoy, and even more Romantic Era music. I even have and listen to quite a lot of 20th century music (21st? Well, maybe a little bit). But the music that I enjoy most, and which constitutes by far the largest section of my collection, is Classical Era music.

My personal definition of the Classical Era is a rather broad one. It constitutes a period from roughly 1740 to roughly 1830. Of course, this period is dominated by the so-called "Viennese High Classical" school, whose main exponents were Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and and perhaps a few others who were ambitious enough to attempt to emulate them, sometimes successfully. But there are a true multitude of other composers who were working at this time, and producing a lot of worthwhile music too. I don't want to exclude them. And I don't want to get hung up on chronological complexities either, since there were many composers who were producing Baroque music well into the 1760's, and there were many who were producing what we now think of as Romantic music as early as the late 1790's. The Classical Era is merely a convenience for historians, it was not a cut and dried period of time in which it's constituent members were knowingly producing (or NOT producing) "Classical" music. :)

So, I invite you to join me in a regular discussion of the music of this time. I am not looking for recommended recordings, unless (as is often the case) there are only one or two recordings available and you want to point one out. We have plenty of threads to discuss the "Best Beethoven Symphony Cycle"... ::)  But if you are familiar with good books or articles on the subject, for example, they would be a welcome adjunct to the music itself.

Thanks for joining in. I hope we can all learn something here, and even make a few converts among the many who feel that Classical music is not for them.

Cheers,
Gurn 8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 09:26:27 AM
The Classical Era: Where did it come from?

One has only to listen to music composed in 1725 and in 1775 to hear that there was a great change in music in that 50 year period. 

Classical music is less complicated and has a less dense texture. It is mainly homophonic – melody above chordal accompaniment. The emphasis is on grace and beauty of melody and form, proportion and balance. Elegance of character and perfect balance are the main characteristics. The hallmark style of the Classical Era was the sonata. Sonata form developed rather rapidly, but even by the end of the period it was never formally defined. Carl Czerny, (a pupil of Beethoven) was the first to put the tags we use today, exposition, development and recapitulation into a definition, and that was circa 1839, long after all the classicists were dead and gone.

The Early (or Pre-) Classical is often called the rococo or galant style. It was far more radically different from its immediate predecessors than later classical music was. Polyphony was strictly avoided, for example, while Haydn and later Mozart incorporated fugue and other polyphonic devices into their music. There was also a greater avoidance of structure earlier on, with composers such as CPE Bach specializing in free fantasias and in Italy, capriccios. This too would change, with the discovery that music was more pleasing to people when it had structure for them to guide their listening by.

More soon. Feel free to add or emend. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on February 22, 2009, 09:33:02 AM
What are some good books on the subject, Gurn?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 09:44:17 AM
What are some good books on the subject, Gurn?

Well, there are 2 camps on the book subject. One is for musicians. The best one that I've found if you know music theory is "The Classical Style" by Charles Rosen. Even though I don't know much theory, I learned a lot from this book because Rosen is such a good writer and includes enough historical details that you can't help but learn a lot.

The second group is for mainly history buffs. A good choice to start with here is "The Age of Beethoven and Mozart" by Pestelli. This is a very good book, provides a lot of context and is quite readable. And there are no full pages of music scores ending in statements like "so it is obvious that Beethoven was influenced by Mozart's String Quartet in A major..." ::)  ;D

If you like biographies, I can heartily recommend "Mozart: A Cultural Biography" by Robert Gutman. Not only a good bio of Mozart, but a great overview of everything else that was going on in Europe at the time, both politically and in the arts.

Finally, "The Sonata in the Classic Era" by William S. Newman. You will be surprised that you don't have to be a musician to appreciate his arguments. And it covers every composer that you've heard of, and many that you haven't, along with comprehensive lists of their works. This book was a great find for me. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2009, 09:48:49 AM
Hi Gurn, nice idea for a thread!  :)

I was given this book for my birthday last summer, and I think it's a pretty good book for relative newcomers to classical era music (but specifically on Mozart).

What to Listen For in Mozart - by Robert Harris
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 22, 2009, 09:50:04 AM
Nice timing, Gurn. :) Right now, I'm reading this (http://www.naxos.com/naxosbooks/naxosbooks_classical.asp), so this thread and the book should complement each other. The chapters of the book are rather short, but I, a neophyte listener, find the text neither dry nor complex. I'm sure it'll be valuable to beginners.

I think it was M Forever who recommended The Classical Style (http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Style-Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven/dp/0393317129/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235324811&sr=8-1)*; but if I remember the reviews correctly, it probably would not be useful to me right now.



*Obviously, you posted while I was still typing. But to make my point clear, it was due to M that I came across this book. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2009, 09:50:58 AM
One book that I found rather dry was Mozart, A Life by Maynard Solomon.  Took me a long time to get through that one.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 22, 2009, 09:52:54 AM
What to Listen For in Mozart

Ha! That title reminds of the popular science books which go like A Brief History of <insert favourite "sexy physics topic">. ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 09:54:28 AM
Hi Gurn, nice idea for a thread!  :)

I was given this book for my birthday last summer, and I think it's a pretty good book for relative newcomers to classical era music (but specifically on Mozart).

What to Listen For in Mozart - by Robert Harris

Thanks, Ray. Hope you will feel free to contribute. And I have been looking at that book for a while too. Please let us know what you learned from it. There is so much to listen for in Mozart! :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 09:58:17 AM
Nice timing, Gurn. :) Right now, I'm reading this (http://www.naxos.com/naxosbooks/naxosbooks_classical.asp), so this thread and the book should complement each other. The chapters of the book are rather short, but I, a neophyte listener, find the text neither dry nor complex. I'm sure it'll be valuable to beginners.

I think it was M Forever who recommended The Classical Style (http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Style-Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven/dp/0393317129/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235324811&sr=8-1); but if I remember the reviews correctly, it probably would not be useful to me right now.

That looks like a most useful book. And I see that it is tied in with a website so you can listen to the music you are reading about. That can be a big help when you are exploring. :)

Yes, M was a musician, and I am very sure that all those musical examples made perfect sense to him. But for those of us who limp along with a score trying to get an overview, or don't even use one at all, the bulk of it would make no sense. Which doesn't detract from the book at all for those who CAN use it. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2009, 10:01:41 AM
Gurn, I'm hoping there will be discussions on here too about other Classical Era composers in addition to "The Big Three".  More than any other era, I find that the focus in the Classical Era is so narrowly centred around Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 10:05:29 AM
Gurn, I'm hoping there will be discussions on here too about other Classical Era composers in addition to "The Big Three".  More than any other era, I find that the focus in the Classical Era is so narrowly centred around Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Absolutely! If someone else doesn't start it, you can bet that I will. I have lots of Boccherini, Vanhal, Stamitz, Salieri, etc. etc. etc. and I enjoy them greatly. I also would like to see discussions about non-German composers. Music wasn't standing still outside of Vienna. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brian on February 22, 2009, 10:09:52 AM
I have gradually become a very big fan of Carl Stamitz; his "orchestral quartets" are marvelous works, much like energetic string-only serenades, and the cello concerti are meltingly beautiful. The whole Stamitz family was part of the "Mannheim" club that formed one of the other very big musical schools of the 18th century, one which I'm keen to learn more about.

My compliments to you, Gurn, for starting this excellent thread. I am not a big classical-era listener myself, but will be watching with avid interest. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2009, 10:12:23 AM
Boccherini

Now there is someone I definitely need more of in my collection!  And the French/English composer, George Onslow.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 10:14:23 AM
I have gradually become a very big fan of Carl Stamitz; his "orchestral quartets" are marvelous works, much like energetic string-only serenades, and the cello concerti are meltingly beautiful. The whole Stamitz family was part of the "Mannheim" club that formed one of the other very big musical schools of the 18th century, one which I'm keen to learn more about.

My compliments to you, Gurn, for starting this excellent thread. I am not a big classical-era listener myself, but will be watching with avid interest. :)

Brian,
Yes, Carl Stamitz is definitely one of my favorites, and one of those now-unheralded names that was really a big fish in his own time. If you run across any of his concerti (for violin, viola, viola da gamba etc.) you really must give it a try. And his symphonies are nice too. And as you pointed out, his father, Johann, was a very large figure in orchestral history, organizing and running the Mannheim Orchestra that was a huge influence of all music to follow. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 10:21:10 AM
Here is a list (stolen from Wiki and edited) of some "Middle Period" classical composers. I would hope to discuss many of these, as there are a few that I've never heard music from, and maybe someone here has done. I will shortly post a list of later composers (born after 1750) who are also a major part of the scene. :)

Middle Classical era composers (born 1730-1750)

    * Christian Cannabich (1731 - 1798)
    * Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
    * François-Joseph Gossec (1734 - 1829)
    * Johann Gottfried Eckard (1735 - 1809)[3]
    * Johann Christian Bach (1735 - 1782)
    * Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736 - 1809)
    * Michael Haydn (1737 - 1806)
    * Josef Mysliveček (1737 - 1781)
    * William Herschel (1738 - 1822)
    * Leopold Hofmann (1738 - 1793)
    * Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739 - 1799)
    * Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739 - 1813)
    * André Ernest Modeste Grétry (1741 - 1813)
    * Andrea Luchesi (1741 - 1801)
    * Giovanni Paisiello (1741 - 1816)
    * Václav Pichl (1741 - 1804)
    * Luigi Boccherini (1743 - 1805)
    * Franz Nikolaus Novotny (1743 - 1773)
    * Carl Stamitz (1745 - 1801)
    * Maddalena Laura Sirmen (1745–1818)
    * Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 - 1799)
    * Leopold Kozeluch (1747 - 1818)
    * Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818)
    * Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801)
    * Jean-Frédéric Edelmann (1749-1794)
    * Maria Barthélemon (c. 1749–1799)
    * Antonín Kraft (c. 1749-1820)
   

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 10:23:30 AM
Now there is someone I definitely need more of in my collection!  And the French/English composer, George Onslow.

Yes, and yes. Even though Onslow is transitional into the Romantic, he is heavily influenced by Classical style. A good example of how one can't strictly use chronology to define style. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 10:28:12 AM
And here are some later composers. Probably more familiar names here. :)

Late Classical era composers (born 1750-1770)

    * Antonio Salieri (1750 - 1825)
    * Antonio Rosetti (c1750 - 1792)
    * Muzio Clementi (1752 - 1832)
    * Leopold Kozeluch (1752 - 1818)
    * Vicente Martín y Soler (1754 - 1806)
    * Vincenzo Righini (1756 - 1812)
    * Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
    * Joseph Martin Kraus (1756 - 1792)
    * Paul Wranitzky (1756 - 1808)
    * Daniel Gottlob Türk (1756-1813)
    * Ignaz Pleyel (1757 - 1831)
    * François Devienne (1759 - 1803)[5]
    * Franz Vinzenz Krommer (1759 - 1831)
    * Luigi Cherubini (1760 - 1842)
    * Johann Ladislaus Dussek (1760 - 1812)
    * Franz Danzi (1763 - 1826)
    * Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763 - 1850)
    * Étienne Méhul (1763-1817)
    * Franz Xaver Süssmayr (1766 - 1803)
    * Samuel Wesley (1766 - 1837)
    * Wenzel Muller (1767 - 1835)
    * Carlos Baguer (1768 - 1808)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2009, 10:29:19 AM
    * Giovanni Paisiello (1741 - 1816)
   

One of my first discoveries, was Paisiello, when I bought the soundtrack to Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.  It was an excerpt from his Barber of Seville opera (not Rossini's  ;) Kubrick Film soundtracks were my transition into classical music, and opened up that new world of intrigue to me!  0:)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 22, 2009, 10:35:24 AM
Regarding the Mannheim style, I found an interesting quote from Mozart taken from a letter to his father. (I quote it from the first book I mentioned in my first post.)

You cannot imagine the glorious effect of a symphony with flutes, oboes and clarinets.

At a time when we take the things for granted, it's amazing to know that there was a period (when Mozart was still alive) when this was all new and revolutionary. I can't imagine listening to the late works of Mozart without some of these wonderful woodwinds.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 22, 2009, 10:36:47 AM
Congratulations, Gurn, for a very interesting new topic!

Just because I am an opera fan and - I love Stockhausen! - doesn't exclude me from responding. In my opera collection is Pierre le Grand by André Ernest Modeste Grétry, an opera about Peter the Great I enjoy very much.


Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2009, 10:39:21 AM
In very curious to know, since I really enjoy Russian music, if there were any good Russian composers in the classical era (pre-Glinka)?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Coopmv on February 22, 2009, 10:41:23 AM
After 15 years of listening to classical music, I've finally settled down to a favorite era. I have a lot of Baroque music that I truly enjoy

Baroque is my favorite period as well and I have thousands of LP's and CD's covering this era.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 10:56:32 AM
One of my first discoveries, was Paisiello, when I bought the soundtrack to Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.  It was an excerpt from his Barber of Seville opera (not Rossini's  ;) Kubrick Film soundtracks were my transition into classical music, and opened up that new world of intrigue to me!  0:)

Well, I know you are a chamber fan (like me!) but you would likely be interested in Paisiello's piano concerti. The #4 in g minor is particularly good (you can find it on a Naxos disk). Not all of the opera composers were good at purley instrumental music, but he was one who was. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 11:07:29 AM
Regarding the Mannheim style, I found an interesting quote from Mozart taken from a letter to his father. (I quote it from the first book I mentioned in my first post.)

You cannot imagine the glorious effect of a symphony with flutes, oboes and clarinets.

At a time when we take the things for granted, it's amazing to know that there was a period (when Mozart was still alive) when this was all new and revolutionary. I can't imagine listening to the late works of Mozart without some of these wonderful woodwinds.

Yes, Mozart was bowled over by the Mannheim band. It started a whole new line of thinking for him. Their particular idiom involved some novel ideas, like actually playing together... :)  But it's true, before them, an orchestra was primarily the string section that we would call it today. When Mozart returned from Paris, he lobbied the Archbishop long and hard for clarinets for the orchestra in Salzburg, but to no avail. He had to remove the clarinet parts from the Paris symphony, for example, and he (probably) never bothered to rewrite the Sinfonia Concertante for Winds to include a different solo part from the clarinet that it was written for in Paris. But he did continue to use some Mannheim standard devices, like the "Mannheim Rocket" which the French called the premiére coup d'archet. It shows up in several of his later works, and still pleases today. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 11:09:05 AM
In very curious to know, since I really enjoy Russian music, if there were any good Russian composers in the classical era (pre-Glinka)?

I don't know of any, but that means nothing. Russia imported their musicians from Italy, primarily. Paisiello and Cimarosa were two that spent time working for the Czar before lighting in Vienna. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 11:15:07 AM
Congratulations, Gurn, for a very interesting new topic!

Just because I am an opera fan and - I love Stockhausen! - doesn't exclude me from responding. In my opera collection is Pierre le Grand by André Ernest Modeste Grétry, an opera about Peter the Great I enjoy very much.




Thank you, Brünnhilde. I hope you will grace us with some more interesting information, since many of these composers were (or really wanted to be) opera composers too. My only knowledge of Gretry, for example, is that Mozart wrote 8 Variations in F (K 352/374c) on a theme from his "Les Mariages Samnites". Lots to learn. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 22, 2009, 11:16:01 AM
[Mozart] (probably) never bothered to rewrite the Sinfonia Concertante for Winds to include a different solo part from the clarinet that it was written for in Paris.

I thought that work had the 'spurious' tag attached to it. So, has it been decided (proved?) that it's Mozart's?

Quote
But he did continue to use some Mannheim standard devices, like the "Mannheim Rocket" which the French called the premiére coup d'archet. It shows up in several of his later works, and still pleases today. :)8)

Yep. The only example I know of is from the third movement of K. 466. (And the other, non-Mozartian example is the opening of Beethoven's Op. 2 No. 2.) I'd appreciate it if you can provide some other examples (Mozartian or otherwise). Thanks.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 11:25:45 AM
I thought that work had the 'spurious' tag attached to it. So, has it been decided (proved?) that it's Mozart's?

Oh, there's little doubt that Mozart wrote an original SC when he was in Paris. According to the latest Köchel "Composed probably between Apr 5 and 20, 1778 in Paris; Mozart wrote Sinfonia concertante for Fl, Ob, Hn Bn for LeGros; never performed, and LeGros kept autograph.". The version that we hear today is for Clarinet, Oboe, Horn and Bassoon, and that is the one that (at least parts of) are spurious. And one of the main arguments against it is that he wouldn't have rewritten it for a clarinet in Salzburg, since there weren't any clarinet players there... My personal opinion is that the full truth of the matter will never be known. :-\

Quote
Yep. The only example I know of is from the third movement of K. 466. (And the other, non-Mozartian example is the opening of Beethoven's Op. 2 No. 2.) I'd appreciate it if you can provide some other examples (Mozartian or otherwise). Thanks.

I can, with a little research to refresh my memory. I'm bad that way, and age hasn't helped. :) More later...

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Anne on February 22, 2009, 11:29:07 AM
Hi Gurn, nice idea for a thread!  :)

I was given this book for my birthday last summer, and I think it's a pretty good book for relative newcomers to classical era music (but specifically on Mozart).

What to Listen For in Mozart - by Robert Harris
KammerNuss,

Thanks for sharing the name of that book.  It is EXACTLY the kind of book I always hope to find for each composer.  If you or anyone else know of any other books of this type, would you kindly share their titles?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 22, 2009, 11:29:26 AM
Oh, there's little doubt that Mozart wrote an original SC when he was in Paris. According to the latest Köchel "Composed probably between Apr 5 and 20, 1778 in Paris; Mozart wrote Sinfonia concertante for Fl, Ob, Hn Bn for LeGros; never performed, and LeGros kept autograph.". The version that we hear today is for Clarinet, Oboe, Horn and Bassoon, and that is the one that (at least parts of) are spurious. And one of the main arguments against it is that he wouldn't have rewritten it for a clarinet in Salzburg, since there weren't any clarinet players there... My personal opinion is that the full truth of the matter will never be known. :-\

I can, with a little research to refresh my memory. I'm bad that way, and age hasn't helped. :) More later...

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Not a problem, I can wait. :) And thanks for the clarification on the SC.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on February 22, 2009, 11:45:29 AM
At a time when we take the things for granted, it's amazing to know that there was a period (when Mozart was still alive) when this was all new and revolutionary. I can't imagine listening to the late works of Mozart without some of these wonderful woodwinds.

The flutes and oboes are always there AFAIK, but the concertos and symphonies with clarinets form a special subgroup in Mozarts later works.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 11:53:56 AM
Not a problem, I can wait. :) And thanks for the clarification on the SC.

Here are 2 quick ones: The opening of the 4th movement of the g minor symphony (K 550) and the beginning of the orchestral exposition in the 3rd movement of the sinfonia concertante for violin & viola. In that one, it is not right at beginning of the movement, but occurs when the orchestra enters tutti after the viola and flute parts. Also when that section is reprised. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 11:56:48 AM
The flutes and oboes are always there AFAIK, but the concertos and symphonies with clarinets form a special subgroup in Mozarts later works.

Yes, Mozart always used 2 flutes and/or 2 oboes in his earlier orchestral works. Also horns and bassoons. That's about it though. Note that he had 2 versions of several of his later symphonies, one with clarinets and one without. The Hogwood set has both versions. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 22, 2009, 11:58:21 AM
Here are 2 quick ones: The opening of the 4th movement of the g minor symphony (K 550) and the beginning of the orchestral exposition in the 3rd movement of the sinfonia concertante for violin & viola. In that one, it is not right at beginning of the movement, but occurs when the orchestra enters tutti after the viola and flute parts. Also when that section is reprised. :)

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Thanks! I'm including the SC in playlist for tomorrow.

Yes, Mozart always used 2 flutes and/or 2 oboes in his earlier orchestral works. Also horns and bassoons. That's about it though. Note that he had 2 versions of several of his later symphonies, one with clarinets and one without. The Hogwood set has both versions. :)

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Ah, so that's why that set is so big! Also, I remember a radio announcer saying that the autograph(?) of one of the versions of the 40th (with or without clarinet, I don't remember) was owned by Brahms for sometime.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 12:01:09 PM
Thanks! I'm including the SC in playlist for tomorrow.

Ah, tomorrow's gonna be a good day, I can tell already :D

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 12:03:17 PM
Thanks! I'm including the SC in playlist for tomorrow.

Ah, so that's why that set is so big! Also, I remember a radio announcer saying that the autograph(?) of one of the versions of the 40th (with or without clarinet, I don't remember) was owned by Brahms for sometime.

I know that Brahms owned several Mozart autographs, I wouldn't be surprised if that was one of them. Brahms was an exceptional connoisseur of music as well as a great composer. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on February 22, 2009, 12:12:54 PM
Brahms owned the autograph of the g minor symphony for a while, indeed.

Brahms was very well to do towards the end of his life.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Drasko on February 22, 2009, 12:15:03 PM
I don't know of any, but that means nothing. Russia imported their musicians from Italy, primarily. Paisiello and Cimarosa were two that spent time working for the Czar before lighting in Vienna. :)

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http://www.vor.ru/English/1000years/1000y-030.html

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=8833

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPv8mh65Ay4

http://www.audaud.com/article.php?ArticleID=293

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=177282
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on February 22, 2009, 12:19:24 PM
Cool thread, Gurn -- speaking from the 21st century though I does  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 12:21:36 PM

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=177282

On this disk, all but Maxim Berezovsky are imports. Italian, French and German (Steibelt may have been a Brit, can't remember). However, a couple of years ago, someone (it may have been you, Drasko) posted about a Russian violinist whose career spanned the 1800 range who was a composer of some excellent concertos. He certainly preceded Glinka.  Damned if I can remember his name though... If anyone does, please post it. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 12:23:07 PM
Cool thread, Gurn -- speaking from the 21st century though I does  8)

Thanks, Karl, you were the 21st century exception I mentioned. :)  maybe that will make you give us a post here and there, like on early Russians, maybe?  :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: hildegard on February 22, 2009, 01:18:56 PM
One of my first discoveries, was Paisiello, when I bought the soundtrack to Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.  It was an excerpt from his Barber of Seville opera (not Rossini's  ;) Kubrick Film soundtracks were my transition into classical music, and opened up that new world of intrigue to me!  0:)

My discovery of Paisiello also has been through his vocal compositions, such as the beautiful aria, "Il Mio Ben," from his opera Nina Pazza per Amore. Like Rossini, though, Paisiello is also known for an opera that preceded him, La Serva Padrone, which was originally set to music by Pergolesi (1710-1736). While some may consider Paisiello and Pergolesi to be a generation apart, there is more similarity than difference in the originality and fancifulness of their music. The vocal compositions of both also equally form part of the classical and classic repertoire of today's students and followers of bel canto.   
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 02:29:11 PM
History part 2: 1750-1775

This was the period of development of the style which led to the High Classical. Galant had lost its charm for many people who wanted to be challenged by the music. And on the practical side, enough experimentation had been done to allow composers to know what was possible with the orchestra. And what was possible were dynamic contrasts, an import from Italian opera (Jomelli, Mannheim, circa 1755), and a solid blending of strings and winds, something that was lacking in earlier orchestral music which tended towards one or the other.

The main player in this period was Joseph Haydn. He assimilated the great amount of information to which he was exposed during his training period in Vienna and, during the late 1750's through 1760's, while employed away from Vienna, and with an orchestra of considerable talent and with an accommodating employer, he turned out a full spectrum of orchestral, sacred and chamber music which greatly furthered the growth of sonata form, instrumentation and explorations of tonal relationships.

By the 1770's, there were many good composers who took the ideas of Haydn, CPE Bach, Johann Stamitz and others and blended them with their own original ideas to make sonata-allegro form, key contrasts, wide dynamic range, etc. the standard musical form. Now the time was come to take these seminal ideas and build the musical works that we have come to think of as "Classical Music". :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on February 22, 2009, 02:47:14 PM
Doing my daily GMG check imagine my surprise when I see a new thread from my old pal Gurn Blanston.  Imagine also my surprise to learn that it's shot up to three pages in a day!  :o

Great reading, Gurn!  I'll make sure to drop by here often.  ;)

Er... That is all!  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 22, 2009, 02:51:35 PM
In very curious to know, since I really enjoy Russian music, if there were any good Russian composers in the classical era (pre-Glinka)?

This disc is surprising and wonderful

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YuajtnKiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

and there are other Khandoshkin discs out there which I haven't heard. This is solo violin music, fiery virtuoso stuff, but with plenty of poetry and arresting ideas too. Somehow you can tell that this is music from the edge of things, and that's not a bad thing. Definitely worth a punt - and it fills a gap which I didn't think could be filled. Khandoshkin's wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Khandoshkin)

Nice thread, Gurn. And your list of books is spot on. It should be pointed out that Rosen's The Classical Style is officially The Best Book On Music Ever.  >:( $:) I've never read anything as consistently revealing...unless it be Rosen's The Romantic Generation. The guy is incredible.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 22, 2009, 03:03:53 PM
Here's one I hadn't heard of - Yevstigney Fomin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevstigney_Fomin). There's the vocal score of an opera of his at IMSLP - I have it downloading now!

There's also Bortniansky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmytro_Bortniansky), a name I'm very familiar with but whose music I don't recall hearing. Wiki says:

Quote
While Dmytro Bortniansky's operas and instrumental compositions are on par with those of the great classical composers, it is his sacred choral work that is performed most often today. This vast body of work remains central not only to understanding 18th century Russian sacred music, but also served as inspiration to his fellow Ukrainian composers in the 19th century.

which is pretty much how I understood things to be, give or take a slightly different interpretation of the words 'on a par with'; I've always associated him with liturgical music in the Russian style, in the line that led through Tchaikovsky to Rachmaninov and even Schnittke. But what do I know - nothing when it comes to this.  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 22, 2009, 03:09:08 PM
Here's one I hadn't heard of - Yevstigney Fomin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevstigney_Fomin). There's the vocal score of an opera of his at IMSLP - I have it downloading now!

Here we are - the opening bars of a classical period opera from Russia called 'The Americans'! Who'd a thunk it?  8) :D

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 22, 2009, 03:17:02 PM
Hey, I assume you can even hear the above here (http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=34774&genreid=) (click on 'album preview' - hope it works!). Track 4 is this overture, and there's some other Fomin, and Bortniansky, on the disc too.

Edit - it does work, you can listen to the whole CD...
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 03:38:31 PM
Doing my daily GMG check imagine my surprise when I see a new thread from my old pal Gurn Blanston.  Imagine also my surprise to learn that it's shot up to three pages in a day!  :o

Great reading, Gurn!  I'll make sure to drop by here often.  ;)

Er... That is all!  ;D

Welcome, Sorin. Hope you will share some of your knowledge with us. This will be a community effort and we will all benefit. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 03:40:14 PM
This disc is surprising and wonderful

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YuajtnKiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

and there are other Khandoshkin discs out there which I haven't heard. This is solo violin music, fiery virtuoso stuff, but with plenty of poetry and arresting ideas too. Somehow you can tell that this is music from the edge of things, and that's not a bad thing. Definitely worth a punt - and it fills a gap which I didn't think could be filled. Khandoshkin's wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Khandoshkin)

Nice thread, Gurn. And your list of books is spot on. It should be pointed out that Rosen's The Classical Style is officially The Best Book On Music Ever.  >:( $:) I've never read anything as consistently revealing...unless it be Rosen's The Romantic Generation. The guy is incredible.

Luke,
Ah, it was you who rec'd that disk a while back. Glad you caught up with us and reminded. I read a bit else about this composer and had decided I really wanted to try him out, but... I forgot his name...  :-[

Oh, I hope that at least a few people will grab some of those books. I got them all "used" on Amazon for a pittance and they have provided many hours of enjoyment along with some serious edification, which I am always greatly in need of. :)



8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 22, 2009, 04:06:07 PM
Hi Gurn - just coming in for the evening and noticed your already 3-page thread!  :o

As you likely know, this is my favorite period of music and really love the transitional years, so will be quite interested in joing in on the conversation and hopefully contributing some useful information -  :)

Just for a starter consideration, this period saw a tremendous development of various instruments, such as the keyboards (e.g. harpsichords into the fortepianos) and woodwinds (such as flutes & clarinets); thus, this discussion will need to include preferences for performances of works on these various types of instruments.

Just today, I was listening to the 6-CD set of Ronald Brautigam performing the Mozart Piano Sonatas on a wonderful instrument (built by Paul McNulty in 1992 after one by Anton Walter, ca. 1795) - the sound and 'up front' presence of this piano is just superb.

So, I would encourage those participating in this thread to consider the changes that were occurring w/ the instruments of these times - great start, buddy!  Dave  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H06V5MBXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 04:35:50 PM
Hi Gurn - just coming in for the evening and noticed your already 3-page thread!  :o

As you likely know, this is my favorite period of music and really love the transitional years, so will be quite interested in joing in on the conversation and hopefully contributing some useful information -  :)

Just for a starter consideration, this period saw a tremendous development of various instruments, such as the keyboards (e.g. harpsichords into the fortepianos) and woodwinds (such as flutes & clarinets); thus, this discussion will need to include preferences for performances of works on these various types of instruments.

Just today, I was listening to the 6-CD set of Ronald Brautigam performing the Mozart Piano Sonatas on a wonderful instrument (built by Paul McNulty in 1992 after one by Anton Walter, ca. 1795) - the sound and 'up front' presence of this piano is just superb.

So, I would encourage those participating in this thread to consider the changes that were occurring w/ the instruments of these times - great start, buddy!  Dave  :D


Ah, welcome Dave. I was sure you would show up, and soon. :D

I really enjoy that suite of Mozart sonatas by Brautigam, and that does give a good lead-in to the subject you raise. Indeed, it is on my agenda too. I started a paragraph about it in one of the history sections and then erased it, thinking I might be adding too much at once. Clearly not, though. I have run across some good instrument histories since the last time the subject came up, and I hope to be able to post some of that material here. beyond the keyboard, the changes in, particularly, wind instruments went a long way towards making them usable. Which is to say: they actually stayed in tune through an entire work (or at least a movement). Anyway, an excellent subject for exploration. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 05:05:58 PM
On the old forum, SonicMan and I started many threads on Classical Era composers. Some of these became very popular, a few didn't. In any case, the initial posts nearly always contained a brief biography and perhaps a few music recommendations to be getting on with. Rather than restart those threads, I thought to go back and copy and paste that original post so that the composers will be discussed in their context with each other. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 05:07:19 PM
Here's the first then, since he was mentioned earlier.

Luigi Boccherini (February 19, 1743 – May 28, 1805) was a classical era composer and cellist from Italy, mostly known for one particular minuet from one of his string quintets, and the Cello Concerto in B flat major (G 482). This last work was long known in the heavily altered version by German cellist and prolific arranger Friedrich Grützmacher, but has recently been restored to its original version.

Boccherini was born in Lucca, Italy, in a musical family. At a young age his father, a cellist and double bass player, sent Luigi to study in Rome (1757), and after various concert tours, his talents eventually brought him to the Spanish court in Madrid, where he was employed by Don Luis, the younger brother of King Charles III. There he flourished under royal patronage, until one day when the King expressed his disapproval at a passage in a new trio, and ordered Boccherini to change it. The composer, no doubt irritated with this intrusion into his art, doubled the passage instead, leading to his immediate dismissal.

Among his patrons was the French consul Lucien Bonaparte, as well as King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, himself an amateur cellist, flutist, and avid supporter of the arts. Boccherini fell on hard times following the deaths of his Spanish patron, two wives, and two daughters, and he died in poverty in 1805, being survived by two sons. His blood line continues to this day.

Boccherini is sometimes referred to as the 'wife of Haydn', because much of his chamber music closely resembles the Austrian master's. However, Boccherini is often credited with improving Haydn's model of the string quartet by bringing the cello to prominence, whereas Haydn had always relegated it to an accompaniment role.

A virtuoso cellist of the first caliber, Boccherini often played violin repertoire on the cello, at pitch, a skill he developed by substituting for ailing violonists while touring. This supreme command of the instrument brought him much praise from his contemporaries (notably Baillot, Rode, and Romberg), and is evident in the cello parts of his compositions (particularly in the quintets for two cellos, treated oftentimes as cello concertos with string quartet accompaniment).

He wrote a large amount of chamber music, including over a hundred string quintets for two violins, viola and two cellos (a type which he pioneered, in contrast with the then common scoring for two violins, two violas and one cello), nearly a hundred string quartets, and a number of string trios and sonatas (including at least 19 for the cello), as well as a series of guitar quintets. His orchestral music includes around 30 symphonies and 12 virtuoso cello concertos.

Boccherini's works have been catalogued by the French musicologist Yves Gérard (born 1932), published in London (1969), hence the 'G' numbers for his output.

Boccherini's style is characterized by the typical Rococo charm, lightness, and optimism, and exhibits much melodic and rhythmic invention, coupled with frequent influences from the guitar tradition of his adopted country, Spain. Unjustly neglected, his works have been gaining more recognition lately, in print, record, and concert hall.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on February 22, 2009, 05:14:32 PM
On the old forum, SonicMan and I started many threads on Classical Era composers. Some of these became very popular, a few didn't. In any case, the initial posts nearly always contained a brief biography and perhaps a few music recommendations to be getting on with. Rather than restart those threads, I thought to go back and copy and paste that original post so that the composers will be discussed in their context with each other. :)

8)

Most excellent!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 22, 2009, 05:16:42 PM

Edit - it does work, you can listen to the whole CD...

Lovely music indeed and great recording sound. I am still listening to it, track 11 very lively! Thank you sincerely!  :-*
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 22, 2009, 05:19:09 PM
Thanks for that, Gurn. The following:

Boccherini's style is characterized by the typical Rococo charm, lightness, and optimism

whilst undoubtedly true as a generalisation, is the sort of thing which, rightly or wrongly, puts many people off Boccherini, sadly - so I would point out that those looking for music with more troubled undertones will find them in Boccherini too. The Stabat Mater for solo soprano and strings, for example, (on Harmonia Mundi, coupled with a very dark quintet IIRC; also on other discs I haven't heard) is a beautiful work, melodically rich, highly expressive; elsewhere, there is plenty of chamber music with plenty going on below the surface.

Searching around, I also see that there's another Stabat Mater about which I'd forgotten. This disc looks well worth a punt (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=SACDA67108):

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571571089.png)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 22, 2009, 05:23:38 PM
In another thread, I posted some summary numbers from an excellent book on orchestral development from the Baroque into the early 19th century which is pertinent to this current discussion; in addition to considering the changing instrumentation of this period, the orchestras also show tremendous alternation in their numbers and compositions; the book shown below is an excellent documentation of these changes (really written for a college course, so my read was not as thorough as possible) - but just another consideration for the music of this time, i.e. the orchestras used were much smaller that those that often perform this music in recent years and the instruments and performing practices were different - yet, another interesting 'mix' in this fascinating period of music!  :D

Quote
......... - should Haydn be played w/ the size orchestra he was familiar w/ in his times, i.e. 18th century, and w/ the instruments of the times, esp. the woodwinds (including tunings, strings - gut, etc.) - don't think that Papa Joe would even understand his music being performed by a late Romantic orchestra approaching 100 members!

A few months ago, I was reading the book shown below The Birth of the Orchestra (subtitled 'History of an Institution, 1650-1815) - this is an in-depth analysis of orchestral development, the latter half during Haydn's times; to be honest this is really appropriate for a college textbook, so did skip over a lot of parts; but out of curiosity concerning the SIZE of orchestras back then, I did a brief compilation of the appendices concerning the size of orchestras during the periods of Haydn's composing; below is just a summary:

Orchestra Sampling (yrs)                 Number          Range             Average

       1754-1759                                 23                 10-50               29
       1773-1779                                 33                 12-68               33
       1791-1796                                 43                 10-86               34
Sorry, but can't get these titles & columns to 'line up' easily!  :-\

But the point is that during Haydn's times, orchestras likely averaged only 20-30 players (the larger ones in the ranges listed were operatic/theater groups); plus, the wind instruments were still in a stage of development and were wood back then; the keyboards were organ, harpsichord, or fortepianos.  Of course, the string instruments were likely gut, and the mode of playing, tuning, etc. different from modern orchestras; I'm w/ Q, the orchestras used in Haydn's times were 'small' in comparison to our modern ones, the ratio & types of instruments (esp. the winds) were different, and the performance practices likely not the same.  To me the Haydn Symphonies sound wonderful if well played regardless of the orchestra (and I have about half of his output by nearly a half dozen performers), but would be FUN to hear these as did Papa Joe -  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hAAOVLkNL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 05:27:17 PM
Thanks for that, Gurn. The following:

whilst undoubtedly true as a generalisation, is the sort of thing which, rightly or wrongly, puts many people off Boccherini, sadly - so I would point out that those looking for music with more troubled undertones will find them in Boccherini too. The Stabat Mater for solo soprano and strings, for example, (on Harmonia Mundi, coupled with a very dark quintet IIRC; also on other discs I haven't heard) is a beautiful work, melodically rich, highly expressive; elsewhere, there is plenty of chamber music with plenty going on below the surface.

Searching around, I also see that there's another Stabat Mater about which I'd forgotten. This disc looks well worth a punt (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=SACDA67108):

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571571089.png)



Good point, Luke. While it is true that much of his earlier music (on which his reputation was built) is quite galant, his later music, post-1790, is very much more harmonically and melodically intricate. Even in just chamber music, not to mention such as the Stabat mater. This disk:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/617MWFVC9JL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

is a good example of that. It is his last string trios, and they differ greatly from his early ones like the Op 14 set. Wouldn't do at all to pigeonhole a composer of this breadth, he touched all the bases in his long career. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 22, 2009, 05:31:57 PM
Two more Grétry for you to get acquainted with, Dear Freund Gurn:

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 05:35:05 PM
Two more Grétry for you to get acquainted with, Dear Freund Gurn:



Ooh, that Suites & Overtures disk looks like just the right place for me to start. Amazon must have that, and so shall I. :)

Gracias, Señorita!

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on February 22, 2009, 05:38:19 PM
Thanks, Karl, you were the 21st century exception I mentioned. :)  maybe that will make you give us a post here and there, like on early Russians, maybe?  :)

8)

The only pre-Glinka Russians I turn up offhand are Dmitri Bortnyansky, Maksim Berezovsky & Yevstigney Fomin, Gurn . . . .
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 05:51:19 PM
The only pre-Glinka Russians I turn up offhand are Dmitri Bortnyansky, Maksim Berezovsky & Yevstigney Fomin, Gurn . . . .

Umm, you forgot Ivan Khandoshkin... ;)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on February 22, 2009, 05:54:53 PM
Ah, Vanya!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on February 22, 2009, 05:56:05 PM
Two more Grétry for you to get acquainted with, Dear Freund Gurn:

Grétry is one of those names I first ran across in Poe . . . .
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 05:56:09 PM
Here is another composer of the Classical Era. This bio is from the Naxos website, so the references are to the 3 Naxos symphony disks that are out there. They are first-rate, and give a good view of Vanhal as a symphonist. In addition, he wrote a superior set of Oboe Quartets (oboe & string trio) and many concertos. His double bass concerto is available on Hyperion with 2 by Ditters. The oboe quartets are on Helios. I really like his music, it embodies Viennese Classical style very nicely, but also has that touch of exoticism that comes from his Bohemian background. A fine example of a composer that repays handsomely in the time invested in seeking out his works. 

Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739 - 1813)

Johann Baptist Vanhal was born in 1739 to a Bohemian peasant family, and received his early training from a local musician. From these humble beginnings he was able to earn a living as a village organist and choirmaster. It was a Countess, who heard him playing the violin, that took him to Vienna where she arranged lessons in composition with the great Dittersdorf. Further patronage helped him to travel and gain further knowledge of music. Though a temporary mental breakdown happened at the age of 35, he was now moving in exalted musical company, and it is reported he played quartets with Haydn, Mozart and Dittersdorf.

So famous did he become that he was probably the first musician to earn a living entirely from composing without any other appointment. He had to be a prolific writer to meet the demands made upon him he, and attributed to him are 100 quartets, at least 73 symphonies, 95 sacred works, and almost countless instrumental and vocal works. He often had a tendency to explore, but his greatest gift was an unending flow of memorable melodies.

Such was his success that within a few years of his symphonies being written, they were being performed around the world, and as far distant as the United States. In later life, however, he rarely moved from Vienna where he was also an active teacher.

His music has a more vivacious and rustic quality than Haydn. The four Sinfonias (or symphonies) included on this disc (Disk 1 of the Naxos series) were in three movements. In that sense he had not moved to Haydn's four movement format, and they are all in a conventional fast - slow - fast configuration. Where he did experiment was in the bold colors he created in the outer movements, the major role in the Presto finale of the AE 97 Sinfonia containing a major role for two horns. At the other extreme, there is a very fine cello solo in the second movement of the A major symphony. There is an equally gorgeous oboe solo in the second movement of the D major symphony. His 'Comista' Sinfonia is a most imposing work, the equal of anything Haydn was to compose in his earlier years, the stately central movement a creation of particular delight.

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2009, 06:26:15 PM
And finally for tonight, one of my personal favorites. :)

Franz Krommer (1759-1831)
He was baptized Frantisek Vincenc, but used the Germanized version of his name, Franz Vincent. Krommer was born in Kamenice in Moravia on November 27th 1759, as son of an innkeeper and later mayor of the town, Jirí Kramár, now part of the Czech Republic. He studied the violin and organ with his uncle Antonín Matthias Kramár in Turán from 1773 to 1776. He became organist in Turán in 1777.  Krommer moved to Vienna in 1785 but soon found employment as a violinist in the orchestra of the Duke of Styrum in Simontornya, Hungary; In 1790 Krommer was appointed Kapellmeister of the Cathedral at Pécs (Western Hungaria) and later as Kapellmeister in the service of a certain Duke Karolyi and Prince Antal Grassalkovich de Gyarak. Krommer returned to Vienna in 1795, and in 1798 he was appointed Kapellmeister to Duke Ignaz Fuchs; after 1810 he was employed as Ballet-Kapellmeister at the Hoftheater. In 1813, he became the last director of chamber music and court composer to the emperors, following Leopold Kozeluch. He remained on this post to his death in Vienna on January 8th 1831.

Franz Krommer was a very successful and influential composer, with an output of some 300 works. These included approximately ten symphonies (some of them lost), numerous violin concertos, and a large quantity of chamber works including 26 string quintets published between 1797 and the mid-1820s (second in number only to his string quartets, of which more than 70 are known)

One of the genres where he was quite prolific, as well as very talented, was in the production of wind quartets and quintets. These featured a wind instrument (oboe, clarinet, flute or bassoon) in company with a string trio or quartet. They are exceedingly fine and entertaining.

Here are a few recommended recordings:

Wind Serenades

4 Octet-Partitas, Op. 57, 71, 76 & 78/EMI CDC7543832
    Sabine Meyer Wind Ensemble
4 Partitas, Op. 45/Etcetera KTC1141
    Jeroen Weierink /Josef Triebensee Ensemble

Wind Concertos

3 Clarinet Concertos, Op. 35, 36 & 86/Claves CD50-8602
    Thomas Friedli & Anthony Pay (clarinets)/English Chamber Orchestra
2 Oboe Concertos in F major, Op. 37 & 52/Hyperion CDA66411
    Sarah Francis (oboe), Howard Shelley/London Mozart Players

Oboe Quartets & Quintets

 2 Oboe Quartets & 2 Oboe Quintets
     Sarah Francis (oboe) & the Tagore String Trio (Barritt - 2nd viola on Quintets)
     Regis  RRC 1201

Bassoon Quartets

2 Quartets for Bassoon & String Trio (Op 46 # 1 & 2)
     Hübner, Lüthy, Eaton & Latzko
     CPO 999 297
Includes the Sonata in Bb for Cello & Bassoon K 292 - Mozart


8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on February 23, 2009, 01:37:45 AM
So famous did [Vanhal] become that he was probably the first musician to earn a living entirely from composing without any other appointment.


Obviously this is very interesting. Big part of the Mozart story is that WAM was one of the first composers to strike out on his own.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 23, 2009, 05:50:48 AM
On the old forum, SonicMan and I started many threads on Classical Era composers. Some of these became very popular, a few didn't. In any case, the initial posts nearly always contained a brief biography and perhaps a few music recommendations to be getting on with. Rather than restart those threads, I thought to go back and copy and paste that original post so that the composers will be discussed in their context with each other. :)


For those just getting into these composers, a wealth of material can be found in two current threads:  1) Sara's Composer's Index (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,8566.0.html); and 2) Classic-Early Romantic Composers - A Cornucopia! (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,284.0.html), a thread that I started and linked to the old forum, and now functioning again after Rob's resusciatation!   :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sTisTi on February 23, 2009, 08:29:45 AM
And finally for tonight, one of my personal favorites. :)
Franz Krommer (1759-1831)
My favourite Krommer:
Symphonies op. 40 & op. 102,  Matthias Bamert / London Mozart Players
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on February 23, 2009, 04:49:56 PM
Well, of course that I hadn't noticed this thread before, dear Gurn! Otherwise there would be already some posts from this fellow classicist! ;)

On Russian music during classicism, there's not much that I can add to the remarks already done. Anyway, the most outstanding figure from this period is, no doubt, Bortniansky, whose religious music has a very powerful emotional content. His simultaneously Russian, religious and classical sound is quite impressive. His secular works are to me less impressive, but written very competently.

Other composers active in Russia during that period were Sarti and Martín y Soler; curiously, both of them were quoted by Mozart in the Tafelmusik in Don Giovanni.

A composer to consider, nevertheless, is Alexander Alyabiev, whose music, a very peculiar blend of Russian, German and Italian influences, is highly enjoyable (I would say he's the direct predecessor to Glinka). There is a recent CD (2006 or 2007) released by Fuga Libera, that shows his skills as instrumental composer (many opera overtures, a group of orchestral variations and even a Symphonic Picture).

Krommer/Kramár would deserve a decent post from my part, and as I'm quite sleepy right now, I guess I will leave it for tomorrow. I will add just one comment now, for the sake of intrigue: in my very humble opinion, his concerto for oboe op. 52 is the most beautiful composed for that instrument during the classical period. If it had been composed by Haydn or Mozart, it would be performed regularly in the standard repertoire.

I will try to complete your recommended discography, Gurn... ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 23, 2009, 05:27:26 PM
Obviously this is very interesting. Big part of the Mozart story is that WAM was one of the first composers to strike out on his own.

And indeed he was. He came to Vienna in 1781 for just that purpose. Vanhal, however, had been there already. I can't remember where I read it, but I believe it was 1772 or 1773.

That is not to say that Mozart was entirely successful at it, but he was much more successful than history has given him credit for. During most of his 10 years in Vienna, he and Constanze were doing very well indeed. And if he had lived, he was finally in a position where success was on his doorstep.

But Vanhal was immensely popular in his own time. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 23, 2009, 05:30:18 PM
My favourite Krommer:
Symphonies op. 40 & op. 102,  Matthias Bamert / London Mozart Players

That's a nice disk. Symphonies weren't a major part of Krommer's oeuvre, but he did them in a very entertaining manner.

For those of you who like the music of this time, and haven't gotten any of the Chandos "Contemporaries of Mozart" series, you should give one or two of them a try. This Krommer and the Carl Stamitz (and the Vaclav Pichl, too) are all good choices. :)

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Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 23, 2009, 05:42:34 PM
Well, of course that I hadn't noticed this thread before, dear Gurn! Otherwise there would be already some posts from this fellow classicist! ;)

Well, you're forgiven, Gabriel, since we just all met on this corner for the first time yesterday. I figured you would soon saunter by, in your classic cut leather jacket, smoking a Gauloise and listening to Haydn on your iPod... ;D

Quote
On Russian music during classicism, there's not much that I can add to the remarks already done. Anyway, the most outstanding figure from this period is, no doubt, Bortniansky, whose religious music has a very powerful emotional content. His simultaneously Russian, religious and classical sound is quite impressive. His secular works are to me less impressive, but written very competently.

Other composers active in Russia during that period were Sarti and Martín y Soler; curiously, both of them were quoted by Mozart in the Tafelmusik in Don Giovanni.

A composer to consider, nevertheless, is Alexander Alyabiev, whose music, a very peculiar blend of Russian, German and Italian influences, is highly enjoyable (I would say he's the direct predecessor to Glinka). There is a recent CD (2006 or 2007) released by Fuga Libera, that shows his skills as instrumental composer (many opera overtures, a group of orchestral variations and even a Symphonic Picture).

Ah, interesting info, and thanks for it. You'll even have Karl listening to Classical if you keep that up. :)  Of course, Mozart had his own reasons for choosing Martín y Soler: his opera, Una Cosa Rara supplanted Le Nozze di Figaro as the Viennese favorite a year or 2 earlier. And Sarti was famous in his own right. I think that Tafelmusik scene in DG is one of the wittiest little bit of current events in all of Mozart. I invariably enjoy it.

Quote
Krommer/Kramár would deserve a decent post from my part, and as I'm quite sleepy right now, I guess I will leave it for tomorrow. I will add just one comment now, for the sake of intrigue: in my very humble opinion, his concerto for oboe op. 52 is the most beautiful composed for that instrument during the classical period. If it had been composed by Haydn or Mozart, it would be performed regularly in the standard repertoire.

I will try to complete your recommended discography, Gurn... ;)

My personal favorites of Krommer are the various wind & string 4tets and 5tets. I am particularly fond of this genre anyway (Mozart wrote several, as did Vanhal, Krommer, Reicha, Danzi and many others) and Krommer's are very nice indeed. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 23, 2009, 07:23:14 PM
Well, since SonicMan is too humble to repost his own thread starters, I'll take the initiative and put one of my favorites here. :D

Antonio Rosetti (1746-1792), a.k.a. František Antonín Rössler (or confusingly by other names) was born in Bohemia of Czech origin, but chose to Italianize his name (leading to further confusion with other musicians).  He received his education in Prague and at a Jesuit college in central Bohemia, where he studied theology (intending to be a priest) and music, but in the early 1770s decided to pick music as his avocation.  Rosetti was a double bass player and a member of the Prince Ernst orchestra, of which he became director in 1785.  The Prince's orchestra had a fine group of wind players and musical events at the chateau occurred weekly, so a large part of Rosetti's compositional oeuvre comprises works of chamber music.

In 1781, he visited Paris, where his music was warmly received, an event repeated in other European cities.  Rosetti became orchestral conductor of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1789 at the peak of his reputation; symphonies and vocal works were commissioned further enhancing his reputation.  During that time, he was also summoned to the court of King Frederick William III of Berlin to present his Oratorio Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  However, Rosetti, who suffered from poor health most of his life, became seriously ill. and died in June of 1792 and was buried at Ludwigslust (debate exists about his age claiming his year of birth to be ca. 1750).

Rosetti's musical influences were primarily late Baroque-early Classic with Haydn having a major impact on his compositional direction.  In addition, his writing for smaller groups, especially wind instruments, was governed by his contact with the wind players in the orchestras of which he directed or was a member.  A partial listing of his works (comprising 400 or so) include 44 Symphonies, 4 keyboard concerti, 6 violin concerti, 1 viola concerto, 12 flute concerti, 7 oboe concerti, 4 clarinet concerti, 5 bassoon concerti, 17 horn concerti, 6 double horn concerti, 5 sinfonias concertante, 38 partitas/serenades, 12 string quartets, 11 keyboard sonatas, 13 keyboard trios, 13 masses, 4 requiems, 22 other church works and 82 lieder.

I highly recommend Rosetti to anyone interested in this period of music. His music is lively, interesting, well-orchestrated and really, given its quality, it deserves to be better known. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 23, 2009, 07:32:59 PM
And yet another favorite....

One of my great discoveries of 2004 (alright, someone else discovered him first and pointed him out) was Joseph Kraus. He was an excellent symphonist, and the 4 disks on Naxos of his symphonies are a treasure.  His 6 string quartets are from 1783 approximately, and sound to me quite reminiscent of Haydn's. There is also a funeral mass for Gustav III.  This is a top shelf classical era composer who was admired by his peers, and most likely slipped into obscurity not because he deserved it, but because he chose to work in Sweden. Poor career choice in terms of international fame, but that in no way affects his music, which is dramatic, concise, lively and with that wonderful combination of  depth and entertainment value.

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792)
by Bertil van Boer

Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792) is one of the few composers of the eighteenth century to have been considered by both Joseph Haydn and Christoph Willibald von Gluck to be an original genius. He was a talented composer, a prolific correspondent, and a published author who during his youth produced a volume of poetry, a tragedy (Tolon), and one of the few music aesthetical treatises that can be associated with the literary Sturm und Drang movement.

The son of a regional civil servant, Kraus received his earliest education from the local schools in Büchen, a small town on the fringes of the Odenwald in central Germany.

At the age of twelve he was sent to the Jesuit Gymnasium and Music Seminar in Mannheim, where he received instruction in German literature from Anton Klein, the librettist of the first major German opera, Ignaz Holzbauer’s "Günther von Schwarzburg", and in music from members of the famous Mannheim court orchestra. Following university studies in philosophy and law at Mainz and Erfurt, he was forced to remain for a year in his home in Büchen while his father underwent prosecution for misuse of office. During this period he began to concentrate his efforts in the fields of literature and music. In 1776 he returned to school in law at the University of Göttingen, where he came into contact with the remnants of the famous Sturm und Drang literary group, the Hainbund.

After two years of study there, he accepted a proposition to travel to Sweden in order to focus his career on music at the court of Gustav III. He spent two years of relative hardship attempting to break into the Stockholm musical establishment. A commission for an opera, Proserpine, whose text was drafted by the King himself, won him the post as Deputy Musical Director in 1781. The following year he was sent on a grand tour by Gustav in order to observe the latest trends in music theater in continental Europe. This lasted four years and brought him into contact with major figures such as Haydn, Glück, Antonio Salieri, Padre Martini, and others. He published his first set of works, six string quartets as his Op. 1, with Hummel and associated himself with the Viennese firm of Johann Traeg, who disseminated his works in copy form throughout the continent. His journey also took him throughout Germany, Italy, France, and England, where he witnessed the Händel Centenary celebrations in 1785.

While in Paris, he experienced difficulty with cabals back in Stockholm that sought to prevent his return, but their resolution in 1786 made it possible for him to become the leading figure in Gustavian musical life. In 1787 he was appointed as director of curriculum at the Royal Academy of Music, and the next year he succeeded Francesco Antonio Uttini as Kapellmästare, eventually attaining a reputation as an innovative conductor, progressive pedagogue, and multi-talented composer. He began publishing regularly with the new publishing firm in Stockholm, Olof Åhlström’s Kongliga Priviligierade Not-Tryckeriet, and was a member of the Palmstedt literary circle, a group that discussed intellectual and cultural life in the Swedish capital.

Although he was a much sought after composer for stage music, his principal opera, Æneas i Cartago, remained unperformed during his lifetime. In January of 1792 he was present at the masked ball wherein his patron, Gustav III, was assassinated, causing considerable turmoil in the cultural establishment that the monarch had nurtured. His own health deteriorated shortly thereafter, and he died only a few months later in December of 1792 from tuberculosis. He was buried in the Stockholm suburb of Tivoli following a ceremony where his coffin was carried across the ice of the Brunsviken by torchlight.

I am interested in any comment on his music. I have his symphonies, string quartets and solo piano music (Brautigam on BIS). I would particularly like to find his violin concerti. Anyone heard them?

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 23, 2009, 08:08:57 PM
Gurn: Somebody has to congratulate you repeatedly to your super-successful new thread.

Congratulations, Gurn!  :-*

And somebody has to bust in and ask questions considered not only controversial, but also out of the ordinary, questions from a non-musician, a simple lover of good music.

Here we go: Why do you insist on creating a special class for compositions created at a certain period of time? Can't you just talk about music composed in such and such a year, why does it have to be called 'classical', 'baroque', 'renaissance', etc. I am sure there are music lovers who have no idea what years are covered by the 'classical' period, or renaissance, - maybe people who don't even know what 'renaissance' means, - but they sure love to listen to Marin Marais and his bells without a clue as to who composed it and what period he belongs to, according to you anyhow!

Still talking to me?  ???

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on February 24, 2009, 02:06:25 AM
My personal favorites of Krommer are the various wind & string 4tets and 5tets. I am particularly fond of this genre anyway (Mozart wrote several, as did Vanhal, Krommer, Reicha, Danzi and many others) and Krommer's are very nice indeed. :)

So a quick check of the available Krommer recordings shows there are 'partitas for winds'. Are these anywhere near the top of Krommer's output, so to speak?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on February 24, 2009, 04:03:25 AM
So a quick check of the available Krommer recordings shows there are 'partitas for winds'. Are these anywhere near the top of Krommer's output, so to speak?

If you are just concerned by "depth", you will probably have some problems to assimilate them. But if you enjoy excellently crafted, inventive and melodious wind music, you can't go wrong with them. They don't reach the level of Rejcha's quintets, but Krommer really knew how to write for wind instruments.

As far as I know, the most extensive compilation is the one released by Tudor and played by the Zurich Wind Octet(opp. 57, 67, 69, 71, 73, 76, 77, 78, and 79, plus some works without opus number). The three op. 45 partitas are not there, but there is a good Chandos recording.

Anyway, answering directly to your last question, I wouldn't consider them to be at the top of Krommer's output.

Unfortunately, the recordings of some of his very fine compositions are not easy to find, if they exist at all. There is, for example, a beautiful string trio in F major (op. 96) which I own in two versions (I ignore if there are other versions available). It is remarkably well written, with no hint of the typical difficulties for writing for this formation. For a sample of the string trio during classicism I would probably pick Mozart's 563 and this one (Beethoven's string trios have never been my cup of tea).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 24, 2009, 05:27:02 AM
And somebody has to bust in and ask questions considered not only controversial, but also out of the ordinary, questions from a non-musician, a simple lover of good music.

Here we go: Why do you insist on creating a special class for compositions created at a certain period of time? Can't you just talk about music composed in such and such a year, why does it have to be called 'classical', 'baroque', 'renaissance', etc. I am sure there are music lovers who have no idea what years are covered by the 'classical' period, or renaissance, - maybe people who don't even know what 'renaissance' means, - but they sure love to listen to Marin Marais and his bells without a clue as to who composed it and what period he belongs to, according to you anyhow!

Still talking to me?  ???




Well, it doesn't have to be called "Classical", that's what has been instituted over the years. As I mentioned in my first post, labels like that are merely a convenience for people who love to pigeonhole things.

For me, the entire period from the end of the Period of Polyphony (Baroque, if you will) to the beginning of the Period of Cacophony, in other words, the Period of Homophony, Melody and Tonality, constitutes a single age. If you were inclined to label it, and wanted to call it something that people could relate to, then "Classico-Romantic" would work. The musical style trends swing back and forth throughout the period, sometimes more light and elegant, sometimes more dense and textured, but always within certain boundaries, like tonality and homophony. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Est.1965 on February 24, 2009, 05:49:50 AM
Quote
Quote from: Brünnhilde forever on Today at 04:08:57
And somebody has to bust in and ask questions considered not only controversial, but also out of the ordinary, questions from a non-musician, a simple lover of good music.

Here we go: Why do you insist on creating a special class for compositions created at a certain period of time? Can't you just talk about music composed in such and such a year, why does it have to be called 'classical', 'baroque', 'renaissance', etc. I am sure there are music lovers who have no idea what years are covered by the 'classical' period, or renaissance, - maybe people who don't even know what 'renaissance' means, - but they sure love to listen to Marin Marais and his bells without a clue as to who composed it and what period he belongs to, according to you anyhow!

Still talking to me? 

I don't think there is such a thing as a real classical music lover who doesn't know his 'classical periods'.  They help objectify the World in which the composer moved, help define the influences around him, musical and otherwise, that affected his musical output.  Knowing things like what the Renaissance was, and who is credited with a move away from the Classical to the Romantic, etc subconsciously enrich ones listening experience and understanding of the piece as a whole.
People who listen to Classical music and say they like it without even trying to find out why are patter merchants.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on February 24, 2009, 06:08:02 AM
Gurn: Somebody has to congratulate you repeatedly to your super-successful new thread.

Congratulations, Gurn!  :-*

And somebody has to bust in and ask questions considered not only controversial, but also out of the ordinary, questions from a non-musician, a simple lover of good music.

Here we go: Why do you insist on creating a special class for compositions created at a certain period of time? Can't you just talk about music composed in such and such a year, why does it have to be called 'classical', 'baroque', 'renaissance', etc. I am sure there are music lovers who have no idea what years are covered by the 'classical' period, or renaissance, - maybe people who don't even know what 'renaissance' means, - but they sure love to listen to Marin Marais and his bells without a clue as to who composed it and what period he belongs to, according to you anyhow!

So, this was a very interesting topic, full of information, something reminding one of the time GMG spread its wings, and now we get this?

On whose behalf are you busting in? The "identify this song for me" people?

Oh, let's not even think about it, and please, Gurn et al, just continue as before!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 24, 2009, 06:13:46 AM
So a quick check of the available Krommer recordings shows there are 'partitas for winds'. Are these anywhere near the top of Krommer's output, so to speak?

Well, partitas are partitas. They are an evening's entertainment and make no pretense about being more than that. :)

So, that said, Krommer wrote a nice partita, as did Mozart, Rosetti, Danzi et al. As it happens, I do really like wind music, eapecially Harmonie octets and sextets. If you do too, Krommer should please you. But as Gabriel says, if you are looking for depth and intellectual stimulation, these aren't going to happen for you. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 24, 2009, 07:34:54 AM
I think it was thanks to Harry that I came across this set (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Concerto%20K%F6ln%20Edition/hnum/6314224), and it's been on my wish-list ever since.

Looking at the set, I was reminded of another composer whose music, when I first heard it, immediately reminded me of Mozart: Leopold Kozeluch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Kozeluch). I have heard a couple of his symphonies, but nothing more. It appears that he was quite prolific and popular during his time.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on February 24, 2009, 07:44:25 AM
I came across a little curiosity in the Brilliant Classics Mozart Edition that I thought might interest you, Gurn.  It's a fragmented, three-movement suite for keyboard in C Major, K. 399; in the recording in the set it's performed on harpsichord.  I haven't really been able to find out much about the thing!  Know anything?  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 24, 2009, 08:21:34 AM
I came across a little curiosity in the Brilliant Classics Mozart Edition that I thought might interest you, Gurn.  It's a fragmented, three-movement suite for keyboard in C Major, K. 399; in the recording in the set it's performed on harpsichord.  I haven't really been able to find out much about the thing!  Know anything?  :)

Just have a moment, so it'll have to be the short answer.

This piece is also called "Suite in the Style of Händel". It was composed in 1782, almost certainly at the request of Baron von Sweiten, who hosted Sunday afternoon study sessions of polyphonic music, and incidentally introduced Mozart to a lot of Bach and Händel. He was likely also responsible for those exercises, K 404a & 405 that incorporated Bach's fugues with Mozart's Preludes for them. :)

8)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on February 24, 2009, 08:37:37 AM
:D You're a walking (typing) encyclopaedia!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 24, 2009, 10:34:15 AM
I don't understand what your gripe is? 


Who is griping? - Did you forget to add a smiley to your post?  :) - I asked for information on an open forum/thread, in a civilly tone, and I received an answer in a civilly tone; a bit convoluted, but helpful, maybe even to the unwashed masses who are not graduate musicians, yet simply enjoy listening to other music besides the pop variety.

 Thank you, Gurn  :-*
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 24, 2009, 10:39:29 AM
Who is griping? - Did you forget to add a smiley to your post?  :) - I asked for information on an open forum/thread, in a civilly tone, and I received an answer in a civilly tone; a bit convoluted, but helpful, maybe even to the unwashed masses who are not graduate musicians, yet simply enjoy listening to other music besides the pop variety.

 Thank you, Gurn  :-*

Well, convoluted was the best I could manage, because it is not as simple a subject as we would all like it to be. :)  But the attempts to tie music stages in with those of the other arts has gone on for a very long time. I am not trying to perpetuate the practice when I do it too, I am only trying to communicate thoughts on a level that we have all agreed upon, however hesitantly. But I did tell you my true belief in my reply to you: I don't think there is such a thing as a true Classical Period, only a much larger period of tonal, homophonic (mainly) music which I prefer the term "Classico-Romantic". That in itself is a fairly radical concept, it seems... :D

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on February 24, 2009, 10:41:13 AM
Who is griping? - Did you forget to add a smiley to your post?  :) - I asked for information on an open forum/thread, in a civilly tone, and I received an answer in a civilly tone; a bit convoluted, but helpful, maybe even to the unwashed masses who are not graduate musicians, yet simply enjoy listening to other music besides the pop variety.

I apologize then.  I misread the tone of your message and jumped to conclusions.  I deleted my post.  0:)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 24, 2009, 10:50:34 AM
Pace! Peace! Frieden!

 :-*
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on February 24, 2009, 02:52:14 PM
Looking at the set, I was reminded of another composer whose music, when I first heard it, immediately reminded me of Mozart: Leopold Kozeluch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Kozeluch). I have heard a couple of his symphonies, but nothing more. It appears that he was quite prolific and popular during his time.

Kozeluch wrote some very interesting works. I remember I bought one CD of his because I noticed it included a sinfonia concertante for mandolin, trumpet, piano, double-bass and orchestra. My immediate question was how could anyone manage to write coherently for so different instruments (I guess I don't know other concertante work in all classicism with such an extraordinary combination). I wondered about a possible solution most of all concerning the first movement, where a sonata/concerto form is supposed to happen. Kozeluch's solution was, to me, brilliant. He divided the instrumental forces in three: the orchestra (1); trumpet, mandolin and double-bass (2); and the piano (3). So, the first exposition - traditionally orchestral - was taken by the orchestra and the trumpet, mandolin and double-bass, while just in the second exposition - traditionally for the soloist(s) - the piano took the leading role. The further exchanges are all happy: Kozeluch keeps an impressive balance in a 15-minute movement, offering to the listener very happy ideas, all suitable to the nature of each of the participants (v. gr., martial calls from the trumpet, intimate passages from the mandolin). The exchanges increase as the end approaches, so a bit before the last cadential section there is a particularly enjoyable moment when the piano keeps a harmonical support for the dialogue of the other three soloists. The sound is typically classical, so it is not something that calls your attention at once; but when I realize the "effortless effort" that Kozeluch does with this formation, I cannot but admire such a natural effect. (That naturality, so appreciated during the classical era, is often disregarded in our days... unfortunately).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 24, 2009, 06:22:35 PM
Kozeluch was actually best known as a piano virtuoso and composer of sonatas. Everything else he did was an adjunct to that. In addition to his symphonies on Chandos, and the odd clarinet concerto here and there, I have one disk of his works by Christine Faron on fortepiano, and they are really quite nice.

"The periodical "Pfeffer und Salz" from April 5, 1786 reported, "It is no secret that Herr Leopold Kozeluch competes with Mozart. His art on the pianoforte is not to be judged, for he is perhaps the only virtuoso in Vienna who never plays in public. His compositions, on the other hand, bespeak an excellent mind, and no other fault is to be found with them than they are too difficult….In general, there are amateur ladies here who play such concertos as they have learnt almost as well as Mozart himself."

And he is also the composer who made this famous statement at Mozart's death: 'Of course it's too bad about such a great genius, but it's good for us that he's dead. Because if he had lived longer, really the world would not have given a single piece of bread for our compositions.'

I can recommend Kozeluch's music at the very least in that everything I have heard from him has been above average. And the average in those times was quite good. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Bogey on February 24, 2009, 08:24:42 PM
Well, partitas are partitas. They are an evening's entertainment and make no pretense about being more than that. :)

So, that said, Krommer wrote a nice partita.... :)

8)

So much so that one may even mistake the work for Haydn. ;D

As it happens, I do really like wind music....

Too often overlooked.  (David (Ross) pointed this out many moons ago.)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on February 25, 2009, 02:43:28 AM
I think it was thanks to Harry that I came across this set (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Concerto%20K%F6ln%20Edition/hnum/6314224), and it's been on my wish-list ever since.

And you have in that set the excellent Eberl symphonies op. 33 and 34, which were ranked beside Beethoven's in their time (around 1805). They are quite extraordinary works, and - within the works I have listened to - probably the most important in their genre composed in Austria and Germany during the first decade of the nineteenth century (naturally, with Beethoven's). It is really a loss for music that Eberl died in 1807 (41 years old): his chamber music is equally attractive. A very solid composer.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on February 25, 2009, 05:16:36 AM
Just have a moment, so it'll have to be the short answer.

This piece is also called "Suite in the Style of Händel". It was composed in 1782, almost certainly at the request of Baron von Sweiten, who hosted Sunday afternoon study sessions of polyphonic music, and incidentally introduced Mozart to a lot of Bach and Händel. He was likely also responsible for those exercises, K 404a & 405 that incorporated Bach's fugues with Mozart's Preludes for them. :)
(http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/files/classicalmusicmayhem/smilies/notworthy.gif)

You're a legend, Gurn! 

I suspected it was some sort of reflection of his Baroque studies, especially given the Kochel number, which places it around that time.  I think the piece is quite clever; it's interesting hearing Mozart on harpsichord.  Those Prelude & Fugue arrangements are quite skillfully done as well.

Thanks for the info!  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 25, 2009, 05:26:44 AM
(http://classicalmusicmayhem.freeforums.org/files/classicalmusicmayhem/smilies/notworthy.gif)

You're a legend, Gurn! 

I suspected it was some sort of reflection of his Baroque studies, especially given the Kochel number, which places it around that time.  I think the piece is quite clever; it's interesting hearing Mozart on harpsichord.  Those Prelude & Fugue arrangements are quite skillfully done as well.

Thanks for the info!  ;)

You're welcome. I got lucky, you asked the one question that I knew the answer...  :-[  :)

Actually, in addition to that work, probably everything from before 1775 should be done on a harpsichord. I just don't like it quite as much. Harpsichords are excellent for Baroque music (which is why this sounds so nice), but in homophonic music, it just doesn't satisfy nearly so much. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on February 25, 2009, 07:09:43 AM
Thank you, Gabriel and Gurn, for the information on Kozeluch.

Kozeluch wrote some very interesting works. I remember I bought one CD of his because I noticed it included a sinfonia concertante for mandolin, trumpet, piano, double-bass and orchestra. My immediate question was how could anyone manage to write coherently for so different instruments (I guess I don't know other concertante work in all classicism with such an extraordinary combination). I wondered about a possible solution most of all concerning the first movement, where a sonata/concerto form is supposed to happen. Kozeluch's solution was, to me, brilliant. He divided the instrumental forces in three: the orchestra (1); trumpet, mandolin and double-bass (2); and the piano (3). So, the first exposition - traditionally orchestral - was taken by the orchestra and the trumpet, mandolin and double-bass, while just in the second exposition - traditionally for the soloist(s) - the piano took the leading role. The further exchanges are all happy: Kozeluch keeps an impressive balance in a 15-minute movement, offering to the listener very happy ideas, all suitable to the nature of each of the participants (v. gr., martial calls from the trumpet, intimate passages from the mandolin). The exchanges increase as the end approaches, so a bit before the last cadential section there is a particularly enjoyable moment when the piano keeps a harmonical support for the dialogue of the other three soloists. The sound is typically classical, so it is not something that calls your attention at once; but when I realize the "effortless effort" that Kozeluch does with this formation, I cannot but admire such a natural effect. (That naturality, so appreciated during the classical era, is often disregarded in our days... unfortunately).

Now that you have mentioned it (the SC), I checked the other things I have posted about Kozeluch elsewhere in the web. As it turns out, the first time I came across this composer was through a sinfonia concertante of his. And I think it could have been the one the four instruments you describe. (I have mentioned this set (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Konzertante%20Sinfonien/hnum/7479810) while talking about the "discovery.") Now I'm eager to listen to it all over again.

And I'll look into Eberl, too. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on February 25, 2009, 09:12:10 AM
As it turns out, the first time I came across this composer was through a sinfonia concertante of his. And I think it could have been the one the four instruments you describe. (I have mentioned this set (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Konzertante%20Sinfonien/hnum/7479810) while talking about the "discovery.") Now I'm eager to listen to it all over again.

I checked the recording. It is not the one I own, but it should be the same work I was talking about (I would be really surprised if Kozeluch had written two sinfonie concertanti for the same instruments!).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 27, 2009, 06:09:11 PM
Well, I remembered having a Kozeluch Sinfonie Concertante also, and I went back and checked it, and guess what? It turned out to be the Sinfonie Concertante in Eb for mandolin, trumpet, piano, double-bass and orchestra, no opus number (WoO). This is on the splendid 3 disk set from CPO called simply "Sinfonie Concertante". It is all played by ASMitF / Iona Brown & Consortium Classicum / Dieter Klocker. For those of you who are attracted to the form (it is rather like a concerto grosso, only in classical sonata form rather than polyphonic Baroque, of course), this set is a peach. It has works from Kozeluch, Pleyel, Hoffmeister, Winter, Abel, Crusell, Danzi and Schneider. And the solisti range from 2 bassoons to the group mentioned above, with many in between. Highly recommended for SQ, playing, good music, and a chance to hear composers off the beaten path. :)

8)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CNSQMMCML._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

At Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Symphonies-Concertantes/dp/B000174LNY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1235786845&sr=1-1)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 28, 2009, 07:54:05 AM
Well, a couple of pages back, I left a link to many of the composers under discussion in Gurn's new thread - these are all linked back to the old forum and seem to be functioning; most of these composers come from the later end of this Classic-Early Romantic era, but a similar list could likely be generated from the earlier end, i.e. Baroque-Early Classic.  But for those interested - pick a name(s) - usually some historic/bio background and specific CD recommendations -  :)

As a continuation, below is a shorter list of composers in this category that have had 'separate' threads in our older GMG forum - just click on the names to the right of each composer, if interested; also, feel free to start/continue a new post in our present forum.   :D

Abel, Carl Friedrich (1723 - 1787)  Abel (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13127.0.html)
Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) Boccherini (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2311.0.html)
Cartellieri, Antonio (1772- 1807) Cartellieri (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6051.0.html)
Cherubini, Luigi (1760 - 1842) Cherubini (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,10918.0.html)
Clementi, Muzio (1752 - 1832) Clementi (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6437.0.html)
Dittersdorf, Carl Ditters von (1739 - 1799) Dittersdorf (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2367.0.html)
Dussek, Jan Ladislav (1760 - 1812) Dussek (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9360.0.html)
Field, John (1782- 1837) Field (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,10133.0.html)
Hasse, Johann (1699- 1783) Hasse (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6135.0.html)
Haydn, Franz Joseph (1732 - 1809) Haydn (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,104.0.html)
Hoffmann, Leopold (1738 - 1793) Hoffmann (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11384.0.html)
Holzbauer, Ignaz (1711- 1783) Holzbauer (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13090.0.html)
Hummel, Johann (1778- 1837) Hummel (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2740.0.html)
Kraus, Joseph Martin (1756 - 1792) Kraus (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2329.0.html)
Krommer, Franz (1759 - 1831) Krommer (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5132.0.html)
Locatelli, Pietro (1695- 1764) Locatelli (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9994.0.html)
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756 - 1791) Mozart (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,133.0.html)
Onslow, Georges (1785- 1853) Onslow (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,3046.0.html)
Pichl, Vaclav (1741- 1805) Pichl (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4251.0.html)
Pleyel, Ignaz Joseph (1757 - 1831) Pleyel (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2619.0.html)
Quantz, Johann Joachim (1697 - 1773) Quantz (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9859.0.html)
Reicha, Anton (1770 - 1836) Reicha (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,6089.0.html)
Ries, Ferdinand (1784 - 1838) Ries (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2678.0.html)
Rosetti, Antonio (1750- 1792) Rosetti (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9304.0.html)
Salieri, Antonio (1750 - 1825) Salieri (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2387.0.html)
Spohr, Louis (1784 - 1859) Spohr (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,8185.0.html)
Stamitz, Carl (1745 - 1801) Stamitz (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5672.0.html)
Vanhal, Johann Baptist (1739 - 1813)  Vanhal (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2349.0.html)
Viotti, Giovanni Battista (1755 - 1824) Viotti (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4293.0.html)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 28, 2009, 08:00:30 AM
Well, a couple of pages back, I left a link to many of the composers under discussion in Gurn's new thread - these are all linked back to the old forum and seem to be functioning; most of these composers come from the later end of this Classic-Early Romantic era, but a similar list could likely be generated from the earlier end, i.e. Baroque-Early Classic.  But for those interested - pick a name(s) - usually some historic/bio background and specific CD recommendations -  :)


Good list, Dave. As I discovered the other night, going back and finding all those threads can be a time-consuming challenge. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 28, 2009, 08:17:01 AM
Good list, Dave. As I discovered the other night, going back and finding all those threads can be a time-consuming challenge. :)

8)

Yep, no need to re-duplicate our efforts & those of many others; plus, Sara's 'Composer Index' list is valuable for the 'current' forum - now, if we only had a similar list to the 'old' forum for the earlier 'transition' period -  ;) ;D   Dave

BTW, for those wanting more book recommendations, Mozart in Vienna, 1781-1791 (1986, then translated) by Volkmar Braunbehrens is quite good; obviously covers Wolfie's last 10 years and has plenty of discussion of Vienna of the times, Mozart's friends & fellow composers, and discounts a few myths about his last days.

In addition, I just read in the most recent issue of Fanfare a review of Mozart, Haydn and Early Beethoven: 1781-1802 (2008) by Daniel Heartz (professor emeritus, U. of CA @ Berkeley) - this seems to be part of a 'triology' of books, and likely the last one (he is 80 y/o now) - it is a 'massive' (800 pgs) work and not cheap (Norton); my wife is trying to get me an inter-library loan of his first book in this series Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School: 1740-1780, published in 1995 and another 800 pg. tome (not sure if I'll make it through these books!) - will try - Dave  :)

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/cd/8c/f48d9833e7a0b4aae7b63110._AA240_.L.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MrfSLSbrL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MNT1D1APL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 28, 2009, 08:42:39 AM
Yep, no need to re-duplicate our efforts & those of many others; plus, Sara's 'Composer Index' list is valuable for the 'current' forum - now, if we only had a similar list to the 'old' forum for the earlier 'transition' period -  ;) ;D   Dave

BTW, for those wanting more book recommendations, Mozart in Vienna, 1781-1791 (1986, then translated) by Volkmar Braunbehrens is quite good; obviously covers Wolfie's last 10 years and has plenty of discussion of Vienna of the times, Mozart's friends & fellow composers, and discounts a few myths about his last days.

In addition, I just read in the most recent issue of Fanfare a review of Mozart, Haydn and Early Beethoven: 1781-1802 (2008) by Daniel Heartz (professor emeritus, U. of CA @ Berkeley) - this seems to be part of a 'triology' of books, and likely the last one (he is 80 y/o now) - it is a 'massive' (800 pgs) work and not cheap (Norton); my wife is trying to get me an inter-library loan of his first book in this series Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School: 1740-1780, published in 1995 and another 800 pg. tome (not sure if I'll make it through these books!) - will try - Dave  :)

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/cd/8c/f48d9833e7a0b4aae7b63110._AA240_.L.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MrfSLSbrL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MNT1D1APL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)

Yes, those are handy lists, but it helps to consolidate them in one place. I, for one (and I'm not alone! :D ) am too lazy to do too much searching. Whereas you are a model of researching.   ;D

Books, yes. Braunbehrens' is a highly commendable book, not least because he makes a point of being a "mythbuster", something that is sorely needed for Mozart after the serious distortions of the 19th century. This is a good book.

Heartz is probably the archetype of critical research. His books are extremely well thought of at all levels. Your statement that they are pricey nails the problem nicely though. $80/book is a bit rich for my blood. And I have never seen them at a bargain price either, not even used. But I will own the trilogy one day, probably after the miraculous economic recovery that we are all waiting for... ;)

Some others on classical era music in general:

"Music in the Classic Period" by Reinhard Pauly - this is as much as anything a textbook on music history, specifically on the classical era. Quite readable and very informative.

"Classic and Romantic Music" by Friedrich Blume - This book, more than any single other, has influenced my thoughts on how the classical era fits into music history. Blume was the first to present the idea that there is no dichotomy between "classical" and "romantic" in terms of music, that they are (at their most extreme) simply extremes of the same music, and that nearly all the music of the time fits very neatly into the spectrum of the musical language possibilities. If you have a real interest in this topic, this book is a great starting point.

Interested in other recommendations. If you have read some really good books, please share the titles here. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 28, 2009, 09:06:02 AM
Yes, those are handy lists, but it helps to consolidate them in one place. I, for one (and I'm not alone! :D ) am too lazy to do too much searching. Whereas you are a model of researching.   ;D

Books, yes. Braunbehrens' is a highly commendable book, not least because he makes a point of being a "mythbuster", something that is sorely needed for Mozart after the serious distortions of the 19th century. This is a good book.

Heartz is probably the archetype of critical research. His books are extremely well thought of at all levels. Your statement that they are pricey nails the problem nicely though. $80/book is a bit rich for my blood. And I have never seen them at a bargain price either, not even used. But I will own the trilogy one day, probably after the miraculous economic recovery that we are all waiting for... ;)

"Classic and Romantic Music" by Friedrich Blume ....................

Yes, all of those years in 'academic radiology' and numerous research projects - does take persistence!  ;D  Fortunately, I've 'slowed down' the last 10 yrs!

Heartz's second book in this triology - Music in European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780 (2003) - over a 1000 pgs!  :o  Hope that he uses a lot of pictures & musical scores?; but I'll do another borrow if I get through the first one!  The final volume is just over $40 discounted on Amazon, still a hefty price.

Another Mozart book on my shelf is Mozart: The Early Years, 1756-1781 (2006) by Stanley Sadie - complements the previously mentioned one nicely and is of recent vintage (and affordable!) -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CB1Z2CKHL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A4MSP1J9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 28, 2009, 09:28:38 AM
Yes, all of those years in 'academic radiology' and numerous research projects - does take persistence!  ;D  Fortunately, I've 'slowed down' the last 10 yrs!

Heartz's second book in this triology - Music in European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780 (2003) - over a 1000 pgs!  :o  Hope that he uses a lot of pictures & musical scores?; but I'll do another borrow if I get through the first one!  The final volume is just over $40 discounted on Amazon, still a hefty price.

Another Mozart book on my shelf is Mozart: The Early Years, 1756-1781 (2006) by Stanley Sadie - complements the previously mentioned one nicely and is of recent vintage (and affordable!) -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CB1Z2CKHL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A4MSP1J9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)

Well, Dave, if you are fortunate enough to get them from the library, we all expect some feedback. This set is destined for my shelves, just not right now. :)

Sadie was the preeminent Mozart scholar. His "Mozart: The Early Years" was the first volume of a projected set that aimed to be the definitive modern English language Mozart biography. The project was interrupted by his untimely death with just the first volume completed. :'(

There are many good books on Mozart, and the peripheral benefit of them is that you also get some information on his contemporaries. That is the bigger picture which is harder to bring into focus due to a lack of documentary material. If anyone has run across such a book, one with material on contemporaries, please add to the list. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 28, 2009, 09:29:56 AM
Braunbehrens' is a highly commendable book, not least because he makes a point of being a "mythbuster", something that is sorely needed for Mozart after the serious distortions of the 19th century.

I knew it! I knew Gurn was a secret Newman fan..........;D 0:)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 28, 2009, 09:50:20 AM
I knew it! I knew Gurn was a secret Newman fan..........;D 0:)

Now, that is a low blow! Lucky for you I live 2500 miles away! :D

Actually, I was talking about things like "Poor Mozart" and "Constanze was a leeching bitch" and "Mozart was poisoned", that sort of thing. Newman didn't even want to give credit for the Gran Partitta! And we all saw in "Amadeus" that he really wrote it. ;)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 28, 2009, 09:56:03 AM
Ah yes, now that's a point: it's when Newman ignores documentary evidence like this that he really comes unstuck.  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 28, 2009, 10:03:53 AM
Ah yes, now that's a point: it's when Newman ignores documentary evidence like this that he really comes unstuck.  ;D

Yup, there you go. Shaffer would never lead us astray. :)

Speaking of Mozart (which I don't want to dwell on, but it is hard not to), have you heard the disk "The Secret Mozart" played by Christopher Hogwood?  It is all solo music played on the clavichord.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516EESGbTwL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

If not, I highly recommend it to you especially.

1. Allegro in G minor, K. 312   
2. Andante & 5 Variations in G, K. 501/Andante (Thema)   
3. Andante & 5 Variations in G, K. 501/Var. 1
4. Andante & 5 Variations in G, K. 501/Var. 2
5. Andante & 5 Variations in G, K. 501/Var. 3
6. Andante & 5 Variations in G, K. 501/Var. 4 (minore)
7. Andante & 5 Variations in G, K. 501/Var. 5 (maggiore)
8. Minuetto in D, K. 355/Trio da M. Stadler/Minuetto   
9. Minuetto in D, K. 355/Trio da M. Stadler/Trio & Minuetto reprise
10. Marche funebre, K. 453a   
11. Andantino, K. 236   1:41   
12. Klavierstück in F, K. 33b   
13. Adagio for Glass Harmonica, K. 356   
14. Laßt uns mit geschlungen Händen K. 623   
15. Rondo in F, K. 494   
16. Theme & 2 Variations in A, K. 460/Theme   
17. Theme & 2 Variations in A, K. 460/Var. 1   
18. Theme & 2 Variations in A, K. 460/Var. 2   
19. Fantasia in D minor, K. 397   
20. Sonata in D, K. 381/I. Allegro   
21. Sonata in D, K. 381/II. Andante
22. Sonata in D, K. 381/III. Allegro molto
23. Fantasia in D minor, K.397 (with coda)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sul G on February 28, 2009, 10:11:54 AM
No - I have the Bach disc in that series, and have meant to get this one but haven't got round to it yet.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on February 28, 2009, 03:12:42 PM
I noticed that in the Dusík/Dussek thread of the old forum there was no mention to the very impressive Concerto in B flat major for two pianos, op. 63. A healthy Sunday recommendation: delightfully scored and showing in some parts textures and harmonies 2 or 3 decades ahead (there is even a section that reminds me... Rachmaninov). The exchanges between the piano are particularly enjoyable. One of the most beautiful works of late classicism and surely a jewel in the - unfortunately small - repertoire for two pianos.

I can recommend also to the admirers of beautiful harp playing a splendid CD ("Grands Desserts") of some of Dusík's works for that instrument played by Nasumi Nagasawa. Some of the compositions show a magnificent association between Nagasawa and Richard Egarr at the pianoforte. The sound is simply glorious: the idea of a modern piano there is unthinkable, for the timbres would be too different. There are certainly solos: Egarr plays the (more famous) piano sonata in F sharp minor, while Nagasawa delights with her almost "aerial" performance of the harp sonata op. 34 n. 1.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 28, 2009, 03:30:28 PM
Ah, thanks for reminding us of Dussek, Gabriel. He is one of my favorites for sure. I haven't got that 2 pianoforte sonata, but now I will look it up. I do, however, have quite a few of his sonatas. This is a first rate piano composer. Haydn heard him play in London (on the 2nd London trip, I believe) and was very impressed. One bit of trivia about Dussek is that he invented the concept of the pianist sitting sideways to the audience so the soundboard would reflect the sound out into the crowd, and so that they could watch him play. I don't think anyone has played otherwise ever since. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Haydn Symphonies 90, 91, Orchestra of the Age of - Sigiswald Kuijken - Symphony No. 90 - II. Andante
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 28, 2009, 04:35:06 PM
I noticed that in the Dusík/Dussek thread of the old forum there was no mention to the very impressive Concerto in B flat major for two pianos, op. 63. ...

I can recommend also to the admirers of beautiful harp playing a splendid CD ("Grands Desserts") of some of Dusík's works for that instrument played by Nasumi Nagasawa. ......

Gabriel - thanks for your comments; I just reviewed that old thread and despite a good beginning and posts by Gurn & I, the thread had a rather short life!  Thanks for the additional recommendations - now, I've actually added some more Dussek since those 2006/7 posts - boy, 2 years ago!

All of the additions below are excellent; CPO label doing well as usual; the Brilliant addition is a nice introduction, i.e. Piano Quintets by Dussek, Hummel, & Onslow - now after these additions, I've not acquired any of those HARP compositions - would like some recommendations, please, from all -  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/611XWEN3D3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61UMK3FPr-L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FYq9zgiSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 01, 2009, 04:47:57 AM
All of the additions below are excellent; CPO label doing well as usual; the Brilliant addition is a nice introduction, i.e. Piano Quintets by Dussek, Hummel, & Onslow - now after these additions, I've not acquired any of those HARP compositions - would like some recommendations, please, from all -  :D

I wonder which is the Piano Quintet included in that selection, SonicMan. I have a recording of such a work by Dusík, in F minor, op. 41, in a CD called "Chamber music for piano", also including the piano sonata op. 77 and a piano quartet in E flat major, op. 56. The quintet is not a first-rate work, but very enjoyable (the third movement is particularly beautiful). The CD, from the label Studio Matous, is excellently played and recorded.

I have just the second CD of the CPO series (opp. 9 and 77). I guess I will try to get the other one later.

For the harp works, the choice is Nagasawa. I have another CD with a similar content, played by Danielle Perrett in Meridian, and it is like listening to something different. Both performances are technically good, but I feel that Nagasawa is much more spiritual while playing. And, of course, Egarr is also a plus.

One bit of trivia about Dussek is that he invented the concept of the pianist sitting sideways to the audience so the soundboard would reflect the sound out into the crowd, and so that they could watch him play. I don't think anyone has played otherwise ever since. :)

Very interesting, Gurn. I didn't know (or remember) that point. Alas, I'm afraid I will have to deny your last statement. I saw Mitsuko Uchida some months ago playing a magnificent KV 491 with her back towards the audience. ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 01, 2009, 07:38:42 AM
I wonder which is the Piano Quintet included in that selection, SonicMan. I have a recording of such a work by Dusík, in F minor, op. 41, in a CD called "Chamber music for piano", ..........

For the harp works, the choice is Nagasawa...............

Gabriel - the Dussek work on the Brilliant disc is indeed Op. 41 as you indicate above - however, I was curious about 'how many' Piano Quintets he composed (he wrote SO MUCH chamber music); in checking Wiki HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Ladislaus_Dussek), this single one is all I found listed (but may have missed others?).

Thanks for the Nagasawa recommendation - added the CD to my 'wish list', if still available?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 08:53:41 AM
I don't know how many either, Dave, but I do enjoy this one (Op 41). In any case, Dussek was most famous for his sonatas. There are quite a few disks of them out there, maybe not enough, but enough to start out with anyway. You can see in my "Listening now..." tag that I am listening to my favorite one, Op 35 #3 in c. Outside of Beethoven, this is as good as it gets at the turn of the century. Unfortunately this particular disk is OOP, and Amazon doesn't even list it in the "Discontinued by manufacturer" section, although I bought it from them only a year ago. It also shows up in a disk that IS available (at least BRO still have it) by Geoffrey Govier. There are also a few other sonatas scattered around (I only look for fortepiano versions, there are probably a lot of others on a modern piano), like the Op 5 which is on a disk called "French Pianoforte Music", which also features works by others of my favorites, such as Méhul and Jadin. There was a whole other classical/romantic transition going on in France at the turn of the century which will also bear discussion here at some point... :)

8)

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Listening to:
Dussek Sonatas / Staier - Andreas Staier - Op 35 #3 Sonata in c for Fortepiano 4th mvmt - Finale: Allegro molto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: springrite on March 01, 2009, 09:00:11 AM
I will have a couple of hours free time before my flight tomorrow. Guess I will pop the Dussek sonata CD in for a spin. It must have been 6 or 7 years since I last played it. (I have played one of the harp CDs a couple of time in the mean time).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 09:08:18 AM
I will have a couple of hours free time before my flight tomorrow. Guess I will pop the Dussek sonata CD in for a spin. It must have been 6 or 7 years since I last played it. (I have played one of the harp CDs a couple of time in the mean time).

What sonatas are they, Paul? Just curious, always looking for ones I don't have, particularly if they are on fortepiano. :)

8)

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Listening to:
Dussek Sonatas / Staier - Andreas Staier - Op 31 #2 Sonata in D for Fortepiano 3rd mvmt - Pastorale: Allegro non troppo
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: springrite on March 01, 2009, 09:11:26 AM
What sonatas are they, Paul? Just curious, always looking for ones I don't have, particularly if they are on fortepiano. :)

8)

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Listening to:
Dussek Sonatas / Staier - Andreas Staier - Op 31 #2 Sonata in D for Fortepiano 3rd mvmt - Pastorale: Allegro non troppo

I will let you know when I get back from my trip! The CD is in my office. I will go to the office first before I go to the airport.

If I remembered correctly, it was probably a COLLINS CD. Was it Pizarro? I will find out tomorrow.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 09:13:40 AM
I will let you know when I get back from my trip! The CD is in my office. I will go to the office first before I go to the airport.

If I remembered correctly, it was probably a COLLINS CD. Was it Pizarro? I will find out tomorrow.

Ah, very good. That is one I hadn't heard of, so maybe some new music if I can find a copy of it over here. :)

8)

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Listening to:
C.P.E. Bach & W. F. Bach Works for 2 Harpsichords - Andreas Staier & Robert Hill - W.F. Bach Falck 10 Sonata in F for 2 Harpsichords 1st mvmt - [Allegro moderato]
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 09:15:52 AM
Very interesting, Gurn. I didn't know (or remember) that point. Alas, I'm afraid I will have to deny your last statement. I saw Mitsuko Uchida some months ago playing a magnificent KV 491 with her back towards the audience. ;)

Interesting point, Gabriel. So maybe she is the exception that proves the rule. :)  I would have liked to hear that performance, K 491 is one of my personal favorites. :)

8)

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Listening to:
C.P.E. Bach & W. F. Bach Works for 2 Harpsichords - Andreas Staier & Robert Hill - W.F. Bach Falck 10 Sonata in F for 2 Harpsichords 1st mvmt - [Allegro moderato]
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: springrite on March 01, 2009, 09:22:26 AM
The conventional interpretation at the time about Dussek's practice of playing with his side to the audience was that he thought he looked best that way. Apparently he had a very good looking profile. Drawings of him seems to suggest that he was not much to look at from the front but much much better from the side!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 09:26:54 AM
The conventional interpretation at the time about Dussek's practice of playing with his side to the audience was that he thought he looked best that way. Apparently he had a very good looking profile. Drawings of him seems to suggest that he was not much to look at from the front but much much better from the side!

Yes, he was famous for his pretty-boy profile. I think the sound thing was a bonus that sold the deal to other pianists, even ones without a profile. BTW, Dussek was a compulsive eater, and the last few years of his life he didn't tour because he was too fat to get around. I bet that was a profile he didn't enjoy showing off. ::)

8)




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Listening to:
Field: Piano Concerto No.2 & 3 - Andreas Staier / Concerto Köln - Field H31 Concerto #2 in Ab 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 01, 2009, 10:00:18 AM
Yes, he was famous for his pretty-boy profile. I think the sound thing was a bonus that sold the deal to other pianists, even ones without a profile. BTW, Dussek was a compulsive eater, and the last few years of his life he didn't tour because he was too fat to get around. I bet that was a profile he didn't enjoy showing off. ..

Yep, I posted a number of photos of him (early & later in life) in the OP on the old forum thread - he did blow-up like a toad, maybe not quite Jabba the Hutt, but a resemblance, esp. in the jowls!  ;D

Forgot to post the other Dussek addition to my collection - the one mentioned by Gurn w/ Staier on the fortepiano - need to do some re-listening to those discs along w/ Becker on a modern piano; as I remember Staier can get to be a little of a 'key banger' at times, but just different interpretations - BTW, the Trio 1790 uses a fortepiano in the Piano Trios; Dussek wrote a lot of these but a check on Amazon still shows just the one offering by this superb group!  :)

(http://www.boxhillnorthfc.com.au/files/boxhillnorth/lookalikes/jabba.jpg)  (http://pixhost.ws/avaxhome/d3/24/000a24d3_medium.jpeg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 10:11:19 AM
Yep, I posted a number of photos of him (early & later in life) in the OP on the old forum thread - he did blow-up like a toad, maybe not quite Jabba the Hutt, but a resemblance, esp. in the jowls!  ;D

Forgot to post the other Dussek addition to my collection - the one mentioned by Gurn w/ Staier on the fortepiano - need to do some re-listening to those discs along w/ Becker on a modern piano; as I remember Staier can get to be a little of a 'key banger' at times, but just different interpretations - BTW, the Trio 1790 uses a fortepiano in the Piano Trios; Dussek wrote a lot of these but a check on Amazon still shows just the one offering by this superb group!  :)

(http://www.boxhillnorthfc.com.au/files/boxhillnorth/lookalikes/jabba.jpg)  (http://pixhost.ws/avaxhome/d3/24/000a24d3_medium.jpeg)

Yes, if there is one thing to be said negatively about Staier, it is that he is a true Classical style keyboardist, which is to say, he articulates his notes ala Mozart. Dussek comes from that fractionally later period when legate e cantabile is required. Hard to say anything else had about him as I really enjoy his playing. The Field concertos I am listening to now are superb (Concerto Köln is in no small way responsible for that, either).

Trio 1790 not only have some wonderful Haydn trios (7 disks so far) but also some CPE Bach as well as the Dussek. All well worth looking into. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Field: Piano Concerto No.2 & 3 - Andreas Staier / Concerto Köln - Field H32 Concerto #3 in Eb 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 01, 2009, 01:44:45 PM
Yes, if there is one thing to be said negatively about Staier, it is that he is a true Classical style keyboardist, which is to say, he articulates his notes ala Mozart. Dussek comes from that fractionally later period when legate e cantabile is required.

As I haven't listened Staier's Dussek (shame on me... I've had the CD in my hands!), I cannot comment specifically on his playing, but I agree that a strict Mozartian articulation wouldn't fit Dussek too much.

Outside of Beethoven, this is as good as it gets at the turn of the century.

For piano, I totally agree. Perhaps Clementi can be added to them, while I don't count Haydn, because he belongs to a previous generation. Other name to consider is Wölfl, but his importance is, in my opinion, inferior than Dussek's (but he has some remarkable works).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 02:01:25 PM
As I haven't listened Staier's Dussek (shame on me... I've had the CD in my hands!), I cannot comment specifically on his playing, but I agree that a strict Mozartian articulation wouldn't fit Dussek too much.

And he does tend to play that way. Not purely, of course, but it's like that is his natural style and he sometimes reverts a bit. Doesn't really bother me too much, I like the music and his playing quite a lot. :)

Quote
For piano, I totally agree. Perhaps Clementi can be added to them, while I don't count Haydn, because he belongs to a previous generation. Other name to consider is Wölfl, but his importance is, in my opinion, inferior than Dussek's (but he has some remarkable works).

I have a disk of Wölfl sonatas and really, they are very good. He was once in a piano competition, pitted against Beethoven. He didn't win, but they came away quite good friends, which was not always the case with Beethoven. :D

As for Clementi, I think he is in a class of his own, not Beethoven's class, but a cut above all the others. I am hoping that this discussion will steer in his direction soon. :)

8)



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Listening to:
Mendelssohn 3 4 - Chicago SO / Solti - FMB Symphony #3 in a Op 56 2nd mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 01, 2009, 03:10:54 PM
I have a disk of Wölfl sonatas and really, they are very good. He was once in a piano competition, pitted against Beethoven. He didn't win, but they came away quite good friends, which was not always the case with Beethoven. :D

You probably own Jon Nakamtsu's recording for Harmonia Mundi, which, if a bit mechanical, is very good and is a quite reliable sample of this composer. However, the most devoted person towards Wölfl seems to be Laure Colladant, who has recorded many of the piano sonatas (played on a pianoforte). I have most of her recordings: opp. 6, 15, 28 and 33. Very good music indeed.

I have some of his other chamber works. Of particular interest: the piano trios op. 23 (led also by Colladant), and the string quartets op. 4 (Authentic Quartet in Hungaroton). They are music of their time: there are no great innovations, but the music is magnificently crafted and always very inventive.

An "unexpected highlight" of Wölfl's music are his two symphonies. There is, to my knowledge, just one recording, released by the Russian label Caro Mitis and very well played by the Pratum Integrum Orchestra. They are certainly more conventional works than Beethoven's or Eberl's works of the same period, but very interesting works nonetheless. (The Andante of the G minor symphony is a memorable movement: simple and effective, its ideas are quite Mozartian, but their treatment is Haydnesque). This CD includes a "bonus": a D minor "duo" (sonata) for piano and cello, op. 31, that crowns the disc. The repertoire for piano and cello of the classical period is particularly scarce, so it's a very welcome item in any collection, but its interest is more than anecdotic: this work is beautiful from the beginning to the end, with a dazzling finale showing unusually evident syncopations in its A subject that can't be explained but by heavy folkloric influence. A hidden treasure.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 01, 2009, 03:27:09 PM
You probably own Jon Nakamtsu's recording for Harmonia Mundi, which, if a bit mechanical, is very good and is a quite reliable sample of this composer. However, the most devoted person towards Wölfl seems to be Laure Colladant, who has recorded many of the piano sonatas (played on a pianoforte). I have most of her recordings: opp. 6, 15, 28 and 33. Very good music indeed.

Yes, I do have Nakamatsu. And I was quite surprised on receiving it, given that it is on HM, that it wasn't played on a pianoforte. :(  I have never seen Colladant, I can only suppose that this is a French label only released in France... :-\  Well, I shall have a look around for it anyway, since I really do enjoy the music I have now. :)

Quote
I have some of his other chamber works. Of particular interest: the piano trios op. 23 (led also by Colladant), and the string quartets op. 4 (Authentic Quartet in Hungaroton). They are music of their time: there are no great innovations, but the music is magnificently crafted and always very inventive.

An "unexpected highlight" of Wölfl's music are his two symphonies. There is, to my knowledge, just one recording, released by the Russian label Caro Mitis and very well played by the Pratum Integrum Orchestra. They are certainly more conventional works than Beethoven's or Eberl's works of the same period, but very interesting works nonetheless. (The Andante of the G minor symphony is a memorable movement: simple and effective, its ideas are quite Mozartian, but their treatment is Haydnesque). This CD includes a "bonus": a D minor "duo" (sonata) for piano and cello, op. 31, that crowns the disc. The repertoire for piano and cello of the classical period is particularly scarce, so it's a very welcome item in any collection, but its interest is more than anecdotic: this work is beautiful from the beginning to the end, with a dazzling finale showing unusually evident syncopations in its A subject that can't be explained but by heavy folkloric influence. A hidden treasure.

Well, this looks like something worth the hunt. Good thing the dollar is getting stronger vs the euro and pound... ;D  Thanks for that excellent info. :)

8)


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Listening to:
Mendelssohn 3 4 - Chicago SO / Solti - FMB Symphony #4 in A Op 90 3rd mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 01, 2009, 03:36:07 PM
Well, this afternoon I listened to some Dussek Piano Sonatas played by Staier & Becker, i.e. fortepiano vs. modern piano, different styles, and not the same pieces.  I did enjoy both of these performances, and was amazed at the dynamics that Staier could produce on his instrument; however, Becker did pretty much the same on the piano - bottom line - excellent discs both, different instruments, and the dynamics are purely those of Dussek - his sonatas are really much more in the early Romantic period, so don't expect an approach like that of Haydn or Mozart (although he was just 4 yrs younger than Wolfie).

You probably own Jon Nakamtsu's recording for Harmonia Mundi, which, if a bit mechanical, is very good and is a quite reliable sample of this composer. However, the most devoted person towards Wölfl seems to be Laure Colladant, who has recorded many of the piano sonatas (played on a pianoforte). I have most of her recordings: opp. 6, 15, 28 and 33. Very good music indeed.

Yes, those are the recordings that I own - but the ones by Colladant sound intriguing, just not sure 'how available' they maybe here in the USA, but will check!  Thanks for the recommendation!   :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CWNNSF23L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 01, 2009, 03:44:51 PM
Gabriel - the Dussek work on the Brilliant disc is indeed Op. 41 as you indicate above - however, I was curious about 'how many' Piano Quintets he composed (he wrote SO MUCH chamber music); in checking Wiki HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Ladislaus_Dussek), this single one is all I found listed (but may have missed others?).

Dave, it's a pity that there are just a few recordings of Dussek's music around. Moreover one has to be very careful: there are "Jan Ladislav Dusík/Dussek" and "Frantisek Xaver Dusek/Dussek", who can be mistaken by their similar family names.

Yes, those are the recordings that I own - but the ones by Colladant sound intriguing, just not sure 'how available' they maybe here in the USA, but will check!  Thanks for the recommendation!   :D

Unfortunately they are difficult to find even in France. But I wish you good luck with your research! ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 04, 2009, 07:09:00 PM
So, you've listened to a lot of music. Early on, a friend turned you on to Bach, and then you discovered Beethoven and Brahms and maybe Wagner, and suddenly found Shostakovich, Bartok and then the Moderns. And along the way, you really never listened to much music from the Classical Era, with the exception of Mozart's "Jupiter" symphony, and of course, the "Requiem" was de rigeur. But then your occasional forays beyond that didn't turn out well, and now you don't really like "Classical" music. *sigh*

Clearly you aren't alone. This story can be told by any number of your friends here on the forum. It almost seems as though if one doesn't start out with "classical", one doesn't gravitate to it after listening to a lot of other genres. The reasons for this are not so hard to figure out. The rather more dense polyphony of Baroque music, the long melodic line of Romantic music, the intellectual brilliance of modern music all have a strong attraction. The simplicity, squareness, lightness and elegance of classical music (I leave off the quotes here, we all know what I mean by now :) ) don't reach out and grab the vast majority of people in the same way. And yet, these exact things are what were considered to be the strong points of the music in its own time. Symmetry and transparency were the goals. The beauty lies in setting up (preparing) the modulations, not in letting you into the emotional world of the composer. The drama comes from delaying a return to the tonic key by taking a little trip through the dominant minor when you didn't expect that at all, not in leaving for some remote area in the Circle of Fifths and not coming back at all! When Mozart exposes a theme in Eine kleine Nachtmusik, you know he is going to develop it and then recapitulate it, and the whole thing is going to sound as though he couldn't possibly have written it any other way. And this rightness and inevitability is the source of the attraction of classical music. If you listen to enough of it, you, too, will be "hooked" on it. There is no bombast, but there is infinite intricacy and subtlety. :)

If you wish to get into classical music, here are a few "listening tips":

8)

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Listening to:
Schubert: Dances for Fortepiano - Trudelies Leonhardt - D 924 Grätzer Walzer for Fortepiano
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 04, 2009, 07:51:59 PM
As usual, Gurn has raised some important considerations about listenting to music from different eras and not trying to apply prejudices from one period to the other - the 'classical period' and its transitions (i.e. early from the Baroque & later into the Romantic) are fascinating to consider, so yet on to another comparison:

A 'later' transitional composer mentioned a few posts back was Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) - a comtemporary of WA Mozart (and a famous 'competition' in the early 1780s between the 2 composers/performers in Vienna) - an interesting consideration is the performance of Clementi's Piano Sonatas on a fortepiano vs. a modern piano - personally, I think that Clementi's compositions were composed for instruments beyond those available to him @ the times, so the challenge becomes of interest!

The other day, I listen to Clementi performed by Howard Shelley on a modern piano (Vol. 1 - also own Vol. 2) - these were wonderful (the reason why I bought the 2nd volume, I guess!); the comparison was Costantino Mastroprimiano on the fortepiano, Vol. 1 on the Brillant label, a 3CD offering of the 'Viennese Sonatas', so not the same ones as Shelley - I loved both performances; the fortepaino did not do as well in the 'chorded portions' - i.e. the more dynamic banging of the keys in this transitional music just seems to come across better for me on a modern piano - this seems to be an important area of dispute in comparing these different pianos; I was reading a negative review on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/Clementi-Complete-Sonatas-Vol-1/dp/B000NJM6L4/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236224702&sr=1-13) concerning the fortepiano performances - I disagreed and wrote a rebuttal (if interested, go to the link - I'm 'giradman' there) -  :D

Bottom line is that I do enjoy the 'fortepiano' but there is a transition from the classical to the romantic period in which the modern piano may become the better choice of instrument; now 'when & who' is to decide this choice is likely a personal preference - well, just a few thoughts - Dave  :)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41c-ELg8DNL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C7yg0-NtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 04, 2009, 08:05:21 PM
Dave,
I really enjoy the Mastroprimiano set. I don't have the Shelley for comparison, although I do have some of his Hummel, which is contemporaneous and also on modern piano, so I can extrapolate from there. Later Clementi really does come on the cusp of modern piano (he died in 1832, and the pianos of that time were far more modern than not). I think the thing about fortepianos is that you have to really love their unique sound. If you don't, then they will lose out to modern pianos every time, unless you are enough into the subtleties to enjoy the little ornaments that are very difficult for a modern pianist to reproduce, but which can be tossed off with ease by a fortepianist. I have a modest amount of Clementi's fortepiano music, by such as Immerseel, Mastroprimiano, Khouri and Susan Alexander-Max. I also have some wonderful performances on modern piano by Vladimir Horowitz and Danielle Laval. There are no losers here, the music stands up well to either approach. I don't (and will likely never) buy into the concept that Clementi (or Beethoven for that matter) had the foresight to imagine what the piano of the future would be able to do, but I think that they wrote music which transcends the instrument. That's good enough for me. :)

8)

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Listening to:
Onslow Sextet #2 in a for Piano & Winds Op 77 4th mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 04, 2009, 10:13:56 PM
  • Be adventurous. Listen to a disk of Vanhal's music alongside Haydn's. No harm comes from music that is off-the-beaten-path, honest! :)

I agree!  For Romantic-period music one might be tempted to leap right into the big names like Mahler or Brahms, but I think more people should try the music of one Franz Berwald, a Swedish composer of great character and style.  I know you're familiar with him too, Gurn!  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 05, 2009, 04:02:08 AM
If you wish to get into classical music, here are a few "listening tips":
  • Start with famous works by famous composers. There are reasons they are famous. Use that to your advantage.
  • Don't necessarily start with orchestral music. Solo keyboard and chamber music can be easier to get your mind around.
  • Don't compare classical music with Baroque, Romantic or Modern. It's different. Judge it on its own merits.
  • Be adventurous. Listen to a disk of Vanhal's music alongside Haydn's. No harm comes from music that is off-the-beaten-path, honest! :)

Excellent tips, Gurn. Here I add some others:

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 06, 2009, 06:48:02 PM
Excellent tips, Gurn. Here I add some others:

  • Get at least a minimum acquaintance with the forms of music of the classical era, and most of all with the so-called sonata form. Many of the hidden delights of this music will suddenly jump in front of your eyes (or ears).
  • Do not get discouraged by a certain "homogeneity" in classical music. Do not forget that classical composers had - consciously or unconsciously - the idea of being building an universal language, very differently from Baroque music whose national styles were differentiated.
  • Benefit of the historical approach. Many of the main instrumental genres, as we know them now, were born during the classical period: string quartet, string quintet, keyboard trio, wind quintet, keyboard sonata, symphony. Investigate how their development came to such a successful end.
  • Do not confound clarity with conformism. Some of the most daring innovators in the history of music can be found in the classical repertoire: for instance, C.P.E. Bach, F. J. Haydn, Rejcha and Beethoven.

Excellent additions, Gabriel. And here is a note (my inferences) on your point about building a universal language. It was conscious. Here is an (rather long and) interesting quote from Blume's classic and Romantic Music" (an indispensable book, IMO):

...the rather singular doctrine of "mixed taste" represented primarily by Quantz and with some variation by Leopold Mozart and C.P.E. Bach (all in their various "Versuchen..."). According to Quantz two peoples "deserve credit for the improvement in musicaql taste in recent times, the Italians and the French...". All writers of the time distinguish emphatically between Italian, French and German musical styles. Herder still clung to this approach and even in Goethe a similar distinction is found. Italian music was praised for its expressive power, its sensuousness its tender, singing character, its wealth of inspiration; French music for its vivacity, especially in rhythm, its pleasing quality and easy accessibility - though it was censured for its dryness and its schematic cast. from far back, the Germans had inherited the advantages od solid compositional craft and instrumental virtuosity; "but of the good taste and beautiful melodies one finds, save for a few old church songs, few indications... They try to compose more artfully rather than comprehensibly or pleasingly, more for the eye than for the ear". On the other hand, Quantz grants the Germans a particular ability to "assimilate other peoples' tendencies in taste, whichever they may wish"; "they know how to make use of what is good in all sorts of foreign music". A mixing of style is therefore recommended to them as a recipe for arriving at good music "that will be accepted by many countries and recognized as good". Quantz does not hesitate to characterize such a "mixed taste" as "the present German taste".

This fit in well with widely held views. Telemann had already boasted of being able to compose in any style. And Mozart reported from Mannheim (2/7/1778 letter to Leopold) that he was "able to adopt and imitate almost all sorts and styles of composition". ...................  What they achieved was anything but a blending of styles. They were, rather, creating out of their own specifically German talent something fundamentally new.... Composers very soon realized that the purpose of their efforts could not be the coining of a new national style alongside existing national styles, or of making other national styles their own; that it was far more a matter of creating something above and beyond national styles, something of a worldwide validity, a "universal language" of music in which all peoples, without distinction, and all levels of society too, could take part - a language of humanity. This humanistic idea arose in German music simultaneously with the similarly-directed idea in German literature. Gluck wrote (in a letter to the "Mercure de France" in 2/1773) that he "wished to write a strong music that speaks to the heart, that would appeal to all peoples" and "wipe out the ridiculous differences in national music". Gluck's late style was praised (Chabagnon) as "the universal language of our continent" (De la Musique, 1785). This is the meaning, too that lies behind Haydn's famous remark "My language is understood in the whole world"...


Sorry, didn't mean to ramble, but this is an important point since the classical era gave birth to all subsequent music up to the total rejection of tonality and melody around WW I. When we call this "The Age of Enlightenment", it is no small thing, since the philosophies that arose then (Herder, Kant etc) and the revolutions, philosophical and actual, changed the course of history as we know it. And music not only went along for the ride, it greased the wheels in many cases. :)

8)


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Listening to: Jos Van Immerseel - Clementi Op 25 #5 Sonata in f# 2nd mvmt - Lento e patetico
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 07, 2009, 06:11:23 AM
I've read beginners guides that assert chamber music is the thornier listen and to go for the larger forces first. I'm not sure why.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 08:10:29 AM
I've read beginners guides that assert chamber music is the thornier listen and to go for the larger forces first. I'm not sure why.

I'm not sure, Dave, on what they base their logic. It is true, chamber music is rather more intricate. But you only have a few voices, 4 or 5 usually, and I found that I was able to distinguish them and follow what they were saying far more easily than I could (and still can) in an orchestral work. If you want to follow the cello's voice through a string quartet, it is a lot easier to do (for me, at least) than following the whole section of cellos in a symphony. Although what he has to say may be a bit more complicated... but then, that's the whole point of a string quartet, so you just have to go with that. :)

8)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 07, 2009, 08:12:14 AM
I'm not sure, Dave, on what they base their logic. It is true, chamber music is rather more intricate. But you only have a few voices, 4 or 5 usually, and I found that I was able to distinguish them and follow what they were saying far more easily than I could (and still can) in an orchestral work. If you want to follow the cello's voice through a string quartet, it is a lot easier to do (for me, at least) than following the whole section of cellos in a symphony. Although what he has to say may be a bit more complicated... but then, that's the whole point of a string quartet, so you just have to go with that. :)

Must be an assumption that newbies are more used to symphonic music and would be scared away by a quartet. Perhaps chamber music also has a reputation as being stuffier.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 08:18:47 AM
Must be an assumption that newbies are more used to symphonic music and would be scared away by a quartet. Perhaps chamber music also has a reputation as being stuffier.

You're probably right on both counts, but IMO, chamber music can also be far more unbuttoned than orchestral music (take Haydn's SQ's, for example). And I suppose that more people start with symphonies, although in my case it was concertos, violin concertos specifically, and they present their own problems when it comes to picking out structure. I think I was probably fortunate to discover violin sonatas very early on, and they not only provided excellent music, but a great opportunity to get a feel for how the parts came together to make a whole work. From there, it was a short step to piano trios and string quartets... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 07, 2009, 12:35:20 PM
I dunno, there's just something with large orchestral pieces that appeals so directly to our modern ears... Can't place my finger on it.  Maybe it's because they're generally a composer's most thought-out and elaborate works?  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when people think "Classical" music they think "symphony?"  Or maybe people nowadays are more familiar with orchestral music via movies, so they already feel somewhat familiar with it...  ???  I started out what might be considered "textbook" style: Symphonies --> Concerti --> Chamber Music --> Dramatic/Choral works --> Opera --> Songs.  To this day when I try out a new composer I - out of habit - try their orchestral pieces first.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 02:04:34 PM
I dunno, there's just something with large orchestral pieces that appeals so directly to our modern ears... Can't place my finger on it.  Maybe it's because they're generally a composer's most thought-out and elaborate works?  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when people think "Classical" music they think "symphony?"  Or maybe people nowadays are more familiar with orchestral music via movies, so they already feel somewhat familiar with it...  ???  I started out what might be considered "textbook" style: Symphonies --> Concerti --> Chamber Music --> Dramatic/Choral works --> Opera --> Songs.  To this day when I try out a new composer I - out of habit - try their orchestral pieces first.

Well, maybe it is all what we're used to. I round up the symphonies lastly (of the purely instrumental works) without fail. Not even consciously, AFAIK. For me it is chamber > keyboard > concerti > symphonies > vocal. I think it has to do with intimacy, getting to know the composer on a personal level before moving on to the big, public works. :-\

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Lachner String Quartets - Rodin Quartet - Lachner Op 077 String Quartet #3 in Eb 4th mvmt - Allegro vivace
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 02:11:05 PM
In keeping with the idea of listening to chamber and keyboard works first, I would like to start a series on different classical composers which presents a list of works by each which I consider to be good places to acquaint yourself with that composer. I will only recommend works, not performances. If you have favorite performers, then by all means choose their recording. No matter that someone else doesn't think highly of it, or even if it is the single most recommended disk in the world. The point is getting to hear the music. :)  In addition, I will try to list things in an order from "good place to start" through "quite advanced". Depending on your personal tastes, your mileage may vary... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Lachner String Quartets - Rodin Quartet - Lachner Op 120 String Quartet #4 in d 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro non troppo
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 02:20:38 PM
A recommended list of works: Mozart

The keyboard sonatas
The later violin sonatas
The 6 piano trios
The "Haydn" String Quartets
The serenades and divertimentos for winds
The last 10 Piano Concertos
The Violin Concertos
The Requiem
The last 6 symphonies
The 3 Da Ponti Operas and "The Magic Flute"

All of these works are readily available in many good recordings. They will provide a solid basis for branching out into the many more masterworks that Mozart left for us. Of course, you can start with the operas too if you want, nothing written in stone here! But if you become familiar with the works in this list, you will then know what to expect in whichever particular genre of Mozart that appeals to you. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Lachner String Quartets - Rodin Quartet - Lachner Op 120 String Quartet #4 in d 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro non troppo
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 07, 2009, 03:37:47 PM
I will collaborate with the series, Gurn, if you're not against. ;) I will remark personal favourites that, in my opinion, should be useful as "first introduction" to the composer.

A recommended list of works: Krommer/Kramář (1759-1831)


Yes, Krommer wrote delightfully for wind instruments! This list considers - naturally - just recorded works and it could - naturally - be extended or modified by the discovery of other works.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 05:29:03 PM
I will collaborate with the series, Gurn, if you're not against. ;) I will remark personal favourites that, in my opinion, should be useful as "first introduction" to the composer.

A recommended list of works: Krommer/Kramář (1759-1831)

  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 37
  • Symphony in D major, op. 40
  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 52
  • Partita for winds in F major, op. 57
  • Partita for winds in E flat major, op. 71
  • Harmonie for winds in C major, op. 76
  • Clarinet concerto in E minor, op. 86
  • Concerto for two clarinets in E flat major, op. 91
  • Flute quartet in D major, op. 93
  • Clarinet quintet in B flat major, op. 95
  • String trio in F major, op. 96
  • Flute quintet in G major, op. 101
  • Symphony in C minor, op. 102

Yes, Krommer wrote delightfully for wind instruments! This list considers - naturally - just recorded works and it could - naturally - be extended or modified by the discovery of other works.

Against? I'm delighted. I already see a few new (to me) works to go hunting for, and that's the point, after all. I will also add the Op 46 Bassoon Quartets (Bassoon and String Trio) to your list, since they are exceptionally nice, and good representatives of a particularly Classical genre.

8)

----------------
Listening to:
BIBER : Violin Sonatas - Andrew Manze (Disc 1) - Romanesca - Nachtigal (Nightingale) - Sonata Representativa
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 07, 2009, 05:46:47 PM
Since Jan Dussek was under discussion a few pages back in this thread, today I received a wonderful Harp & Fortepiano disc in the mail - quite interesting listening - posted first in the Dussek Tread, but thought that a repeat here would be of interest - this harpist is indeed special - check out her link below in the quote -  :)

Quote
Just acquired a Dussek disc recommended highly by another GMG member:

Grand Desserts - World of Jan Ladislav Dussek - the title & the cover art are completely unrevealing unfortunately, but a series of CDs devoted to this era and played on period instruments.

Basically, harp music of Dussek, both solo but most w/ fortepiano - performers are Masumi Nagasawa & Richard Egarr - Nagasawa plays a single-action original harp from 1815 & Egarr an original fortepiano from 1804; the sound the the harp is wonderful, much more delicate than a modern concert harp (but more forceful that a Celtic variety, that my wife plays) - Nagasawa has an excellent Website HERE (http://www.masuminagasawa.com/cdseries/page15/page15.html) which has plenty of information of these period harps and the 'gourmet' series of recordings she is doing - take a look!  :D

P.S. Gurn Alert - think that this disc will be on your 'radar screen' (of course, if not already owned!) -  ;)  Dave


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/486786325_mznuU-M.jpg)

(http://www.masuminagasawa.com/cdseries/page15/files/masumirichard.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2009, 06:02:41 PM
Since Jan Dussek was under discussion a few pages back in this thread, today I received a wonderful Harp & Fortepiano disc in the mail - quite interesting listening - posted first in the Dussek Tread, but thought that a repeat here would be of interest - this harpist is indeed special - check out her link below in the quote -  :)


Ah, thanks for that, Dave. I know the harp is a favorite of yours, and I am hoping to make it one of mine too. Dussek, Spohr, Kraus and a few others wrote nice music for harp, not to mention the famous Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto. I was scratching my head over the Kraus just this evening. It might be my first choice, but the Dussek could well be in the same shopping cart... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to: Romanesca - RV 755 Sonata in D for Violin & Continuuo 1st mvmt - Preludio: Andante
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: jhar26 on March 08, 2009, 03:58:24 AM
But he did continue to use some Mannheim standard devices, like the "Mannheim Rocket" which the French called the premiére coup d'archet. It shows up in several of his later works, and still pleases today. :)

8)
What's the "Mannheim rocket"? Is that when the orchestra seemingly from nowhere and unexpected builds towards a very loud crescendo?

I'm only on page two, but the "classical corner" is a great idea for a thread since so many interesting composers from this era are totally overshadowed by the holy trinity of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Well done, Gurn.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 08, 2009, 04:06:53 AM
What's the "Mannheim rocket"? Is that when the orchestra seemingly from nowhere and unexpected builds towards a very loud crescendo?

I'm only on page two, but the "classical corner" is a great idea for a thread since so many interesting composers from this era are totally overshadowed by the holy trinity of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Well done, Gurn.

Yes, that quite close, it is a long arpeggio/crescendo in the orchestra. It was a surprising development in its time because it requires good ensemble playing by the orchestra, which was virtually unknown before Stamitz' tenure in Mannheim. I guess he was the Toscanini of his time... :)

I am delighted that you joined us here, and hope you will feel free to contribute. I agree with you, this was long overdue. Even though the "Holy Trinity" are my 3 favorite composers, they didn't spring from nowhere, and it's interesting to see who their contemporaries were. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Mendelssohn -  - Symphony #4 in A, Op. 90, "Italian": IV. Saltarello (Presto)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 08, 2009, 04:12:27 AM
Against? I'm delighted. I already see a few new (to me) works to go hunting for, and that's the point, after all. I will also add the Op 46 Bassoon Quartets (Bassoon and String Trio) to your list, since they are exceptionally nice, and good representatives of a particularly Classical genre.

Thanks, Gurn! :)

And as I don't know op. 46, they will increase the suggested repertoire. I will edit the previous list to add them.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 08, 2009, 05:28:11 AM
A recommended list of works: Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 08, 2009, 06:50:08 AM
A recommended list of works: Mozart

The keyboard sonatas
The later violin sonatas
The 6 piano trios
The "Haydn" String Quartets
The serenades and divertimentos for winds
The last 10 Piano Concertos
The Violin Concertos
The Requiem
The last 6 symphonies
The 3 Da Ponti Operas and "The Magic Flute"
I might add to that list K. 427, the "Great Mass."  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: jhar26 on March 08, 2009, 10:49:18 AM
An opera recording I like is Jordi Savall's recording of "Una Cosa Rara" from Vicent Martin i Soler which was a very popular work at the time. Now it's best known because Mozart quotes one of it's tunes in the banquet scene at the end of Don Giovanni. But it's a lovely work in my opinion - well worth hearing.

(http://www.opera-collection.net/images/martinysolerv/cosarara.jpg)

Sorry for the big picture. I didn't find one of more appropriate dimensions.

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 08, 2009, 11:02:59 AM
An opera recording I like is Jordi Savall's recording of "Una Cosa Rara" from Vicent Martin i Soler which was a very popular work at the time. Now it's best known because Mozart quotes one of it's tunes in the banquet scene at the end of Don Giovanni. But it's a lovely work in my opinion - well worth hearing.

(http://www.opera-collection.net/images/martinysolerv/cosarara.jpg)

Sorry for the big picture. I didn't find one of more appropriate dimensions.



I have heard much about this opera. The libretto is by Da Ponti too, like "Figaro", the opera which it replaced on the stage in Vienna (its other claim to fame). I have heard elsewhere that it is very good, I would love to hear it. :)
Thanks,

8)

PS - If you quote my post just to look, you can see how I made the picture a little smaller. It's so easy, I can do it! :D


----------------
Listening to:
Accademia I Filarmonici-Martini-Fornaciari - RV.262 Concerto for Violin in Eb-3rd mvmt-Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 08, 2009, 11:06:26 AM
Oops, forgot, it won't show in the quote. Anyway, when you have the image set, go to the first [ img ] brackets and change it to [ img height=xxx ] and it will automatically proportion itself.

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Accademia I Filarmonici-Martini-Fornaciari - RV.285 Concerto for Violin in F-2nd mvmt-Grave-Adagio-Grave
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: jhar26 on March 08, 2009, 11:44:49 AM
Ok, thanks for the tip, Gurn.  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 08, 2009, 02:48:04 PM
An opera recording I like is Jordi Savall's recording of "Una Cosa Rara" from Vicent Martin i Soler which was a very popular work at the time. Now it's best known because Mozart quotes one of it's tunes in the banquet scene at the end of Don Giovanni. But it's a lovely work in my opinion - well worth hearing.

I have that recording, but I haven't listened to it for a long time. I also have La Capricciosa Corretta (Naïve recording) by Martín y Soler. My general impression about them was that there was great music, but there was not enough "breath" to make it last for a long time, so I felt that it was too short. In general, complaining about a work for being "too short" should be almost a compliment. In this case, it is not. But perhaps if I listened it now, after some years, I could change my opinion. As I don't have the CD here in Paris, my curiosity will have to wait for a while. (But they are -undoubtedly- enjoyable works worth exploring).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 08, 2009, 03:11:08 PM
I will collaborate with the series, Gurn, if you're not against. ;) I will remark personal favourites that, in my opinion, should be useful as "first introduction" to the composer.

A recommended list of works: Krommer/Kramář (1759-1831)

  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 37
  • Symphony in D major, op. 40
  • Bassoon quartets in B flat major and E flat major, op. 46
  • Oboe concerto in F major, op. 52
  • Partita for winds in F major, op. 57
  • Partita for winds in E flat major, op. 71
  • Harmonie for winds in C major, op. 76
  • Clarinet concerto in E minor, op. 86
  • Concerto for two clarinets in E flat major, op. 91
  • Flute quartet in D major, op. 93
  • Clarinet quintet in B flat major, op. 95
  • String trio in F major, op. 96
  • Flute quintet in G major, op. 101
  • Symphony in C minor, op. 102

Gabriel - I think that Gurn & I have found yet another 'soul mate' in this period of music!  ;D

I have most of the works listed above - love the wind chamber works the best! Do not own any of the Symphonies - most of the CDs that I own are on the CPO and Naxos labels - will add the bassoon works & symphonies to my 'wish list' - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 08, 2009, 04:05:09 PM
Gabriel - I think that Gurn & I have found yet another 'soul mate' in this period of music!  ;D

I have most of the works listed above - love the wind chamber works the best! Do not own any of the Symphonies - most of the CDs that I own are on the CPO and Naxos labels - will add the bassoon works & symphonies to my 'wish list' - Dave  :D

Dave, this is the symphony disk that I have. As with all the disks in htis series, this is well-played with good SQ, and the works themselves are quite nice. You'll not be disappointed. :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61EE8XG22RL._SS400_.jpg)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: jhar26 on March 08, 2009, 04:26:28 PM
I have that recording, but I haven't listened to it for a long time. I also have La Capricciosa Corretta (Naïve recording) by Martín y Soler. My general impression about them was that there was great music, but there was not enough "breath" to make it last for a long time, so I felt that it was too short. In general, complaining about a work for being "too short" should be almost a compliment. In this case, it is not. But perhaps if I listened it now, after some years, I could change my opinion. As I don't have the CD here in Paris, my curiosity will have to wait for a while. (But they are -undoubtedly- enjoyable works worth exploring).
Is there a libretto (with English translation) included with that La Capricciosa Corretta recording?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on March 08, 2009, 11:06:36 PM
Is there a libretto (with English translation) included with that La Capricciosa Corretta recording?

Absolutely.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WyphmvjUL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: jhar26 on March 09, 2009, 01:29:40 AM
Absolutely.

Q
Thanks.  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 09, 2009, 03:01:34 AM
Dave, this is the symphony disk that I have. As with all the disks in htis series, this is well-played with good SQ, and the works themselves are quite nice. You'll not be disappointed. :)

To my knowledge, there is just one other Krommer symphony recorded: op. 12, in F major. The recording is Czech (Studio Matous): http://www.matous.cz/detail.php?id=NESL%20003. It is a lighter work, but I'm sure any lover of Krommer's music will enjoy it from the beginning to the end. (So, Dave, think about it! ;))

Gabriel - I think that Gurn & I have found yet another 'soul mate' in this period of music!  ;D

Well, you see! "The Classical Association"! ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 09, 2009, 04:42:33 AM
I've established with Gurn that this thread is sorely lacking in the Polish composers department :o so I'll mention some of the recordings I'm aware of. It seems there are about 20 composers worth mentioning, though I have to admit I know very little about many of them so don't expect detailed descriptions of their music.

Jan Tomasz Żebrowski (18th c.)
Jan Engel (?-1778)
Marcin Józef Żebrowski (1710-1780)
Maciej Kamieński (1734-1821)
Bazyli Bohdanowicz (1740-1817)
Józef Zajdler (1744-1806)
Jan Dawid Holland (1746-1827)
Jan Stefani (1746-1829)
Antoni Milwid (1755-1837)
Jan Wański (1756-1830)
Wojciech Dankowski (1760-1836)
Feliks Janiewicz (1762-1848)
Michał Ogiński (1765-1833)
Józef Elsner (1769-1854)
Antoni Radziwiłł (1775-1833)
Franciszek Lessel (1780-1838)
Karol Kurpiński (1785-1857)
Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831)
Karol Lipiński (1790-1861)
Ignacy Dobrzyński (1807-1867)

Another name worth mentioning, though the composer is not Polish, is Amando Ivančić (1727-1762?1790?). Sometimes he's also referred to as
Amandus or Amand Ivanschiz or Ivantschiz or Ivantsitz or Ivancsics or Ivanschutz or Ivancic or Ivansic. Phew! He was born in Croatia. He was an extremely prolific composer, wrote masses, litanies, motets, oratorios, symphonies, divertimenti, sonatas, trios, arias etc. and was extremely popular in the 18th century in areas of Central Europe which today belong to Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Germany and Austria. He was most active in the years 1755-1770 (assuming that he was still alive after 1762 ::)). His choral writing contains more baroque elements than his instrumental pieces, which are definitely early classical (for instance, he uses the viola in his trio sonatas; also, he's considered one of the main founders of the early classical symphony).

Later I'll post more about the recordings of music by him and the other composers just mentioned. At the moment I have to run. ;D

Anyone else know any of this music?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on March 09, 2009, 08:49:14 AM
Which other early classical period symphonists are on the same (IMO very high) level of inspiration as William Boyce? I am only familiar with CPE Bach, who I enjoy, but find a little less engaging.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 09, 2009, 11:14:07 AM
Anyone else know any of this music?

I know some music from three of the composers listed: Kurpiński, Elsner and Lessel. In my very limited knowledge of Polish music from the classicism, I can recommend two works. First, Karol Kurpiński's overture to Zamek na Czorsztynie: it is a winner. Not a "great" work, but it is very beautifully scored and has some unforgettable ideas (I have two recordings of it: Spering and Borowicz). The other one is Franciszek Lessel's piano concerto in C major op. 14, a lyrical, delicate yet consistent work; in its simplicity, it has a Fieldian flavour, particularly in the undescribably beautiful Adagio. This movement alone would justify the purchase.

Fortunately for interested GMGers, the Borowicz recording I wrote about includes both recommended works from Lessel and Kurpiński. It brings also a couple more works, all highly enjoyable. Both works could be better recorded, but it is a competent recording nonetheless. (In fact, Kurpiński's overture by Spering is a better recording; he makes even the first chord meaningful, but you have to listen to it to understand what I mean. It is included in an Opus 111 CD called Chopin: the 1830 Warsaw concert).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 10, 2009, 07:07:14 AM
Georg Benda (1722-1795) - Keyboard Sonatas w/ Sylvia Georgieva on harpsichord - just received this 4-CD set of 17 keyboard sonatas (he wrote around 50 or so) composed from 1757 and onward - a Que recommendation!

Benda was part of a 'family' of musicians/composers of the same last name; his 'given' name is on the cover of the set shown below; short biography of him on the Naxos Site HERE (http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/Georg_Benda/25980.htm); quoted immediately below is the last part of his bio summarizing his list of compositions; much needs to be rediscovered, re-published, and recorded - I have just one other disc, Symphonies on the Naxos label.

His keyboard works as evident by these recordings almost have a 'Janus' way about them, i.e. looking back to the late Baroque/Galant styles (and played on the harpsichord), but also anticipating the later part of the 18th century, kind of like CPE Bach into Mozart in style.  Recently, I've acquired a lot of harpsichord music but have been careful in listening to the opinions of others here - not always my favorite instrument, but Georgieva plays these works on two different instruments just beautifully; the recorded sound is phenomenal (and much of the 'extra little noises' often heard on these older keyboard instruments is totally absent) - quite nice!  :D

Quote
His compositions include some half dozen other stage works, Singspiel, melodramas and a children's operetta, a quantity of church music and vocal compositions, keyboard sonatas and sonatinas and some thirty symphonies, ten harpsichord concertos and eleven violin concertos.

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/488431119_UYFFg-M.jpg)  (http://www.christianbenda.com/heritage4.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Harry on March 10, 2009, 07:27:09 AM
As soon as the four cd box of Benda is available again in my country for the low price Que paid, I will buy it.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on March 10, 2009, 08:48:12 AM
Lovely thread. A big THANK YOU to Gurn and all other contributors.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 10, 2009, 09:54:10 AM
Georg Benda (1722-1795) - Keyboard Sonatas w/ Sylvia Georgieva on harpsichord - just received this 4-CD set of 17 keyboard sonatas (he wrote around 50 or so) composed from 1757 and onward - a Que recommendation!

Benda was part of a 'family' of musicians/composers of the same last name; his 'given' name is on the cover of the set shown below; short biography of him on the Naxos Site HERE (http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/Georg_Benda/25980.htm); quoted immediately below is the last part of his bio summarizing his list of compositions; much needs to be rediscovered, re-published, and recorded - I have just one other disc, Symphonies on the Naxos label.

His keyboard works as evident by these recordings almost have a 'Janus' way about them, i.e. looking back to the late Baroque/Galant styles (and played on the harpsichord), but also anticipating the later part of the 18th century, kind of like CPE Bach into Mozart in style.  Recently, I've acquired a lot of harpsichord music but have been careful in listening to the opinions of others here - not always my favorite instrument, but Georgieva plays these works on two different instruments just beautifully; the recorded sound is phenomenal (and much of the 'extra little noises' often heard on these older keyboard instruments is totally absent) - quite nice!  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/488431119_UYFFg-M.jpg)  (http://www.christianbenda.com/heritage4.jpg)

Those recordings by Georgieva are really beautiful, Dave.

It's possible to hear a brief example on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knvj_pNsRpY



 
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2009, 10:41:00 AM
Lovely thread. A big THANK YOU to Gurn and all other contributors.

Thanks. Hope you feel inspired to join us and let us know what you think of this period in music. :)

Georg Benda (1722-1795) - Keyboard Sonatas w/ Sylvia Georgieva on harpsichord - just received this 4-CD set of 17 keyboard sonatas (he wrote around 50 or so) composed from 1757 and onward - a Que recommendation!

Benda was part of a 'family' of musicians/composers of the same last name; his 'given' name is on the cover of the set shown below; short biography of him on the Naxos Site HERE (http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/Georg_Benda/25980.htm); quoted immediately below is the last part of his bio summarizing his list of compositions; much needs to be rediscovered, re-published, and recorded - I have just one other disc, Symphonies on the Naxos label.

His keyboard works as evident by these recordings almost have a 'Janus' way about them, i.e. looking back to the late Baroque/Galant styles (and played on the harpsichord), but also anticipating the later part of the 18th century, kind of like CPE Bach into Mozart in style.  Recently, I've acquired a lot of harpsichord music but have been careful in listening to the opinions of others here - not always my favorite instrument, but Georgieva plays these works on two different instruments just beautifully; the recorded sound is phenomenal (and much of the 'extra little noises' often heard on these older keyboard instruments is totally absent) - quite nice!  :D

Thanks much for this info, Dave. I've been looking for some Benda solo keyboard works for a couple of years now, and only have a few sonatinas (Op 5, IIRC, and lovely little things). Of course, I've been picky about the instrument, but then, a harpsichord is probably more authentic anyway. FYI, the Benda Family Musicians are still active today, with an unbroken family musical tradition stretching back over 250 years. Frankly, I'm impressed by that. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on March 10, 2009, 10:57:02 AM
Those recordings by Georgieva are really beautiful, Dave.

It's possible to hear a brief example on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knvj_pNsRpY

Great find! :) And glad you like it, Dave - this set really got me into the "Classicals"! :)

I believe we can do this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/knvj_pNsRpY

Q
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 10, 2009, 12:44:44 PM
Those recordings by Georgieva are really beautiful, Dave.


Antoine - agree completely! - for those who may be interested in this 4-CD set, the other day I found the box being offered by BRO HERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=benda&filter=all) for $24 + their usualy S/H - a steal for those in the USA; my set was from Amazon UK and cost a little more, but my order had already been placed -   :D


Thanks much for this info, Dave. I've been looking for some Benda solo keyboard works for a couple of years now, and only have a few sonatinas (Op 5, IIRC, and lovely little things). Of course, I've been picky about the instrument, but then, a harpsichord is probably more authentic anyway. FYI, the Benda Family Musicians are still active today, with an unbroken family musical tradition stretching back over 250 years. Frankly, I'm impressed by that. :)


Gurn - I had read that a while back; amazing how some of these families (Bach clan another example in JS's day & before) produced these clusters of musicians and composers!

Actually, I was wrong about the number of Benda discs owned - did some re-arranging the other day and misplaced a few; two others shown below of keyboard works (solo & concertos) - will need to look at the solo CD to see which sonatas might overlap? Sorry -  :-[ :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/352859716_QDF87-L.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/356171555_S4Fo8-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on March 10, 2009, 12:54:51 PM
Hope you feel inspired to join us and let us know what you think of this period in music. :)
Well, it was my first concious musical experience: "-Dad, what's that?!" It was mono, LvB 7, 3rd mvt, real loud. I was six.

I must admit that I haven't  aquired very much outside the three greats. Some Boccerini quintets, a CPE Bach disk (he's in, right?), some cello pieces for the King of Prussia (they should fit). Classical is still my favourite period, even if I've gradually expanded from there.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 10, 2009, 12:56:23 PM
I must admit that I haven't  aquired very much outside the three greats

Dittersdorf, Elgar and Glazunov?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 10, 2009, 01:34:05 PM
a CPE Bach disk (he's in, right?)

I think so!  I recently purchased a disc of some of his cello concerti & symphonies as performed by Anner Bylsma and the OAE and absolutely adore it.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21J5JCHF33L._SL500_AA130_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/CPE-Bach-Symphonies-Concertos-Leonhardt/dp/B00004TQQL/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236720650&sr=1-1)

I think J.C. is also worth checking out...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419NPWE6SXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Symphonies-Concertos-Alpermann-Hungebuth/dp/B0001BBSDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236720602&sr=1-1)

Interestingly, I think you can hear their father's influence!  :)

While we're on this topic, I'd like to get people's impressions of Spanish composer Juan Arriaga.  Here's what I have of him...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41OO51Ee2CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Arriaga-String-Quartets/dp/B000BK53EC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236720988&sr=1-2)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hdVHch4yL._SL500_AA280_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IJYF6W/ref=sr_f2_album_8?ie=UTF8&child=B001IJXF2C&qid=1236721053&sr=102-8)

Does this composer have the thumbs-up from the Great Gurn?  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on March 10, 2009, 01:37:57 PM
Georg Benda (1722-1795) - Keyboard Sonatas w/ Sylvia Georgieva on harpsichord - just received this 4-CD set of 17 keyboard sonatas (he wrote around 50 or so) composed from 1757 and onward

Dave, I was puzzled by squaring the number of 50 that you mentioned with the claim with this set as giving the "complete" sonatas. The answer after seem googling seems to be that he did write 17 (18) sonatas, all included in this set, but also 35 sonatinas! :) (What's the difference between these terms? Gurn?)

BTW a nice Georg Benda discography to be found HERE (http://www.newolde.com/benda_georg.htm).

Q
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 10, 2009, 01:38:31 PM
Jiří Antonín Benda is one of the great innovators in Classicism: he is father to another musical form, the melodrama, which essentially is music to accompany a spoken text. There are recordings to Ariadne auf Naxos, Medea and Pygmalion, his great creations in this genre.

Beethoven produced excellent examples of melodrama: for instance, in Fidelio, and (probably the most remarkable I know), the final spoken scene in Egmont.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2009, 01:46:57 PM
Dave, I was puzzled by squaring the number of 50 that you mentioned with the claim with this set as giving the "complete" sonatas. The answer after seem googling seems to be that he did write 17 (18) sonatas, all included in this set, but also 35 sonatinas! :) (What's the difference between these terms? Gurn?)

BTW a nice Georg Benda discography to be found HERE (http://www.newolde.com/benda_georg.htm).

Q

Thanks for the link, Q, I'll check it out this evening. :)

sonatina n. A sonata having shorter movements and often less technically demanding than the typical sonata. 

Hard to beat the definition for simplicity. Note the modifier "often". Some sonatinas are not particularly less technically demanding, just shorter in all their parts. Clementi springs to mind... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on March 10, 2009, 01:48:04 PM
Glazunov?
Didn't he excel in emtying bottles?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 10, 2009, 02:39:56 PM
While we're on this topic, I'd like to get people's impressions of Spanish composer Juan Arriaga.  Here's what I have of him...

Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga died really very young (20 years old) and yet he produced some works to assure him a place (and a very fine one indeed) in musical history. His three string quartets are excellent and have been widely recorded. But his best work is, to me, his extraordinary symphony: the pathos of the fourth movement, with its subtle Spanish reminescences, is simply unforgettable. The dramatic outbursts of the first movement are also memorable: it's like listening to a synthesis between a Sturm und Drang symphony by Haydn and the thematic contrasts of a symphony by Mozart, but composed half a century later. Great music.

For interested GMGers, to collect his essential works should not be a very expensive task. Paul Dombrecht has recorded for Fuga Libera 2 CDs in the last years: one contains the orchestral works (besides the symphony, the overtures op. 1 and op. 20, and the overture to the (lost) opera Los esclavos felices); the other one contains vocal works, both secular and religious. I recommend them completely: the performances are vibrant, the sound is pure as it can be. And as the string quartets fill another CD, you can get a very representative sample of Arriaga's production in 3 CDs (for precise recordings of the quartets, I'm sure there will be other members who know more versions than I know).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 10, 2009, 03:02:50 PM
Dave, I was puzzled by squaring the number of 50 that you mentioned with the claim with this set as giving the "complete" sonatas. The answer after seem googling seems to be that he did write 17 (18) sonatas, all included in this set, but also 35 sonatinas! :) (What's the difference between these terms? Gurn?)

BTW a nice Georg Benda discography to be found HERE (http://www.newolde.com/benda_georg.htm).

Q - thanks for the above information and the link; I just 'lumped' them together, I guess - sorry for any confusion; the description in the booklet notes w/ the Georgieva set is "He left some fifty sonatas and sonatinas for keyboard in a style that is often....."; I assumed that 'sonatina' was just a piece that was likely shorter and possibly simpler (perhaps, depending on the audience performing the works?); interestingly from your link, the Mozarts subscribed to these Benda works -  :)

Gurn's statement about the Benda family still being around was intriguing - just ordered the other volume of his Sinfonias on Naxos; the conductor of the Prague Cham Orch is 'Christian Benda', a descendent!   8)

At home now and checking out that other disc I own of the sonatas, i.e. performed by Andras Szepes, also on harpsichord (and shown several posts back) - these are labeled as 'sonatas' w/ various keys, and in () the term Sammlung I to VI w/ dates from 1780 to c. 1787.  Also from the Georgieva notes, the sonatas from No. 7 and on were from the same years w/ matching keys (although the movement descriptions vary) - bottom line, is that Benda composed 17 Keyboard Sonatas, actually 18 w/ one being a 'variant', and all are on the 4-CD set, and 6 of the same latter ones from the 1780s are also on the Szepes disc; so, do I need that single CD?  Will be of interest to play each and compare - Dave 
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2009, 05:11:32 PM
Dave, I was puzzled by squaring the number of 50 that you mentioned with the claim with this set as giving the "complete" sonatas. The answer after seem googling seems to be that he did write 17 (18) sonatas, all included in this set, but also 35 sonatinas! :) (What's the difference between these terms? Gurn?)

BTW a nice Georg Benda discography to be found HERE (http://www.newolde.com/benda_georg.htm).

Q

Well, thanks, Q, I used your handy little link to locate and purchase this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51dvvq2S71L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

It is very true that these were probably written especially for the harpsichord, but you know, I am a fortepiano man from the first, and especially with homophonic music. Can't beat Bach on a harpsichord, but... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 10, 2009, 05:31:45 PM
Well, thanks, Q, I used your handy little link to locate and purchase this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51dvvq2S71L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

It is very true that these were probably written especially for the harpsichord, but you know, I am a fortepiano man from the first, and especially with homophonic music. Can't beat Bach on a harpsichord, but... :)

Gurn - I would strongly encourage that BRO purchase (if still available) - I've never been a great harpsichord 'man' but these are quite enjoyable, and you get all of the Sonatas - now I don't need any more of the sonatas, but are there any offerings of the Sonatinas (and if so, are they worth owning, being likely written for 'beginners' maybe?) - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2009, 05:46:37 PM
Gurn - I would strongly encourage that BRO purchase (if still available) - I've never been a great harpsichord 'man' but these are quite enjoyable, and you get all of the Sonatas - now I don't need any more of the sonatas, but are there any offerings of the Sonatinas (and if so, are they worth owning, being likely written for 'beginners' maybe?) - Dave  :D

Well, I just sent in a BRO order yesterday, so I needed to hold off a bit... :-\  However, one of my purchases is one of those Wölfl/Colladant disks that we discussed earlier, so that was a nice little acquisition. The Benda I bought as a download, so no waiting, it will be here in another 15 minutes or so... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2009, 05:50:56 PM
You might try Q's link, it has some really nice disks listed. Meanwhile, I got 2 of the sonatinas on this lovely little disk:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z8G3R26QL._SS500_.jpg)

which is available even new on Amazon for $12.95, and used for half that. It has works by Mozart, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Georg Anton (Jiri Antonin) Benda and Frantisek Xaver Dussek on it. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2009, 06:37:04 PM
What's the proper keyboard instrument for classical sonatas?

Always a point of contention among period instrument enthusiasts. Just like with nearly everything else to do with music, there is no hard and fast date when a transition took place. Music that was unquestionably written for the fortepiano exists from as early as 1765. Boccherini (a string man, of all people!) was the first to publish accompanied sonatas that stated on the cover page "6 Sonatas for Fortepiano & Violin - Op V" in Paris in 1767. It goes without saying that he was trying to impress a lady (the dedicatee was a prominent fortepianist in the City). And also in Paris, Johann Eckard arrived a few years earlier (1761) as a fortepiano salesman for Steiner and wrote a series of sonatas for the fortepiano. However, that doesn't mean that the day of the clavicembalo (harpsichord) was over. Obviously, not everyone could afford to immediately throw out their old instruments and buy new. So in the interest of selling sheet music, publishers continued even into Beethoven's time to put on the front "For the Pianoforte or Harpsichord". However, it isn't as difficult as all that to tell what was what. A dead giveaway was the use of dynamic markings, especially crescendos and decrescendos, but also pp and fff and the like. Why a giveaway? Well, harpsichords couldn't follow those markings. They played in virtually the same dynamic all the time because they relied on plucking of the strings. It's true that different registers could produce different volume levels, but that doesn't help much with a big, arpeggiated crescendo! :)

It is thought that Mozart first encountered a fortepiano in <>1772, and probably had one in his hands by 1775. So that date is used (albeit tentatively) for Mozart's music, anyway. Any keyboard music post 1775 is probably piano music. Other composers are not so well documented, so it takes reading the original score (publishers added the markings later on, so only the original will do) to find the dynamics. A bit more difficult.

Oh, and let's not overlook the fact that many, many composers spent the long evenings in their rooms with the clavichord, and a lot of solo works are written just for it. If you haven't heard a clavichord, it's way past time... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 10, 2009, 07:07:45 PM
Gurn - nice post above about keyboard instrumentation in this fascinating 18th century.  Of course, Cristofori HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolomeo_Cristofori) is credited w/ the invention of the piano, i.e. an instrument that could produce 'volume dynamics' unlike the harpsichord; this Italian instrument maker died in 1731, so the origins of his invention were in the early 18th century - thus, what is of real interest that no longer exists is the 'cornucopia' of keyboard instruments available to the composers of that century, and obviously the confusing issue for us now as to 'what' instrument the music was meant to played upon, if not one or several?  ;)

Each of these keyboard instruments, i.e. harpsichords, fortepianos, clavichords, et al, have their unique features and the music written was likely meant to be played on one or the other types of keyboards; my problem has been in obtaining this music is often related to the instruments used, the specific performers/performances, and the engineering of the recordings - I used to not like a lot of harpsichord music, but recent purchases have changed my mind; thus, one has to explore these various options - in the early 'classic' period, the harpsichord might be the best choice, if played & recorded well; as the 18th century progressed, a choice between the fortepiano & earlier instruments becomes an option (again, a personal decision often), and then into the latter part of that century, the fortepiano into more modern pianos seems to be the better option.

Not making a lot of sense here, I guess, but the point is that this was a dynamic evolution of keyboard instruments in the 18th century, and that composers may have written their music for a specific type of instrument but w/ the hope for more dynamics and a 'future' for a different type of performance or interpretation -  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 10, 2009, 10:46:49 PM
Very interesting post, Gurn.  I have often wondered about this...  When do you stop using harpsichord and start using piano?  The practice seems to be any "Classical" work, but - as you have aptly pointed out - this runs into problems.  What about volume indications or the lack thereof?  Take Haydn's keyboard concerto in D, H. 23:11 - Pinnock and Koopman both seem to be of the notion that this is a harpsichord piece.  I assume this is do to a lack of crescendos/decrescendos and volume indications?

I'm also curious about Mozart's early piano concerti, 5-9: would these have been performed regularly on harpsichord during this time?  I remember reading a commentary by Professor Zaslaw that said that No. 5 was designated 'For fortepiano or harpsichord.' 

An interesting situation.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on March 10, 2009, 11:30:31 PM
I have the recording of Mozart's Six German Dances K.507, with Staier and Schornsheim playing a Stein "harpsichord and fortepiano in one" from 1777 on Harmonia Mundi. It is of course a modern arrangement, but one could easily imagine a jolly Viennese chamber dance party hearing it.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 11, 2009, 03:45:25 AM
However, one of my purchases is one of those Wölfl/Colladant disks that we discussed earlier, so that was a nice little acquisition.

Which one did you buy, Gurn?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:20:30 AM
Which one did you buy, Gurn?

The 3 sonatas, Op 28. They also had one of the pianoforte and harp duets. I should have got that one too, although Dave probably will and will fill us in on it. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:25:48 AM
Very interesting post, Gurn.  I have often wondered about this...  When do you stop using harpsichord and start using piano?  The practice seems to be any "Classical" work, but - as you have aptly pointed out - this runs into problems.  What about volume indications or the lack thereof?  Take Haydn's keyboard concerto in D, H. 23:11 - Pinnock and Koopman both seem to be of the notion that this is a harpsichord piece.  I assume this is do to a lack of crescendos/decrescendos and volume indications?

I'm also curious about Mozart's early piano concerti, 5-9: would these have been performed regularly on harpsichord during this time?  I remember reading a commentary by Professor Zaslaw that said that No. 5 was designated 'For fortepiano or harpsichord.' 

An interesting situation.

I would say that #9 was certainly a fortepiano piece. I am not in a position to do any research right now, but IIRC he wrote this for a piano virtuoso (Mlle. Genamy) who was touring at the time. The earlier works including the #7 for 3 keyboards, are, AFAIK originally written for harpsichord.

As for Zaslaw's statement, it doesn't carry any weight at all, since 99% of all keyboard works at the time had that written on the front.

According to Geiringer, Haydn's D major concerto was almost certainly written for the piano, since the dynamic indications in the original manuscript would have been impossible to reproduce on a harpsichord. Any others before that were either written for the harpsichord or organ.

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:29:04 AM
I have the recording of Mozart's Six German Dances K.507, with Staier and Schornsheim playing a Stein "harpsichord and fortepiano in one" from 1777 on Harmonia Mundi. It is of course a modern arrangement, but one could easily imagine a jolly Viennese chamber dance party hearing it.

Now, that is something I would like to hear! Thanks for bringing my attention to this disk, I need to find it. And yes, the situation that you imagine is very likely to be one that could have taken place. If you like this sort of thing, you should really try to find the 2 disk set on Zig Zag called (in French) "An evening at the Jacquin's" which contains music that Mozart actually wrote for little parties like that. It is a superb set. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 11, 2009, 09:25:10 AM
I would say that #9 was certainly a fortepiano piece. I am not in a position to do any research right now, but IIRC he wrote this for a piano virtuoso (Mlle. Genamy) who was touring at the time. The earlier works including the #7 for 3 keyboards, are, AFAIK originally written for harpsichord.

As for Zaslaw's statement, it doesn't carry any weight at all, since 99% of all keyboard works at the time had that written on the front.

According to Geiringer, Haydn's D major concerto was almost certainly written for the piano, since the dynamic indications in the original manuscript would have been impossible to reproduce on a harpsichord. Any others before that were either written for the harpsichord or organ.

Great answer, Gurn!  Are you sure you're not secretly a prominent Austrian musicologist???  ;)

Particularly interesting regarding the Haydn concerto... I have only heard this performed on harpsichord.  Do you happen to know of any recordings of it on fortepiano?  Or maybe of Mozart's early concerti on harpsichord?  Might be interesting!  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brewski on March 11, 2009, 09:38:27 AM
Great answer, Gurn!  Are you sure you're not secretly a prominent Austrian musicologist???  ;)

I have wondered that same thing for some time now.  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on March 11, 2009, 09:41:19 AM
Great answer, Gurn!  Are you sure you're not secretly a prominent Austrian musicologist???  ;)

I have wondered that same thing for some time now.  ;D

Call him Gön  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brewski on March 11, 2009, 09:43:45 AM
Call him Gön  8)

[slaps forehead]

But of course!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 09:46:10 AM
Great answer, Gurn!  Are you sure you're not secretly a prominent Austrian musicologist???  ;)

Particularly interesting regarding the Haydn concerto... I have only heard this performed on harpsichord.  Do you happen to know of any recordings of it on fortepiano?  Or maybe of Mozart's early concerti on harpsichord?  Might be interesting!  :)

This one might be worth a go. I have been thinking about it for a while:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MM1yL1X8L._SL500_AA240_.jpg).

Brautigam does a good Haydn, at least in the solo works. And this one is well reviewed, hard to go wrong. Staier also does it with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, not heard that one either. My bad. My very, very bad... :'(

No, I'm secretly a chubby little old man with an unfortunate addiction to reading... :D

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 09:47:42 AM


Call him Gön  8)

Hmm, Karl, that mystery man in your avatar looks rather like a famous Austrian musicologist. Could it be?  :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on March 11, 2009, 09:48:52 AM
Ach! Nein! (in Ron Vibbentrop voice)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 11, 2009, 10:14:54 AM
...not heard that one either. My bad. My very, very bad... :'(

Don't be so hard on yourself - not even the great and mysterious Gurn can have heard every Haydn recording out there!  ;D

No samples out there for Brautigam's, but Staier's has some up...

http://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Concerti-per-il-clavicembalo/dp/B0011B6JAC/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk?ie=UTF8&qid=1236795322&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 11:28:30 AM
Don't be so hard on yourself - not even the great and mysterious Gurn can have heard every Haydn recording out there!  ;D

No samples out there for Brautigam's, but Staier's has some up...

http://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Concerti-per-il-clavicembalo/dp/B0011B6JAC/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk?ie=UTF8&qid=1236795322&sr=1-1

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain..."  :D

Here is the Brautigam. If you click that tiny arrow at the beginning of the track description, I believe it will play a sample. BTW, this is a great download site I buy from them whenever they have what I am looking for... Hey, just sayin'... :)

http://www.eclassical.com/eclassic/eclassical?&last_page=bengt&performer=Brautigam%2c+Ronald&page=record_list&cd_nr=BIS1318&performer_id=205

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brewski on March 11, 2009, 11:36:43 AM
PS, slightly off-topic, but I have Brautigam in Shostakovich's piano concertos, and he's superb in those. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: (: premont :) on March 11, 2009, 01:26:16 PM
What's the proper keyboard instrument for classical sonatas?

Always a point of contention among period instrument enthusiasts. Just like with nearly everything else to do with music, there is no hard and fast date when a transition took place. Music that was unquestionably written for the fortepiano exists from as early as 1765. Boccherini (a string man, of all people!) was the first to publish accompanied sonatas that stated on the cover page "6 Sonatas for Fortepiano & Violin - Op V" in Paris in 1767. It goes without saying that he was trying to impress a lady (the dedicatee was a prominent fortepianist in the City). And also in Paris, Johann Eckard arrived a few years earlier (1761) as a fortepiano salesman for Steiner and wrote a series of sonatas for the fortepiano. However, that doesn't mean that the day of the clavicembalo (harpsichord) was over. Obviously, not everyone could afford to immediately throw out their old instruments and buy new. So in the interest of selling sheet music, publishers continued even into Beethoven's time to put on the front "For the Pianoforte or Harpsichord". However, it isn't as difficult as all that to tell what was what. A dead giveaway was the use of dynamic markings, especially crescendos and decrescendos, but also pp and fff and the like. Why a giveaway? Well, harpsichords couldn't follow those markings. They played in virtually the same dynamic all the time because they relied on plucking of the strings. It's true that different registers could produce different volume levels, but that doesn't help much with a big, arpeggiated crescendo! :)

It is thought that Mozart first encountered a fortepiano in <>1772, and probably had one in his hands by 1775. So that date is used (albeit tentatively) for Mozart's music, anyway. Any keyboard music post 1775 is probably piano music. Other composers are not so well documented, so it takes reading the original score (publishers added the markings later on, so only the original will do) to find the dynamics. A bit more difficult.

Oh, and let's not overlook the fact that many, many composers spent the long evenings in their rooms with the clavichord, and a lot of solo works are written just for it. If you haven't heard a clavichord, it's way past time... :)

8)

Great post Gurn, the ambiguities in this topic could not be stated more precisely. ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: nut-job on March 11, 2009, 01:49:39 PM
Gurn,

I assume you are familiar with this series?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NWK014X6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've been listening recently, these works are engaging, if not on the level of the very best.  Listenin to music like this gives you an idea of what elements in Beethoven were truly revolutionary and what were in line with his contemporaries.  Contrasting one of the presto finales of Beck with the finale of Beethoven's 7th is instructive.

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 11, 2009, 01:54:16 PM
...this is a great download site I buy from them whenever they have what I am looking for... Hey, just sayin'... :)

I've bought from eClassical every now and then: high-quality files for cheap!  What more can one ask for???
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:20:43 PM
Gurn,

I assume you are familiar with this series?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NWK014X6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've been listening recently, these works are engaging, if not on the level of the very best.  Listenin to music like this gives you an idea of what elements in Beethoven were truly revolutionary and what were in line with his contemporaries.  Contrasting one of the presto finales of Beck with the finale of Beethoven's 7th is instructive.



Yes. I am really quite fond of Beck, and his name doesn't come up often even among people who enjoy obscure composers, and for no good reason. I have the Naxos Op 1 disk, and the cpo Op 3 & 4 pairs. Beck was a Mannheimer, and one of the best, IMO. Among other novelties in his work, he was the first (IIRC) to use trombones in one of his symphonies. Here is a bio from Answers.com for anyone interested. Note their comments on his music; I agree with all of this. Very interesting!

Franz Ignaz Beck

    * Country: Germany
    * Born: February 20, 1734 in Mannheim, Germany
    * Died: December 31, 1809 in Bordeaux, France

Biography
German composer Franz Ignaz Beck is a controversial exception to almost all of the standard rules regarding eighteenth century musicianship. Born in Mannheim and educated by Johann Stamitz, Beck's orchestral music retains the technical know how expected from a student of Stamitz, but otherwise his stormy and stylistically fearless symphonies show no resemblance to what one normally associates with the "Mannheim School." Standard references show Beck, initially nurtured under the patronage of Elector Carl Theodor, as traveling from the Mannheim court to study with Galuppi. However, the reminiscences of one of Beck's students reveal the composer fled Mannheim after believing he'd killed a man in a duel -- the victim turned up, decades later, alive and well at Beck's door. Although Beck's symphonies begin to appear toward the end of his Italian period, little is known of his time in Italy other than that he spent much of it in Venice and later Naples, where in 1760 Beck was forced once again to flee to Marseilles after secretly engaging his patron's daughter in marriage.

The rest of Beck's life was centered in France, residing in Bordeaux and traveling to Paris on occasion to perform and publish his works, which were known throughout Europe. In addition to the symphonies, apparently all produced between 1757 and 1762, Beck was renowned for his solo keyboard music and abilities as an improviser on the organ, and he held for a time post of organist at Cathèdrale St. Seurin in Bordeaux. None of Beck's organ music survives; likewise, most of the operas and ballets he composed for the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux have disappeared. The calculable triumphs of Beck's later years include his superb setting of the Stabat Mater (Paris, 1783) and his Hymne à l'être Suprème, a Revolutionary-era barn-burner that earned him appointment to the Instituit de France, a professorship Beck held until his death at age 75 on the last day of 1809.

Franz Ignaz Beck is an almost exact contemporary of Franz Josef Haydn, but his symphonies are strikingly advanced for their time. Beck was already utilizing four-movement structures by 1760, and his symphonies are rich with the violent contrasts and explosive effects associated with the Stürm und Drang phase found in Haydn's middle symphonies and those of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Nevertheless, Beck's work was completely forgotten until published studies on his work were put forward by musicologists Hugo Riemann in the early 1900s and Robert Sondheimer in the 1920s. Although Sondheimer made the strongest case to restore Beck to the active repertoire, he also made claims on behalf of Beck that went a little too far, awarding Beck developments in Western orchestral music that clearly belong to Beethoven. Sondheimer's editions of Beck's symphonies, published in the 1950s, are heavily edited, even to the extent of adding parts not in the original scores. Artaria Editions of Hong Kong has published authoritative and accurate editions of Beck's symphonies since the 1990s, yet there remains some dispute about their total number. Grove's gives the number of Beck symphonies conservatively at 19, but by of the end of 2006 Artaria had published 27 symphonies under his name with presumably more to follow; some held in manuscript sources are believed inauthentic. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide

Try it and see. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:23:03 PM
Great post Gurn, the ambiguities in this topic could not be stated more precisely. ;)

Thank you, premont. I agree with you on that. It is precisely the ambiguities which got me interested in this topic a few years ago. At this point, and with our current level of knowledge, there are no absolutes... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:26:11 PM
PS, slightly off-topic, but I have Brautigam in Shostakovich's piano concertos, and he's superb in those. 

--Bruce

Bruce,
Well, slightly OT, yes, but as good a testament as any to Brautigam's pianistic talents. He is often classed with those loony fortepianists ( :D ) but he is indeed a fine player. Another of his modern piano ventures (although not modern music) is a very nice rendition of Mendelssohn's piano concertos. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 04:41:36 PM
Gurn - nice post above about keyboard instrumentation in this fascinating 18th century.  Of course, Cristofori HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolomeo_Cristofori) is credited w/ the invention of the piano, i.e. an instrument that could produce 'volume dynamics' unlike the harpsichord; this Italian instrument maker died in 1731, so the origins of his invention were in the early 18th century - thus, what is of real interest that no longer exists is the 'cornucopia' of keyboard instruments available to the composers of that century, and obviously the confusing issue for us now as to 'what' instrument the music was meant to played upon, if not one or several?  ;)

Dave, sorry it took a while to get back to your post, but it was a bit longer and I couldn't type fast enough in my limited time this AM at work. :)  Yes, Cristofori did indeed invent the hammer piano, and IIRC it was <>1709-10. Clearly there was a lot of work to do to make it viable (like a good escapement to stop double striking, for example), but it was still the model for the future. Like all true revolutions though, it was very slow to gain acceptance. There were a few scattered around through Italy and Germany, but it was a long time before it took off. As I understand it, Sebastian Bach tried it and didn't like it a bit... :)

Quote
Each of these keyboard instruments, i.e. harpsichords, fortepianos, clavichords, et al, have their unique features and the music written was likely meant to be played on one or the other types of keyboards; my problem has been in obtaining this music is often related to the instruments used, the specific performers/performances, and the engineering of the recordings - I used to not like a lot of harpsichord music, but recent purchases have changed my mind; thus, one has to explore these various options - in the early 'classic' period, the harpsichord might be the best choice, if played & recorded well; as the 18th century progressed, a choice between the fortepiano & earlier instruments becomes an option (again, a personal decision often), and then into the latter part of that century, the fortepiano into more modern pianos seems to be the better option.

Well, oddball that I seem to be, harpsichords and I were love at first sight. I never truly appreciated Bach, for example, until I got his keyboard works on harpsichord. Now I won't listen to them on anything else. But getting back to cornucopias, let's not overlook another of my favorites, the tangent piano (Tangentenflügel). I have had a hard time finding information on this instrument, harder even than finding recordings played on it! But even though it seems most closely related to the clavichord, it was a piano. The surprising thing is that it sounds rather like a harpsichord! I will do some quick looking through my library and see what recordings I have, there are at least two of them. Anyway, the period of rapid expansion, just like the evolution of everything else (including man!) led down a few dead ends until the modern piano arose in <>1830, and it has scarcely changed a whit since then.

Quote
Not making a lot of sense here, I guess, but the point is that this was a dynamic evolution of keyboard instruments in the 18th century, and that composers may have written their music for a specific type of instrument but w/ the hope for more dynamics and a 'future' for a different type of performance or interpretation -  :)

I have often read that idea and pondered it. I find it hard to buy into "writing for the future", even with Beethoven. However, what I DO believe is that composers always pushed the envelope of the possible, and instrument makers accepted the challenge and constantly made the most of new ideas to accommodate the composers. It was co-evolution, and at different times, one or the other led the way, but overall they were always in a dead heat... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 11, 2009, 04:50:59 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NWK014X6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/June07/Beck_7770332.jpg)  (http://www.darkest-destruction.com/fussli-nightmare.jpg)

I've been listening recently, these works are engaging, ......


Nut Job - looks like Gurn has already provided some intro material on Franz Beck (his dates relative to Haydn have always been intriguing, just 2 yrs off the birth date!); he is certainly worth exploring, and the CPO label has done a great job in recording his works - currently, I have the disc that you have shown, but have inserted 2 others on the CPO label that are worth a hearing, i.e. Op. 4, Nos. 1-3 Symphonies & the Op. 3, Nos. 3-5 Symphonies; of course, Naxos is also publishing some of his works - just have a single disc on that label so far!

BTW, I love the paintings of the cover art for the CPO CDs - the one above w/ the weird horse is from a search of the painter, Johann Heinrich Fussli, whose cover art is used on all of these illustracted discs - interesting and possibly a reflection of Beck's music?  Fussli was a Swiss painter who lived in the 18th century, so the art matches the period! -  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 11, 2009, 05:14:42 PM
Great posts, thanks to everybody and particularly to Gurn. He seems to come directly from Clavierland! ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 05:24:00 PM
Great posts, thanks to everybody and particularly to Gurn. He seems to come directly from Clavierland! ;)

:D  Don't you just love that quote from Mozart? As soon as i read it, I had to have it!

Letter to Leopold, June 1781 : "Here (Vienna),  is certainly the Land of the Piano"!  There was a lad with ambition. And vision. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Haydn Fortepiano Concertos - Concerto Copenhagen / Mortensen Brautigam (HIP) - Hob 18:02 Concerto in D for Keyboard and Orchestra 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 11, 2009, 05:53:36 PM
Mozart, WA (1756-1791) - Symphonies w/ Mackerras & the Prague Cham Orch on Telarc - released as a 10-CD box at a fabulous price - just arrived the other day and starting my listening experience; I had 3 previous CDs of these works, but this is my first 'complete' set of the Mozart Symphonies; do own a number of different conductors in the latter half of Mozart's output in this repertoire - in fact, love this guy in a variety of different approaches.

So, my reason for posting is not to start a discussion of Mozart 'Symphony Sets' (we already have these threads), but to discuss several issues of Mozart's output in this genre:  1) Authenticity, esp. of the early Symphonies, e.g. on the first disc of this set the No. 1 Symphony, likely authentic, was composed by Wolfie in London when in was 8 y/o!  However, some of the later 'early' works were likely composed by others, including his father & Abel; 2) Sequence of these works - the numbers relative to the Symphonies was intermixed, but the Kochel numbers are in order; and 3) Performance - his first 'verified' symphony was written in 1764 and the last toward the end of his life a quater of century later - how should these works be performed?  I like Mackerras' approach (why buy the box?), but of course there are so many other ways to perform these works.  So, thus the questions - Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/489660459_QWgCo-S.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Bogey on March 11, 2009, 06:20:13 PM
Gurn, Nut-Job, and Dave,

Just added the Beck disc to my wish-list.  As stated in the past, I buy a classical cd each month for my God children.  A goal within this is to make sure that their library not only has the "war-horses", but also composers not always thought of by most.  A variety if you will.  So just added the Beck disc to the wish-list for next months purchase.  Obviously, I will snag one also. ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 06:20:55 PM
Mozart, WA (1756-1791) - Symphonies w/ Mackerras & the Prague Cham Orch on Telarc - released as a 10-CD box at a fabulous price - just arrived the other day and starting my listening experience; I had 3 previous CDs of these works, but this is my first 'complete' set of the Mozart Symphonies; do own a number of different conductors in the latter half of Mozart's output in this repertoire - in fact, love this guy in a variety of different approaches.

So, my reason for posting is not to start a discussion of Mozart 'Symphony Sets' (we already have these threads), but to discuss several issues of Mozart's output in this genre:  1) Authenticity, esp. of the early Symphonies, e.g. on the first disc of this set the No. 1 Symphony, likely authentic, was composed by Wolfie in London when in was 8 y/o!  However, some of the later 'early' works were likely composed by others, including his father & Abel; 2) Sequence of these works - the numbers relative to the Symphonies was intermixed, but the Kochel numbers are in order; and 3) Performance - his first 'verified' symphony was written in 1764 and the last toward the end of his life a quater of century later - how should these works be performed?  I like Mackerras' approach (why buy the box?), but of course there are so many other ways to perform these works.  So, thus the questions - Dave  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/489660378_VnJ6a-M.jpg)

Dave,
I have this box too, it is my favorite modern instrument set (by a good margin).

Interesting questions. Maybe ones that don't have a definitive answer either.

Authenticity - At this point, our best recourse on this question is the Neue Mozart Ausgabe (The New Mozart catalog) which has finally been completed within the last couple of years. It is essentially the replacement for Köchel. The editor-in-chief of this project was Dr. Neal Zaslaw, who coincidentally authored a couple of superb books about Mozart, one which should be on everyone's shelf (The Compleat Mozart), and another that is a specialist volume, The Symphonies of Mozart. He also wrote The Piano Concertos of Mozart, but since I don't have it, it remains lower in my estimation ;D . In any case, it is Zaslaw's contention that since we don't have the original manuscripts for a lot (most?) of these early works, we may never know for sure what the story is. So they are instead analyzed on stylistic grounds (a tricky proposition at best). The likelihood that they are by Abel is slim. There is little doubt that Leopold had a hand in some of them, at the very least in copying and correcting obvious errors. The creative part of them is most likely Mozart himself. You will note that the numbering jumps from #1 (K 16) to #4 (K 19). K 17 & 18 (#2 & 3) are omitted as being certainly not by Mozart. So there are examples of works omitted. There are also works added, such as K 19a. This was a manuscript found much later on (in the 20th century, I believe) and attributed for mostly circumstantial reasons. Direct evidence is lacking in either direction. This is going to be the story on a lot of them, so you may never find satisfaction. I've decided to simply enjoy them, because whoever wrote them was a good craftsman. :)

The numbering is much the same. I don't remember the number of K 19a, but since it showed up after the "Jupiter" had gotten #41, it has a weirdly higher number, like #45 or something like that. Anyway, I almost never use the numbers so I don't care... :D

Performance - well, as you note, they span a relatively long period of time, one which was also chockfull of changes in performance. If you really want to hear something approaching the best we can do in recreating performance practice, I highly recommend dropping a fairly large chunk of change and getting the Academy of Ancient Music / Schröder/Hogwood set of 19 disks. A long time went into the preparation of this set. Zaslaw and Hogwood prepared all the scores and did a huge amount of research to make sure that each one was done as closely as possible to the original. I have no intention of getting into an argument with anyone on whether HIP recreates the past listener's experience, I'm just saying that they made a supreme effort to do as well as they could with it. The accompanying booklet (written by Zaslaw) is a trove of information too.

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Jiri Antonin Benda, 6 Sonatas and 6 Sonatinas, Fortepiano - Jacques Ogg - Sonata No. 5 in g minor, I Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2009, 06:22:23 PM
Gurn, Nut-Job, and Dave,

Just added the Beck disc to my wish-list.  As stated in the past, I buy a classical cd each month for my God children.  A goal within this is to make sure that their library not only has the "war-horses", but also composers not always thought of by most.  A variety if you will.  So just added the Beck disc to the wish-list for next months purchase.  Obviously, I will snag one also. ;)

Ah, great choice, Bill, especially within your parameters. You and they will be delighted. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Jiri Antonin Benda, 6 Sonatas and 6 Sonatinas, Fortepiano - Jacques Ogg - Sonata No. 9 in a minor, II Andante con moto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 12, 2009, 07:59:48 AM
Clementi, Muzio (1752-1832) - well an 'update' from way back on page 7 of this thread!  :o

Yesterday's arrival in the mail - the 2nd Volume (3-CD set) of Mastroprimiano's perusal of Clementi's Keyboard Sonatas on the fortepiano; and about to be released is another 2-CD bargain set of Shelley - this will be Vol. 3 for him (and will bring his total to 6 discs!); not sure 'how long' the two will be releasing these sets but provides some delighful comparisons of the fortepiano vs. the modern instrument in these keyboard works.

Just finished the first disc of the set by Mastroprimiano, which mostly include the Op. 1 Six Sonatas dedicated to Peter Beckford, an interesting relationship that pretty much changed Clementi's life.  Beckford was an Englishman who met the young keyboard artist in Rome in 1766 (two years earlier, Muzio at age 12 y/o had pretty much become a professional organist!); after making a 7-year contract w/ Clementi's father, Beckford took Muzio back w/ him to England, where he studied composition and keyboard technique, thus the reason for the dedication. When the contract expired, Clementi stayed in England, but of course travelled extensively on the continent -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/489660051_fAayf-M.jpg)  (http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CDA67729.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: nut-job on March 12, 2009, 08:31:59 AM
Nut Job - looks like Gurn has already provided some intro material on Franz Beck (his dates relative to Haydn have always been intriguing, just 2 yrs off the birth date!); he is certainly worth exploring, and the CPO label has done a great job in recording his works - currently, I have the disc that you have shown, but have inserted 2 others on the CPO label that are worth a hearing, i.e. Op. 4, Nos. 1-3 Symphonies & the Op. 3, Nos. 3-5 Symphonies; of course, Naxos is also publishing some of his works - just have a single disc on that label so far!

Having listened to them, I tend to prefer the Opus 3 to Opus 4 from Beck.  Opus 3 strikes me as having a  bit more contrapuntal rigour in its construction, Opus 4 with a more sigificant emphasis on orchestral effects.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 12, 2009, 05:06:32 PM
Clementi, Muzio (1752-1832) - well an 'update' from way back on page 7 of this thread!  :o

Yesterday's arrival in the mail - the 2nd Volume (3-CD set) of Mastroprimiano's perusal of Clementi's Keyboard Sonatas on the fortepiano; and about to be released is another 2-CD bargain set of Shelley - this will be Vol. 3 for him (and will bring his total to 6 discs!); not sure 'how long' the two will be releasing these sets but provides some delighful comparisons of the fortepiano vs. the modern instrument in these keyboard works.

Just finished the first disc of the set by Mastroprimiano, which mostly include the Op. 1 Six Sonatas dedicated to Peter Beckford, an interesting relationship that pretty much changed Clementi's life.  Beckford was an Englishman who met the young keyboard artist in Rome in 1766 (two years earlier, Muzio at age 12 y/o had pretty much become a professional organist!); after making a 7-year contract w/ Clementi's father, Beckford took Muzio back w/ him to England, where he studied composition and keyboard technique, thus the reason for the dedication. When the contract expired, Clementi stayed in England, but of course travelled extensively on the continent -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/489660051_fAayf-M.jpg)  (http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CDA67729.jpg)

That Vol. 2 of Mastroprimiano has worked its way to near the top of my wish list. Somehow on Amazon they didn't list the Op #s, so this is the first I hear that it is Op 1 et al. I haven't heard these (my collection starts at Op 2 with Susan Alexander-Max) yet, but even the Op 2 works display the Clementi that would be. These early works were very popular in Vienna, especially after he showed up on tour, the time he had the "dueling pianos" interlude with Mozart. You may have just pushed me over the top on getting this set. :)   I haven't heard Shelley, and I do like his playing, but I don't have any internal dichotomy to resolve for myself over the supremacy of the fortepiano for Classical Era works, so I decided long ago that I would concentrate on them. It was a challenge in itself until Mastroprimiano came along! :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Kuijken - Hob 01 082 Symphony #82 in C 2nd mvmt - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 12, 2009, 05:31:29 PM
That Vol. 2 of Mastroprimiano has worked its way to near the top of my wish list....
... I haven't heard Shelley, and I do like his playing, but I don't have any internal dichotomy to resolve for myself over the supremacy of the fortepiano for Classical Era works, so I decided long ago that I would concentrate on them. It was a challenge in itself until Mastroprimiano came along! :)
Good evening Gurn - just finished the 3rd CD of the 'new' Mastroprimiano release - just great (for some reason, Susan can't tolerate this instrument or the harpsichord - she's pretty much a 'professional' musician - is the issue her skill or possibly sex - I think women just have different 'ears' from men - OK, a side note of interest to me, and maybe others?).

Brilliant Classics has a complete listing of the second volume HERE (http://music.brilliantclassics.com/epages/joan.storefront/49b9b45a000dbfa0271e52c5db1e06a9/Cartridge/sl126403e5/ProductInfo/93685), but that first disc is the Op. 1 'dedicated' sonatas - really historic!  But, I must say that those Shelley recordings are special - might want to give one set @ least a try - not sure if they have appeared on BRO @ a reduced price yet?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 12, 2009, 05:42:52 PM
Good evening Gurn - just finished the 3rd CD of the 'new' Mastroprimiano release - just great (for some reason, Susan can't tolerate this instrument or the harpsichord - she's pretty much a 'professional' musician - is the issue her skill or possibly sex - I think women just have different 'ears' from men - OK, a side note of interest to me, and maybe others?).

Well, I can't criticize her, her aversion is shared by many, and I am certain that the fortepiano is an acquired taste. Lots of people don't have the endurance to get there. I have some disks that would make her hair stand up, and others that I would challenge her to tell me that is was a fortepiano and not a modern one. Lots of variety. (and also I have disks on a modern piano that the player was talented enough to make sound like a fortepiano!) :)

Quote
Brilliant Classics has a complete listing of the second volume HERE (http://music.brilliantclassics.com/epages/joan.storefront/49b9b45a000dbfa0271e52c5db1e06a9/Cartridge/sl126403e5/ProductInfo/93685), but that first disc is the Op. 1 'dedicated' sonatas - really historic!  But, I must say that those Shelley recordings are special - might want to give one set @ least a try - not sure if they have appeared on BRO @ a reduced price yet?  Dave  :)

Well, you are probably right, I should give them a listen. If they do pop up at BRO, I'll have a go. Thanks for the link too. Amazon frequently disappoints in that way: they want you to drop (a sometimes large) packet on a set of disks, and they don't even tell you what is on them :o  What the hell is that?  What other company that size sells you a pig in a poke like that?  ???

8)


----------------
Listening to: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Kuijken - Hob 01 083 Symphony #83 in g 4th mvmt - Finale: Vivace
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 12, 2009, 06:21:00 PM
A question for Gurn...

I listened to Mozart's Violin Sonata K. 306 the other day and was surprised by how orchestral the second and third movements sounded (did you catch the 'cadenza' at the end of the third movement???).  This immediately brought to mind the wonderful little gem K. Anh. 56, the fragmented Violin & Piano Concerto movement.  As I'm sure you very well know, the recording on the Philips edition features the Wilby reconstruction: Wilby theorized that Mozart - unable to complete the concerto - rewrote it into the Violin Sonata K. 306.  What do you think of this idea?  I actually consider Wilby's work one of the more successful Mozart reconstruction attempts.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 12, 2009, 06:28:52 PM
A question for Gurn...

I listened to Mozart's Violin Sonata K. 306 the other day and was surprised by how orchestral the second and third movements sounded (did you catch the 'cadenza' at the end of the third movement???).  This immediately brought to mind the wonderful little gem K. Anh. 56, the fragmented Violin & Piano Concerto movement.  As I'm sure you very well know, the recording on the Philips edition features the Wilby reconstruction: Wilby theorized that Mozart - unable to complete the concerto - rewrote it into the Violin Sonata K. 306.  What do you think of this idea?  I actually consider Wilby's work one of the more successful Mozart reconstruction attempts.


Well, I can't dispute it on musical grounds (I don't know enough theory!) so I read his argument on historical grounds instead, and really, it is all cogent. There is nothing to the story that would stand out as "Mozart would never do that!", and from listening to the works themselves, it certainly sounds right. As for K 300l_306, it is one of my favorite of the earlier sonatas. I have the Rivest/Breitman period instrument version and it flows like honey. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Kuijken - Hob 01 085 Symphony #85 in Bb 2nd mvmt - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 12, 2009, 06:32:09 PM
Thanks for the reply.  That concerto gets a lot of playtime on my music player.  Just great music.

...As for K 300l_306, it is one of my favorite of the earlier sonatas. I have the Rivest/Breitman period instrument version and it flows like honey. :)

Why did you have to say that???  Now I'll have to add it to The List!  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 12, 2009, 06:37:24 PM
Thanks for the reply.  That concerto gets a lot of playtime on my music player.  Just great music.

Why did you have to say that???  Now I'll have to add it to The List!  ;D

I know how you feel, Sorin. The List can be a killer at times. I was blessed with the whole 4 disk set of Rivest/Breitman at a time when I was trying to find really good PI performances, and POOF, there they all were, all in one nice set. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Kuijken - Hob 01 086 Symphony #86 in D 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro spiritoso
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 12, 2009, 06:43:56 PM
Thanks for the reply.  That concerto gets a lot of playtime on my music player.  Just great music.

Why did you have to say that???  Now I'll have to add it to The List!  ;D

Sorin  - Q & I have been recommending this duo CD set (shown below) for a while on this forum; just outstanding!  Please acquire @ your earliest convenience!   ;D   Dave


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Jw0C2GAIL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51eFcgLmh0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 12, 2009, 08:59:25 PM
Sorin  - Q & I have been recommending this duo CD set (shown below) for a while on this forum; just outstanding!  Please acquire @ your earliest convenience!   ;D   Dave

The pressure!  The pressure!!!  (http://www.twcenter.net/forums/images/smilies/emoticons/blowup6ba.gif)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 13, 2009, 07:30:25 AM
I know some music from three of the composers listed: Kurpiński, Elsner and Lessel. In my very limited knowledge of Polish music from the classicism, I can recommend two works. First, Karol Kurpiński's overture to Zamek na Czorsztynie: it is a winner. Not a "great" work, but it is very beautifully scored and has some unforgettable ideas (I have two recordings of it: Spering and Borowicz). The other one is Franciszek Lessel's piano concerto in C major op. 14, a lyrical, delicate yet consistent work; in its simplicity, it has a Fieldian flavour, particularly in the undescribably beautiful Adagio. This movement alone would justify the purchase.

Fortunately for interested GMGers, the Borowicz recording I wrote about includes both recommended works from Lessel and Kurpiński. It brings also a couple more works, all highly enjoyable. Both works could be better recorded, but it is a competent recording nonetheless. (In fact, Kurpiński's overture by Spering is a better recording; he makes even the first chord meaningful, but you have to listen to it to understand what I mean. It is included in an Opus 111 CD called Chopin: the 1830 Warsaw concert).

Great to hear that! I'm not so sure about Borowicz as a conductor myself... But to his credit, he does record a lot of rare repertoire. And his recording of Cherubini's Loidoska was recently nominated for a MIDEM award (but didn't get it):
(http://www.polskieradio.pl/_files/20080116163148/2009021211532878_250.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Lodoiska_Warner-Music-Poland/browse/product/4,641847.html)

Today I'll stick to Kurpinski and Lessel. As I said, I can't offer many details about Polish classical music - I know most of it from the radio, so my impressions aren't reliable. But I'll list the recordings I'm aware of below. In some cases, I don't know the discs at all - I only just found them now when searching...

A few words about the composers. Karol Kurpiński was related to Jan Wański (whose name I also put on my list). His father was an organist and music teacher. In 1810 he came to Warsaw and managed to secure the prestigious post of second conductor at the Warsaw Opera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Theater,_Warsaw) (in 1824 he became director of the whole opera). Here he started to compose operas at quite an astounding rate (2-3 a year) - these met with general enthusiastic acclaim but were later promptly forgotten. He was also the founder of "Tygodnik Muzyczny" ("Musical Weekly") the first ever music magazine in Poland. He was the conductor at Chopin's famous March 1830 Warsaw concert (featuring the premiere performance of Chopin's F Minor Concerto).

Franciszek (Franz) Lessel studied with none other but Joseph Haydn for almost 10 years (was he such a bad student??). His father was associated with the Czartoryski family and spent almost his entire life as their court conductor in Puławy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puławy). The Czartoryskis financed Franciszek's studies in Vienna, where he stayed until Haydn's death. He then returned to Warsaw where he unsuccessfully tried to pursue a musical career. He gave up being a full time musician in 1812 - he left Warsaw and from then on only occasionally gave concerts as pianist or conductor. Shortly before his death he composed a Requiem. The Piano Concerto is his most popular piece today.

(Damn, this thing doesn't want to post properly so I'm cutting it into several parts...)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 13, 2009, 07:30:41 AM
Incidentally, I'd like to recommend a lecture by Adrian Thomas on music in Poland before Chopin (http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=39&EventId=396).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 13, 2009, 07:40:46 AM
Now for specific recordings.

There's a very good recording of Kurpinski's overture to The Two Huts on a disc of Polish 19th century symphonic music. One of the few that I own from this list and I can heartily recommend the whole disc (also, there's a rather enthusiastic review on Musicweb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Dec03/Polish_C19th.htm)):
(http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/images/covers/019.jpg) (http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/album.php?acd=019)

A slightly newer set of Kurpinski pieces (also under Borowicz) recorded for the Polish Radio is unfortunately out of print. It contains the Clarinet Concerto (with Kornel Wolak as soloist) and a selection of (five!) opera overtures:
(http://merlin.pl/Z-Wielkopolski-Rodem-Karol-Kurpinski_Orkiestra-Filharmonii-Poznanskiej-im-Tadeusza,images_product,2,PRCD1063.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Z-Wielkopolski-Rodem-Karol-Kurpinski_Orkiestra-Filharmonii-Poznanskiej-im-Tadeusza/browse/product/4,571080.html)

And another out of print recording of the Clarinet Concerto (on DUX) - arranged for clarinet and string quintet (the clarinet played by Artur Pachlewski). I hope it is re-released at some point, the whole disc is very interesting (a good helping of "light" contemporary clarinet):
(http://www.dux.pl/upload/obrazki/okladki/0396.jpg) (http://www.dux.pl/catalogue/results/details/?pid=120)

This Lidia Kozubek recital is interesting not just for the Kurpiński pieces but also compositions by two other composers I mentioned above: Maria Szymanowska and Maciej Kamieński:
(http://merlin.pl/Early-Polish-Piano-Music_Lidia-Kozubek,images_big,14,PNCD631.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Early-Polish-Piano-Music_Lidia-Kozubek/browse/product/4,443619.html)

A real rarity is a small vocal selection from Zamek na Czorsztynie (though some of Kurpinski's operas used to be once available in the Olympia Musica Antiqua Polonica series):
(http://merlin.pl/Stary-Kapral-i-inni_Antoni-Majak,images_big,21,PNCD575.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Stary-Kapral-i-inni_Antoni-Majak/browse/product/4,450449.html)

This is an excellent selection of Polish classical (Radziwiłł, Holland, Kurpiński, Janiewicz, Ogiński) and baroque music:
(http://merlin.pl/Klejnoty-polskiej-muzyki-Polonez-Oginskiego-i-inne_Warszawska-Orkiestra-Kameralna,images_big,31,PM013-2.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Klejnoty-polskiej-muzyki-Polonez-Oginskiego-i-inne_Warszawska-Orkiestra-Kameralna/browse/product/4,395223.html)
It used to be available under a much more fetching cover on Olympia (I think). The performance is anything but HIP - the pieces are all wonderful though. I think Gurn might know this one, at least he should, he had access to it once. ;D Heather Harrison was quite enthusiastic about it (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1781.0.html).

There's also an out of print Polish Radio CD with Kurpiński's Te Deum (PRCD129-2).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 13, 2009, 07:49:11 AM
Part 2. Lessel. This will be mostly Acte Préalable (http://www.acteprealable.com/). ;D

The excellent Wilanow Quartet has recorded Lessel's string quartet and flute quartet (with Elzbieta Gajewska) - here the performers are a recommendation in themselves:
(http://merlin.pl/Kwartety-Smyczkowy-i-Fletowy_Wilanow-String-Quartet-Elzbieta-Gajewska,images_big,6,AP0006.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Kwartety-Smyczkowy-i-Fletowy_Wilanow-String-Quartet-Elzbieta-Gajewska/browse/product/4,289022.html)

There's also a disc of flute duets:
(http://merlin.pl/Utwory-fletowe_Acte-Prealable,images_big,16,AP0178.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-fletowe_Acte-Prealable/browse/product/4,636069.html)

Marcin Łukaszewski has recorded a 2CD set of Lessel's complete piano works. I know some of these through scores and, frankly, find them a frightful bore. But perhaps a better pianist than me can make something out of them:
(http://merlin.pl/Complete-Piano-Works_Marcin-Lukaszewski,images_big,4,AP0022.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Complete-Piano-Works_Marcin-Lukaszewski/browse/product/4,558896.html)
(http://merlin.pl/Complete-Piano-Works-Vol-2_Marcin-Lukaszewski,images_big,5,AP0023.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Complete-Piano-Works-Vol-2_Marcin-Lukaszewski/browse/product/4,558900.html)
Also released under single cover:
(http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Fortepianowe_Marcin-Lukaszewski,images_big,9,AP002223.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Fortepianowe_Marcin-Lukaszewski/browse/product/4,289290.html)

The Variations in A minor Op.15 have also been recorded by Jerzy Sterczyński on Selene (a label specializing in piano repertoire):
(http://www.selenemusic.com/pl/strony/cd/min2.php?fileName=foty/41.jpg) (http://selenemusic.com/eng/?id=cd&go=pokaz&ad=41)

This disc of Lessel's music for piano and orchestra (Piano Concerto op. 14, Adagio et Rondeau a la Polonaise op. 9) looks very enticing. Except for what's listed on the cover, I don't know anything about it, have never heard the performance. I think it's rather new. The label is quite reliable for good performances of rare stuff:
(http://www.promusicacamerata.pl/pl/images/cd/PMC056.jpg) (http://www.promusicacamerata.pl/en/product_info.php?products_id=229)

And probably the newest release of all these. Lessel's Grand Trio op. 4 for piano, clarinet and horn:
(http://www.bearton.pl/sklep/okladka/Lisner-Lessel_okl.jpg) (http://www.bearton.pl/sklep/index.php?idt=83&lang=en&value=USD)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 13, 2009, 07:52:40 AM
Lessel and Kurpinski recordings, part 3 (of 3!).

Sometimes both composers are recorded together.

Acte Préalable has another disc with the Wilanow Quartet (and the pianist Pawel Perlinski):
(http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow,images_big,8,AP0143.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow/browse/product/4,505832.html)

And this must be the disc Gabriel mentioned (I think it's been released under a different cover or several different covers as well):
(http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof,images_big,10,AP0055.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof/browse/product/4,289061.html)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 13, 2009, 10:23:42 AM
And this must be the disc Gabriel mentioned (I think it's been released under a different cover or several different covers as well):

That is the CD indeed, Maciek!

Thank you for the very interesting information about the recordings. It's true that Polish composers of this era are almost unknown, but I'm sure that Kurpiński and Lessel can provide a proper motivation for discovery.

On the other hand, I didn't know the existence of that recording of Cherubini's Lodoïska. I have Muti's, but I wasn't too excited when I listened to it; I have a great admiration for Cherubini's music, but this particular composition seems to be an exception... ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on March 13, 2009, 02:50:19 PM
(http://merlin.pl/Early-Polish-Piano-Music_Lidia-Kozubek,images_big,14,PNCD631.jpg)

I'd buy it for the cover.  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 13, 2009, 05:06:01 PM
Maciek,
Wow, what a bunch of information you found! As I told you earlier in a PM, I haven't heard of any of these guys, but now that I see what they've done, I will try to add at least a few of them to my collection. The first, it seems will be Lessel. Impeccable credentials, and 12 or 2 disks that appear to be of real interest to my rather narrow tastes... :)  Like especially this one, for starters:

(http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow,images_product,8,AP0143.jpg)

Thanks for that!

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Kuijken - Hob 01 087 Symphony #87 in A 3rd mvmt - Menuet - Trio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 13, 2009, 06:08:16 PM
Hi Miciek - you have overwhelmed this thread w/ a listing of Polish composers who many of us have not really heard about - not a complaint, but there are 'so many' other considerations from elsewhere in Europe of those times, so please can you recommend maybe 2-3 CDs that may be available for us to appreciate these composers - just a suggestion to one who would like to try several (but not ALL of the CDs shown) of these individuals - thanks,  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 13, 2009, 07:08:49 PM
This is a continuation of the series of recommended listening for people who want to start listening to classical era music. If you haven't read back that far, I have recommended that people begin with the well-known composers, and then with the solo keyboard music, chamber music, concerti, symphonies, vocal music and finally opera. My admittedly personal reason for this is that the smaller and more intimate chamber forms allow one to become more easily familiar with the composer's idiom and personal voice before expanding out into the larger, public works. Of course, if you are already a big opera or sacred music fan, or you have been dealing with symphonies for years and have no taste for smaller works, then have at it. Just please don't overlook the smaller works, since many of the brightest gems are hidden there. :)

F. Joseph Haydn -

Solo keyboard - The late sonatas (from #49 to #62) are a great start. But don't overlook the various other works, like the Andante & Variations in f minor, or the Arietta & Variations in A, and especially the lovely Fantasia in C.

Chamber music - So many riches to choose from!!! 

Piano trios - The last 10 or so. And don't be fooled by the Hoboken numbers. Some of the earliest are numbered in the "30's", while some of the later ones have numbers from 6-10. Not that they aren't all worth a good listen!  Particularly don't miss Hob XV:25 in G major, the one with the Gypsy Rondo finale. It's a piece of work, and shows how Haydn incorporated (among the first to do so) local "folk" music into serious art music.

String Quartets - The first to develop the string quartet into the finished form it is today. In all likelihood, the 68 recognized today are all the authentic ones to survive. How to choose though! Here are my thoughts: Start with Op 76. It is brilliant from start to finish. After that, you're on your own, but I would go (by Opus) 77, 50, 64, 33, 20. There will be plenty of legitimate arguments for 54, 55, 71 & 74, not to mention 17, but there is time to get to those. We still have to move ahead for now. :)

Other chamber works - You can't get into Haydn without at least one disk of his baryton trios. The most intimate chamber music, written expressly for him to play with the Boss after dinner... The remainder to choose from include string trios and duos. And lots of wonderful divertimentos, mainly (but not exclusively for winds). A disk of each will serve to familiarize you with this facet of Haydn's talent.

Concertos - Although not known for his concertos (he didn't particularly care for the form, and didn't have many great virtuosos coming to visit to provide inspiration and necessity). Still, there are a big handful of "don't miss this one" works. The cello concertos, the piano concerto in D major, 1 or 2 horn concertos, and above all, the famous Trumpet Concerto. There are disks available that have a mixture of different solo instruments on them (Pinnock has a splendid one, for example, but there are several others). And by all means, don't miss out on the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Cello, Oboe & Bassoon. It is a very fine example of that form, and will serve well to introduce you to this particularly Classical style of music. :)

Symphonies - Ummm... OK 104 to choose from, where do you start? Well, right at the end, of course! At least, that's the common wisdom. My personal view is that you need a bit of leading up before traveling to London. A disk with #6, 7 & 8 (Morning, Noon and Night) is a great intro to early Haydn. Then take a bit of a skip and try things from the early 1770's, in his more stormy and dramatic period (Stürm und Drang). Some good choices here are #44, 45, 49 & 52. Then another bit of a jump and the Paris Symphonies present themselves. After that, I wouldn't ever skip over the next few, particularly #88 & 92. Finally you are ready for the last great dozen, the London Symphonies. You would think that with such a huge oeuvre he would repeat himself a lot, but in fact his genius was such that each symphony has its own unique style and memorable bits. I wouldn't be surprised if you went back in the future and picked up on all the ones you missed... ;)

Sacred Music & Oratorios - Another wealth of beauties! The last 6 masses are not to be missed. Written after all the symphonies, these works clearly show what the master learned from his earlier works. Must have! And then, the last works of his creative career, the 2 oratorios, "The Creation" and "The Seasons". Some of the most beautiful music Haydn ever wrote.

Operas - Finally just discovering these myself, so I can't give a proper description of any of them. On first listening though, "Armida", "La Fedelta Premiata" and "Orlando Paladino" are works to be reckoned with. I hope an opera fan (Gabriel?) will jump in here and fill this in a bit. :)

I know this looks like a lot of music, and a big investment too. But to listen to all the works recommended here amounts to perhaps 25 CD's, and I am quite sure that when you are done you will consider it money well invested. Haydn seems to intimidate a lot of people due to the sheer number of works he composed, but my experience of over 300 CD's (and as of yet, not a single "big box") is that I don't regret a single one of them, because the man rarely misfired. All his music is good, and much of it is great. Try it and see!   :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
La Petite Bande / Kuijken - Hob 01 090 Symphony #90 in C 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 13, 2009, 09:31:10 PM
Listening to:
La Petite Bande / Kuijken - Hob 01 090 Symphony #90 in C 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro assai

How fitting that you were listening to Haydn whilst writing that!  Great synopsis, Gurn, as usual!  If I may add a comment or two of my own...  ;D

With regards to the masses the late six are usually the most popular, but I think the best one came at No. 5 with his magnificent cantata-mass "Missa Sanctae Caeciliae."  A magnificent work and one of my Top 5 favourite pieces in the genre.

With regards to dramatic works, don't miss Haydn's full-fledged revamping of his string quartet "Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross" into an oratorio.  This isn't just another arrangement, it's another piece entirely!

The concerti album by Pinnock you've mentioned comes with Haydn's Oboe Concerto in C.  This is certainly the best oboe concerto I've heard by a mile and my favourite of Haydn's; one of the highlights of his concerto oeuvre.

All right, I'll be quiet now!  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Maciek on March 14, 2009, 12:42:26 AM
Hi Maciek - you have overwhelmed this thread w/ a listing of Polish composers who many of us have not really heard about - not a complaint, but there are 'so many' other considerations from elsewhere in Europe of those times, so please can you recommend maybe 2-3 CDs that may be available for us to appreciate these composers - just a suggestion to one who would like to try several (but not ALL of the CDs shown) of these individuals - thanks,  Dave  :)

Dave, I think the two "mixed" discs, with works by both composers, are the best place to "start". ;D

(http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow,images_big,8,AP0143.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow/browse/product/4,505832.html) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof,images_big,10,AP0055.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof/browse/product/4,289061.html)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 14, 2009, 06:16:44 AM
Operas - Finally just discovering these myself, so I can't give a proper description of any of them. On first listening though, "Armida", "La Fedelta Premiata" and "Orlando Paladino" are works to be reckoned with. I hope an opera fan (Gabriel?) will jump in here and fill this in a bit. :)

There's not very much I can add to your appreciation, Gurn. In general, Haydn's operas are less outstanding than Mozart's, but there is great music nevertheless. I have always felt Il mondo della luna as a very sincere and beautiful work. The overture to L'isola disabitata is marvelous, while the rest of it is a bit less appealing. The closest to an introduction towards this music is unfortunately out of print: when Philips decided to release in CD the Dorati recordings, they also released a synopsis called "Opera Highlights" with excerpts from them.

In any case, my personal opinion is that the first approach towards Haydn's secular vocal music shouldn't be through the operas, but three individual scenes: Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2, originally for piano and voice but there an orchestral version; Miseri noi, misera patria, Hob. XXIVa:7; and particularly the Scena di Berenice (Hob. XXIVa:10) which I would place with no doubt among the vocal masterpieces of the classical era.

For a recording of all these three scene di concerto, there is a fine - and not expensive - performance by Hogwood and Auger. But if you wish to experience the amazing Scena di Berenice in all its splendour, go for the recording by Jacobs and Fink in Harmonia Mundi (coupled with symphonies 91 and 92). It is not just beautiful: it is unforgettable.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on March 14, 2009, 06:31:25 AM
In any case, my personal opinion is that the first approach towards Haydn's secular vocal music shouldn't be through the operas, but three individual scenes: Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2, originally for piano and voice but there an orchestral version; Miseri noi, misera patria, Hob. XXIVa:7; and particularly the Scena di Berenice (Hob. XXIVa:10) which I would place with no doubt among the vocal masterpieces of the classical era.

Those scenes are fascinating - I have two of them on the following disc, and had assumed that they were taken from full operas, but they are works unto themselves?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412RCBW54KL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haydn-Nelson-Arianna-Naxos-Berenice/dp/B000024SG5)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 14, 2009, 06:41:15 AM
Those scenes are fascinating - I have two of them on the following disc, and had assumed that they were taken from full operas, but they are works unto themselves?

Lethe, yes, they were meant as independent works. The text is a different story, as it could come from the text of a complete opera, but to take a selection from it and make an independent work was normally done during this period (Mozart, for instance, provides wonderful examples).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 07:13:15 AM
Dave, I think the two "mixed" discs, with works by both composers, are the best place to "start". ;D

(http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow,images_big,8,AP0143.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow/browse/product/4,505832.html) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof,images_big,10,AP0055.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof/browse/product/4,289061.html)

Yes, those looked like the 2 best choices for starters to me, too. As Dave says, that's a lot of music there, but you gotta start somewhere, and a variety of genres like that gives a nice overview. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Andras Schiff (Beethoven's own Broadwood) - Bia 745 Op 119 Bagatelles (11) for Fortepiano #02 in C - Andante con moto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 07:19:43 AM
How fitting that you were listening to Haydn whilst writing that!  Great synopsis, Gurn, as usual!  If I may add a comment or two of my own...  ;D

With regards to the masses the late six are usually the most popular, but I think the best one came at No. 5 with his magnificent cantata-mass "Missa Sanctae Caeciliae."  A magnificent work and one of my Top 5 favourite pieces in the genre.

With regards to dramatic works, don't miss Haydn's full-fledged revamping of his string quartet "Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross" into an oratorio.  This isn't just another arrangement, it's another piece entirely!

The concerti album by Pinnock you've mentioned comes with Haydn's Oboe Concerto in C.  This is certainly the best oboe concerto I've heard by a mile and my favourite of Haydn's; one of the highlights of his concerto oeuvre.

All right, I'll be quiet now!  8)

Sorin,
Yes, you have pointed out 2 of the probable results of my venture here. 1 - people will like what they've heard and go in search of other gems, of which there are plenty! And 2 - Other things on the disks they do get will also be discovered as first rate and have the same effect. With a composer with a body of works the size of Haydn's, it is virtually impossible to hit on everything worth listening to, and I have seen lots of posts from people who were giving Haydn a miss simply because there was too much there and they didn't know where to start. I think that's a real pity, since they will miss out on some of the great music of all time. :)

Cheers,
8)

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Listening to:
Andras Schiff (Beethoven's own Broadwood) - Bia 745 Op 119 Bagatelles (11) for Fortepiano #05 - in c - Risoluto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 07:28:37 AM
There's not very much I can add to your appreciation, Gurn. In general, Haydn's operas are less outstanding than Mozart's, but there is great music nevertheless. I have always felt Il mondo della luna as a very sincere and beautiful work. The overture to L'isola disabitata is marvelous, while the rest of it is a bit less appealing. The closest to an introduction towards this music is unfortunately out of print: when Philips decided to release in CD the Dorati recordings, they also released a synopsis called "Opera Highlights" with excerpts from them.

In any case, my personal opinion is that the first approach towards Haydn's secular vocal music shouldn't be through the operas, but three individual scenes: Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2, originally for piano and voice but there an orchestral version; Miseri noi, misera patria, Hob. XXIVa:7; and particularly the Scena di Berenice (Hob. XXIVa:10) which I would place with no doubt among the vocal masterpieces of the classical era.

For a recording of all these three scene di concerto, there is a fine - and not expensive - performance by Hogwood and Auger. But if you wish to experience the amazing Scena di Berenice in all its splendour, go for the recording by Jacobs and Fink in Harmonia Mundi (coupled with symphonies 91 and 92). It is not just beautiful: it is unforgettable.

Thanks for reminding me of those, Gabriel. I have heard (and enjoyed) them, but on looking through my collection this morning, it seems that I don't have them. That will be soon remedied! :)

And really, I skipped over a huge number of songs and arias by Haydn too. He actually considered himself to be a vocal composer. His career started out as a singer, and even though he lost his pure soprano voice at puberty (and narrowly escaped becoming a castrato! :o  :o ), he could still sing very well indeed. In addition to his scenas, some works that people might enjoy are from late in his career, like "Battle of the Nile" and "Spirit's Song", as well as the many English and Scottish folksongs he set for Thompson.

8)
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Listening to:
Andras Schiff (Beethoven's own Broadwood) - Bia 745 Op 119 Bagatelles (11) for Fortepiano #08 in C - Moderato cantabile
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 14, 2009, 07:47:48 AM
Dave, I think the two "mixed" discs, with works by both composers, are the best place to "start". ;D

(http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow,images_big,8,AP0143.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Chamber-Works-For-Strings_Pawel-Perlinski-Kwartet-Wilanow/browse/product/4,505832.html) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof,images_big,10,AP0055.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/Utwory-Instrumentalne_Pawel-Stolarczyk-Monika-Mych-Michal-Zambrzycki-Krzysztof/browse/product/4,289061.html)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DmLUpEFKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Hi Maciek - thanks for the two recommendations - looks like a great 'start'!  Now adding to my GMG 'wish list' - Dave  :D

UPDATE:  Just ordered the 2 CDs suggested from GiGi in Poland - $30 total, including S&H; Amazon USA had just 1 disc & wanted $25 - but I did find another CD of Lessel's Wind Sextets on MDG (inserted above, far right) - will probably picked that one up in my next Amazon order!   ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 07:53:24 AM
Here is a disk I just found on Amazon (thus available on this side of the pond!) that has some music that I will look forward to hearing, too. It is 3 sextets for 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns & 2 Bassoons. My kind of music!  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DmLUpEFKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

8)

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Listening to:
Andras Schiff / Yuuko Shiokawa (HIP) - K 373a 379 Sonata in G for Keyboard & Violin 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 14, 2009, 08:48:47 AM
Gurn - amazingly, we were looking @ the same MDG disc & typing at the same time!  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 08:53:43 AM
Gurn - amazingly, we were looking @ the same MDG disc & typing at the same time!  ;D

Not amazing, Dave; great minds think alike... ;D  Yes, I will have a shop-about before committing $25 to any disk. Guess it's the Scot in me (or my wife... ;D ). :)

8)

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Listening to: Andras Schiff / Yuuko Shiokawa (on Mozart's own instruments) - K 454 Sonata in Bb for Keyboard & Violin 3rd mvmt - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 09:42:39 AM
I would be interested to know your thoughts on whether the Classical and the Romantic were 2 different eras in music history, or whether they represent a spectrum of one style that stretched from the (putative) end of the Baroque through the advent of atonalism.  Obviously I have an opinion, which I have expressed here a couple of times already, but I would like to hear what champions of both points of view have to say to maintain their points of view. Clearly we won't get far without a definition of terms, so if you are a believer in a Romantic Era, then it would be a good start to define precisely what it entails... :)

Thanks for your interest,
8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 04:41:15 PM
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/bach_cpe.jpg)

C.P.E. Bach (courtesy of bach-cantatas.com)
Born: March 8, 1714 - Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
Died: December 14, 1788 - Hamburg, Germany

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German musician and composer, the second son of J.S. Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. He was a founder of the Classical style.

When he was ten years old C.P.E. Bach entered the St. Thomas School at Leipzig, of which in 1723 his father had become cantor, and continued his education as a student of jurisprudence at the universities of Leipzig (1731) and of Frankfurt an der Oder (1735). In 1738 he took his degree, but at once abandoned all prospects of a legal career and determined to devote himself to music.

A few months later C.P.E. Bach obtained an appointment in the service of the crown prince of Prussia, on whose accession in 1740 he became a member of the royal household. He was by this time one of the foremost clavier-players in Europe, and his compositions, which date from 1731, included about thirty sonatas and concert pieces for his favourite instrument. His reputation was established by the two sets of sonatas which he dedicated respectively to Frederick the Great and to the grand duke of Württemberg; in 1746 he was promoted to the post of chamber musician, and for twenty-two years shared with Carl Heinrich Graun, Johann Joachim Quantz, and Johann Gottlieb Naumann the continued favour of the king.

During his residence at Berlin, C.P.E. Bach wrote a fine setting of the Magnificat, in which he shows more traces than usual of his father's influence; an Easter cantata; several symphonies and concerted works; at least three volumes of songs; and a few secular cantatas and other occasional pieces. But his main work was concentrated on the clavier, for which he composed, at this time, nearly two hundred sonatas and other solos, including the set Mit veränderten Reprisen (1760-1768) and a few of those für Kenner und Liebhaber. Meanwhile he placed himself in the forefront of European critics by his Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, a systematic and masterly treatise which by 1780 had reached its third edition, and which laid the foundation for the methods of Muzio Clementi and Cramer.

In 1768 C.P.E. Bach succeeded Georg Philipp Telemann as Capellmeister at Hamburg, and in consequence of his new office began to turn his attention more towards church music. Next year he produced his oratorio Die Israeliten in der Wüste, a composition remarkable not only for its great beauty but for the resemblance of its plan to that Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, and between 1769 and 1788 added over twenty settings of the Passion, and some seventy cantatas, litanies, motets, and other liturgical pieces. At the same time, his genius for instrumental composition was further stimulated by the career of Joseph Haydn.

Through the latter half of the 18th century, the reputation of C.P.E. Bach stood very high. W.A. Mozart said of him, "He is the father, we are the children." The best part of Haydn's training was derived from a study of his work. Ludwig van Beethoven expressed for his genius the most cordial admiration and regard. This position he owes mainly to his clavier sonatas, which mark an important epoch in the history of musical form. Lucid in style, delicate and tender in expression, they are even more notable for the freedom and variety of their structural design; they break away altogether from the exact formal antithesis which, with the composers of the Italian school, had hardened into a convention, and substitute the wider and more flexible outline which the great Viennese masters showed to be capable of almost infinite development.

The content of C.P.E. Bach's work, though full of invention, lies within a somewhat narrow emotional range, but it is not less sincere in thought than polished and felicitous in phrase. Again he was probably the first composer of eminence who made free use of harmonic colour for its own sake since the time of Lassus, Monteverdi, and Gesualdo, and in this way also he takes rank among the most important pioneers of the First Viennese School. His name fell into some neglect during the 19th century, with Robert Schumann notoriously opining that "as a creative musician he remained very far behind his father"; in contrast, Johannes Brahms held Emanuel Bach in high regard and edited some of his music. Today, no student of music can afford to disregard Emanuel's Sonaten für Kenner und Liebhaber, his oratorios Die Israeliten in der Wüste and Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu, and several harpsichord concertos such as those in G major (Wq. 3) and D major (Wq. 11). Also, his Flute Concerto in D Minor (Wq. 22), due to its unparalleled mellifluous opening movement, has been performed by the greatest flautists world-wide, including Jean-Pierre Rampal.

As you can see from this, Emanuel Bach was a prodigious and influential composer. It is rather surprising that many people have heard little if any of his work. Bach is now considered to be a member of (founder?) the School of Sensibility or Empfindsang, who rebelled from the simplicity of the galant by writing works (particularly on the keyboard) which were heavily sentimental and emotional, and with a good deal more intricacy than galant works possessed. His keyboard instrument of choice was the clavichord, something that we haven't discussed much so far except in passing. Since we have a clavichord expert here on the forum, I shall essay to have him lead a bit of a discussion for us. But suffice to say that the clavichord offers more possibilities for expressing emotion in music than do either the harpsichord or the rather primitive versions of the fortepiano that existed in the period from 1745-65 when much of Bach's greatest works were produced. If you would like to hear, not only Bach, but a clavichord in action, Miklos Spanyi has done a great many of the sonatas and fantasias on BIS, and they are available for download (at 320kbps MP3) at eclassical.com. I might recommend the Württemberg Sonatas set as a first choice. Some others of his works which are more generally known are his cello concertos and sinfonias. Very recommendable. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Bogey on March 14, 2009, 05:47:06 PM
I would be interested to know your thoughts on whether the Classical and the Romantic were 2 different eras in music history, or whether they represent a spectrum of one style that stretched from the (putative) end of the Baroque through the advent of atonalism. 

2 different with some well crafted bridgework in between, but not always.  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 14, 2009, 06:28:05 PM
Gurn,

What a wonderful post you've dedicated to CPE Bach!  I'm ashamed to say that I'm one of those people who have heard little of his music, but what I have heard I've liked greatly.  I have the symphony and cello concerto set from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Anner Bylsma on the cello) and adore it.  I should probably go get some more some time!  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 06:46:34 PM
Gurn,

What a wonderful post you've dedicated to CPE Bach!  I'm ashamed to say that I'm one of those people who have heard little of his music, but what I have heard I've liked greatly.  I have the symphony and cello concerto set from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Anner Bylsma on the cello) and adore it.  I should probably go get some more some time!  :)

Thanks, Sorin. I think that Bach is one of the most ignored composers around, so don't feel like you're alone. In fact, you have more than many do. One thing I will say, he isn't an easy composer to get into. He has his own idiom, and since he preceded what we call High Classical, his idea of sonata form is not OUR idea of sonata form. In fact, in keeping with his "emotionalism in music" ideas, many of his best works are fantasias so they don't adhere to a particular form, or at least not to one that is easy to pick out. It took me a while to get my mind around Bach, but it was worth the effort. :)

8)



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Listening to:
Divertimentos & Sestetto - L'Archibudelli / Koster / Hasselmann - K 320b 334 Divertimento #17 in D 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2009, 06:47:41 PM
2 different with some well crafted bridgework in between, but not always.  ;D

Ah, the Master Tapdancer from Colorado is heard from... ;D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Divertimentos & Sestetto - L'Archibudelli / Koster / Hasselmann - K 320b 334 Divertimento #17 in D 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 14, 2009, 07:18:50 PM
Gurn - as you already know, responding to your post in this forum format of the differences of the 'Classical vs. Romantic' era is impossible since even the experts writing on the topic don't agree - so, how are us 'amateurs' going to give a lucid explanation?  :) ;D

But, just some considerations:  First, what is the definition of the 'Classical Period' - the end of the Baroque period is usually dated by the death of JS Bach, i.e. 1750; of course, this is just a convenience, and the transition was much longer, i.e. early to later 18th century.  Second, the end or transition into the so-called 'Romantic Period' is generally accepted as early 19th century, i.e. 1820 is an average; so, one can define the 'Classical Period' as extending from 1750 to 1820, but a simplification.

Thus, what other events where occuring @ the times that impacted on these definitions; e.g. the 18th century was looking back into the more ancient Roman & Greek civilizations as 'classic' examples; these became models in art, architecture, and other areas including music; however, by the early 19th century, the concept of 'Romaticism' was entering the influences of the times, including literature and music.

Of course, yet another consideration is that these 'musical periods' were defined in retrospect, i.e. Mozart & Haydn did not considered themselves as part of the 'Classical Period', which was defined 'after the fact', and the same for the early Romantic period. So, these terms are in a way 'artificial' and applied by later historians trying to fit these periods of music into a 'timely course' that may (or may not) be true?

Now, beyond the cultural & artistic (i.e. other than music) changes that were occurring, the change in music is important, including other factors, such as dramatic evolution of the orchestras in these times, evolution of the instruments (e.g. woodwinds & the keyboards), and the change in 'sponsorship' of muscians & composers, i.e. those dependent on aristocracy/church sponosors to those becoming 'performers & free-lancers' - just so many factors that enter into this whole discussion.

Finally, another consideration is the evolution of the 'sonata form' - in the Baroque Period, instrumental music revolved around suites w/ mutliple movements often based on 'dance' formats; Haydn & Mozart as the 'supreme' examples of their times wrote & evolved the 'sonata form' in which the previous binary forms and dance forms of works were put into the more standard (from our modern perspective) into the 3 or 4 movement pieces w/ the 'sonata form' being the standard - this seems to be of major importance in the mid- to later 18th century, which continued at least into the early compositions of Beethoven.

Now, the transition from Mozart/Haydn through Beethoven/Schubert into the early 19th century is just a more difficult period to explain, and likely the reason that the 'expert writers' on this topic disagree; again, non-musical changes at the times in the arts & the literature may be the keys to how composers responded, e.g. Schubert & Schumann in their lieders (not an area of my expertise); but later Beethoven (i.e. the 3rd Symphony & beyond), Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique), and others from that era appear on the scene, the music has changed.

Obviously, these issues & questions raise further thoughts & considerations, and there likely will never to a clear concensus regarding your original question - but will be interested in the responses of others.  Dave  :)

P.S. May be 'stirring up the pot' - but will in interesting!  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 14, 2009, 08:27:49 PM
...many of his best works are fantasias so they don't adhere to a particular form...

It just so happens that I love fantasias!   :)  Any recommendations?  ;D

(http://i42.tinypic.com/uwz7n.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 15, 2009, 05:14:40 AM
I would be interested to know your thoughts on whether the Classical and the Romantic were 2 different eras in music history, or whether they represent a spectrum of one style that stretched from the (putative) end of the Baroque through the advent of atonalism.  Obviously I have an opinion, which I have expressed here a couple of times already, but I would like to hear what champions of both points of view have to say to maintain their points of view. Clearly we won't get far without a definition of terms, so if you are a believer in a Romantic Era, then it would be a good start to define precisely what it entails... :)

Thanks for your interest,
8)

Very hard topic, as is any discussion on "boundaries" between musical periods. There is nothing like that, from my perspective; I guess it is much more appropriate to say "this is music from about 1830" than to say "it is classical" or "it is romantic". I was reading yesterday an interview to the Chilean pianist Alfredo Perl where he described Mendelssohn as "the last of the classics". He's not completely right, but at the same time he's not completely wrong.

CPE Bach and Gluck, for example, have several common traits with baroque, and it is natural that it is thus. But if you compare, for example, an early opera from Gluck and Iphigénie en Tauride, you will notice an evident difference. The same happens with Beethoven, Weber or Schubert. But to my ears it is incredible to see that the arguments about "baroque", "classicism" or "romanticism" are focused on CPE Bach or Beethoven, while we have one composer, Haydn, who travelled almost transversally from baroque to romanticism. Maybe it is an intuition of mine, but I have the feeling that among future musicologists there will be even further attention over the magnitude of what Haydn did during his musical life. Haydn was born in 1732, so all his musical training was essentially baroque: it is not a coincidence that him and Albrechtsberger (if I remember correctly) were trained in (and trained) Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. Listening to early works by Haydn (for instance, the early masses) illustrate appropriately about this background. Jump then half a century towards Die Schöpfung or, most of all, Die Jahreszeiten. I cannot claim these to be "romantic" works, but Haydn was clearly leading music to a style that was not exactly the same of, to say, the London symphonies. Had he been really active from 1801 to 1809 (his last big work was the Harmoniemesse), I'm sure he wouldn't have been a conservative composer: it was not his nature.

Well, all this unnecessary development was to say that in Haydn (a composer traditionally qualified as "classical") you can find baroque, classical and even romantic features.

In that way, Gurn is not necessarily wrong when he describes classical and romantic music as a single era. It depends on what. If you take, for example, the prevalence (not universality) of two modes (major and minor), then baroque-classical-romantic could be described as one era. But if you take the existence of a continuo, baroque and early classical would be separated from late classical and romanticism. And so on.

This means that strict qualifications will be often inaccurate. However, even if they are not precise, they can be useful for explaining certain attributes. It is just in this instrumental purpose that I believe the famous "eras" can be rightly defended. I myself have a kind of "recipe" for qualifying works as classical: I consider as such the works composed between 1760 and 1830 by composers born before 1800. But I wouldn't dare to make it universal, for it is a flexible parameter which I know can provide many failures (for example, Cherubini's last 4 string quartets are classical to me, but composed after 1830; Mendelssohn's overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream is mostly classical to me, but he was born in 1809; Arriaga was born in 1806, but all his works sound classical to me).

Summarizing, these qualifications must be granted their proper value: an introduction for understanding the main features in musical history. Music does not leap from one "period" to another, but evolves progressively.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 15, 2009, 07:16:22 AM
C.P.E. Bach (courtesy of bach-cantatas.com)
Born: March 8, 1714 - Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
Died: December 14, 1788 - Hamburg, Germany

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German musician and composer, the second son of J.S. Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. He was a founder of the Classical style..................

........but a clavichord in action, Miklos Spanyi has done a great many of the sonatas and fantasias on BIS, and they are available for download (at 320kbps MP3) at eclassical.com. I might recommend the Württemberg Sonatas set as a first choice. Some others of his works which are more generally known are his cello concertos and sinfonias. Very recommendable. :)

Gurn - thanks for the bio information & comments on CPE Bach - he was indeed a prolific & versatile composer, and an important bridge between his father's sytle of music and that developed later in the 18th century.  For those not familiar w/ his works, one excellent 'bargain' introduction to his orchestral output is the 2-CD set of Cello Concertos & Symphonies w/ Bylsma & Leonhardt; but he wrote a lot of more 'intimate' music, esp. for the flute (since that was the instrument played by his 'boss', Frederick the Great) - if interested in the flute, the 2-CD set below w/ Barthold Kuijken on a period flute is another outstanding bargain (if not OOP?).

Q has been applauding those Miklos Spanyi recordings for a while now - on my 'wish list' but there are SO MANY!  Where to start - love the clavichord, but have few discs w/ that instrument featured -  :-\


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61PJY29XQQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://www.classicsonline.com/images/cds/ACC24171.gif)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 15, 2009, 11:08:33 AM
Dave & Gabriel,
Excellent posts. Lots of information there, almost too much to address point by point. So let me just expand a bit on my own ideas and see if it rebuts or supports your POV's. :)

Well, the Baroque is not hard to define, or at least to separate from the periods on either side of it. Polyphonic (carried over from earlier times), but different instruments (at least you see the development of later instruments evolving through the period; viol family to violins, virginal to harpsichord etc.), and great development of triadic, major/minor contrasts. But little in the way of dynamics. By the end of the period, lutes are gone, flutes are transverse instead of bec, the entire violin family is featured (although the gamba bass hung on for a while). And many woodwinds have been improved or even introduced (chalumeau (clarinet) and great improvement in bassoon and oboe). But the music itself undergoes the greatest change. Polyphony is hugely reduced (disappearing altogether for a little while (except in church music)), sonata form comes into prominence, orchestral dynamics take center stage and keyboard dynamics become possible through the use of the new fortepiano, melody is king. Early on, many of the dance forms of the Baroque disappear, only the minuet is retained and it assumes a form not suitable for dancing to. And new genres develop as old ones disappear. It is fair to say that you can pick out a Bach or Händel work from an early Haydn one, yes? :)

But look at the differences between "Classical" and "Romantic" now. The same genres persist right up until the end. The music is still homophonic, melodic, tonal (major/minor, triadic, tonal center). Even such classical oddities as the sinfonia concertante live til the end (Brahms' double concerto is a late example). In fact, there isn't any difference that you can single out to say "this is Romantic music now". At various times throughout the period, call it neo-classical or neo-romantic or whatever, the trend has gone back and forth towards more unusual key changes, or more or less density, or whatever other "hallmark" of one or the other that you want to assign, but these are nothing more than fads of the times, and they swing back the other way just as often.

Even Gabriel's assignment of a birthdate to a composer doesn't hold up (IMO) because you have composers early on who were born well back in the 18th century. One example I can think of easily is IMO the first "Romantic" composer, Carl Maria von Weber who was born in 1786. And I discovered that HE tended to write more in fantasia form because he absolutely had a block about writing in sonata form. All of his compositions that have a classical sonata-allegro opening movement, he wrote the other movements first and then went back and struggled through the first movement until he finally got it. So he avoided it whenever possible. :)   

Anyway, I believe that there is no justification for breaking the Homophonic Era into two parts. You had early composers who wrote more "romantically", and later composers who wrote more "classically". So the real justification is to call the entire era from the Age of Polyphony to the Age of Cacophony the Classico-Romantic or Age of Homophony.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;D (unless you give me a reason to do otherwise, of course)

8)


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Listening to:
Heidelberger Sinfoniker / Thomas Fey - Hob 01 094 Symphony in G 1st mvmt - Adagio - Vivace assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 15, 2009, 03:02:19 PM
Great post, Gurn. Some comments on it:

Quote
Polyphonic (carried over from earlier times), but different instruments (at least you see the development of later instruments evolving through the period; viol family to violins, virginal to harpsichord etc.)...

I don't think the instrumental argumentation is really important for explaining the change of style.

Quote
But little in the way of dynamics.

This is indeed an important difference between baroque and classical.

Quote
It is fair to say that you can pick out a Bach or Händel work from an early Haydn one, yes?

Yes, but the comparison is not quite fair. If you compare early Haydn with Italian composers of the era, like Sammartini, there would be some more problems for drawing a line.

Quote
Even Gabriel's assignment of a birthdate to a composer doesn't hold up (IMO) because you have composers early on who were born well back in the 18th century.

I already said that the utility of the rule I explained was merely instrumental and is not intended to be always right.

Quote
In fact, there isn't any difference that you can single out to say "this is Romantic music now". At various times throughout the period, call it neo-classical or neo-romantic or whatever, the trend has gone back and forth towards more unusual key changes, or more or less density, or whatever other "hallmark" of one or the other that you want to assign, but these are nothing more than fads of the times, and they swing back the other way just as often.

This argument is interesting, but in my opinion not completely accurate. In fact, harmonic evolution is not just the one of "unusual key changes", but also considers different tonal functions for the key changes. Subordinate sections are not mainly written in the dominant or sub-dominant, but in other keys related to the tonic. And this, Gurn, is not just theory, but sounds different to most listeners. You will tell me that it had begun in the classical era, and I will answer that it is true, but in romanticism it was much more evident than in classicism.

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Anyway, I believe that there is no justification for breaking the Homophonic Era into two parts.

Unfortunately for your nomenclature, the Homophonic Era has a lot of polyphony inside. I would say that the strongest rejection of polyphony was during the period 1750-1775 for the style galant, but was never absolute. The reduction of strict counterpoint doesn't mean that there is no counterpoint. In fact, one of Chopin's most acid criticisms against Beethoven was that - sometimes - "he had turned his back towards the eternal principles". Those were the ones of counterpoint.

To end this post, already too long: as I explained, all these criticisms I develop "against" your position are not radical; it is just that I think that "eras" can qualify in different senses. As you talk about the "homophonic era" including classical and romantic, I can talk about the "tonal era" including those two plus baroque. These qualifications are not strictly correct, nor strictly incorrect, but they can be useful for our understanding of music.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 15, 2009, 04:30:18 PM
Great post, Gurn. Some comments on it:

I don't think the instrumental argumentation is really important for explaining the change of style.

Thanks for your reply. I love it when I have to think. :)

Instrumentation's importance is relevant by the possibilities that were opened up. Orchestral playing was especially affected by the improvements in staying in tune, for example. And tone color began to be of some importance too. Many Baroque pieces were composed for unspecified instruments. Many times, it didn't matter, as long as you could get them all in the same room and somewhat in tune with each other... ;)

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This is indeed an important difference between baroque and classical.

:)

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Yes, but the comparison is not quite fair. If you compare early Haydn with Italian composers of the era, like Sammartini, there would be some more problems for drawing a line.

But Sammartini's sinfonias were always homophonic, AFAIK. And Haydn actually started out with church music (thanks to Reutter), so he did indeed learn and use counterpoint early on (with much thanks to Fux, of course). Italian sinfonias and opera overtures and en'tractes were the model for the Germans. And Italian composers in Germany (especially Jomelli) were major players with people like Johann Stamitz in Mannheim. If you are saying that it would be hard to tell early Haydn from Sammartini, yes, I agree with you. But Sammartini wasn't Baroque, at least not by 1745 or so... :-\


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I already said that the utility of the rule I explained was merely instrumental and is not intended to be always right.

Yes you did, my bad.  0:)

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This argument is interesting, but in my opinion not completely accurate. In fact, harmonic evolution is not just the one of "unusual key changes", but also considers different tonal functions for the key changes. Subordinate sections are not mainly written in the dominant or sub-dominant, but in other keys related to the tonic. And this, Gurn, is not just theory, but sounds different to most listeners. You will tell me that it had begun in the classical era, and I will answer that it is true, but in romanticism it was much more evident than in classicism.


I submit that this is simply evolutionary and not a cause for declaring a new era in music. Schubert (to pick one on the cusp) often made cadences out of changes from major to minor instead of tonic to dominant. His contemporaries thought that he was a bit strange, but they didn't really object to it as rule breaking. Certainly, music changed and evolved over time. Even Brahms at his most classicizing doesn't sound just like Mozart at his most romanticizing. :)  But I contend that this is simply evolution and not a wholesale change.

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Unfortunately for your nomenclature, the Homophonic Era has a lot of polyphony inside. I would say that the strongest rejection of polyphony was during the period 1750-1775 for the style galant, but was never absolute. The reduction of strict counterpoint doesn't mean that there is no counterpoint. In fact, one of Chopin's most acid criticisms against Beethoven was that - sometimes - "he had turned his back towards the eternal principles". Those were the ones of counterpoint.

True enough. But you won't find a true, strict fugue written in this time, for example. Even Beethoven's Große Fuge, is not the sort of fugue that a Baroque composer would have tossed out. Counterpoint was rescued from the oblivion it was consigned to by the galant composers because it was found to be necessary to make music interesting to listeners. Haydn's 4th movement canons in Op 20 were a major part of that, of course. But I wonder at the accuracy of Chopin's statement. I guess the "sometimes" is a necessary qualifier, since Beethoven was a master of counterpoint when it suited him to be. :)

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To end this post, already too long: as I explained, all these criticisms I develop "against" your position are not radical; it is just that I think that "eras" can qualify in different senses. As you talk about the "homophonic era" including classical and romantic, I can talk about the "tonal era" including those two plus baroque. These qualifications are not strictly correct, nor strictly incorrect, but they can be useful for our understanding of music.

Yes, I won't argue the utility. What bothers me is the useless (and vituperative!) arguments that are raised over things like "was Beethoven a Classical or Romantic composer?" or Schubert, or whoever. I think that these terms, which are literary rather than musical, cause people to waste way too much time arguing things that have no meaning, almost as though they DID have meaning. :)  If you stipulate up front that the Classical and Romantic were 2 different extremes of the same phenomenon, and that between the extremes there is a good blend of both, then those arguments become moot. ;)

Cheers,
Gurn 8)


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Listening to:
Heidelberger Sinfoniker / Thomas Fey - Hob 01 082 Symphony in C 2nd mvmt - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 15, 2009, 05:10:52 PM
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But you won't find a true, strict fugue written in this time, for example. Even Beethoven's Große Fuge, is not the sort of fugue that a Baroque composer would have tossed out.

There are examples for sure, but they are not very frequent. On counterpoint in general, for example both Mozart and Cherubini left pages in which they proved that they were perfectly capable of composing in stile antico. On the other hand, the most radical one was Rejcha: when Beethoven read the fugues op. 36 composed by his exact contemporary, he exclaimed that those were no longer fugues. In fact, Rejcha comes as a very good example of "personal" counterpoint during the classical period. His music is filled with inventive and surprising contrapuntal pages.

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But I wonder at the accuracy of Chopin's statement. I guess the "sometimes" is a necessary qualifier, since Beethoven was a master of counterpoint when it suited him to be.

Yes, "sometimes" is the proper meaning. I guess Chopin didn't doubt of Beethoven's genius, but he expressed his concern about what was "obscure" in Beethoven's music.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on March 16, 2009, 09:33:23 AM
I don't want to interrupt the conversation with silliness, so I'll keep this short...

In tagging ripped CDs, especially of Haydn, my obsession with uniformity of units has been serverely tested at times. The biggest confusion is: why do some symphonies generally have all sources (printed media, online, CD booklets, etc) prefix the tempo marking of the final movement with "finale", eg "IV. Finale: Allegro", wheras the same sources are all in agreement on not adding this prefix to the final movements of certain other works, eg "IV. Presto". Also, in modern use, would using the finale term be redundant (as we know what is coming anyway) or is there a logic behind its application?

...I get the feeling I just asked something very dumb :P
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 16, 2009, 11:34:54 AM
I don't want to interrupt the conversation with silliness, so I'll keep this short...

In tagging ripped CDs, especially of Haydn, my obsession with uniformity of units has been serverely tested at times. The biggest confusion is: why do some symphonies generally have all sources (printed media, online, CD booklets, etc) prefix the tempo marking of the final movement with "finale", eg "IV. Finale: Allegro", wheras the same sources are all in agreement on not adding this prefix to the final movements of certain other works, eg "IV. Presto". Also, in modern use, would using the finale term be redundant (as we know what is coming anyway) or is there a logic behind its application?

...I get the feeling I just asked something very dumb :P

Not dumb at all, and unfortunately, my answer is based on circumstantial evidence.

Up until Beethoven, who wrote out everything down to the smallest detail, it was very common for composers to only write out a tempo indication when it was something other than "Allegro" for a first movement, and they also allowed the musicians to infer the tempo for the last movement by simply writing "Finale". Last movements were frequently Allegro also. If it was something else, it would be written out, but if it was Allegro, then they would just write Finale, OR (and here my lack of musical knowledge to bolster my historic knowledge plays me foul) they let the tempo be dictated by the time signature. Maybe a musician will help here. I know what I want to say but lack the technical knowledge to say it correctly. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 16, 2009, 12:20:34 PM
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Up until Beethoven, who wrote out everything down to the smallest detail...

This remark reminds me on an evolution during the classical period that, as much as I can remember, has not been touched in previous posts: the role of improvisation. Until the end of mid-classical (so until 1805 or so) it was quite an important part of any perfomance, in vocal or in instrumental music. Late classical began with the trend of indicating more precisely - sometimes obsessively - dynamics, tempi and other musical aspects. There are many examples for this. Beethoven is quite evident, but, for example, the fioriture that Hummel wrote in his piano scores are a sign of the same movement: in other times, that ornamentation would have been left freely to the discretion and good taste of the performer.

On improvisation in itself as an independent artistic expression, I cannot comment too much, for I don't know accurately what happened after 1830. Before 1830, the most distinguished soloists, and I think mainly about pianists, would normally offer an improvisation during a concert: Mozart, Beethoven and Hummel were all very fond of this practice. But the fact that Chopin labeled as such written compositions can give a certain clue on a change in mentality. What to say nowadays: to my knowledge, solo performances almost never delight the audience with improvisation.

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I get the feeling I just asked something very dumb.

On the contrary, I think it's a very good question. Gurn exposed the most important points. It is not strange, in music before 1800 or so, to find movements without any tempo indication; if it was a concerto, and the middle movement had no precision on this point, you had to play it slowly. A finale was to be simply an allegro... but if it was following the typical Italian pattern, because, for example, a French influence on the work could make it be Tempo di menuetto. Anyway, these cases - to my experience - were generally described as that. I agree with Gurn that a professional musician or musicologist could help us a lot in this aspect.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 16, 2009, 05:49:43 PM
This remark reminds me on an evolution during the classical period that, as much as I can remember, has not been touched in previous posts: the role of improvisation. Until the end of mid-classical (so until 1805 or so) it was quite an important part of any perfomance, in vocal or in instrumental music. Late classical began with the trend of indicating more precisely - sometimes obsessively - dynamics, tempi and other musical aspects. There are many examples for this. Beethoven is quite evident, but, for example, the fioriture that Hummel wrote in his piano scores are a sign of the same movement: in other times, that ornamentation would have been left freely to the discretion and good taste of the performer.

On improvisation in itself as an independent artistic expression, I cannot comment too much, for I don't know accurately what happened after 1830. Before 1830, the most distinguished soloists, and I think mainly about pianists, would normally offer an improvisation during a concert: Mozart, Beethoven and Hummel were all very fond of this practice. But the fact that Chopin labeled as such written compositions can give a certain clue on a change in mentality. What to say nowadays: to my knowledge, solo performances almost never delight the audience with improvisation.

Yes, it was a big change, and not necessarily one for the better. Although as you say, taste was of the ultimate importance, even (especially?) with cadenzas, and Beethoven, for one, simply didn't trust the average performer to improvise a cadenza that didn't detract from the effect rather than adding to it. As for modern performers performing their own cadenzas, and adding other improvisations, I can name exactly one, that is, Robert Levin. And he gets a fair amount of flak for it by the greater share of ignorant critics and other fans because he doesn't "play it as written". But what the heck, Mozart only wrote out a few, and they probably weren't what he played himself, just some things for students and amateurs. I am very fond of Levin's playing, and particularly his improvisations. Anyone who complains about them (unless he doesn't do one well) doesn't know anything about Classical music... :)

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On the contrary, I think it's a very good question. Gurn exposed the most important points. It is not strange, in music before 1800 or so, to find movements without any tempo indication; if it was a concerto, and the middle movement had no precision on this point, you had to play it slowly. A finale was to be simply an allegro... but if it was following the typical Italian pattern, because, for example, a French influence on the work could make it be Tempo di menuetto. Anyway, these cases - to my experience - were generally described as that. I agree with Gurn that a professional musician or musicologist could help us a lot in this aspect.

I have made approaches. Hoping to get some help here. :)

8)


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Listening to:
Heidelberger Sinfoniker / Thomas Fey - Hob 01 084 Symphony in Eb 1st mvmt - Largo - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on March 16, 2009, 09:58:46 PM
Thank you very much - this also explains another oddity in music from this era (and the Baroque) which is some movements having the allegro marking in brackets.

A final question in this vein - excluding any additional markings, are the different spellings used by the same sources for the various minuets in Haydn's symphonies indicative of differences in style, or are they relics from different translations/editions? Examples (all from the Goodman cycle):

No.42: Menuet. Allegretto
No.43: Menuetto
No.49: Menuet
No.77: Menuetto. Allegro

From what I gather, menuetto is the Italian form of the word, menuet the French - could this indicate a subtle difference in the way they should be interpreted?

Sorry hehe, I am just a control freak...
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: springrite on March 16, 2009, 10:04:28 PM
No.42: Menuet. Allegretto
No.43: Menuetto
No.49: Menuet
No.77: Menuetto. Allegro

From what I gather, menuetto is the Italian form of the word, menuet the French - could this indicate a subtle difference in the way they should be interpreted?

Sorry hehe, I am just a control freak...

Menuet IS a menuet while minuetto is like saying "in the style of a minuet". The difference is subtle.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on March 16, 2009, 10:07:55 PM
Menuet IS a menuet while minuetto is like saying "in the style of a minuet". The difference is subtle.

Oh, that makes a lot of sense, thanks! :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on March 17, 2009, 05:25:39 AM
Finally, another consideration is the evolution of the 'sonata form' - in the Baroque Period, instrumental music revolved around suites w/ mutliple movements often based on 'dance' formats; Haydn & Mozart as the 'supreme' examples of their times wrote & evolved the 'sonata form' in which the previous binary forms and dance forms of works were put into the more standard (from our modern perspective) into the 3 or 4 movement pieces w/ the 'sonata form' being the standard - this seems to be of major importance in the mid- to later 18th century, which continued at least into the early compositions of Beethoven.

I am confused by the qualification at least into the early compositions here;  Beethoven employed sonata design practically to his last score. (To say nothing of Brahms and later . . . .)  Or am I misreading you?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on March 17, 2009, 05:29:16 AM
For the last few weeks, I've been going through the 11 CD box set of Mozart's complete Serenades & Divertimenti for strings and wind, which includes performances from the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Hollinger Wind and Netherlands Wind Ensemble (Philips).  There is such glorious, bright music that at times puts a smile on my face that I cannot hide.  It includes one of my favorite works of Mozart......no (not Eine kleine Nachtmusik, but that is a good one ;)), but the Serenade for Winds in B flat, K.361 Gran Partita.  This Mozart masterpiece moves me unlike anything else, with the only near equal being the Requiem.

Today, I'm finishing off the cycle by listening to disc 5, which includes the March for strings in D, K.445 and the mammoth Divertimento for strings in D, K.334   :)

When people discuss the greatness of Mozart, yes....we mention the great operas, symphonies, piano concerti, sacred works, string quartets and quintets, and even the orchestral serenades......but don't ignore the string and wind serenades and divertimenti!  It is much, much more than just Eine kleine Nachtmusik!!   :)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on March 17, 2009, 05:31:47 AM
On the subject of the minuet, or menuet, or the 'ole classical scherzo', as I like to call it.  I seem to greatly prefer Haydn's to Mozart's in this regard.  :-\
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on March 17, 2009, 05:52:49 AM
On improvisation in itself as an independent artistic expression, I cannot comment too much, for I don't know accurately what happened after 1830. Before 1830, the most distinguished soloists, and I think mainly about pianists, would normally offer an improvisation during a concert: Mozart, Beethoven and Hummel were all very fond of this practice. But the fact that Chopin labeled as such written compositions can give a certain clue on a change in mentality. What to say nowadays: to my knowledge, solo performances almost never delight the audience with improvisation.

Likewise, I wait on the word of one who knows better.  One notion that comes to mind is that, many of Chopin's appearances were in salons, and there would not have been any printed program.  Part of his aesthetic was that the composition should cohere well (be a composition) and yet have a sense of spontaneity.  To his audience, it would not have made a great difference, perhaps, if one of the works he performed had been 'genuine improvisation' or a consideredly-composed Impromptu (Schubert wrote Impromptus as well, of course).

To an extent, I think this is as much continuum as any break from (say) JS Bach.  Recall Old Bach's visit to Sans Souci, and Frederick's request that he improvise a fugue on the famously chromatically tortuous theme.  When Bach afterwards sent The Musical Offering, it was bookended with the Ricercars . . . one in three voices, the other in six.  IIRC it is understood that the six-voice fugue Bach composed at his desk as a belated compliance with the regal request, and that the three-voice fugue was largely based on his impromptu performance while at court.  As such, the three-voice Ricercar is a tour-de-force, no question . . . but (from a compositional perspective) there is a certain reliance of figuration-filler . . . nothing musically 'wrong' with that (of course), and yet an element which does not make it quite so distinctive, compositionally.

I suppose that part of the shading into the Romantic from the Classical, is the allied idea of making every note count, in a sense.  A resistance to repeating oneself;  not that Mozart or Haydn (any more than Vivaldi or Bach) were 'churning out copy', of course.  But a sort of attitude adjustment over time.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on March 17, 2009, 05:55:29 AM
On the subject of the minuet, or menuet, or the 'ole classical scherzo', as I like to call it.  I seem to greatly prefer Haydn's to Mozart's in this regard.  :-\

Haydn, I also find, is simply the only composer who can write minuets of consistent musical value.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 17, 2009, 05:31:08 PM
Menuet IS a menuet while minuetto is like saying "in the style of a minuet". The difference is subtle.

I'm not so sure if this is the difference. To my understanding, minuet and menuetto are the same thing, in French and Italian respectively, as Lethe suggested. Now, another thing is the expression "tempo di menuetto", which would be closer to what Springrite suggests.

To an extent, I think this is as much continuum as any break from (say) JS Bach.

Improvisation had quite a role also in baroque. This makes me remember that this "control" over performances began - at least in opera - quite before 1800: one of Gluck's interests on the reform of stage music was to avoid excessive protagonism from the soloists, particularly coming from Italian opera. Part of this problem came from their flexibility for improvising ornamentations in an aria da capo or so.

The problem is that, from my perspective, Gluck's intervention can be assigned a parallel in the music of Beethoven or Hummel of half a century later, but the focus is not exactly the same. Gluck, by the restriction of these interventions, was looking for a greater dramatic effect, for the dramatic action was obviously suspended in an aria of several minutes long which repeated whole sections (Mozart's early operas show that this was very present even into the 1770s). In instrumental works, it's impossible to talk about dramatic effects proprio sensu, but it's evident that there was a progressive tendency to make every section as meaningful as possible. For this, it's not necessary to wait until Beethoven's or Rejcha's late classicism: for example, in middle classicism (I mean Mozart or Haydn) it's possible to see that recapitulation in sonata form could be very far from a simple copy of exposition. So I can just agree with Karl when he states:

I suppose that part of the shading into the Romantic from the Classical, is the allied idea of making every note count, in a sense.  A resistance to repeating oneself;  not that Mozart or Haydn (any more than Vivaldi or Bach) were 'churning out copy', of course. But a sort of attitude adjustment over time.

The attitude was indeed adjusted. The great thing is that there is great music before, during, and after the adjustment; and also that the rediscovery of the role of improvisation before 1800 is making performances of works composed in those times, in my opinion, much more exciting.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 17, 2009, 05:47:51 PM
I am confused by the qualification at least into the early compositions here;  Beethoven employed sonata design practically to his last score. (To say nothing of Brahms and later . . . .)  Or am I misreading you?

Hello Karl - you know that I'm not in your professional 'league' here - what I meant is that Ludwig's early compositions were more attuned to those of Haydn & Mozart, using the 'sonata form' perfected arguably by those two composers; Beethoven after the Eroica Symphony in 1803 and beyond seemed to start evolving into a more Romantic style (whatever definition that may be - obviously, the 'emotional' interchanges between Gurn & Gabriel) - of course, he still used the 'sonata format' but you are a better interpreter of that issue that I can ever be -  :-\

I just find that the transition between the so-called Classic & Romantic Eras less a change in 'how' the music was constructed, i.e. using 'sonata form' or a variant vs. more of an emphasis on emotional interpretations & inter-relationships w/ other arts of the times, e.g. literature.

Now, Karl, why are you 'picking' on me in this discussion?  I'm just an old tenured Professor of Radiology?  Thanks for the comments - Dave  ;) :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 17, 2009, 06:00:47 PM
Hey, Dave,
Well, no winning now, you are under Karl's boot in perpetuity. ;D

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I just find that the transition between the so-called Classic & Romantic Eras less a change in 'how' the music was constructed, i.e. using 'sonata form' or a variant vs. more of an emphasis on emotional interpretations & inter-relationships w/ other arts of the times, e.g. literature.

This is an interesting statement, and one I agree with (without the emotion I have expended on Gabriel, of course  :D ). I think that one can put it in simpler terms and say that Classical music is more objective (from the composer's POV) and Romantic more subjective.

And another thing I would add is that Classical music is a collaboration between composer and listener; i.e. - the listener is actually expected to think about what he is hearing and draw conclusions from that, while in Romantic music the composer has done the thinking for you and you just follow along wherever he wants to take you. To tie in with our ongoing line of discussion, this is one of the primary reasons why improvisation disappeared during this time and "play it as written" became the accepted style.

8)


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Listening to:
Heifetz / Piatagorsky / Rubinstein - Ravel Trio in a for Piano & Strings WoO 3rd mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 17, 2009, 06:02:28 PM
Hello Karl - you know that I'm not in your professional 'league' here - what I meant is that Ludwig's early compositions were more attuned to those of Haydn & Mozart, using the 'sonata form' perfected arguably by those two composers; Beethoven after the Eroica Symphony in 1803 and beyond seemed to start evolving into a more Romantic style (whatever definition that may be - obviously, the 'emotional' interchanges between Gurn & Gabriel) - of course, he still used the 'sonata format' but you are a better interpreter of that issue that I can ever be -  :-\

I just find that the transition between the so-called Classic & Romantic Eras less a change in 'how' the music was constructed, i.e. using 'sonata form' or a variant vs. more of an emphasis on emotional interpretations & inter-relationships w/ other arts of the times, e.g. literature.

Now, Karl, why are you 'picking' on me in this discussion?  I'm just an old tenured Professor of Radiology?  Thanks for the comments - Dave  ;) :D

Anyway, Dave, it must be remembered that even if sonata form had an important role during classicism, it didn't represent the whole of music during this period. In larger instrumental works, it was generally used in the first movement, but in other movements it was not so often employed (excepting, perhaps, the cases of rondo-sonata form for the finales, but they are not general either).

Another contribution for the "emotion" of this thread... ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 18, 2009, 05:54:17 PM
Anyway, Dave, it must be remembered that even if sonata form had an important role during classicism, it didn't represent the whole of music during this period. In larger instrumental works, it was generally used in the first movement, but in other movements it was not so often employed (excepting, perhaps, the cases of rondo-sonata form for the finales, but they are not general either).

Another contribution for the "emotion" of this thread... ;)

To fortify that statement a bit, this note on Mozart's Prague Symphony:

"The so-called Prague Symphony is sometimes referred to by Germans as the Symphony ohne Menuett ("without minuet"); while Mozart had written such symphonies in his earlier years, this is the only one among the half-dozen composed in his Viennese years. What is far more unusual is that all three movements are in sonata form, a phenomenon perhaps unduplicated among Classical symphonies. Mozart and others (esp. Haydn) did indeed write a few works where all movements are in sonata form, it was a rarity. In fact, the other names by which sonata form is called give some hints to that; the 2 most common are "sonata-allegro" and "first movement form". Even the rondo had a long history before it was incorporated and given the required structure (exposition - (sometimes) development - recapitulation) to be adopted into the family. Something that Beethoven later accomplished (with the Op 34, 35 and WoO 80) with the long-standing variations, which had existed since the late 17th century at least. :)

8)



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Listening to:
Helsingborg SO / Frank - Norman Symphony #2 in Eb Op 40
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 19, 2009, 04:47:45 PM
A couple of pages back the subject of clavichords came up (in connection with CPE Bach). Here is a picture of Mozart's own clavichord, courtesy of the Mozarteum/Salzburg:

(http://www.mozartforum.com/images/Mozart%27s_Clavichord.jpg)

As you can see, it is far more portable than a piano, even the relatively smaller piano of the late 18th century. It also produces a far lower volume, although not entirely quiet. But the great attraction to composers of the Empfindsang was that it was very responsive to the player and could produce a tone which was very expressive. Bach was a master at taking full advantage of this capability in his works. It was reported that audience members actually wept as he played!  I would be interested in getting the reactions of any of you who have been fortunate enough to hear one in person. I have several recordings of them, and find them to be an acquired taste, but once acquired, one that steadily grows. :)

8)

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Listening to:
A Journey Around C.P.E. Bach - Miklos Spanyi - Tangent Piano, Concerto Armonico - Bach, C.P.E. - Keyboard Concerto in c - H448 - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 19, 2009, 05:17:46 PM
Another picture of a clavichord, this one showing a view as to how it is strung, and for those who are mechanically inclined, into how it works.

(http://www.musikinstrumente-restaurierung.de/instrumente/clavichord.jpg)



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Listening to: Wölfl Op 28 - Laure Colladant - Track 4
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 19, 2009, 05:49:10 PM
The tangent piano (Tangentenflügel)

A few days ago, I was asked about the tangent piano. Other than typing out liner notes (which I hate), I was not able to find much. At the time, I described the sound as being, to me, like a harpsichord, even though it is a hammer strike and not a pluck.

I found this little article on tangent pianos. And as it turns out, I have 2 disks with music played on them. One is of 2 works by Mozart (with the lovely K 300g_395  Capriccio in C for Keyboard and K 315g_315a 8 Menuets for Keyboard) by Guy Penson (on Brilliant) and the other is Miklos Spanyi playing some concertos by C.P.E. Bach.

Here is an interesting article that I DID find, courtesy of AllExperts.com:

Tangent piano
The tangent piano is a very rare keyboard instrument that resembles a harpsichord and early pianos in design. It normally features five octaves of keys and the strings are acted upon by narrow wooden or metal slips when the keys are depressed.

History
In 1440, Arnault de Zwolle described what is believed to be the first keyboard instrument which used a tangent action. It is speculated that this was a clavichord or harpsichord. Pantaleon Hebenstreit is credited with the creation in 1705 of the first tangent piano. Christoph Gottlieb Schroter claimed that he invented the new tangent piano by letting blank harpsichord jacks hit the strings, also incorporating dampers into the action. A famous early piano maker, Gottfried Silbermann, was making 'pantaleons' by 1727. The Germans gave another name to the pantaleon, the Tangentenflügel and the English 'tangent piano.'

In 1777, Mozart referred to the tangent piano as the "Spattisches Klavier," after the maker of tangent pianos, Spath. Other names included the Italian cembalo angelico, and the French clavecin harmonieux et celeste. This is all evidence that the tangent piano spread throughout Europe. By the earliest decade of the 19th century, Spath tangent pianos were sent all over the globe and given a wide 6 octave range, which enabled it to compete with the piano. At the same time, the fortepiano began to eclipse the harpsichord and clavichord as the keyboard instrument of choice.

The creation of the tangent piano, and the fortepiano, was a result of an attempt to remedy the lack of dynamics in harpsichord sound. Both the tangent piano and fortepiano offered a variety of sound that was appealing to the changes in classical music, which featured more expressiveness and intensity than the harpsichord could offer. The tangent piano had a short life in popularity, and dropped off somewhere in the late 1700s or early 1800s. The fortepiano, however, buried the harpsichord in popularity by 1800. It then slowly evolved to the massive modern iron-framed giant of 88 keys. The tangent piano's popularity lasted for such a short time, that very little music was written for it. It is possible that CPE Bach's keyboard concerti were written for this instrument or for the fortepiano. In either case, the tangent piano is an appropriate choice for the keyboard instrument in the concerti. In addition, other sons of the famous German composer JS Bach wrote pieces expressly for the tangent piano. Miklos Spanyi recently released a recording for them on the tangent piano.

Tonal quality
The tangent piano has an unusual sound that fuses the qualities of the harpsichord and piano. The treble resembles the bright sound from a light action piano, and the bass resembles the bass from a harpsichord. The sound from instrument to instrument varies, as does one's personal description of the tangent piano's sound.

And a little picture. The few pictures I found weren't very revealing or the architecture, beyond that they resemble a clavichord with the strings running perpendicular to the keys:

(http://www.piano1111.com/zboard/data/archive_01/978425198.jpg)

Anyway, the best thing is to hear one. If you happen to have Brilliant's Mozart "Big Box", you can hear the Penson Mozart there. You may have done, and not even realized it was a tangent piano!  :)

8)


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Listening to:
Wölfl Op 28 - Laure Colladant - Track 7
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2009, 02:32:18 PM
Gurn - thanks for the notes on the Clavichord & Tangent Piano - next on my 'to do list' is an exploration of some of the recommendations already made on these instruments; I've picked up some Lute Harpsichord recently, so now must add a few discs of these 'other' keyboard instruments; BTW, for those wanting to experience the clavichord in a more modern recording, a favorite of mine from the time of release (shown below), i.e. Oscar Peterson & Joe Pass performing Porgy & Bess on clavichord & guitar, respectively - wonderful!  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MP86GGVZL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2009, 02:52:38 PM
Pertinent to this post, a book & a composer from the transitional galant period:

Haydn, Mozart, and the Viennese School:  1740-1780 by Daniel Heartz (1995) - first volume of a triology!  :D  This is an inter-library load from the North Carolina School of the Arts (now part of the UNC state school system) in my home town; over 700+ pages - I'll not be reading this book 'word for word', the detail is just too much, but will be concentrating on some of the history and the major players in this 40 year period; but it is amazing 'how much' Heartz has gathered up in his research.

Today, read a long section of chapter 2 dedicated to the composer/teacher, Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777); his major influence occurred during the reign of Maria Theresa (Joseph II mother, i.e. the Emperor from 'Amadeus' fame), roughly 1740-60 (and later), but the guy apparently wrote a TON of music of all types, including much instrumental compositions, little of which seems to have been recorded - the only CD that I own is also shown below - Symphonies w/ Michi Gaigg & the L'Orfeo Barockorchester - there are 5 symphonies on the disc (numbered WV from 351 to 441; obviously much more in-between, and before/after) - these works are not 'heavy weights' like later Haydn & Mozart, but apparently Wagenseil was an important influence on Haydn & JC Bach (and likely many others) - would be very interested in some of this other works and recordings suggestions, although I don't believe a lot more exists!  Now, before & after the pages in this book by Heartz, a dozen or more composers quite famous in Vienna at the times were listed (again, I skipped over these 'unknowns' to me) and I checked Amazon & Arkiv, virtually nothing - boy, this is one city in a half century period - I just cannot imagine the AMOUNT of music that has been lost - mind boggling!  :o


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MNT1D1APL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/495227124_NsaGU-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 20, 2009, 04:52:20 PM
Pertinent to this post, a book & a composer from the transitional galant period:

Haydn, Mozart, and the Viennese School:  1740-1780 by Daniel Heartz (1995) - first volume of a triology!  :D  This is an inter-library load from the North Carolina School of the Arts (now part of the UNC state school system) in my home town; over 700+ pages - I'll not be reading this book 'word for word', the detail is just too much, but will be concentrating on some of the history and the major players in this 40 year period; but it is amazing 'how much' Heartz has gathered up in his research.

Today, read a long section of chapter 2 dedicated to the composer/teacher, Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777); his major influence occurred during the reign of Maria Theresa (Joseph II mother, i.e. the Emperor from 'Amadeus' fame), roughly 1740-60 (and later), but the guy apparently wrote a TON of music of all types, including much instrumental compositions, little of which seems to have been recorded - the only CD that I own is also shown below - Symphonies w/ Michi Gaigg & the L'Orfeo Barockorchester - there are 5 symphonies on the disc (numbered WV from 351 to 441; obviously much more in-between, and before/after) - these works are not 'heavy weights' like later Haydn & Mozart, but apparently Wagenseil was an important influence on Haydn & JC Bach (and likely many others) - would be very interested in some of this other works and recordings suggestions, although I don't believe a lot more exists!  Now, before & after the pages in this book by Heartz, a dozen or more composers quite famous in Vienna at the times were listed (again, I skipped over these 'unknowns' to me) and I checked Amazon & Arkiv, virtually nothing - boy, this is one city in a half century period - I just cannot imagine the AMOUNT of music that has been lost - mind boggling!  :o

Interesting post, Dave. I've wanted that book since I first saw it 5 or 6 years ago. My local library wasn't able to get a copy of it (but they aren't affiliated with a major university either). Darn the bad luck... >:(

I don't have any Wagenseil, not even as little as you do. But he features prominently in several books and essays I have on Haydn. As you note, he is a big early influence. Your mention of a lot of unknown music from this period in Vienna reminds me that in Zaslaw's "Mozart's Symphonies" book, he mentions that while looking at manuscripts in Vienna, there were in that one collection (Friends of Music) literally thousands of unknown manuscripts of just symphonies from the latter half of the 18th century. Surely a conservative estimate of 3% that had solid musical worth even would make for lots of new and interesting listening. :-\

8)

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Listening to:
Schubert: Impromptus; Moments musicaux - Lambert Orkis - Impromptu D899: No. 1 in c
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2009, 06:13:01 PM
Interesting post, Dave. I've wanted that book since I first saw it 5 or 6 years ago. My local library wasn't able to get a copy of it (but they aren't affiliated with a major university either). Darn the bad luck... >:(

I don't have any Wagenseil, not even as little as you do. But he features prominently in several books and essays I have on Haydn. As you note, he is a big early influence. Your mention of a lot of unknown music from this period in Vienna reminds me that in Zaslaw's "Mozart's Symphonies" book, he mentions that while looking at manuscripts in Vienna, there were in that one collection (Friends of Music) literally thousands of unknown manuscripts of just symphonies from the latter half of the 18th century. Surely a conservative estimate of 3% that had solid musical worth even would make for lots of new and interesting listening....

Gurn - believe that you would like that 'sole' Wagenseil disc that I own - but regarding his pretty much dominance as the court 'sweetheart' composer during the reign of Joesph II's Mother, Maria Theresa, he seems to have been almost completely forgotten!  And that single disc that I own is quite a pleasant listen, and an instructive 'bridge' between the Baroque-Classical periods - boy, what a lost!

But, I have that book opened @ the moment and just to mention some of the composers around the time of Wagenseil (and again they must have written hundreds of compositions, both vocal, instrumental, and combined) - Georg Reutter (who recruited the young Joseph Haydn as a singer), Franz Tuma, Matthias Monn, Wenzel Birck, Joseph Ziegler, and Schloger, Starzer, Asplmayr - and even many others mentioned more briefly in these pages - again, I'll be unable to really read this DETAILED book thoroughly but the author has certainly done a superlative job!

I'll try to periodically 'report' the important details of those composers which have been recorded so we can at least hear their music; so far, Wagenseil is the best choice, so far through the second chapter - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 20, 2009, 06:22:41 PM
Gurn - believe that you would like that 'sole' Wagenseil disc that I own - but regarding his pretty much dominance as the court 'sweetheart' composer during the reign of Joesph II's Mother, Maria Theresa, he seems to have been almost completely forgotten!  And that single disc that I own is quite a pleasant listen, and an instructive 'bridge' between the Baroque-Classical periods - boy, what a lost!

But, I have that book opened @ the moment and just to mention some of the composers around the time of Wagenseil (and again they must have written hundreds of compositions, both vocal, instrumental, and combined) - Georg Reutter (who recruited the young Joseph Haydn as a singer), Franz Tuma, Matthias Monn, Wenzel Birck, Joseph Ziegler, and Schloger, Starzer, Asplmayr - and even many others mentioned more briefly in these pages - again, I'll be unable to really read this DETAILED book thoroughly but the author has certainly done a superlative job!

I'll try to periodically 'report' the important details of those composers which have been recorded so we can at least hear their music; so far, Wagenseil is the best choice, so far through the second chapter - Dave  :)

If you'd like, I can read it for you and send you a nice summary... ;D

I have maybe 1 work each from half of those guys (like Monn and Tuma, for example), but mostly not. Just names in books. :(      I did discover that I have 1 work by Wagenseil, BTW. It is his trombone concerto, on a disk with several others from the 1760's (on Naxos, and I have it twice in fact, once on ... ummm, rats, can't remember. Hungaroton, I think). Anyway, I just listened to it again and it was as nice as I remembered. Anyway, not much from a guy who wrote so much, and who was such an influence on his peers. :-\

8)

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Listening to:
MYSLIVECEK: Symphonies - I. Allegro Con Spirito - Symphony in Bb, F.30: 1.Allegro con spirito
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 20, 2009, 06:49:10 PM
If you'd like, I can read it for you and send you a nice summary... ;D

I have maybe 1 work each from half of those guys (like Monn and Tuma, for example), but mostly not. Just names in books. :(      I did discover that I have 1 work by Wagenseil, BTW. It is his trombone concerto, on a disk with several others from the 1760's (on Naxos, and I have it twice in fact, once on ... ummm, rats, can't remember. Hungaroton, I think). Anyway, I just listened to it again and it was as nice as I remembered. Anyway, not much from a guy who wrote so much, and who was such an influence on his peers. :-\


Well, as bolded above, the book is due back by mid-April!  If I owned it, I'd probably read a chapter throughly a week at a time, but don't have that luxury -  :-\  The next chapter is completely on Gluck - yes I know that he was important but may be a 'skip' for me, BUT, then comes 'early' Haydn - the detail in this book is just phenomenal (now I can relate to that as a medical educator), but this book is really for an advanced musical college course; however, OTOH, just may be right up your alley!  ;) :D   Dave
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 20, 2009, 06:54:04 PM
Well, as bolded above, the book is due back by mid-April!  If I owned it, I'd probably read a chapter throughly a week at a time, but don't have that luxury -  :-\  The next chapter is completely on Gluck - yes I know that he was important but may be a 'skip' for me, BUT, then comes 'early' Haydn - the detail in this book is just phenomenal (now I can relate to that as a medical educator), but this book is really for an advanced musical college course; however, OTOH, just may be right up your alley!  ;) :D   Dave

Gluck, eh? Sounds more up Gabriel's alley. :)  But yes, for me the more detail the merrier. When it comes down to it, I guess I'll just have to scrape up $250 or so and get the entire set. True, that's a lot of audio music to miss out on, but it's plenty of history to make up for it. :)

8)


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Listening to:
Cembalokonzerte D-Dur, F-Dur, Sinfonie Nr. 31 - Haydn, Joseph - Cembalokonzert D-Dur: Un poco Adagio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Anne on March 21, 2009, 12:03:33 AM
If you're going to skip Gluck, I would recommend just one DVD - Orfeo ed Euridice It is very easy to listen to and very enjoyable. 

When I first learned that opera, I was playing it constantly because the music was so beautiful.  Somehow, Janet Baker, a very famous and widely respected singer and the orchestra - I can't praise the performance enough.  It was done during the Glyndebourne Festival.  It uses the Glyndebourne festival with Raymond Leppard conducting the London Philharmonic.  British mezzo-soprano, Janet Baker, chose to retire from the operatic stage singing the title role in Sir Peter Hall's acclaimed production of Orfeo ed Euridce.

TV Times said that the performance was one of her finest and most moving portrayals.
The Sunday Telegraph said it was a must for opera-goers.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2009, 06:07:38 AM
If you're going to skip Gluck, I would recommend just one DVD - Orfeo ed Euridice It is very easy to listen to and very enjoyable. 

When I first learned that opera, I was playing it constantly because the music was so beautiful.  Somehow, Janet Baker, a very famous and widely respected singer and the orchestra - I can't praise the performance enough.  It was done during the Glyndebourne Festival.  It uses the Glyndebourne festival with Raymond Leppard conducting the London Philharmonic.  British mezzo-soprano, Janet Baker, chose to retire from the operatic stage singing the title role in Sir Peter Hall's acclaimed production of Orfeo ed Euridce.

TV Times said that the performance was one of her finest and most moving portrayals.
The Sunday Telegraph said it was a must for opera-goers.

Thank you for that, Anne. Although Dave was actually talking about skipping the chapter on Gluck in that book he got. :)  I have read quite a bit about him myself, and I think his music is more interesting than HE is, if you take my meaning. That looks like a nice performance though, and could well end up on the shelf, even though I like more contemporary performances as a rule. ;)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 21, 2009, 06:30:00 AM
Thank you for that, Anne. Although Dave was actually talking about skipping the chapter on Gluck in that book he got. :)  I have read quite a bit about him myself, and I think his music is more interesting than HE is, if you take my meaning. That looks like a nice performance though, and could well end up on the shelf, even though I like more contemporary performances as a rule. ;)


Hi Anne & Gurn - yes, I was planning to just 'skim' through the Gluck chapter; I've read much on this composer & his role in Vienna in the 18th century in the past, but the  Heartz book is just too long to 'delve over' every word - in fact, I did look at the Gluck chapter an hour ago - over 80 pages w/ 20+ devoted to Orfeo ed Euridice, so for those into this composer & this particular 'famous' work, almost a mini-book!  BTW, the opening on 'Musical Life in Vienna' spends another 20+ pages on the 'theaters' in Vienna duing the time period covered.  This book (and his other two are just as long, if not longer!) is a smörgåsbord, just so much that one can 'eat & digest' w/o collapsing!  ;) ;D

P.S. Now onto the 'early' Haydn chapter later today!  In fact, the box below just arrived yesterday, I'll start w/ the first disc!  8)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/495227117_X7oSR-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2009, 06:34:57 AM
Hi Anne & Gurn - yes, I was planning to just 'skim' through the Gluck chapter; I've read much on this composer & his role in Vienna in the 18th century in the past, but the  Heartz book is just too long to 'delve over' every word - in fact, I did look at the Gluck chapter an hour ago - over 80 pages w/ 20+ devoted to Orfeo ed Euridice, so for those into this composer & this particular 'famous' work, almost a mini-book!  BTW, the opening on 'Musical Life in Vienna' spends another 20+ pages on the 'theaters' in Vienna duing the time period covered.  This book (and his other two are just as long, if not longer!) is a smörgåsbord, just so much that one can 'eat & digest' w/o collapsing!  ;) ;D

P.S. Now onto the 'early' Haydn chapter later today!  In fact, the box below just arrived yesterday, I'll start w/ the first disc!  8)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/495227117_X7oSR-M.jpg)

Ha! You DID commit, you rascal. And you will start with Symphony "A"?   IIRC, you will recognize that as one of the Op 1 or 2 string quartets... Of course, my mind is failing and I may be wrong... :)  Enjoy!

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2009, 08:03:00 AM
I am aware that Gluck's reform operas had a great deal of influence for other opera composers; for instance, Berlioz, but was he influential on subsequent orchestral or instrumental writing? One of the 'reforms' he and some others introduced into opera, was the idea of the orchestration reflecting the moods and emotions within the opera.

In my mind it seems a short step from this kind of colouring of the full orchestral sound to what we think of as programme music. Did this development in opera lead to orchestral programme music, or am I pushing the idea too far?

Right now, although I can think of earlier pieces that evoke nature and set a mood; Icannot think of any attempt to tell a story, take a journey, using purely orchestral means?

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2009, 08:17:23 AM
I am aware that Gluck's reform operas had a great deal of influence for other opera composers; for instance, Berlioz, but was he influential on subsequent orchestral or instrumental writing? One of the 'reforms' he and some others introduced into opera, was the idea of the orchestration reflecting the moods and emotions within the opera.

In my mind it seems a short step from this kind of colouring of the full orchestral sound to what we think of as programme music. Did this development in opera lead to orchestral programme music, or am I pushing the idea too far?

Right now, although I can think of earlier pieces that evoke nature and set a mood; Icannot think of any attempt to tell a story, take a journey, using purely orchestral means?

Mike

Interesting idea, Mike. I'm not sure how far forward you are looking into the future here, at least to Berlioz, I guess. But the concept of programme music, per se, was a reflection of composers reacting to German Romanticism in literature and criticism (and philosophy). But as far as technique for accomplishing this end, Gluck may well have been in the background. There was a long history of composers trying to represent physical phenomena and mental states in music, but not always successfully. Perhaps Gluck developed some means of making this more possible?

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2009, 08:28:22 AM
I only mentioned Berlioz because he was not even marginally a contemporary of Gluck and was very explicit in his writings about Gluck's influence. I was really wondering more whether there were any younger contemporaries of Gluck who adopted any of his orchestral ideas away from the opera house.

The great Baroque writers certainly orchestrated carefully, but did not tie in the idea of a storyline into orchestral music. I know it blossomed in the Romantic period; but was no one experimenting with the ideas before then?

Mike

 
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2009, 08:37:30 AM
No, I think the idea of program music was around for a long time. Here is some quick info that i stole from Wiki (to save having to pull books and type a lot.. ;D )

History

Examples of early program music can be found in the baroque period. Examples include Vivaldi's Four Seasons concertos, and Froberger's keyboard works. It began to become more common in the 1800s. Since then, it has grown in popularity and was used for the romantic era of the 1870s. From then on it has been used for much more than music; it has been used for dancing, singing and different types of music.

Renaissance period

Composers of the Renaissance wrote a fair amount of program music, especially for the harpsichord, including works such as Martin Peerson's The Fall of the Leafe and William Byrd's The Battell. For the latter work, the composer provided this written description of the sections: "Souldiers sommons, marche of footemen, marche of horsmen, trumpetts, Irishe marche, bagpipe and the drone, flute and the droome, marche to the fighte, the battels be joyned, retreat, galliarde for the victorie."

Classical era

Program music was perhaps less often composed in the Classical era. At that time, perhaps more than any other, music achieved drama from its own internal resources, notably in works written in sonata form. It is thought, however, that a number of Joseph Haydn's earlier symphonies may be program music; for example, the composer once said that one of his earlier symphonies represents "a dialogue between God and the Sinner". It is not known which of his symphonies Haydn was referring to. Another Classical-era composer, Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, wrote a series of symphonies based on Ovid's Metamorphoses (not to be confused with Twentieth-Century composer Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid).

For your contemporary question, I was going to mention Ditters anyway, although he cropped up in there too. There is likely little doubt that Ditters was influenced by Gluck. They were both contemporary in Vienna and undoubtedly knew each other very well. And Ditters, although not enjoyed as much today as he might deserve (just me and Poju, AFAIK), was very much enjoyed in 18th century Vienna, and was quite influential among his peers. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2009, 08:49:07 AM
Interesting thanks; I did wonder whether The Four Seasons is really programme music. Perhaps so. The Byrd is purely a solo instrumental piece for harpsichord. I wonder whether the 'colour' evokes and supports the narrative? I suspect that the story relies more within the form of the music.

The programme idea looks thin on the ground when compared to what the Romantic composers did with it.

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2009, 08:55:07 AM
Interesting thanks; I did wonder whether The Four Seasons is really programme music. Perhaps so. The Byrd is purely a solo instrumental piece for harpsichord. I wonder whether the 'colour' evokes and supports the narrative? I suspect that the story relies more within the form of the music.

The programme idea looks thin on the ground when compared to what the Romantic composers did with it.

Mike

Oh, no doubt whatsoever that the 4 Seasons is programmatic. You should have been reading that brilliant thread that was on the old forum about it. ;D

I don't know Byrd, or any of the other Renaissance composers (except Purcell, and then just a bit) so i can't say.

But there is little doubt that there was a mass flowering of the concept in the later Classico-Romantic. The whole idea supports the Romantic concept that the composer should do all your thinking for you, and that music should be far less interactive. Two-edged sword there, eh?  :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2009, 12:36:09 PM
Yes, The Four Seasons, I have had a look, I had forgotten how detailed the programme there was.

I think also that there is the matter of so much pre Romantic music being written to be background music, or at least often treated as such. Clearly a lot of Baroque was meant to be attended to, but a lot was salon music, or occasional music. When did we get to the point when the music was the 'occasion'; as against often accompaniment to the occasion?

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 21, 2009, 04:21:26 PM
Yes, The Four Seasons, I have had a look, I had forgotten how detailed the programme there was.

I think also that there is the matter of so much pre Romantic music being written to be background music, or at least often treated as such. Clearly a lot of Baroque was meant to be attended to, but a lot was salon music, or occasional music. When did we get to the point when the music was the 'occasion'; as against often accompaniment to the occasion?

Mike

Oh well, now that's just mean. :'(   But getting to your point (if it wasn't stabbing me in the heart), I suppose that "music as the occasion" was always the case with church music. How it spread out from there (opera isn't an exception, it was always the singing and not the music that drove opera until Mozart) is less clear. Certainly by the 1780's the symphony, for example, had transcended its beginnings as an overture and occasional piece to being a piéce de resistance. It is quite clear that by the time Haydn arrived in London that his symphonies were an occasion. I would posit that the rise of publicly accessible concerts (like the Concerts Spirituel in Paris and the J.C. Bach/Abel concerts in London) were a main force in creating what you describe. So that runs the date back to the 1760's....

8)

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Listening to:
Schubert: Fortepiano Works - Lambert Orkis - D 899 #1 Impromptu in c for Fortepiano - Allegro molto moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 22, 2009, 05:23:47 PM
Concerning our recent discussion on improvisation, I pulled out an old essay on the topic written by clarinetist and author Dan Leeson. It is quite lengthy, so I will only quote one section of it here. It pertains directly to the subject at hand, although the works he is talking about are specifically the Clarinet Quintet and Clarinet Concerto of Mozart. The points he is making are valid across the board for music from the Classical Era (and even back into the Baroque in some aspects).

Why Spontaneous Improvisation?
Let me begin with a discussion of performance practice preceded by a single caveat: the operative word is "spontaneous." When performing music of this era, whatever purposes are served by improvising are defeated if the melodic alterations are not instinctive, impetuous, and different from performance to performance.
There is a staggering amount of material dealing with the subject of performance practice, a musicological domain that concerns itself with the problems of translating music notation into sound. The field of study exists because the way music is written down is insufficiently precise to describe exact execution requirements. This is complicated by assumptions that composers make when creating handwritten scores.

Composers, even contemporary ones, are explicit only with directions that are not absolutely obvious to an informed, contemporary performer. Yet, because these assumptions change with time, what requires no explicit direction in one era is not at all obvious to a later one. In the eighteenth century, for example, the first measure of every movement of any Mozart composition would automatically be played loudly if no dynamic was present. That was the assumption: no opening dynamic meant "forte" and every professional eighteenth century performer knew it. This standard of performing behavior can be seen in Mozart's autograph scores because he never wrote opening dynamics for any movement of any work unless it was to be executed other than loudly. Today, musicians no longer assume that "forte" is an inaugural default, so every opening dynamic must be explicitly specified.

In performing Mozart's music, we are fortunate that a large body of tradition has passed directly and uninterruptedly from his time to the present. This is increasingly less true the earlier music is traced back in time. For example, for certain epochs even the knowledge of the kinds of instruments used in music performance have been lost. Yet, despite the continuity of Mozartean tradition, there are many ways in which today's performances of Mozart's music differ from those of his era. An obvious example is the change in character of instrumental sound through changes in the technology of musical instruments, medium (box to mpingo to rose to cocabola woods, for example), and manufacturing process.
Definitions of symbols have also changed and the carrying out of Mozart's directions in an eighteenth-century manner is a challenge that contemporary players must deal with continuously. Common, everyday symbols must be interpreted, not in light of what they mean today, but what they meant around 1750-1800.

Other performance practices remain unclear despite continued investigation. This places performers in the position of not knowing precisely what to do in certain circumstances. An example of such a knowledge gap between ourselves and the eighteenth century has to do with the playing of minuets.

The minuet doesn't get much attention from clarinet players. That's not surprising. We don't play a lot of them. As such, they are generally thought of as the movement that separates the interesting ones. Today, as in the third movement of Mozart's clarinet quintet, K. 581, the convention is to play minuets in the following way: first time through, all repeats; on the da capo, no repeats. No one need tell experienced players this, for they play minuets this way automatically. This approach is twentieth-century performance practice for minuets.

But did Mozart and his contemporaries play minuets this way, or did a different practice exist until, as the function of such repeats receded into obscurity, the tradition changed? Here is a hypothetical scenario that explains the evolution.
As spontaneous improvisation fell out of fashion, instrumentalists lost facility in the skill. As a result, they no longer viewed the repeated sections as implicit invitations to improvise. Without improvisatory material to create variety, the multiple unadorned repetitions were considered boring, a problem whose solution lay in reducing the number of repeats. Thus, today's performance practice for minuets came about because of the extinction of another performance practice, namely that of spontaneous improvisation.

"Extinction" is probably too strong a word. This eighteenth-century practice is being revived by a few, leading-edge, avant garde instrumentalists (strange terms to use with respect to Mozart performance) and even a clarinet player, here and there. Colin Lawson, Charles Neidich, Larry Combs, and Tony Pay all improvise during their performances of K. 622. At a series of concerts at which I happened to be a participant for a performance of Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music, Mark Brandenburg of San Francisco showed an outstanding capacity for spontaneous inventiveness during his several performances of the same work.

But the fact is that the practice is far from being universally accepted, either in the performing community or by the listening public. Strong objections to any efforts to improvise are heard in many quarters. There is little agreement about where and when and how to improvise, or which performers are involved. Even less agreement can be found for what constitutes good or stylistically correct improvisation. Few music schools anywhere in the world train performers in the fundamentals of classical improvisation, which means that those instrumentalists who attempt it have almost no guidance on how to execute it effectively. There are no practical books that deal comprehensively with the subject, and only a few deal with it even at a theoretical level. In effect, little help exists in learning the craft.

Thus the potential inherent in spontaneous improvisation has not been demonstrated on a broad scale since it ceased being a workaday performance practice in the early 19th century. And, because the practice has ceased to be part of the contemporary performer's kit bag of tools, it is necessary to remind players why the practice ever existed at all; that is, what is the purpose of improvising during the execution of a work from the classic period? That I do now.
It is an article of faith that every musician wants his or her performance of any Mozart composition to be fresh and original. The reviewer who describes an interpretation with the pejorative "stale and unoriginal" signs a death warrant to a career. Unfortunately, except for the eternal freshness and originality of the music itself, there are few practical tools that help a performer achieve that goal. Whatever the important abstractions of personality, presence, sensitivity, energy, and temperament are to getting freshness in performance, they are God-given and difficult to summon on demand. Even those fortunate enough to possess such evanescent qualities may find it impossible to invoke them at will. So what can one do: give each clarinet solo that you play a periodic sabbatical so that it can get its batteries recharged? Should one take a nap on the afternoon of a performance, or enroll in a graduate seminar on "How to get fresh and original performances every time?", or visit an astrologer, or chant mantras, or eat vegetarian?
That the skill of improvising on an ongoing basis was a part of most eighteenth-century musician's repertoire of tools - like reading music or transposing - can neither be denied nor ignored. Such improvisations consisted of spontaneous changes to the pitches, rhythms, phrasings, and even harmonies of a melodic line at appropriate places in the composition.

Instantaneous invention of stylistically-characteristic, high-quality music is not an inborn skill, even though innate talent is obligatory. Such skill must be developed through study and practice. (That's an interesting oxymoron: practicing spontaneous improvisations.) On-the-spot creativity was one of several standards by which the listening public measured performers, and limitations were placed on the careers of eighteenth-century musicians who did not have that skill. Each performance consisted of a synergism: a one-of-a-kind mixture of the composer's architecture and the spontaneous decorations of one or more performers. The resulting creation of an absolutely unique performance was an important reason for improvising, then as now.

In effect, spontaneous improvisation is a tool that makes every performance unique. Its use makes it impossible for any two players to execute K. 622 the same way, as is, sadly, so often the case today. The tool may be likened to the thing that makes a hockey game interesting: once the puck is thrown down, one has no idea what is going to happen. And that is one of the principal reasons why eighteenth-century musicians improvised: it made every performance of a work measurably different from every other performance of that same work. As such, it was a tool used to create freshness and originality, the very thing that we all want to have in our performances.

The words "ornamentation" and "improvisation" are frequently used synonymously. But the late Frederick Neumann provided welcome help in distinguishing between them in his book "Ornamentation and Improvisation in Mozart," Princeton University Press, 1986.

"Ornamentation" deals with composer created decorations whose presence are indicated by specific symbols. These include, for example, grace notes, mordants, and trills. In studying ornamentation, one attempts to establish an unambiguous interpretation for each composer-created symbol in all possible contexts. The bottom line is that ornamentation is the province of the composer. The player simply executes what is written, hopefully interpreting the ornamentation symbols correctly.

"Improvisation" on the other hand is used to describe performer created changes to melodic lines. The listener's implicit assumption, though mostly inaccurate, is that improvisation is always spontaneous. Here, the bottom line is that improvisation is the province of the performer whose cue on where and when to improvise is taken from clues deposited by the composer and found within the text of the music.

Many who accept improvisation, even if only at a conceptual level, think of it as a thing reserved for a soloist in a concerto. A more assertive opinion holds that improvisation is available to anyone who happens to own the principle melodic line at an improvisable point of the composition. An even more aggressive view would point out that, in Don Giovanni, for example, the orchestral clarinetist has several significant opportunities for improvisation within arias, Il mio tesoro, for example, which has an important presentation of the solo line some time before the tenor's entry. The negative attitude with respect to spontaneous improvisation has several origins, one of which can be found in the musical attitudes of the Romantic era. There, spontaneous decorations for music written during that epoch were seriously discouraged, if not outright forbidden by the performance practices then in vogue. While, by convention, it is suitable for any epoch implicitly to establish its own performance practices, it may not be correct to apply the same protocol to music from earlier eras. The Romantic period had strong views on the role of the performer and they separated the world of creation - the business of the composer - from the world of execution - the business of the player. This attitude generated a self-fulfilling prophecy; i.e., as the practice was discouraged, performers lost facility in the skill. Thus, there existed a double inhibition against improvisation: lack of universal support for the practice and lack of craft in its execution. Today, the practice is sufficiently rejected that few performers realize that it was once a polished art form; and so few can do it effectively that spontaneous improvisation has ceased being an operative performance practice.
Another source of the negative attitude with respect to spontaneous improvisation is due, in part, to the excesses of the past. These past immoderations resulted not in the intensification of the expressive force and character of the music, but in a tawdry demonstration of performer virtuosity. Anyone who has heard a cornet solo play "The Carnival of Venice Variations," for example, hears the sad, ultimate fate of the once great art of spontaneous improvisation for in such action, the center of gravity is changed from the music's content to the player's virtuosity.

Today, many clarinetists assert that spontaneous improvisation serves no useful purpose; that it is, on the contrary, destructive to the music to which it is applied. This assertion bespeaks a lack of awareness of the role of the performer in music of the classic period and presumes that no one, no matter how gifted, can improve on the music of Mozart, much less with a craft that requires instantaneous creativity. That is a respectful but debatable position. And in any case it is irrelevant since the main purpose of improvisation is not the improvement of melodic lines. Its purpose, one to which Mozart personally subscribed both as a composer and a performer, is to change the role of the player and singer from that of a recreator of the music of others to a partner and participant in the creative process.

I would contrast such musical behavior with that of the dance where improvisatory and inventive movement is encouraged. Both the theater and the visual arts are filled with opportunities for enterprising self-expression through the medium of improvisation. Only music is taught as something that, as far as performance is concerned, is a finished art.
This is the historically inaccurate perspective of Mozart that we all carry; that is, it is our duty only to recreate it beautifully, not to consider each performance of it as an opportunity for further creation. Such a negative attitude is so pervasive that even Neumann speaks against it, a strange attitude in light of his persuasive evidence on the importance of the tool in Mozart's music. Neumann's view seems to accept only Mozart's spontaneous improvisations, presumably because he did it well. But, continues Neumann, modern-day performers should not improvise because they will probably do it badly.

With this attitude, it can be guaranteed that performers will never improvise well, or at all. How could it be otherwise? We are not trained in how, where, or when to improvise. Most players and singers are not sure of the historic rationale or musical purpose of improvisation. And Neumann, in this era's most important book on the subject, says that we should avoid the practice because we won't do it well. In the face of this, it is surprising that any player would even attempt it.
But improvising badly is no reason for not improvising. Instead, it is a reason to do more of it. How else are we going to learn to get it right? In addition to study and practice, quality improvisation requires enormous skill coupled with considerable imagination, great daring, and a special kind of courage. It is almost certain that anyone trying to learn the craft is going to be clumsy and inelegant early-on, putting too much in any single improvisation, doing it in the wrong places, or committing grave stylistic errors.

When I want to show an example of the effect of spontaneous improvisation, I am most often forced to demonstrate and explain it through the medium of jazz. Alternatively, I can point to Gospel music which thrives on improvisatory performances, or Jewish liturgical music, an art form that has a millennium of improvisatory tradition. Or to make the matter very personal for clarinetists, one need look no further than the performing genius of Giora Feidman. There one hears the excitement that elegant spontaneous improvisations accomplished by a master can bring to music.
Quality spontaneous improvisation does not come easily even to jazz players, for whom excellence in the skill is bread and butter. But at least they have the advantage of being able to study the craft with teachers who know something about it and its performance traditions. Many music schools offer credit courses in jazz improvisation, clear evidence that it is an acquirable skill.

Interestingly, symphonic performers who played jazz early in their careers, but who stopped it for one reason or another - for example, conductor/pianist Andre Previn or clarinetist Larry Combs - find that they must work at it before achieving the same degree of improvisatory excellence that was once theirs. Like most things, improvisatory skills will atrophy if not used.


8)



----------------
Listening to:
Shostakovich Sym10 - Christoph Von Dohnanyi; Cleveland Orchestra - 3rd mvmt - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on March 23, 2009, 02:28:35 AM
Fascinating article - thanks Gurn!  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 24, 2009, 01:57:34 PM
Haydn, Mozart, & the Viennese School, 1740-1780 by Daniel Heartz (1995) - first part of a trilogy w/ this one going for 700+ pages - this well research & written tome is much beyond my meager musical abilities & endurance; there is plenty of historic facts (and correction of previously published mis-information), but much of the book concentrates on detailed analysis of the compositions, esp. those earlier ones by Haydn - now this is a book that I borrowed from the library for a month - if I had the time (and the musical knowledge to understand the author's comments), then I'd sit down w/ the music playing while reading the detailed explanations - this would take months, at least for me; bottom line - if you want to read this book, first take a look at it in the library - you may change your mind -  ;) :D  This is an extremely long and erudite presentation likely most useful for graduate music classes - I'm not planning on exploring the other two (and longer) tomes of this vast trilogy.

But, this book (and I'm sure the others in the trio) are certainly pertinent to this thread, i.e. the nature of these musical periods, esp. of the 18th century and their transitions at the beginning and end of that century.  Currently, reading a chapter (honestly, parts of a chapter -  :-\) on Mozart, and his first 'continental' excursion - in the 1760s at the age of 7 y/o or so, he and family were in Paris and came to know several 'German' expatriots who were quite popular in the French captial - Johann Eckard (1735-1809) - dates almost matching those of Haydn & Johann Schobert (c.1735-1767); so, I was curious about recordings, and I do own a handful of discs:

Eckard - just one of solo keyboard works w/ Arthur Schoonderwoerd on the fortepiano; although in the liner notes (written by the performer), Eckard uniquely (and may have been a first?) indicated various terms for nuances of color/loudness, largely expecting these works to be played on a variety of instruments offering different playing options, i.e. harpsichord, clavichord, tangent piano, etc.

Schobert - works for harpsichord, violin, & cello w/ the 'Four Nations Ensemble' (Appel, Brown, & O'Sullivan) -  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/498107093_Fs33t-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/498107091_HtUCY-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/498107097_kZUF9-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/498107102_9B9XV-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 24, 2009, 02:31:29 PM
One of the most delightful CD series available is The Romantic Piano Concerto in Hyperion. Some days ago I was thinking if it would be possible to develop such an idea concerning the classical era. It is obvious that Mozart's and Beethoven's contributions are elementary to understand this form during this period, but those magnificent works do not represent the whole of it, so I thought it would be interesting to mention classical piano concertos written by other composers.

I would like to mention the piano concertos composed by Hyacinthe Jadin (1776-1800), a French composer who died unfortunately too young. Jadin is a composer whose music sounds incredibly Mozartian: beautiful ideas, excellent developments and an unexplainable nostalgic feeling even in major mode works. I have listened to two of his three piano concertos, and both of them would surely deserve a better consideration within this repertoire. Alas, the name of Jadin is seldom known, even among music lovers, and his works are even less often played.

The second piano concerto, in D minor, was composed in 1796; it is a very tragical work, with a first movement whose main motive sounds as a cry of inner despair. The luminous, peaceful second subject provides a fascinating contrast. The piano writing is quite particular; in parts, it doesn't remember me of any other composer of this era (for instance, towards the end of the movement there is a very original sort of bird song). The textures are as pure as they can be, which, curiously, reinforces the sadness of the music.

The third piano concerto, in A major, composed in 1798, is quite a different work. A bold one. Jadin decided to write a concerto in two movements instead of the usual three, and the first one is admirable in its idea: after an orchestral exposition of about three minutes, the piano enters, not for reexposing the subjects as it should normally be, but for "singing" a rather short recitative whose delicacy is worthy of the greatest admiration. When the piano exposes the subjects after the recitative, the effect is impressive: they sound as if they had never been played, with a freshness and a beautiful simplicity rarely achieved even during classicism. The second movement, on the other hand, presents very different virtues: in a very disguised way, Jadin presents music of popular inspiration.

I know just one recording of these works, in the label Forlane, conducted by Gérard Streletski and played by Wen-Ying Tseng in a modern piano. Even if it is not an ideal recording, it is a very enjoyable one (I'm sure it would work better with a fortepiano, but to have at least one recording is good news).

Haydn, Mozart, & the Viennese School, 1740-1780 by Daniel Heartz (1995) - first part of a trilogy w/ this one going for 700+ pages - this well research & written tome is much beyond my meager musical abilities & endurance; there is plenty of historic facts (and correction of previously published mis-information), but much of the book concentrates on detailed analysis of the compositions, esp. those earlier ones by Haydn - now this is a book that I borrowed from the library for a month - if I had the time (and the musical knowledge to understand the author's comments), then I'd sit down w/ the music playing while reading the detailed explanations - this would take months, at least for me; bottom line - if you want to read this book, first take a look at it in the library - you may change your mind -  ;) :D  This is an extremely long and erudite presentation likely most useful for graduate music classes - I'm not planning on exploring the other two (and longer) tomes of this vast trilogy.

It sounds very tempting. Perhaps next month! ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sTisTi on March 26, 2009, 08:17:11 AM
There's a new disc with 3 string quartets by Krommer due to be out in mid-April. It's by the Marcolini Quartet.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-J9tL8nYL._SS400_.jpg)

As an admirer of Krommer's music, I'm naturally tempted by the disc, but - how shall I put it - I'm not sure if the medium of the string quartet is the most suitable for the expression of his talents  ;)

Does anyone have an opinion about Krommer's String Quartets? Are they worth repeated listenings? I've never heard them mentioned before. Unfortunately, I haven't found sound samples either...
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 26, 2009, 08:54:30 AM
After Jadin, some other recommendations for The Classical piano concerto:

1. Franciszek Lessel (1780-1838), piano concerto in C major, op. 14. As I had already said in a previous post, it is a very transparent work, plenty of beautiful melodic lines. A bit edulcorated, but nonetheless a very enjoyable composition.

2. Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek (1774-1850), piano concertos in C major, op. 18, and E flat major, op. 20. These are excellent examples of the piano concerto around 1800, quite close to Beethoven's opp. 15, 19 and 37. They sound "stronger" than Mozart's works in this genre. Highly melodic, having a beautifully written piano score and remarkable piano-orchestra dialogues, they are certainly not intended to open new ways in music, but they reflect marvelously their own time. Of particular interest, the first movement of op. 18 (just at first listening to the first subject it is possible to see that "something" is happening: in fact, the "square" distribution of phrases begins to be eclipsed) and the third of op. 20 (a so playful finale that it seems that the spirit of a scherzo has been infused to it).

There's a new disc with 3 string quartets by Krommer due to be out in mid-April. It's by the Marcolini Quartet.
Does anyone have an opinion about Krommer's String Quartets? Are they worth repeated listenings? I've never heard them mentioned before. Unfortunately, I haven't found sound samples either...

I saw it and I have already put it on my shopping cart. ;D Don't forget that Krommer was considered in his time as an authority in chamber music, and his string quartets were particularly appreciated. I'm really eager to this recording because, as far as I know, the only available recording of Krommer string quartets is one in Tudor with the op. 18. They are very well written and very enjoyable, but they are early works written before his best efforts. This new CD that you mention includes one quartet from op. 19, but also one from op. 74 and one from op. 103: op. 74 n. 3 is in D minor and op. 103 n. 3 is in A minor, so minor-mode fans will be pleased. ;)

You can listen to some samples in www.jpc.de. I will not comment too much on these short fragments, but judging from the main subjects I can tell you that I will buy the CD. As Beethoven, Krommer has some "stages" of development, clearly listeneable from the excerpts. I knew op. 19/2 in a further reelaboration by Krommer (piano trio op. 32, without the minuet that is present in the quartet). Op. 74/3 seems to bring the typical melodic virtues of Krommer's middle works within a dramatic context; for instance, the cello part of the menuet seems to be particularly original. Op. 103/3 is from his last works, where Krommer developed a style almost incomparable with anyone else; while not assimilating the "emotional" romantic concept, he manages to produce subjects and textures that can't be described but plainly as "strange". Notice the dialogues in the beginning of the first movement and the chromatic features of the andante: something is really happening there.

Once I listen to the CD I will give my real opinion, but those samples are a very effective appetizer for a lover of Krommer's music.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 26, 2009, 09:35:50 AM
There's a new disc with 3 string quartets by Krommer due to be out in mid-April. It's by the Marcolini Quartet........

Does anyone have an opinion about Krommer's String Quartets? Are they worth repeated listenings? I've never heard them mentioned before. Unfortunately, I haven't found sound samples either...

Well, I have plenty of Krommer's music but the chamber quartet works are all w/ winds of different types - just delightful; but w/ Gabriel's comments, I will likely add this disc to my 'wish list'; I don't know this SQ group but would expect a good performance of some excellent music - :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sTisTi on March 26, 2009, 10:02:02 AM
I saw it and I have already put it on my shopping cart. ;D Don't forget that Krommer was considered in his time as an authority in chamber music, and his string quartets were particularly appreciated. I'm really eager to this recording because, as far as I know, the only available recording of Krommer string quartets is one in Tudor with the op. 18. They are very well written and very enjoyable, but they are early works written before his best efforts. This new CD that you mention includes one quartet from op. 19, but also one from op. 74 and one from op. 103: op. 74 n. 3 is in D minor and op. 103 n. 3 is in A minor, so minor-mode fans will be pleased. ;)

You can listen to some samples in www.jpc.de. I will not comment too much on these short fragments, but judging grom the main subjects I can tell you that I will buy the CD.
Thanks for your hint with JPC, I just listened to the samples: Great stuff, I instantly liked it, especially op. 74 & 103! The pre-order is already done!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sTisTi on March 26, 2009, 10:23:58 AM
Well, I have plenty of Krommer's music but the chamber quartet works are all w/ winds of different types - just delightful; but w/ Gabriel's comments, I will likely add this disc to my 'wish list'; I don't know this SQ group but would expect a good performance of some excellent music - :)
I haven't heard of them either, but I found their website (http://www.marcolini-quartett.de , only in German) and they seem to be members from the Concerto Köln. They play on period instruments and seem already to have gathered good reviews for their work. Funnily, due to their liking of chocolates, they are named after Pierre Marcolini, a Belgian master "chocolatier". ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 26, 2009, 11:00:50 AM
I haven't heard of them either, but I found their website (http://www.marcolini-quartett.de , only in German) and they seem to be members from the Concerto Köln. They play on period instruments and seem already to have gathered good reviews for their work. Funnily, due to their liking of chocolates, they are named after Pierre Marcolini, a Belgian master "chocolatier". ;D

Stisti, thanks for the link, which I visited at once. I hope they will continue recording these delikatessen!

Well, I have plenty of Krommer's music but the chamber quartet works are all w/ winds of different types - just delightful; but w/ Gabriel's comments, I will likely add this disc to my 'wish list'; I don't know this SQ group but would expect a good performance of some excellent music - :)

Thanks for your hint with JPC, I just listened to the samples: Great stuff, I instantly liked it, especially op. 74 & 103! The pre-order is already done!

I guess I will have to buy the CD very quickly... otherwise I won't have any chance of getting it! ;D

Dave, I'm sure there is great chamber music by Krommer waiting to be recorded, specially in the string quartet area. I can't suggest enough the marvelous string trio op. 96. Krommer was a lot more than his stupendous works for wind instruments. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 26, 2009, 01:59:00 PM

Dave, I'm sure there is great chamber music by Krommer waiting to be recorded, specially in the string quartet area. I can't suggest enough the marvelous string trio op. 96. Krommer was a lot more than his stupendous works for wind instruments. :)

Hello Gabriel - thought that I had some Krommer string music, but no!  :-\  Now, I've added the suggested SQs disc to my 'wish list', and just found the item below on the usual USA 'first check' websites - about all that is available; price is OK, and includes a piano quartet (fine w/ me) - just curious if you're familiar w/ this disc or possibly others that I can order 'off shore'?  Thanks - Dave  :D

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/103/1031242.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 26, 2009, 02:48:21 PM
Dave: I'm familiar with the CD. :) As far as I know, it is the only recording of the piano quartet and one of the two available recordings of the string trio, so I guess you shouldn't think too much about it. For the trio op. 96, in my opinion, the recording by the Czech String Trio has better sound, is more precise and smoother (I would simplify by saying it is better in general), but it's quite difficult to find (it's a small label: look for the CD in http://www.musicvars.cz/en/index.html). Kontraste Köln is HIP - and very clearly - so people not liking this kind of performances would have some problems. As you are a whole-hearted classicist, you shouldn't suffer with that, I guess... ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: sTisTi on March 27, 2009, 09:42:57 AM
I guess I will have to buy the CD very quickly... otherwise I won't have any chance of getting it! ;D
Yeah, I can already see the headlines: "NEW KROMMER CD SOLD OUT ON DAY OF RELEASE - PEOPLE QUEUING IN FRONT OF CD STORES"  ;D

I can't suggest enough the marvelous string trio op. 96. Krommer was a lot more than his stupendous works for wind instruments. :)
Thanks, another disc in my shopping cart... :D
It's a pity we will probably never have the chance to hear the bulk of Krommer's vast output. Especially his mid-to-late period seems to have produced very interesting pieces. But hopefully, as this year is his 250th birthday, we might see a few new releases in the next months...
How about this disc?
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411Q8WHCPDL._SS400_.jpg)
It contains the Sinfonia concertante op. 70 for flute, clarinet, violin and orchestra and the Concertino op. 39 for various wind and string instruments. The samples sound interesting, especially the Sinfonia concertante.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on March 27, 2009, 03:13:20 PM
How about this disc?
It contains the Sinfonia concertante op. 70 for flute, clarinet, violin and orchestra and the Concertino op. 39 for various wind and string instruments. The samples sound interesting, especially the Sinfonia concertante.

It is a very fine disc. The star is clearly the playful Sinfonia concertante, with its substantial first movement and the very strange inclusion of Alla Polacca as fourth movement, preceding the finale. I wouldn't qualify it as a highlight of Krommer's output, but if you like his music it will certainly not disappoint you. The concertino has also some delightful moments: the Menuetto is really beautiful, and has a very humorous quote of "Ach du lieber Augustin".
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 31, 2009, 05:49:27 PM
I would like to mention the piano concertos composed by Hyacinthe Jadin (1776-1800), a French composer who died unfortunately too young. Jadin is a composer whose music sounds incredibly Mozartian: beautiful ideas, excellent developments and an unexplainable nostalgic feeling even in major mode works. I have listened to two of his three piano concertos, and both of them would surely deserve a better consideration within this repertoire. Alas, the name of Jadin is seldom known, even among music lovers, and his works are even less often played.

The second piano concerto, in D minor, was composed in 1796; it is a very tragical work, with a first movement whose main motive sounds as a cry of inner despair. The luminous, peaceful second subject provides a fascinating contrast. The piano writing is quite particular; in parts, it doesn't remember me of any other composer of this era (for instance, towards the end of the movement there is a very original sort of bird song). The textures are as pure as they can be, which, curiously, reinforces the sadness of the music.

The third piano concerto, in A major, composed in 1798, is quite a different work. A bold one. Jadin decided to write a concerto in two movements instead of the usual three, and the first one is admirable in its idea: after an orchestral exposition of about three minutes, the piano enters, not for reexposing the subjects as it should normally be, but for "singing" a rather short recitative whose delicacy is worthy of the greatest admiration. When the piano exposes the subjects after the recitative, the effect is impressive: they sound as if they had never been played, with a freshness and a beautiful simplicity rarely achieved even during classicism. The second movement, on the other hand, presents very different virtues: in a very disguised way, Jadin presents music of popular inspiration.

I know just one recording of these works, in the label Forlane, conducted by Gérard Streletski and played by Wen-Ying Tseng in a modern piano. Even if it is not an ideal recording, it is a very enjoyable one (I'm sure it would work better with a fortepiano, but to have at least one recording is good news).

It sounds very tempting. Perhaps next month! ;D

Gabriel,
Thanks for introducing this most fascinating topic into the conversation. It is hard to come out of the Classical without some grasp on how the period changed the face of music by introducing and expanding the keyboard concerto into a major vehicle of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Before I add to your line of thought, first a reflection on Hyacinthe Jadin. I don't have any of his concerti yet, but I do have most of his solo keyboard music. His sonatas are wonderful! When we get to solo works I'll post some CD recs (there aren't many but they do include all of the sonatas). In any case, he is a name to remember when you are shopping around (well, how could you not remember "Hyacinthe" anyway? :) ).

Let me preface this by saying that Mozart was a freak of nature. His early concerti (up to #8) are pretty much standard fare that the best were turning out at that time. Everything from #9 onwards is in a league of its own that is scarcely matched even 150 years down the road. So when you look at the keyboard concerto from his time onward, you really need to put Mozart out of mind. Look instead at the "mainstream of music" and see how things fit together and don't say to yourself "yes, but he's no Mozart". Other than Beethoven, no one was a Mozart. :)

Giovanni Paisiello -
I became familiar with Paisiello as an opera composer during his residence in Vienna in the late 1780's. That was where his fame was built. So when I discovered that he had composed 8 keyboard concerti, I thought "well, yeah, but he's no Mozart... ::) ", but I went ahead and bought that Naxos disk anyway, since it also had a sinfonia and the Overture to "Proserpine" on it so I could hear a bit of his orchestral works. It is this one (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=89628). Imagine my surprise when I heard the #4 in g minor! It is a splendid little concerto. Since describing music in words is beyond my talents, suffice to say it was most enjoyable, and #2 on there in F major is very good too.

Which led me to purchase this set (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=94750) by Pietro Spada. Although there doesn't appear to be any set played on fortepiano, this is an apt substitute, and I found it a very worthwhile expenditure. I see there is one other choice for a complete set, this one here (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=16473) by the English CO/Monetti, I haven't heard any of it. I would expect it to be well played too, although my experience with the ECO is all over the map!

More soon,
Cheers,
8)










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Listening to:
Levin / Beths / Bylsma - Haydn Trio in E for Piano & Strings #44 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 31, 2009, 05:58:24 PM
There's a new disc with 3 string quartets by Krommer due to be out in mid-April. It's by the Marcolini Quartet.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-J9tL8nYL._SS400_.jpg)

As an admirer of Krommer's music, I'm naturally tempted by the disc, but - how shall I put it - I'm not sure if the medium of the string quartet is the most suitable for the expression of his talents  ;)

Does anyone have an opinion about Krommer's String Quartets? Are they worth repeated listenings? I've never heard them mentioned before. Unfortunately, I haven't found sound samples either...

sTisTi,
Thanks for the heads up about this disk. Since, like the others here, I was reeled in by Krommer's wind music, but I actually did know he had written string music too, and that it was highly thought of, but I hadn't been able to really find any to listen to. So this mention not only found me some string quartets for starters, but also got some other recs like the string trio and even a piano quartet! Time to go fishing in foreign waters, I guess. :)

Oh, just as a rule of thumb when evaluating whether performers will be worth the while, if their resumés include items such as "member of Concerto Köln...", that weighs in huge on the balance sheet. :D

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Levin / Beths / Bylsma - Haydn Trio in Eb for Piano & Strings #45 3rd mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on March 31, 2009, 06:54:31 PM
John Field (1782-1837) - Irish composer - check out BIO HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Field_(composer)) - important influence on Chopin - transitional Classical-Romantic composer - I left the post below in the 'listening thread' but quickly became 'buried' - thought that a listing here might be of interest, not only for his piano works, but possibly a discussion of 'how to' perform his piano compositions, i.e. the appropriateness of using a fortepiano  vs. a modern piano - the Nocturnes seem to be his most well know works, and those performed by O'Connor on Telarc are excellent, but other options may be considered -  :D


Chris, Dave, & George - I've had that Nocturnes disc for years, and the performance is wonderful - would not mind having more of these works that obviously were an important influence for Chopin; Miceal O'Rourke seems to be 'specializing' in this composer - added below are two other CDs that I own of Field's music performed by O'Rourke - not sure 'how' available these are at the moment, but both can certainly be recommended.

Now, another interesting question is that John Field's dates (1782-1837) place him in that fascinating transitional period of late classical-early Romantic periods, and of course the evolution of the piano from the forte to the more 'modern' pianos - curious if Field's Nocturnes have been performed on the fortepiano - have not checked myself yet, but others may already know?  Dave  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51K9DA9GHEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZGEBFM8CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2009, 06:50:38 AM
John Field (1782-1837) - Irish composer - check out BIO HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Field_(composer)) - important influence on Chopin - transitional Classical-Romantic composer - I left the thread below in the 'listening thread' but quickly became 'buried' - thought that a listing here might be of interest, not only for his piano works, but possibly a discussion of 'how to' perform his piano compositions, i.e. the appropriateness of using a fortepiano  vs. a modern piano - the Nocturnes seem to be his most well know works, and those performed by O'Conor on Telarc are excellent, but other options may be considered -  :D



Ah, one of my favorite "transitional" composers, Dave! I suppose it is true that, since he devised the form, his nocturnes are his premiere compositions, I grew to know Field due to his concerti, which I acquired the set of on Naxos (Frith) and then a lovely disk by Staier/Concerto Köln on fortepiano.

Even though the nocturnes were composed from rather early on until the end of his life (1837), I think that the appropriate instrument is a late era fortepiano like a Graf. Even though iron frame pianos appeared <>1830, they weren't generally distributed to the point where composers were taking full advantage of their potential until rather after Field's productive life was over. That said, I think the music would stand up well to a modern piano, and indeed, O'Conor (who has a great classical touch anyway) does wonderfully well with the solo works. By the time you get to a Graf or Erard, all the elements of a "modern" piano are in place anyway with the exception of the iron frame and some great refinements in escapements and checks. So the use of a modern piano on anything written post-Schubert doesn't have nearly the negative effect on me as it does on earlier music. I still don't believe that a full-blown 2009 concert grand is quite the right thing for music like Field's, but it won't distort the music nearly as much as it does to Mozart or Hummel, for example. Just my opinion... :)

Obviously, this is a topic I would like to see expanded. Unlike a lot of people on either side of the issue, I am rather more flexible. ;)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Tafelmusik / Lamon Bylsma (Cello) - RV 403 Concerto in D for Cello - Allegro - Andante e spiritoso - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 01, 2009, 08:58:30 AM
Ah, one of my favorite "transitional" composers, Dave! I suppose it is true that, since he devised the form, his nocturnes are his premiere compositions, I grew to know Field due to his concerti, which I acquired the set of on Naxos (Frith) and then a lovely disk by Staier/Concerto Köln on fortepiano......................

Just checking on the Amazon Marketplace - Chandos has released a 4-CD set of the Field Piano Concerti w/ Miceal O'Rourke for just $25!  Goin' to spin the one disc that I have already w/ this pianist performing two of these works, but may add the set to my 'to buy list'?  Great review on MusicWeb HERE (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2009/Mar09/Field_chan10468x.htm) -  :D

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2009/Mar09/Field_chan10468x.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2009, 09:47:13 AM
Just checking on the Amazon Marketplace - Chandos has released a 4-CD set of the Field Piano Concerti w/ Miceal O'Rourke for just $25!  Goin' to spin the one disc that I have already w/ this pianist performing two of these works, but may add the set to my 'to buy list'?  Great review on MusicWeb HERE (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2009/Mar09/Field_chan10468x.htm) -  :D

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2009/Mar09/Field_chan10468x.jpg)

Man, that box looks interesting. And for a reasonable price ($25 on the Marketplace). I may go that direction, although I sure wish O'Rourke played a fortepiano... :-\ 

I saw that you had featured his disk of the 4 sonatas as being one you have too. What's your take on it? I only have sonata #1 in Eb, which is a nice work indeed, and would like a set. That disk is very tempting, but I haven't heard much about it from anyone. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 01, 2009, 02:11:00 PM
Man, that box looks interesting. And for a reasonable price ($25 on the Marketplace). I may go that direction, although I sure wish O'Rourke played a fortepiano... :-\ 

I saw that you had featured his disk of the 4 sonatas as being one you have too. What's your take on it? I only have sonata #1 in Eb, which is a nice work indeed, and would like a set. That disk is very tempting, but I haven't heard much about it from anyone. :)

Yes, I'd loved to hear some of Field's works on the fortepiano, but he was just 18 y/o in 1800 when he composed the first 3 'piano sonatas' on this disc (the presumed 4th came later, first published in St. Petersburg) dedicated to his teacher, Muzio Clementi; these sonatas are short (12 to 15 1/2 minutes each) and in 2 movements w/o a slow one.  I'm listening to that disc @ the moment as I type just to remind me - these works are just delightful harking back to Haydn & Clementi (in his younger days).  O'Rourke plays w/ a deft touch, the sound of the piano is up front, and I have no problem w/ the playing on a modern piano (the recording was done in London, St. Jude's Church, in 1989; the piano used is not described in the liner notes).  I would predict that you would enjoy this disc - plus, if you are about to make an upcoming BRO order, the CD is available THERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=john+field&filter=all) at the moment for $5!

Dave  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2009, 02:16:45 PM
Yes, I'd loved to hear some of Field's works on the fortepiano, but he was just 18 y/o in 1800 when he composed the first 3 'piano sonatas' on this disc (the presumed 4th came later, first published in St. Petersburg) dedicated to his teacher, Muzio Clementi; these sonatas are short (12 to 15 1/2 minutes each) and in 2 movements w/o a slow one.  I'm listening to that disc @ the moment as I type just to remind me - these works are just delightful harking back to Haydn & Clementi (in his younger days).  O'Rourke plays w/ a deft touch, the sound of the piano is up front, and I have no problem w/ the playing on a modern piano (the recording was done in London, St. Jude's Church, in 1989; the piano used is not described in the liner notes).  I would predict that you would enjoy this disc - plus, if you are about to make an upcoming BRO order, the CD is available THERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=john+field&filter=all) at the moment for $5!

Dave  :D

Ah, thanks for coming back with that, Dave. Well, for that price, it is hard not to go for it. I do like the Eb one that I have, and it is on modern piano too (Ian Hobson - "London Piano School" vol 2). In any case, good players with the right attitude (for example, Ingrid Haebler plying Mozart) can make a modern piano sound much... less so if they leave the damned pedals alone and use a light touch. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on April 02, 2009, 01:29:57 PM
I was just listening to Mozart's Adagio and fugue K.546 performed by the Hagen Quartett (I love that band!), and was thinking two thoughts (not at the same time, I'm male):
1) Man, this is heavy! And dark!
2) Do we have examples of other composers in the classical era composing such/similar/comparable "baroque studies"?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 02, 2009, 01:38:56 PM
I was just listening to Mozart's Adagio and fugue K.546 performed by the Hagen Quartett (I love that band!), and was thinking two thoughts (not at the same time, I'm male):
1) Man, this is heavy! And dark!
2) Do we have examples of other composers in the classical era composing such/similar/comparable "baroque studies"?

Ah, wonderful piece, isn't it? Well, I wouldn't say no (never say never) but by and large, classical era composers avoided that sort of thing like the plague. Mozart is rather unique in that way because he was part of the Sunday Afternoon Salon held by Baron von Sweiten and became quite enamored of fugues. He wrote quite a few of them, and orchestrated several more (like 6 Bach fugues from the WTC arranged for string trio (K 404a) for which he wrote a prelude for each). I would like to hear if anyone knows of any NOT by Mozart. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 03, 2009, 07:49:50 AM
Ah, wonderful piece, isn't it? Well, I wouldn't say no (never say never) but by and large, classical era composers avoided that sort of thing like the plague. Mozart is rather unique in that way because he was part of the Sunday Afternoon Salon held by Baron von Sweiten and became quite enamored of fugues. He wrote quite a few of them, and orchestrated several more (like 6 Bach fugues from the WTC arranged for string trio (K 404a) for which he wrote a prelude for each). I would like to hear if anyone knows of any NOT by Mozart. :)

8)

Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748-1823) arranged even more fugues from the WTC than Mozart, Gurn. There is a recording by the Emerson String Quartet.

Förster is a very unknown name from the classical era, but I know some excellent chamber music by him. I bought in an offer some years ago the double CD recorded by Les Adieux for NCA containing 4 string quintet works, which rank easily among the best of classicism and wouldn't be indifferent to anyone who likes Mozart's works in this area.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 03, 2009, 07:55:51 AM
Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748-1823) arranged even more fugues from the WTC than Mozart, Gurn. There is a recording by the Emerson String Quartet.

Förster is a very unknown name from the classical era, but I know some excellent chamber music by him. I bought in an offer some years ago the double CD recorded by Les Adieux for NCA containing 4 string quintet works, which rank easily among the best of classicism and wouldn't be indifferent to anyone who likes Mozart's works in this area.

Ah! Thanks for that info, Gabriel. Förster is just a name to me, unfortunately, since I haven't heard any of his music. He does appear, I believe, on the list of attendees at von Sweiten's though. I will look for that disk, it sounds right up my alley so to speak. I have a few disks by Les Adieux (mostly on DHM) and really enjoy their playing. Who knows? Maybe today will be my lucky day! :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Schubert: Fortepiano Works - Lambert Orkis - D 946 #2 Klavierstück  in Eb for Fortepiano - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 03, 2009, 09:03:17 AM
Gurn & Gabriel - just put in an order for that Field box of the orchestral piano works; listened to the single CD that I pictured previously the other night, and enjoyed the playing, the orchestra, and the sound (and @ a great price)!

Was also interested in the comments on Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748-1823) - thought that I had one disc of this composer's music, but no (checked my database and the composer I own is Josef Foerster!) - however, my first check was at BRO (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=forster&filter=all), and to my surprise, they did have the 2-CD set of Förster's Quintets for $14 - so put in an order, and hope to enjoy on their arrival!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on April 03, 2009, 02:20:19 PM
Ah, wonderful piece, isn't it? Well, I wouldn't say no (never say never) but by and large, classical era composers avoided that sort of thing like the plague. Mozart is rather unique in that way because he was part of the Sunday Afternoon Salon held by Baron von Sweiten and became quite enamored of fugues. He wrote quite a few of them, and orchestrated several more (like 6 Bach fugues from the WTC arranged for string trio (K 404a) for which he wrote a prelude for each). I would like to hear if anyone knows of any NOT by Mozart. :)

8)
The Hagens and L'Archibudelli both have recorded Mozart preludes and fugues; thise are in my modest vaults (or on my harddisks) somewhere.
I have to check up on Förster.
Maybe I'm not a true classicist after all, this longing for fugues must be the engineer in me. Ah, the good clean maths of a fugue!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 03, 2009, 02:50:52 PM
Gurn & Gabriel - just put in an order for that Field box of the orchestral piano works; listened to the single CD that I pictured previously the other night, and enjoyed the playing, the orchestra, and the sound (and @ a great price)!

Was also interested in the comments on Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748-1823) - thought that I had one disc of this composer's music, but no (checked my database and the composer I own is Josef Foerster!) - however, my first check was at BRO (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=forster&filter=all), and to my surprise, they did have the 2-CD set of Förster's Quintets for $14 - so put in an order, and hope to enjoy on their arrival!  Dave  :D

Dave: you will love the Field set. I bought it last year, and it is a winner. At such a price, even more. If there is a corpus of late classical piano concerti to put besides Beethoven (but so different!) it is Field's. The most famous of all, number two, is an almost offensively ignored masterpiece. But there are wonders to discover everywhere. I'm particularly fond of the "music box" Adagio in the fourth concerto: great music, so simple, so delicate and so weird at the same time. And so "silent", above all. Approaching silence through music, I'd say.

You were also lucky to find Förster's set: when I bought it, I did it because it was offered at a ridiculously low price. When I discovered the jewels that were inside, I guess I thought it was one of my best purchases ever, considering a price/quality ratio. You will not regret it and you will see that, as Gurn says, van Swieten's influence was quite important in "feeding" classical composers with the wonderful music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Maybe I'm not a true classicist after all, this longing for fugues must be the engineer in me. Ah, the good clean maths of a fugue!

Valentino, you should head for Antonín Rejcha's music. If somebody, in the late classical period, knew how to write counterpoint and fugues, enjoy formal experiments, and surprise with technical inventions, it was him, and sometimes even more radically than Beethoven himself (for example, he insisted that quarter-tones could be used successfully in music, and this in the early nineteenth century). He wrote a lot of truly great music that is almost ignored today. As it was the case with Haydn in the first half of the twentieth century, it is possible that Rejcha's music is waiting for the time of his real discovery. I've developed a real interest towards Rejcha during the last years, and my admiration doesn't cease to grow at any work of his that I come to know.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 03, 2009, 02:53:55 PM
The Hagens and L'Archibudelli both have recorded Mozart preludes and fugues; thise are in my modest vaults (or on my harddisks) somewhere.
I have to check up on Förster.
Maybe I'm not a true classicist after all, this longing for fugues must be the engineer in me. Ah, the good clean maths of a fugue!

Yes, I have the L'Archibudelli version. Also several others (particularly like Grumiaux's), but hey... :) 

I made good use of Sonic's link and bought the Förster this afternoon, along with a 2 disk set of Kraus that I will doubtless be raving about soon.

As for loving a good fugue, I can match you there, I guess. Just something about them that it doesn't seem surprised to read how Mozart got so enthusiastic about them. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 03, 2009, 03:00:39 PM
With all this talk about fugal writing, I thought I would point out that the fugue never disappeared from sacred music, it was only secular music where it hid its head for a while. Sacred music was singularly unchanged by the advent of the Classical Era. Other than the reforms of Joseph II which minimized the length of the mass, and pressed for less adornment, the actual music maintained a lot of its Baroque antecedents. Including a judiciously placed fugue here and there. One couldn't be considered a composer of sacred music without being able to compose a fugue! :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on April 03, 2009, 03:03:45 PM
That is of course the case, Gurn. Just now however I cannot remember any fugue in Haydn's masses, but that could be down to the time of day (or night).

Gabriel, coud you recommend a Rejcha disk or two?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 03, 2009, 03:33:52 PM
That is of course the case, Gurn. Just now however I cannot remember any fugue in Haydn's masses, but that could be down to the time of day (or night).

Gabriel, coud you recommend a Rejcha disk or two?

In fact, I've been about thinking of a "Rejcha's greatest hits" post for some weeks, but I've told myself that I would like to make a careful selection out of the 25 wind quintets before I post it. There is Rejcha for all tastes.

If you are fond of fugues, the normal suggestion would be the 36 fugues for piano op. 36. The only complete set now available is played on fortepiano by Jaroslav Tuma (it is a very good set, but if you dislike the sound you could have some trouble). But consider that Beethoven, when he knew Rejcha's op. 36, exclaimed that "these were no longer fugues". As Reicha was really fond of experimentation, it isn't surprising at all!

For formal experimentation, an interesting set are the six Flute Quartets op. 98. Phrasing, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, nothing escapes from Rejcha's sharp eye: this is remarkable music. They have been all recorded, but in two separate sets by two ensembles (1-3 led by Konrad Hünteler, and 4-6 by Aurèle Nicolet: Nicolet's set is erroneously numbered as 1-3).

There is a lot more (even in his smaller works Rejcha exposes all kinds of surprises), but I would like to keep it for a better synthesis. Of course the natural choice for approaching Rejcha's compositions is the magnificent set of wind quintets, but this is another story... and a very long one indeed!

I will try to post my "greatest hits" selection as soon as possible, so it might help to introduce who is in my humble opinion one of the greatest geniuses of this era.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 03, 2009, 04:39:12 PM
That is of course the case, Gurn. Just now however I cannot remember any fugue in Haydn's masses, but that could be down to the time of day (or night).

Gabriel, coud you recommend a Rejcha disk or two?

I'm sure that's all it is, Valentino. For a quick example, listen to the Harmoniemesse and savor the powerful little fugues at the end of the Gloria and the Credo. I'm working on that right now, just as a memory refresher, and for the pure pleasure. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Missen (Compleet) - Franz Josef Haydn - Hob 22 14 Harmoniemesse pt 1 - Kyrie
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 03, 2009, 04:45:20 PM
In fact, I've been about thinking of a "Rejcha's greatest hits" post for some weeks, but I've told myself that I would like to make a careful selection out of the 25 wind quintets before I post it. There is Rejcha for all tastes.

If you are fond of fugues, the normal suggestion would be the 36 fugues for piano op. 36. The only complete set now available is played on fortepiano by Jaroslav Tuma (it is a very good set, but if you dislike the sound you could have some trouble). But consider that Beethoven, when he knew Rejcha's op. 36, exclaimed that "these were no longer fugues". As Reicha was really fond of experimentation, it isn't surprising at all!

For formal experimentation, an interesting set are the six Flute Quartets op. 98. Phrasing, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, nothing escapes from Rejcha's sharp eye: this is remarkable music. They have been all recorded, but in two separate sets by two ensembles (1-3 led by Konrad Hünteler, and 4-6 by Aurèle Nicolet: Nicolet's set is erroneously numbered as 1-3).

There is a lot more (even in his smaller works Rejcha exposes all kinds of surprises), but I would like to keep it for a better synthesis. Of course the natural choice for approaching Rejcha's compositions is the magnificent set of wind quintets, but this is another story... and a very long one indeed!

I will try to post my "greatest hits" selection as soon as possible, so it might help to introduce who is in my humble opinion one of the greatest geniuses of this era.

Well, they may be too common for consideration here, but Reicha's 24 Quintets for Winds are unequaled in the genre, and in Late Classical composition in general. To me, any discussion of his music has to begin here. Even short of getting the entire set, you owe it to yourself to pick up this 2 disk set:

 (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21V5A7CT55L._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

which is the Academia Wind Quintet of Prague on Hyperion. Very nice sampling.

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Missen (Compleet) - Franz Josef Haydn - Hob 22 14 Harmoniemesse pt 1 - Kyrie
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 03, 2009, 06:34:47 PM
Hi Valentino - below a 'larger' pic of Gurn's recommendation, which was my introduction to Reicha's Wind Quintets - an excellent Hyperion Dyad bargain (if still available?); these are wonderful works & performances to the point that I'd like to own MORE!  ;D

CPO is offering a 10-CD box of these wind works performed by the Albert Schweitzer Quintet - I don't know this group but the Amazon Marketplace price is $75; so, any comments on this offering (or possibly other 'complete' sets)?  Thanks all - Dave  :)


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/504825604_De9Gp-M.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cXNnVHo0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 04, 2009, 01:31:09 PM
CPO is offering a 10-CD box of these wind works performed by the Albert Schweitzer Quintet - I don't know this group but the Amazon Marketplace price is $75; so, any comments on this offering (or possibly other 'complete' sets)?  Thanks all - Dave  :)

A comment, Dave?

;D

If you liked the Hyperion set... GET IT!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 04, 2009, 05:58:57 PM
Equality of instruments: A musical necessity or a social convention?

This is a topic which has always interested me. I'm quite sure that someone far more knowledgeable than I am has written an enlightened tome which fully explains the topic, but I haven't been privileged to read that yet, so I have drawn inferences from what I have read and put some things together and this is what I came away with. If anyone sees any errors of fact, or wishes to correct my logic, I would love to discuss this topic here. :)

In the mid to late 18th century there was a long-standing tradition that part of a well-rounded education for anyone of the noble class to learn music and especially the playing of an instrument. With men it was often a string instrument, with women, nearly always the keyboard. A fair number of these people became very proficient at their instruments, but it was strictly taboo for anyone with noble blood to pursue any sort of career as a musician, so they remained "amateurs" or dilettantes. Some of them played of a quality which today we would expect only of professionals, so we can't use amateur in the modern sense of not being proficient enough to be a professional. Other factors applied.

And these people were good enough and wealthy enough to commission works from the finest composers of the day for their own use. They played at salons that they or their friends held regularly, and in the case of the ladies, they played for prospective suitors, often with the suitor himself playing accompaniment on the violin or cello or whatever instrument he played. Thus, sonatas were written for keyboard where the only obliggato instrument was the keyboard, and the other instrument(s) were ad libitum. This was the stage that the accompanied sonata was in when Haydn wrote his earlier piano trios, for example, and Mozart his early violin sonatas. So when we are told (unfortunately often) that these earlier works aren't worth listening to because they were written for amateurs, we are victims of a misrepresentation, intentional or otherwise, that leaves out the entire context of what an amateur was in those days.

By the time of the reign of the Emperor Joseph II, there was a huge change in the social fabric of Europe, particularly in Austria. The noble class was stripped of a lot of their wealth and power, but the middle class, merchants, lawyers and the like, suddenly were not only able to accumulate wealth but also to put on the pretense of being noble. They, however, were not constrained by class rules which prevented them from becoming professional musicians if they desired. Witness Josepha Auernhammer, a student of Mozart. Daughter of a merchant, she took lessons from Mozart and became one of the fine pianists of her time, eventually going to Paris to play professionally. In addition, there also rose a class of touring professional musicians who performed whatever works they brought with them and also whatever was popular at the time in whatever city they landed in. An example is Mademoiselle Jenomy (daughter of a French diplomat) for whom Mozart composed his 9th piano concerto, and Mademoiselle Paradis (blind virtuoso, famous throughout Europe) for whom he composed the 17th. Or Regina Strinasacchi, violinist extraordinaire, for whom he composed the violin sonata in Bb K 454 and performed it with her in public before the Emperor. These were all professionals in every sense of the word (Jenomy retired to Paris and taught keyboard until her death <>1820). In other words, music was moving out of the salon and onto the public stage, due to social factors far bigger than music itself.

So, how did composers react to this? Well, they began writing for ensembles in which all the members were equally talented instead of just 1 or 2 members were. And that meant that the violin part of a violin sonata needed to be at least as interesting as the keyboard part. Same for trios (extremely popular then, as now). So all the themes in a piece were no longer introduced by the keyboard, and the voice-leading wasn't strictly cued from the keyboard either. There was a greater equality between instruments.

So, was this a musical necessity? Or a social one? Well, it was both, IMO. Music had come about as far as it could in the mixed ensemble without some elemental change which allowed for the idiomatic playing of each instrument to assert itself. Violins couldn't double the right hand forever, nor cellos the left. Once basso continuuo was eliminated from music, the bass (cello) had to have a real part to play. So the music was fundamentally changed to accommodate this necessity. And from a social point of view, there were now players available to fill the need for cellists and violinists too. Keyboard chamber music was no longer the province of the salon.

So, how about strings? This is a wholly different story, which I will have a go at next time. Thanks for reading. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Haydn Schöpfungmesse "Creation Mass" - English Baroque Soloists / Gardiner Monteverdi Choir - Haydn Schöpfungmesse Hob XXII:13 - Kyrie
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 04, 2009, 07:30:55 PM
Very interesting ideas, Gurn.

I was thinking about something probably complementary with your view: The birth of the Conservatory after the French Revolution enabled to have many musicians (number) trained in the same principles (quality). The same lesson for many people in a public institution is to me a step towards a certain standardization of music.

This is perceptible in the instruments too: for instance, to mention just one case, the piano(forte) replaced to a great variety of baroque keyboards. In this way the "instrumentarium" begins a clear process of reduction (number) and "regularization" (quality), compared with precedent times.

... but I can be wrong.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on April 04, 2009, 11:31:48 PM
Thanks again for educational posts par excellense.

I shall prowl the Norwegian library system for Rejcha.
(The Hyperion double disk is of course only available as ridiculous mp3 at a ridiculous price now. No go.)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 05, 2009, 03:08:14 AM
Great article, Gön!  ;D  I may reference it at some point.  Great cliffhanger, too - I'll be waiting for Zweiter Teil!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 06:08:50 AM
Very interesting ideas, Gurn.

I was thinking about something probably complementary with your view: The birth of the Conservatory after the French Revolution enabled to have many musicians (number) trained in the same principles (quality). The same lesson for many people in a public institution is to me a step towards a certain standardization of music.

This is perceptible in the instruments too: for instance, to mention just one case, the piano(forte) replaced to a great variety of baroque keyboards. In this way the "instrumentarium" begins a clear process of reduction (number) and "regularization" (quality), compared with precedent times.

... but I can be wrong.

Antoine,
I would be delighted to have you post your views here. I enjoyed your posting in the Mozart Sonatas thread, but as you see that has sunk below the horizon, while here it would still be available to anyone interested.

Standardization was indeed a major factor towards what we recognize today. And in the immediate post-Revolutionary Era, France had a huge influence on European music (e.g. - Beethoven was as influenced by France as much as by Germany). So this would clearly be a germane topic for us. Have at it!

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Concertgebouw \ Jochum - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 06:13:12 AM
Thanks again for educational posts par excellense.

I shall prowl the Norwegian library system for Rejcha.
(The Hyperion double disk is of course only available as ridiculous mp3 at a ridiculous price now. No go.)

Valentino,
That disk is still available here, although probably "used" though. Although I didn't think it was OOP...  :-[

I see a variety of other disks of these works. I have a couple of the Naxos "Michael Thompson Wind Ensemble" disks that are really good too, and should be readily available. You wouldn't be disappointed with those, especially at the Naxos price! :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Royal Concertgebouw \ Jochum - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 06:15:01 AM
Great article, Gön!  ;D  I may reference it at some point.  Great cliffhanger, too - I'll be waiting for Zweiter Teil!

Thanks, Sorin. Hope it presents something of interest to any music lover. As for the string ensemble genres, yes, a different story indeed. Sometimes the keyboard makes all the difference! :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Concertgebouw \ Jochum - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 05, 2009, 07:56:46 AM
And these people were good enough and wealthy enough to commission works from the finest composers of the day for their own use. They played at salons that they or their friends held regularly, and in the case of the ladies, they played for prospective suitors, often with the suitor himself playing accompaniment on the violin or cello or whatever instrument he played. Thus, sonatas were written for keyboard where the only obliggato instrument was the keyboard, and the other instrument(s) were ad libitum. This was the stage that the accompanied sonata was in when Haydn wrote his earlier piano trios, for example, and Mozart his early violin sonatas. So when we are told (unfortunately often) that these earlier works aren't worth listening to because they were written for amateurs, we are victims of a misrepresentation, intentional or otherwise, that leaves out the entire context of what an amateur was in those days.

The case of Haydn's piano trios is one of the best examples of this situation. Even his late piano trios show a restricted position of the cello in front of both violin and piano. This lack of "instrumental balance" is not irrelevant for music, of course, but it is irrelevant for the quality of music: in fact, among those trios it is possible to find some of the greatest chamber compositions of this era and - as it is often with Haydn - of music as a whole.

Mozart's Prussian quartets show the other face of this evolution: the importance of the cello part was a consequence, deliberately thought for those specific works. I guess there's a lot to say about these magnificent quartets and their relationship with instrumental changes during the middle and late classical periods.

Further thoughts: new instrumental combinations during the classical period can be focused as another expression of this situation. For instance, I think of Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio, written for clarinet, viola and piano. It is one of Mozart's greatest chamber works and I would say a very "personal" one: he was particularly fond of those three instruments. The introduction of clarinet to the major repertoire is, in part, a consequence of Mozart's enthusiasm towards it: not just the evident Clarinet concerto or Clarinet quintet, but even in stage music; for example, La Clemenza di Tito has some delighful obbligati for clarinet. (Somebody will say - and very correctly - that it was intended for the basset horn, but I'm seeing the movement as a whole). On the other hand, viola was Mozart's favourite string instrument, and what to say about keyboard and its relationship with Mozart the virtuoso performer.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 08:24:38 AM
The case of Haydn's piano trios is one of the best examples of this situation. Even his late piano trios show a restricted position of the cello in front of both violin and piano. This lack of "instrumental balance" is not irrelevant for music, of course, but it is irrelevant for the quality of music: in fact, among those trios it is possible to find some of the greatest chamber compositions of this era and - as it is often with Haydn - of music as a whole.

Yes. I have read some analyses of Haydn's piano trios that suggest that he had some difficulty in knowing precisely what to do with the cello once continuuo became redundant. Not sure that this is precisely the right way to describe it, but he did seem to take a while to come around to using the cello in the piano trio the same way he used it in the string quartet. Pretty much all of the SQ's after Op 17 use the cello as a full equal partner. More equal than some, in fact. :)

Quote
Mozart's Prussian quartets show the other face of this evolution: the importance of the cello part was a consequence, deliberately thought for those specific works. I guess there's a lot to say about these magnificent quartets and their relationship with instrumental changes during the middle and late classical periods.

Yes again, and this is what I want to explore in the next installment of this essay, how the string quartet differed from the keyboard chamber works. Clearly it is a whole different line of evolution.

Quote
Further thoughts: new instrumental combinations during the classical period can be focused as another expression of this situation. For instance, I think of Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio, written for clarinet, viola and piano. It is one of Mozart's greatest chamber works and I would say a very "personal" one: he was particularly fond of those three instruments. The introduction of clarinet to the major repertoire is, in part, a consequence of Mozart's enthusiasm towards it: not just the evident Clarinet concerto or Clarinet quintet, but even in stage music; for example, La Clemenza di Tito has some delighful obbligati for clarinet. (Somebody will say - and very correctly - that it was intended for the basset horn, but I'm seeing the movement as a whole). On the other hand, viola was Mozart's favourite string instrument, and what to say about keyboard and its relationship with Mozart the virtuoso performer.

No doubt at all that this trio was very personal to Mozart: he composed it for himself and his friends to play at their personal salons (with himself on viola, Stadler at Bassett Clarinet and his student, Mademoiselle Jacquin at the keyboard). One of MY favorites too.

Clarinet was indeed one of Mozart's favorite instruments, although he was far from being its only proponent. Our old friend Krommer was another, and Carl Stamitz and largely Bernard Crusell who really put the clarinet over the top in acceptance. Once people heard it and its beautiful tone color and range, it was a done deal. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
RV 693 Opera "La Senna Festeggiante" - Le Parlement de Musique / Gester Collot / Karolyi / MacLeod - Illustri amiche - Qui nel profondo (La Seine)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 05, 2009, 09:14:12 AM
BTW, anyone knows two delicious discs entitled Mozart – Une Soirée chez les Jacquin (Zig Zag Territoritoires)?

I recalled them when I was reading the last posts.

Apparently in their original incarnation (I own the cheap edition without booklet), these CDs included an amazing “78 page booklet with essays on the Jacquins, on their relationship to Mozart, on Anton Stadler, on the basset horn and the clarinet, on the instrument-maker Theodor Lotz and on the fortepiano used for the recording by its maker”.

More information here: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Jacquin-Lehtipuu-Ensemble-Banchini/dp/B00002R15T (the audio is rather fine for the Amazon's standards).

Great discs even considering this picture of Giles Thomé  ::):

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 09:17:55 AM
BTW, anyone knows two delicious discs entitled Mozart – Une Soirée chez les Jacquin (Zig Zag Territoritoires)?

I recalled them when I was reading the last posts.

Apparently in their original incarnation (I own the cheap edition without booklet), these CDs included an amazing “78 page booklet with essays on the Jacquins, on their relationship to Mozart, on Anton Stadler, on the basset horn and the clarinet, on the instrument-maker Theodor Lotz and on the fortepiano used for the recording by its maker”.

More information here: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Jacquin-Lehtipuu-Ensemble-Banchini/dp/B00002R15T (the audio is rather fine for the Amazon's standards).

Great discs even considering this picture of Giles Thomé  ::):

Antoine,
Yes, I have the original, along with the 78 page booklet. :)  It is indeed very informative, and interesting. IMO, this is one of the great packages ever released if one wanted to make converts to a particular genre of music. The singing and playing is superb, and the theme is maintained throughout the disks AND the artwork. Highly recommended. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
RV 693 Opera "La Senna Festeggiante" - Le Parlement de Musique / Gester Collot / Karolyi / MacLeod - Vedrete in quest' eroe - Io qui provo (La Seine et La Vertu)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 05, 2009, 09:28:53 AM
Gurn, Gabriel, & Antoine - thanks for the informative posts in the recent page of this thread, esp. the detailed & erudite comments offered by Gurn; I've read quite a bit of this history also in the development of music & instrumentation of those times, and can't really find any major arguments.  I feel that the changes in instrumentation (esp. to the keyboards & woodwinds) and the influences of composers & their 'professional' friends (e.g. Mozart & Stadler) were important in some of this repertoire.  So, great posts!  :)

But, along the line of composers writing for so-called 'amateur' noblemen (or noblewomen), one of the best examples, of course, is Haydn and Prince Nick, the latter on the baryton - I'm half way through this 21-CD box set, and the music is just written well; there was always some sentiment that Haydn may have 'simplified' his baryton writing for his boss, but hey Nick was considered pretty damn good on this instrument; at any rate, this is quite enjoyable music (best appreciate in incremental doses!) - below is a recent post I put in the 'old instrument' thread; thought a 'repeat' here would not be an issue - Dave  ;D     

**************************************************************************************************

Baryton - another older string instrument, popular in the 17th & 18th centuries, and one that has fascinated me for years; of course, the master composer for this instrument was Joseph Haydn, mainly because his employer, Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, was apparently an excellent performer on this instrument and insisted on a LOT of 'new' music for his passion; Haydn was a reluctant servant at first because of his lack of understanding of the baryton; well, he taught himself to play the instrument and then was much more enthusiastic in composing many works, including 126 extant trios, duets, octets, and other pieces! 

Well, yesterday I received from 'across the pond' the Brilliant Box shown below of Haydn's Baryton Works - the instrument is seen in both photos; Brilliant has established a website HERE (http://www.haydnbarytontrios.com/) just for this set; the track listenings are included, plus some audio snippets; quoted in part from the booklet: 

Quote
baryton...a member of the gamba family, typically consists of one manual w/ 6-7 bowed gut strings and another w/ up to 20, though normally 9-10 'sympathetically resonating strings of metal, lying under the fingerboard...; the open back of the neck also makes it possible to pluck the resonance strings....


The baryton used in these recordings (performed by the Esterhazy Ensemble w/ Michael Brussing on the instrument) is a copy after an instrument by J.J. Stadlmann which was played by Prince Nick, himself (the original is in the National Museum in Budapest) - just getting started today in listening to this set; will take a while!  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/503983918_hE2MS-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/503983919_Pot4F-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 09:42:18 AM

Baryton - another older string instrument, popular in the 17th & 18th centuries, and one that has fascinated me for years; of course, the master composer for this instrument was Joseph Haydn, mainly because his employer, Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, was apparently an excellent performer on this instrument and insisted on a LOT of 'new' music for his passion; Haydn was a reluctant servant at first because of his lack of understanding of the baryton; well, he taught himself to play the instrument and then was much more enthusiastic in composing many works, including 126 extant trios, duets, octets, and other pieces! 

Well, yesterday I received from 'across the pond' the Brilliant Box shown below of Haydn's Baryton Works - the instrument is seen in both photos; Brilliant has established a website HERE (http://www.haydnbarytontrios.com/) just for this set; the track listenings are included, plus some audio snippets; quoted in part from the booklet: 
 

The baryton used in these recordings (performed by the Esterhazy Ensemble w/ Michael Brussing on the instrument) is a copy after an instrument by J.J. Stadlmann which was played by Prince Nick, himself (the original is in the National Museum in Budapest) - just getting started today in listening to this set; will take a while!  :D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/503983918_hE2MS-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/503983919_Pot4F-M.jpg)

Interesting post, Dave. I have always been fascinated with the baryton. First time I heard it I just couldn't figure out how that cello and guitar were playing together like they were... ::)  :D

The part that I marked in your post has an interesting anecdote attached: Haydn taught himself how to play the baryton to surprise the Prince. He pulled it out one evening and played (rather better than the Prince did, in fact) but surprisingly, elicited little comment from the Prince. When Haydn asked him about it he said "Well, you're a professional, you should be able to play anything..." and carried on what he was doing. Just goes to show, don't show up your Prince... :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
RV 693 Opera "La Senna Festeggiante" - Le Parlement de Musique / Gester Collot / Karolyi / MacLeod - Quanto felici siete - Cosi sol nell aurea (La Vertu)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on April 05, 2009, 11:54:00 AM
Very interesting material. Is there any evidence that the works commissioned, where it is clear that at least one 'line' had to be reasonably elementary, were subsequently reworked to beef-up the less demanding part?

Also, do we know whether the work pretty much had to be tune-lead? I was wondering to what extent composers felt they could experiment; or were they keeping themselves on the lead to ensure ear catching pleasure?

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 12:42:06 PM
Very interesting material. Is there any evidence that the works commissioned, where it is clear that at least one 'line' had to be reasonably elementary, were subsequently reworked to beef-up the less demanding part?

Well, to some extent the works speak for themselves in this regard. If you can simply skip the part altogether then it is either undemanding or superfluous. Look at Mozart's Concerto (#7) for 3 Pianos, K 242. It was a chamber concerto (for the home) written for a countess and 2 of her daughters. Piano 1 is quite difficult, reflecting the capability of the countess (IIRC) who was quite a good pianist. Piano's 2 & 3 were progressively less so, to the point that when he rewrote it a few years later for himself and Auernhammer to play, he dropped the part altogether or combined the 2 parts into 1. :)

Quote
Also, do we know whether the work pretty much had to be tune-lead? I was wondering to what extent composers felt they could experiment; or were they keeping themselves on the lead to ensure ear catching pleasure?

Mike

I think they experimented far less on commissioned works than otherwise. One of the main complaints today about "classical" music is the regularity of meter. There was not a whole lot of trying out of oddly spaced rhythms because that's not what the commissionees wanted. They were looking for nice, regular metrics to go by. The real interesting stuff (especially Mozart's) was non-commissioned, he wrote it because he wanted to try out a new idea. That sort of thing didn't make money back then, it was art for art's sake. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Wölfl Op 28 3 Sonatas for Fortepiano - Laure Colladant - Wölfl Op 28 #3 Sonata in b for Fortepiano 2nd mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on April 05, 2009, 12:48:22 PM
Ah, very informative, thanks. I had no idea about the Mozart triple piano concerto being reworked. I did wonder if it might be a reasonably widespread practice, knowing how many composers would rework good ideas. At least sometimes they must have been feeling that some excellent ideas were not being allowed to fly.

I suppose that as well as providing plenty of four in the bar, they would have to avoid certain keys.

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 12:53:03 PM
Ah, very informative, thanks. I had no idea about the Mozart triple piano concerto being reworked. I did wonder if it might be a reasonably widespread practice, knowing how many composers would rework good ideas. At least sometimes they must have been feeling that some excellent ideas were not being allowed to fly.

I suppose that as well as providing plenty of four in the bar, they would have to avoid certain keys.

Mike

Yes, you'll find that the 2 piano version requires a bit more from the performers, especially Piano #2 than the 3 piano version does.

Well, I don't see a lot of b flat minors in there... :)   More C, D and Eb than anything else I guess. Minors and oddly keys seem to be used for the more personal music. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Schubert: Fortepiano Works - Lambert Orkis - D 899 #1 Impromptu in c for Fortepiano - Allegro molto moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on April 05, 2009, 01:09:46 PM
Yes, it goes to the heart of the difference between performing music for other people and playing it for ones self without audience of any kind. I think largely we have lost that distinction as not many homes contain reasonably trained musical people who come together just to please themselves. Once upon a time many homes would have had a piano and so much music making would have centred round it. When I read about such families or groups of friends, I am envious.

Did composers provide their own simple editions of their chamber pieces for domestic consumption? Or was that really done by publishers paying arrangers? I have for example seen a simplified version of the Moonlight Sonata....not arrranged by Beethoven.

I heard it played in a hotel lounge and one of the musicians I was with, at the end, said very loudly, and I thought unkindly. 'Oh, Beethoven wrote something like that'

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 05, 2009, 01:16:09 PM
Yes, it goes to the heart of the difference between performing music for other people and playing it for ones self without audience of any kind. I think largely we have lost that distinction as not many homes contain reasonably trained musical people who come together just to please themselves. Once upon a time many homes would have had a piano and so much music making would have centred round it. When I read about such families or groups of friends, I am envious.

Yes, I am envious too. People like Schubert, for example, wrote his first 8 or 9 string quartets for his father, himself and his 2 brothers to play at home. And the cello part is rather weaker because Papa wasn't quite as good on the cello as the lads were on their instruments. But it strikes me as a great growing up, and in his case, certainly influenced his entire career.

Quote
Did composers provide their own simple editions of their chamber pieces for domestic consumption? Or was that really done by publishers paying arrangers? I have for example seen a simplified version of the Moonlight Sonata....not arrranged by Beethoven.

I heard it played in a hotel lounge and one of the musicians I was with, at the end, said very loudly, and I thought unkindly. 'Oh, Beethoven wrote something like that'

Mike

I think it was mainly the publishers who ran that little scheme. They wanted to be able to sell the sheets to as many people as possible so you could buy the real deal or "play by the numbers" or anything in between. Publishing was the only place that the real money was back then. Composers made crap. :-\

8)
----------------
Listening to:
Schubert: Fortepiano Works - Lambert Orkis - D 935 #1 Impromptu in f for Fortepiano - Allegretto moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: knight66 on April 05, 2009, 01:43:09 PM
I imagine that if we lived in a world where there was no recorded music; more of us would have been driven to learn to play. Our great fortune in being able to hear almost anything in a superb performance surely must have made us at least a bit lazy in getting into the guts of music by learning it at first hand.

All that at-home chamber playing would have been a great preparation for turning up at orchestral concerts, where one would automatically be following the structure of even a new piece.

I remember in choir in one piece I overheard the singer next to me refer to the recapitulation we were rehearsing; the person he was speaking to looked puzzled and said something to the effect that, he thought the music seemed a bit familiar.

 ::)

Mike
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 06, 2009, 10:36:26 PM
"Sometimes the keyboard makes all the difference!", said Gurn in some post.

Those words brought to my mind the following notes included with the Chopin’s Etudes played on fortepiano by John Khouri (Music&Arts Programs of America). There the performer explains the relation between the Chopin’s generation and the previous one: 

“By 1830, the pupils of Clementi, Mozart and Beethoven were beginning to face a new breed of virtuoso. Paradoxically weaned on their technical innovations, the new school gradually overtook and smothered the old. Hummel, Ries, Cramer, Field, Kalkbrenner and many others, were to see their achievements eclipsed by new-comers who exhibited a ferocious command of the keyboard. The older generation had trouble at first comprehending the new pianists. Cramer, for example, told von Lenz, “I don’t understand him (Chopin), but he plays beautifully and correctly. Oh! Very correctly; he doesn’t let fly like other young people; but I don’t understand him”. When John Field first heard the young Liszt in Paris in 1832, he quipped to another audience member “does he bite?”. Not only did Liszt bite, but he proceeded to devour not only Field, but many others of his contemporaries. It is not surprising that Cramer disliked Liszt intensely. By 1830, Hummel’s supremacy as the continent’s greatest pianist was being seriously challenged and J.B. Cramer, Britain’s finest virtuoso, was beginning to look distinctly old-fashioned. And so, Schumann superceded Dussek, Liszt replaced Clementi, Mendelssohn become more appealing than Cramer and Chopin preferred to Field. As the 1840s dawned, the achievements of great pianist born in the 18th century faded into obscurity and their compositions began to gather dust. The new school of Liszt, Chopin, Thalberg, Henselt and Alkan had well and truly arrived”.

 :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 07, 2009, 05:29:27 PM
"Sometimes the keyboard makes all the difference!", said Gurn in some post.

Those words brought to my mind the following notes included with the Chopin’s Etudes played on fortepiano by John Khouri (Music&Arts Programs of America). There the performer explains the relation between the Chopin’s generation and the previous one: 

“By 1830, the pupils of Clementi, Mozart and Beethoven were beginning to face a new breed of virtuoso. Paradoxically weaned on their technical innovations, the new school gradually overtook and smothered the old. Hummel, Ries, Cramer, Field, Kalkbrenner and many others, were to see their achievements eclipsed by new-comers who exhibited a ferocious command of the keyboard. The older generation had trouble at first comprehending the new pianists. Cramer, for example, told von Lenz, “I don’t understand him (Chopin), but he plays beautifully and correctly. Oh! Very correctly; he doesn’t let fly like other young people; but I don’t understand him”. When John Field first heard the young Liszt in Paris in 1832, he quipped to another audience member “does he bite?”. Not only did Liszt bite, but he proceeded to devour not only Field, but many others of his contemporaries. It is not surprising that Cramer disliked Liszt intensely. By 1830, Hummel’s supremacy as the continent’s greatest pianist was being seriously challenged and J.B. Cramer, Britain’s finest virtuoso, was beginning to look distinctly old-fashioned. And so, Schumann superceded Dussek, Liszt replaced Clementi, Mendelssohn become more appealing than Cramer and Chopin preferred to Field. As the 1840s dawned, the achievements of great pianist born in the 18th century faded into obscurity and their compositions began to gather dust. The new school of Liszt, Chopin, Thalberg, Henselt and Alkan had well and truly arrived”.

 :)

Yes, Antoine, one generation succeeded the previous one, and brought with them a whole new idea about music. Among other things, this became the Age of the Virtuoso, which was something that was very much frowned upon by the Classicists. Even though such as Cramer, Hummel, Dussek and Field were indeed extraordinary players, they didn't let their talent overshadow the music. With the advent of that generation, with the exception of Chopin (who was a virtuoso, but not a showoff), the quality of the music became subordinate to the opportunities for showing what they could do at the piano.

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Jan Vermeulen - D 946 3 Klavierstücke for Fortepiano #2 - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 07, 2009, 05:59:30 PM
Ensemble Chamber Playing - Part II - String Quartets

In Part I of this essay, I shared some thoughts I have concerning chamber music with keyboard. We talked a bit about amateurs and professionals and how keyboard chamber music composition was driven by amateurs. Now I would like to take a very brief history of string quartets and show how they came from a very different gene pool.

The string quartet as we know it today traces back in direct fashion to Haydn's Op 9 of 1771. To be sure, there was music being written for this combination of instruments before that, Haydn wrote at least 12 works, and many other composers had jumped on the bandwagon during the 1760's. But the finished article, a 4 movement work with a sonata-allegro first movement and significant independence of the parts is Haydn's contribution to the party. From that point on, he grew more and more diversified in his incorporation of styles (e.g. - fugues in Op 20) and more and more changes in the superiority of the instruments.

How does this differ from keyboard music? Well, we saw that keyboard music started out just the opposite. In a trio, for example, the keyboard could even play alone, or with only a violin doubling the right hand, or an added cello doubling the left. In string quartets, although there is some occasional doubling as a musical necessity, it is equally likely that the viola and 2nd violin will be playing independently. And a new theme could be introduced by the 2nd violin or the cello too. It was to be many years before the piano trio achieved this sort of internal structure.

So why did the string quartet start out differently from the piano trio? It is their intended audience. The trio was a social vehicle for amateurs. The quartet was written for professionals! To be sure, amateurs were a leading force in the development of music in the mid/late 18th century, but there were plenty of professionals around too. And Haydn originally developed the quartet as a vehicle for the private amusement of him and his friends. Something for them to play when they had leisure time. A way for him to actually enjoy music for his own gratification and not someone else's. He didn't write any easy parts, even in his early quartets. Didn't condescend to the patron's taste or musical handicaps. And he used them for experiments in music, much in the way Beethoven used the piano sonata as his laboratory.

As the population of good, professional musicians grew, the string quartet became more popular, became played in public, became a paragon of musical virtue. But the picture I have in my mind, of the "little quartet party" that Michael Kelly wrote about in his diary, where he described an after dinner evening at a friend's apartment "we were entertained with quartets. The players were not the greatest at their craft, but there was some science between them:
First Violin - Haydn
Second Violin - Dittersdorf
Viola - Mozart
Cello - Vanhal"   

If you lived in 1784 in Vienna, this was the cream of the crop. I would have loves to be a fly on the wall. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 07, 2009, 09:24:49 PM
Let's remember, however, that specially in French music, a duality survived into the nineteenth century: the quatuor brillant opposed to the quatuor concertant. While in the first there was a clear hegemony of one of the instruments (in string quartets, normally the first violin), the second followed the patterns of equality between them described by Gurn.

The evolution towards the quatuor concertant seems obvious, judging from our time the music of that period. However, there was quite a struggle and - perhaps - it is even more noticeable when considering genres other than the string quartet; for example, in chamber music for winds and strings. In a clarinet quintet - for example - the temptation of writing for "clarinet + strings" instead of writing for "clarinet + violin + violin + viola + cello" could be very strong. The influence of Rejcha and Krommer in this evolution was, to my opinion, of considerable importance: as Haydn and Beethoven didn't show a great interest in this kind of works, they were the composers with the highest technical knowledge of their time to deal directly with this problem (I think of Spohr as an alternative, but I don't know his music enough as to analyze his influence: perhaps Gurn or some other illustrated member could make a comment about his music).

And here I arrive to a point of - perhaps - anticipating a third post by Gurn: the most impressive equality achieved by Rejcha in his wind quintets. These works are a major musical as well as historical achievement. While the string quartet shows three kinds of instruments, they are mutatis mutandis of a same nature, and so, their equal treatment can be regarded as quite natural; but to treat equally a horn, an oboe, a clarinet, a flute and a bassoon, and to do it remarkably as Rejcha did with works of the highest musical excellence, is more than just something to be noticed as an anecdote in some forgotten pages of musical history.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 08, 2009, 06:28:09 AM
Yes, Antoine, one generation succeeded the previous one, and brought with them a whole new idea about music. Among other things, this became the Age of the Virtuoso, which was something that was very much frowned upon by the Classicists. Even though such as Cramer, Hummel, Dussek and Field were indeed extraordinary players, they didn't let their talent overshadow the music. With the advent of that generation, with the exception of Chopin (who was a virtuoso, but not a showoff), the quality of the music became subordinate to the opportunities for showing what they could do at the piano.

I think there are other exceptions, namely Alkan who rarely sacrificed virtuosity for substance and who became a recluse, Mendelssohn and also his sister who was forced to remain an 'amateur'. Schumann injured his hand couldn't be a virtuoso so there are few excesses in his music either. His wife Clara was one of the best virtuosos of the time but unfortunately had to use that skill to earn a crust so her oeuvre is small. Listz did in later years cast off his excesses, in fact I would hardly say he was showing off in his Sonata.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 06:52:53 AM
I think there are other exceptions, namely Alkan who rarely sacrificed virtuosity for substance and who became a recluse, Mendelssohn and also his sister who was forced to remain an 'amateur'. Schumann injured his hand couldn't be a virtuoso so there are few excesses in his music either. His wife Clara was one of the best virtuosos of the time but unfortunately had to use that skill to earn a crust so her oeuvre is small. Listz did in later years cast off his excesses, in fact I would hardly say he was showing off in his Sonata.

I was referring mainly to the people on Antoine's list, which was why I excepted Chopin. In truth, I don't know much about Alkan since he worked/played in a later period than my interest, but I have heard a few of his works played, and they sound pretty virtuosic to me.

And I wouldn't include Schumann in the "showoff" list either. Nor Brahms if you want to continue down that line. I find it hard to leave off Liszt though. He lived so damned long that he went through any number of phases, but the Age of the Virtuoso occurred early in his career which is the period we are talking about.

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 08, 2009, 06:54:41 AM
Ensemble Chamber Playing - Part II - String Quartets

....Now I would like to take a very brief history of string quartets and show how they came from a very different gene pool.

.....The string quartet as we know it today traces back in direct fashion to Haydn's Op 9 of 1771........

....As the population of good, professional musicians grew, the string quartet became more popular, became played in public, became a paragon of musical virtue.

Gurn - excellent post, as usual; and agree that the development of the String Quartet was centered more on professional performance; an early example of course is our friend Luigi Boccherini, his earliest SQs were written in 1761, when he was but 18 y/o and on his way from Italy to Spain; these are labelled Op. 2 (1-6) and were composed for himself & his 'professional' buddies - of course, these are not the 4-movement (all are in 3 movements) works later 'perfected' by Haydn, but in those earlier years, I believe that the two composers were 'bouncing' ideas off each other, esp. the greater role of the cello in this string ensemble as evident by Luigi's writing & playing.  Dave
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 01:16:11 PM
Let's remember, however, that specially in French music, a duality survived into the nineteenth century: the quatuor brillant opposed to the quatuor concertant. While in the first there was a clear hegemony of one of the instruments (in string quartets, normally the first violin), the second followed the patterns of equality between them described by Gurn.

Interesting that you should mention Spohr a bit later, Gabriel. His evolution is a microcosm of this phenomenon. Spohr was a violin virtuoso, his early works were mainly violin concerti which he toured with and made his name. And his earlier string quartets were in the brillant tradition, where the other 3 instruments were supporting him as the lead fiddler and constituted a virtual tutti to his solo violin. But later on (he wrote 36 of them IIRC) he tended more and more to the concertante style. He was on record as stating that it was his fondest desire to be able to write a Haydnesque or Mozartian type of quartet. :)  If you get a chance and want to hear a master of brillant string quartets, you really should have a try at... Paganini! Talk about a mini-concerto!! :o

Quote
The evolution towards the quatuor concertant seems obvious, judging from our time the music of that period. However, there was quite a struggle and - perhaps - it is even more noticeable when considering genres other than the string quartet; for example, in chamber music for winds and strings. In a clarinet quintet - for example - the temptation of writing for "clarinet + strings" instead of writing for "clarinet + violin + violin + viola + cello" could be very strong. The influence of Rejcha and Krommer in this evolution was, to my opinion, of considerable importance: as Haydn and Beethoven didn't show a great interest in this kind of works, they were the composers with the highest technical knowledge of their time to deal directly with this problem (I think of Spohr as an alternative, but I don't know his music enough as to analyze his influence: perhaps Gurn or some other illustrated member could make a comment about his music).

Yes, and it must have been particularly difficult for such specialists as you mention, along with others like Danzi and Devienne, all 4 of whom were wind instrument specialists. And yet they pulled it off to some degree, moreso than, say Kreutzer who was French and to whom the brillant style was more natural and accepted. As I have posted on this forum many times in the past, the chamber combination(s) of wind instrument and string trio or quartet is one of my very favorite genres. Pity that, as you say, Beethoven didn't evince much interest in it. If he had, then the multitude that followed him in the 19th century might have kept it nicely alive (at least Brahms wrote a little bit). As for Spohr, I am not aware of his having written anything in this category. He did write a nice little piano & wond quintet ala Mozart & Beethoven though. :)


Quote
And here I arrive to a point of - perhaps - anticipating a third post by Gurn: the most impressive equality achieved by Rejcha in his wind quintets. These works are a major musical as well as historical achievement. While the string quartet shows three kinds of instruments, they are mutatis mutandis of a same nature, and so, their equal treatment can be regarded as quite natural; but to treat equally a horn, an oboe, a clarinet, a flute and a bassoon, and to do it remarkably as Rejcha did with works of the highest musical excellence, is more than just something to be noticed as an anecdote in some forgotten pages of musical history.

Well, I indeed would like to go there, but other than being aware of the issues of balance of tone and volume, I don't know enough about the context of the wind quintets to write about. I know that Reicha was teaching at the Paris Conservatory when he wrote them, and I seem to recall that there is some element of academic exercise to them, but finding solid information about these works has proven difficult (without a good library close by). So it goes. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Mozart Quartets pour flute - Concertino Nottorno Prague \ Kröper - 09. Quartet pour flute en La majeur (K298) pour flute, violon, viole, et violoncelle 1. Andante con variazioni
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 01:23:55 PM
Gurn - excellent post, as usual; and agree that the development of the String Quartet was centered more on professional performance; an early example of course is our friend Luigi Boccherini, his earliest SQs were written in 1761, when he was but 18 y/o and on his way from Italy to Spain; these are labelled Op. 2 (1-6) and were composed for himself & his 'professional' buddies - of course, these are not the 4-movement (all are in 3 movements) works later 'perfected' by Haydn, but in those earlier years, I believe that the two composers were 'bouncing' ideas off each other, esp. the greater role of the cello in this string ensemble as evident by Luigi's writing & playing.  Dave

Thanks, Dave. As you say, Boccherini and Haydn were seemingly well-aware of each other's work. At the same time (1761-ish) Haydn was also writing "quartets", but his Op 1 & 2 were in 5 movements rather than 3. And I know that Haydn called his (and considered them to be) divertimentos, and I think that maybe Boccherini's could be classed as such too. Neither of them had yet achieved the concision that would eventually mark the string quartet as we know it. But even then, the works had a target audience, and it was musicians, so the hypothesis still holds true. I definitely plan on expanding my Boccherini string quartet collection. Right now I don't have many, and they are all rather later (Op 36 and up). :)

8)

----------------
Listening to: Accademia I Filarmonici-Martini - RV 314a Concerto for Violin in G 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 01:25:59 PM
I have been shopping all over the Internet for the last couple of days for a disk of Vanhal string quartets. You would think that with nearly 100 to choose from, and the generally high quality of his music, that there would be a few disks out there, but nooooo.... :-\

Ideas?

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Accademia I Filarmonici-Martini - RV 314a Concerto for Violin in G 3rd mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 08, 2009, 02:03:32 PM
I have been shopping all over the Internet for the last couple of days for a disk of Vanhal string quartets. You would think that with nearly 100 to choose from, and the generally high quality of his music, that there would be a few disks out there, but nooooo.... :-\

Ideas?



Gurn - the only disc of Vanhal's SQs that I own is shown below - Kubin Quartet on a label called 'MusicSonic' - nothing at BRO currently, but that must have been the place for me?  Will have to give it a spin soon -  :)

Boccherini wrote a bunch of String Quartets - listed HERE (http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/catal/boccherini/boclchb4.html); at least 90+, maybe a 100!  I just have 2 discs of his SQs - the Op. 2 works mentioned previously, then one CD on Capriccio - must look into acquiring some more!  But, I do have a lot more of the String Quintets, which he did so well! - Dave


(http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/amg/classical_albums/cov200/cl900/l918/l91843j3gn2.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 08, 2009, 02:15:22 PM
I have been shopping all over the Internet for the last couple of days for a disk of Vanhal string quartets. You would think that with nearly 100 to choose from, and the generally high quality of his music, that there would be a few disks out there, but nooooo.... :-\

Thanks, Dave, for showing that CD. I didn't know any Vanhal string quartet recordings. In what keys are they written?

Gurn - excellent post, as usual; and agree that the development of the String Quartet was centered more on professional performance; an early example of course is our friend Luigi Boccherini, his earliest SQs were written in 1761, when he was but 18 y/o and on his way from Italy to Spain; these are labelled Op. 2 (1-6) and were composed for himself & his 'professional' buddies - of course, these are not the 4-movement (all are in 3 movements) works later 'perfected' by Haydn, but in those earlier years, I believe that the two composers were 'bouncing' ideas off each other, esp. the greater role of the cello in this string ensemble as evident by Luigi's writing & playing.  Dave

Thanks for recalling Boccherini, Dave. Boccherini is a name that is usually forgotten and he has really stupendous music. I'm not deeply acquainted by his music, but it strikes me as sounding very different from the "Austrian" line. What I remember instantaneously about his excellent string quartets and quintets is that they show textures not to be found in the great Viennese composers. There must be more interesting features, but I recall specially this one.

I feel quite motivated today, because I bought the new Boccherini CD recorded by Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante for Virgin Classics. I have the two previous releases and they are nothing less than extraordinary. I hope this one (which I have not listened to yet) will keep on the same level. They play one trio (D major, op. 14/4, G. 98), one quartet (C minor, op. 41/1, G. 214), one quintet (C minor, op. 45/1, G. 355) and one sextet (F minor, op. 23/4, G. 457). Quite a proliferation of minor-key works! (Unfortunately my headphones collapsed yesterday and today I didn't have time for buying a replacement, so any comment will have to wait at least until tomorrow).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 03:06:34 PM


Gurn - the only disc of Vanhal's SQs that I own is shown below - Kubin Quartet on a label called 'MusicSonic' - nothing at BRO currently, but that must have been the place for me?  Will have to give it a spin soon -  :)

Boccherini wrote a bunch of String Quartets - listed HERE (http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/catal/boccherini/boclchb4.html); at least 90+, maybe a 100!  I just have 2 discs of his SQs - the Op. 2 works mentioned previously, then one CD on Capriccio - must look into acquiring some more!  But, I do have a lot more of the String Quintets, which he did so well! - Dave


(http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/amg/classical_albums/cov200/cl900/l918/l91843j3gn2.jpg)

Ah, so that is the one they had on Amazon (no picture) that is OOP. Pity, it looks good.

Yes, there is no shortage of Boccherini quartets, thankfully. I was a little bit bewildered about where to start, actually. I have quite a few quintets too. Very fine works. Luigi is among the most underrated composers, not only of the Classical Era, but of any era!

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Accademia I Filarmonici-Martini - RV 366 Concerto for Violin in Bb-1st mvmt-Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 08, 2009, 03:11:32 PM
Yes, there is no shortage of Boccherini quartets, thankfully. I was a little bit bewildered about where to start, actually. I have quite a few quintets too. Very fine works. Luigi is among the most underrated composers, not only of the Classical Era, but of any era!

I fully agree, Gurn.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 03:13:01 PM
Thanks, Dave, for showing that CD. I didn't know any Vanhal string quartet recordings. In what keys are they written?

Thanks for recalling Boccherini, Dave. Boccherini is a name that is usually forgotten and he has really stupendous music. I'm not deeply acquainted by his music, but it strikes me as sounding very different from the "Austrian" line. What I remember instantaneously about his excellent string quartets and quintets is that they show textures not to be found in the great Viennese composers. There must be more interesting features, but I recall specially this one.

I feel quite motivated today, because I bought the new Boccherini CD recorded by Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante for Virgin Classics. I have the two previous releases and they are nothing less than extraordinary. I hope this one (which I have not listened to yet) will keep on the same level. They play one trio (D major, op. 14/4, G. 98), one quartet (C minor, op. 41/1, G. 214), one quintet (C minor, op. 45/1, G. 355) and one sextet (F minor, op. 23/4, G. 457). Quite a proliferation of minor-key works! (Unfortunately my headphones collapsed yesterday and today I didn't have time for buying a replacement, so any comment will have to wait at least until tomorrow).

Gabriel,
I have their disk of string quintets, Op 25. I quite agree, it is first rate. I haven't seen either of the others though, guess I need to hunt them down. Thanks for pointing it out. For those who might not have it, I would also add that this one, by Savall et al is a very fine disk too. :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61JTY209AWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Accademia I Filarmonici-Martini - RV 366 Concerto for Violin in Bb-3rd mvmt-Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 08, 2009, 03:28:48 PM
For those who might not have it, I would also add that this one, by Savall et al is a very fine disk too. :)

Gurn, that Savall CD is pure delight. If I had to introduce Boccherini's music to someone, I would certainly choose that CD: it is a winner.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 08, 2009, 03:43:58 PM
Thanks, Dave, for showing that CD. I didn't know any Vanhal string quartet recordings. In what keys are they written?


Hi Gabriel - just returned home from work & decided to give that Vanhal disc a spin - also, scanned in some pics below, better showing the cover & the back notes w/ the SQ listing & their keys; the Kubin Quartet have been together since forming after their student days in 1972; don't believe that I have any other recordings by this group (although a statement in the booklet excited me, i.e. a recent release by Multisonic, containing a complete set of string quartets by Karl Ditters - I already have a couple of discs of von Dittersdorf's String Quartets/Quintets, and not sure how many of these chamber works he wrote?

As can be seen from the listing, these works are in 3 movements and in various keys - composed between 1769 and 1773; recorded in 2002, and stated to be 'World Premiere Recordings' - just is amazing 'how much' of this stuff was either lost, lays undiscovered, or even known but not recorded - thank goodness their are performers willing to research these now more obscure composers and record their music; Dieter Klöcker is an artist that I greatly admire not only for his wonderful skills on the clarinet, but his diligence & persistence in recording this type of repertoire!

Again from the liner notes, the statement is made that Johann Dlabač, who had met Vanhal, and published a lexicon in 1815 attributes 100 symphonies, 100 string quartets, and nearly a hundred church compositions to Vanhal - boy, where is this stuff!  Dave  ;D

P.S. that disc is just wonderful - great sting playing by an obviously experience group & excellent sound by this Czech Republic company!

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/508457084_WMVDy-M.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/508457081_4dAWm-M.jpg)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/508457090_SXWyb-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 08, 2009, 03:56:26 PM
Gurn, that Savall CD is pure delight. If I had to introduce Boccherini's music to someone, I would certainly choose that CD: it is a winner.

Yes, agree w/ both of you about Boccherini - I now have about 3 dozen discs of his music (just one vocal), and could easily obtain more!  Luigi's output was just phenomenal - for those interested, check out THIS CATALOG (http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/catal/boccherini/bocl.html) of his works (Gurn & I have provided this link before, and probably in both the new & old forums!) -  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 08, 2009, 03:59:33 PM
Hi Gabriel - just returned home from work & decided to give that Vanhal disc a spin - also, scanned in some pics below, better showing the cover & the back notes w/ the SQ listing & their keys; the Kubin Quartet have been together since forming after their student days in 1972; don't believe that I have any other recordings by this group (although a statement in the booklet excited me, i.e. a recent release by Multisonic, containing a complete set of string quartets by Karl Ditters - I already have a couple of discs of von Dittersdorf's String Quartets/Quintets, and not sure how many of these chamber works he wrote?

As can be seen from the listing, these works are in 3 movements and in various keys - composed between 1769 and 1773; recorded in 2002, and stated to be 'World Premiere Recordings' - just is amazing 'how much' of this stuff was either lost, lays undiscovered, or even known but not recorded - thank goodness their are performers willing to research these now more obscure composers and record their music; Dieter Klöcker is an artist that I greatly admired not only for his wonderful skills on the clarinet, but his diligence & persistence in recording this type of repertoire!

Again from the liner notes, the statement is made that Johann Dlabač, who had met Vanhal, and published a lexicon in 1815 attributes 100 symphonies, 100 string quartets, and nearly a hundred church compositions to Vanhal - boy, where is this stuff!  Dave  ;D

P.S. that disc is just wonderful - great sting playing by an obviously experience group & excellent sound by this Czech Republic company!

Dave, thank you so much for such an informative post. Looking at the back notes makes me hesitate a little bit about my statement that I hadn't seen the CD... I'm afraid I had it once in my hands and I didn't buy it. I'm sure there's excellent music in it.

All that stuff is waiting to be played after so many years! Luckily we have some champions of this kind of repertoire. For example, there's a recent CD of Vanhal's piano quintets in Hungaroton. I wonder if any GMG member has bought it.

Finally, on Ditters von Dittersdorf, Dave, as far as I know he just composed the set of six string quartets that you probably own in a couple of discs. They are not a non plus ultra in chamber music, but they are very enjoyable, light-spirited works.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 04:40:40 PM
Dave, thank you so much for such an informative post. Looking at the back notes makes me hesitate a little bit about my statement that I hadn't seen the CD... I'm afraid I had it once in my hands and I didn't buy it. I'm sure there's excellent music in it.

All that stuff is waiting to be played after so many years! Luckily we have some champions of this kind of repertoire. For example, there's a recent CD of Vanhal's piano quintets in Hungaroton. I wonder if any GMG member has bought it.

Finally, on Ditters von Dittersdorf, Dave, as far as I know he just composed the set of six string quartets that you probably own in a couple of discs. They are not a non plus ultra in chamber music, but they are very enjoyable, light-spirited works.

I haven't bought that yet, not because I am not interested in it, but because I read a review by someone (on the Mozart Forum) who has taste similar to mine, and he was very disappointed in the playing of the Authentic String Quartet. Poor intonation, bad bowing, poor ensemble; the whole sad story. While his reaction may have been extreme, it sort of scared me off. I do like Spanyi on the keyboard though... :-\

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini Op. 23 - Sextets - Nos. 1,2,5 - Chiara Banchini - Ensemble 415 - Boccherini Op 23 #1 Sextet in Eb for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro molto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 04:44:50 PM
Yes, agree w/ both of you about Boccherini - I now have about 3 dozen discs of his music (just one vocal), and could easily obtain more!  Luigi's output was just phenomenal - for those interested, check out THIS CATALOG (http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/catal/boccherini/bocl.html) of his works (Gurn & I have provided this link before, and probably in both the new & old forums!) -  :)

Dave,
Here's a 2 disk set with all of Ditters 4tets HERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&text=ditters&filter=all&cd=1&Label=&genre=&RPP=25&pprice=&submit=Search)

I think I will pick this one up myself next time I order from BRO. I still have one order in the mail... :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini Op. 23 - Sextets - Nos. 1,2,5 - Chiara Banchini - Ensemble 415 - Boccherini Op 23 #1 Sextet in Eb for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro molto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 08, 2009, 05:00:25 PM
Dave,
Here's a 2 disk set with all of Ditters 4tets HERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&text=ditters&filter=all&cd=1&Label=&genre=&RPP=25&pprice=&submit=Search)

I think I will pick this one up myself next time I order from BRO. I still have one order in the mail... :)


Good evening, Gurn - thanks for that link from BRO - just checked my collection and have the 2 CDs from CPO shown below; both w/ the Franz Schubert Quartet, who perform quite well; includes the 6 SQs & 2 String Quintets, both clocking in at just over an hour - guess that I'm OK for the moment - Dave  :D

(http://www.classicsonline.com/images/cds/others/999038-2.gif)  (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/cpo9991222.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 08, 2009, 05:04:58 PM
Good evening, Gurn - thanks for that link from BRO - just checked my collection and have the 2 CDs from CPO shown below; both w/ the Franz Schubert Quartet, who perform quite well; includes the 6 SQs & 2 String Quintets, both clocking in at just over an hour - guess that I'm OK for the moment - Dave  :D

(http://www.classicsonline.com/images/cds/others/999038-2.gif)  (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/cpo9991222.jpg)

Ah yes, I saw that at Amazon this afternoon. You like, eh? Well, I might just go ahead and pick those up instead. I didn't know the performers in either case, so I didn't have a preference. :)

8)

PS - the disk I'm listening to now is pretty excellent, too! ;)

----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini Op. 23 - Sextets - Nos. 1,2,5 - Chiara Banchini - Ensemble 415 - Boccherini Op 23 #2 Sextet in Bb for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 08, 2009, 06:37:12 PM
Ah yes, I saw that at Amazon this afternoon. You like, eh? Well, I might just go ahead and pick those up instead. I didn't know the performers in either case, so I didn't have a preference. :)

PS - the disk I'm listening to now is pretty excellent, too! ;)

Boccherini Op. 23 - Sextets - Nos. 1,2,5 - Chiara Banchini - Ensemble 415 - Boccherini Op 23 #2 Sextet in Bb for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato

Gurn - those two CPO discs are quite nice - don't think that you would be disappointed, plus both offer a 'full' disc of music - decent prices on the Amazon Marketplace (unless, of course, BRO picks them up as offerings?).

The Boccherini recording mentioned above looks enticing - I have a Capriccio CD of the Sextets w/ only one 'overlap', so would be a nice fit; unforutantely seems to be OOP for us in the USA -  :-\  Now, I own a disc of the same group performing in some of Luigi's Quintets - excellent, so what to do?  :'(  Dave
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 09, 2009, 03:45:26 AM
That Boccherini disc is fantastic.  A definite recommendation from me as well.  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 09, 2009, 05:26:39 PM
Some words for my impressions, as announced, on Biondi's recent Boccherini CD. It reaches the standards of the previous two releases; it is almost unbelievable to notice how they are figuring out with utmost care every detail of the works recorded. The acid violence of op. 45 n. 1, the ambiguous, rhythmical drama of op. 23 n. 4, the splendid pathos of op. 41 n. 1, are shown as vividly as possible. And the potentially "less striking" work of this selection, trio op. 14 n. 4, is so wonderfully balanced, crafted and articulated that it almost seems that the players are singing instead of playing.

The Boccherini-Biondi association is proving to be really extraordinary. Supported with great sound, this is almost unbeatable.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 09, 2009, 05:51:36 PM
Some words for my impressions, as announced, on Biondi's recent Boccherini CD. It reaches the standards of the previous two releases; it is almost unbelievable to notice how they are figuring out with utmost care every detail of the works recorded. The acid violence of op. 45 n. 1, the ambiguous, rhythmical drama of op. 23 n. 4, the splendid pathos of op. 41 n. 1, are shown as vividly as possible. And the potentially "less striking" work of this selection, trio op. 14 n. 4, is so wonderfully balanced, crafted and articulated that it almost seems that the players are singing instead of playing.

The Boccherini-Biondi association is proving to be really extraordinary. Supported with great sound, this is almost unbeatable.

Sounds outstanding, Gabriel. I will need to get the other 2 disks in this series. I relistened today to the Op 25 quintets disk. Stuck away at the end of that disk is a single movement, known even in its own time as "The Famous Minuet", it is the minuet movement of quintet Op 11 #5 in E. Even if one doesn't know it by name or description, one has only to hear the first 4 bars to know exactly which piece I am talking about. In any case, I have several versions of this work, so I hadn't given it a deep listening. Turns out, I was missing a treat. It is replete with small, very expressive changes in tempo, especially where the trio starts out, when it goes from Allegretto to Allegro seemingly. It is a very nice move, and one that no one else I have listened to has done quite like it. So I agree, Boccherini + Biondi = great listening enjoyment. :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Accademia i Filarmonici di Verona / Bronzi - G 474 Concerto #05 in Eb for Cello, 2 Oboes & 2 Horns 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 09, 2009, 08:09:49 PM
How's your Czerny collection, Gurn?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Anne on April 09, 2009, 08:21:01 PM
Gurn - those two CPO discs are quite nice - don't think that you would be disappointed, plus both offer a 'full' disc of music - decent prices on the Amazon Marketplace (unless, of course, BRO picks them up as offerings?).

The Boccherini recording mentioned above looks enticing - I have a Capriccio CD of the Sextets w/ only one 'overlap', so would be a nice fit; unforutantely seems to be OOP for us in the USA -  :-\  Now, I own a disc of the same group performing in some of Luigi's Quintets - excellent, so what to do?  :'(  Dave

Dave, did you try amazon.ca or amazon.uk?  I have ordered things from both places with no problem.  We also don't get charged with extra taxes.  The only thing one has to be careful about is ordering DVD from England - Canada and we use NTSC and England uses PAL.  Unless we have a universal player, we cannot use PAL.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 10, 2009, 04:23:42 AM
How's your Czerny collection, Gurn?

Karl - is Gurn the only one that can respond?   ;) :D

I should get some more Carl Czerny, myself - currently:

Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6 w/ Nowak on Hanssler - states No. 6 a 'Premiere Recording', so yet another 'forgotten one'!

Horn & Foretpiano Music w/ Andrew Clark & Geoffrey Govier on Helios

Nonet & Grande Serenade, Op. 126 w/ Tanski on piano & Consortium Classicum on MDG

Any other recommendations - anyone?  Thanks - Dave  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 10, 2009, 04:25:43 AM
Dave, did you try amazon.ca or amazon.uk?  I have ordered things from both places with no problem.  We also don't get charged with extra taxes.  The only thing one has to be careful about is ordering DVD from England - Canada and we use NTSC and England uses PAL.  Unless we have a universal player, we cannot use PAL.

Hello Anne - I've used Amazon.UK in the past, but will give both a look - thanks!  Dave  :-*
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2009, 05:05:08 AM
Karl - is Gurn the only one that can respond?   ;) :D

Not at all, Dave  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 10, 2009, 07:29:12 AM
How's your Czerny collection, Gurn?

Actually, it is fairly representative of his variety, Karl. I have 2 of his piano sonatas (in Ab and f (Lovely!)), a 4 hand concerto, symphonies #1, 2 5 & 6, and a solo piano piece "Grand Funeral March for the Death of Beethoven". As you know, Czerny was a student and confidant of Beethoven, and also Liszt's teacher, so his career spanned the end of classicism and the beginning of Romanticism. He is hard to buttonhole. He was a superb pianist, but didn't necessarily believe that he was. He didn't perform in public as a result. But he was a preeminent teacher, and his "Piano Method" is still taught today. A lot of his works (nearly 1000 opus numbers!) are thus etudes or whatever else he chose to call them.  Generally I am quite fond of his music and ought to get more of it. I have been looking at that disk that Dave mentioned, the sonatas for fortepiano & horn. I suspect that's a peach. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Accademia i Filarmonici di Verona / Bronzi - G 481 Concerto #04 in C for Cello & 2 Horns 2nd mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 10, 2009, 05:21:04 PM
Valentino.
You asked last week about classical composers who wrote fugues. I had a brain fart at the time, but our discussion about Boccherini reminded me of this disk. It now seems to be OOP, but I would be surprised if it was the only recording ever made of these works. I listened to them just a few minutes ago and they were as nice as I remembered. :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515mLLdIpsL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini - Cello Sonatas - Fugues For 2 Cellos - Anner Bylsma / Kenneth Slowik / Bob van Asperen - Boccherini G 009 Sonata in F for Cello 1st mvmt - Andantino
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 10, 2009, 06:12:30 PM
Valentino.
You asked last week about classical composers who wrote fugues. I had a brain fart at the time, but our discussion about Boccherini reminded me of this disk. It now seems to be OOP, but I would be surprised if it was the only recording ever made of these works. I listened to them just a few minutes ago and they were as nice as I remembered. :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515mLLdIpsL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini - Cello Sonatas - Fugues For 2 Cellos - Anner Bylsma / Kenneth Slowik / Bob van Asperen - Boccherini G 009 Sonata in F for Cello 1st mvmt - Andantino


Off-topic: Curiously on Monday I received a disc with Kenneth Slowick playing the fortepiano (a Rodney J. Regier, Freeport, ME, 1985 after Conrad Graf). He established his reputation as a cellist and viola da gamba player; but here his playing on the pianoforte is excellent. He and Max van Egmond built an extraordinary disc. The session producer was Peter Watchorn.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 10, 2009, 06:18:02 PM
Off-topic: Curiously on Monday I received a disc with Kenneth Slowick playing the fortepiano (a Rodney J. Regier, Freeport, ME, 1985 after Conrad Graf). He established his reputation as a cellist and viola da gamba player; but here his playing on the pianoforte is excellent. He and Max van Egmond built an extraordinary disc. The session producer was Peter Watchorn.

Interesting, Antoine. It is not so unusual for someone to play more than one instrument, but to play 2 as disparate as cello and fortepiano probably is. I understand that the modern violinist, Arthur Grumiaux was a concert-class pianist as well as a violinist, so I guess it isn't unheard of. Cool nonetheless. And that disk looks interesting too. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Anner Bylsma / Kenneth Slowik / Bob van Asperen - Boccherini G 073 #2 Fugue in F for 2 Cellos - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 10, 2009, 06:33:43 PM
I recall the name of Jérôme Hantaï. He is, as we know, a viola da gamba player, but he has at least two discs as a fortepianist (some piano sonatas and piano trios, I think). I don't know those discs, but some reviews have not been benevolent with him. Here for example: http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=9223. In any case I would like to listen to those discs because some critics or reviewers simply heat the pianoforte.

P.S.: Some days ago I listened to a disc with songs composed by Beethoven, with Hantaï on the fortepiano. Very disappointing indeed, but I could blame the horrible acoustics in the local store.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 10, 2009, 06:43:22 PM
I recall the case of Jérôme Hantaï. He is, as we know, a viola da gamba player, but has at least two discs as a fortepianist (some piano sonatas and piano trios, I think). I don't know those discs, but the reviews have not been benevolent with him.

Yikes, I hadn't heard that. What a blow for him. :o   Well, there aren't enough good gambists in the world, and we are overrun with keyboardists, so that should tell him something. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini Op. 23 - Sextets - Nos. 1,2,5 - Chiara Banchini - Ensemble 415 - Boccherini Op 23 #1 Sextet in Eb for Strings 3rd mvmt - Minuetto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: springrite on April 10, 2009, 07:00:10 PM
I do have a recording of Hantai playing the keyboard. It isn't bad at all. But considering the competition, it won't be collector's item.

Speaking of Gamba players, I should put in a plug for my friend Jay Bernfeld. He is a remarkable musician. His first love is really opera. He has been known to sing mostly baroque or pre-baroque repertoire. But it is his gamba playing that is so impressive. I have many of his recordings of course. But I have only heard him play once, that being the first and only time we have met. I was unable to make it to his concert in SF. To my surprise, he drove to Los Angeles after the concert and showed up at my door the next day. He played a recital at my home just for me. I was deeply moved. We shared a long conversation about music, interestingly mostly about opera. His favorite is Tebaldi. I gave him about a dozen opera recordings as gift.

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 11, 2009, 08:31:50 AM
I do have a recording of Hantai playing the keyboard. It isn't bad at all. But considering the competition, it won't be collector's item.

Yes, there are some damned fine fortepianists out there nowadays. And of course, it is a different instrument than the modern piano so even a great modern pianist would need some time to learn it. But the competition is stiff, as you say. :)

Quote
Speaking of Gamba players, I should put in a plug for my friend Jay Bernfeld. He is a remarkable musician. His first love is really opera. He has been known to sing mostly baroque or pre-baroque repertoire. But it is his gamba playing that is so impressive. I have many of his recordings of course. But I have only heard him play once, that being the first and only time we have met. I was unable to make it to his concert in SF. To my surprise, he drove to Los Angeles after the concert and showed up at my door the next day. He played a recital at my home just for me. I was deeply moved. We shared a long conversation about music, interestingly mostly about opera. His favorite is Tebaldi. I gave him about a dozen opera recordings as gift.

Now, that would be cool! To have a really good gambist come over to the house and give a private recital. I'm jealous!  Very nice. :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini Op. 23 - Sextets - Nos. 1,2,5 - Chiara Banchini - Ensemble 415 - Boccherini Op 23 #2 Sextet in Bb for Strings 3rd mvmt - Minuetto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 11, 2009, 12:48:27 PM
........ Generally I am quite fond of his music and ought to get more of it. I have been looking at that disk that Dave mentioned, the sonatas for fortepiano & horn. I suspect that's a peach. :)

Hello Gurn - just returned home from an overnight in Charlotte (Mint Museum had a nice exhibit to benefit New Orleans - a substantial collection, nearly 100 pieces, from their Art Museum, traveling to various cities) -  :D

But, the disc mentioned of Czerny's Horn & Fortepiano Works is fascinating - have it spinning now just as an aural reminder to me -  ;) ;D

Geoffrey Govier is playing a fortepiano built in 1839 by the Viennese maker Johann Streicher; there is no iron incorporated into the case according to the liner notes; the instrument has been restored, as expected.  Andrew Clark plays a 'valved' horn on the first piece (see back cover below) - apparently intentionally written for that 'new' instrument; Czerny then seem to go back to the 'natural' horn which was used on the remainder of the disc (noticed the difference in Opus numbers reflecting that shift of instruments).

Most of the CD consists of the Brillante Fantasie, Op. 339, Nos. 1-3 - these were written ca. 1836 and were based on the 'melodies' of Franz Schubert, presumably considered more of a compliment to a composer back in those days.  Overall, a fabulous disc and (just checked) still available @ BRO for $5!

As you already mentioned, the guy wrote about a 1000 compositions of ALL types!  Wiki has a lising of over 800 Opus Nos. HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Carl_Czerny) w/ a number not ascribed.  Much of this work seems to be un- or under-recorded, so any recommendations would be of interest - thanks all - Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510202045_NRwo2-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510202053_PYQrA-S.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 11, 2009, 04:46:56 PM
I'm following your opinions about Czerny's music, which is quite unknown to me. :)

I have good news for Krommer fans. A third recording of the string trio op. 96 has just been released by the small Diligence label, together with the Flute quartet op. 92 and (as far as I know, a world première) the three Hungarian Dances op. 89. They are played by Nicole Tamestit & La Compagnie.

As a general view, they are very good performances; the main problem is that I feel the acoustics as a bit dry, but this situation doesn't bother too much the listening experience. The Hungarian Dances in the CD are one of the most evident examples available of national flavour to be found in the classical period; and concerning Hungarian music during these years, as evident as probably no other work I know excepting the Hungarian Dances for keyboard, op. 23, by Hummel.

A delightful release.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 11, 2009, 05:25:00 PM
Hello Gurn - just returned home from an overnight in Charlotte (Mint Museum had a nice exhibit to benefit New Orleans - a substantial collection, nearly 100 pieces, from their Art Museum, traveling to various cities) -  :D

But, the disc mentioned of Czerny's Horn & Fortepiano Works is fascinating - have it spinning now just as an aural reminder to me -  ;) ;D

Geoffrey Govier is playing a fortepiano built in 1839 by the Viennese maker Johann Streicher; there is no iron incorporated into the case according to the liner notes; the instrument has been restored, as expected.  Andrew Clark plays a 'valved' horn on the first piece (see back cover below) - apparently intentionally written for that 'new' instrument; Czerny then seem to go back to the 'natural' horn which was used on the remainder of the disc (noticed the difference in Opus numbers reflecting that shift of instruments).

Most of the CD consists of the Brillante Fantasie, Op. 339, Nos. 1-3 - these were written ca. 1836 and were based on the 'melodies' of Franz Schubert, presumably considered more of a compliment to a composer back in those days.  Overall, a fabulous disc and (just checked) still available @ BRO for $5!

As you already mentioned, the guy wrote about a 1000 compositions of ALL types!  Wiki has a lising of over 800 Opus Nos. HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Carl_Czerny) w/ a number not ascribed.  Much of this work seems to be un- or under-recorded, so any recommendations would be of interest - thanks all - Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510202045_NRwo2-S.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/510202053_PYQrA-S.jpg)

Thanks for the rundown on that disk, Dave. I hadn't found any reviews on it to even know what was on there. I do have Govier playing a disk of Dussek sonatas, which is also available at BRO, BTW. It is really quite good. Makes me want to pick up that disk of his Haydn sonatas too... :)  I guess my next BRO order will have to include the Czerny. Damn, that list just gets longer and longer. Don't you realize that i have some Haydn string quartets to save up for now? :D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini: Quartets - Consortium Classicum - Quartet for clarinet, flute, horn & bassoon in F major, G. 263/2 (arranged by Othin Van den Broek): No. 3, Menuetto (trio)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 11, 2009, 05:29:53 PM
I'm following your opinions about Czerny's music, which is quite unknown to me. :)

You might start out with a disk of fortepiano sonatas, Gabriel. He really is quite good (as you would expect from a long time Beethoven student).

Quote
I have good news for Krommer fans. A third recording of the string trio op. 96 has just been released by the small Diligence label, together with the Flute quartet op. 92 and (as far as I know, a world première) the three Hungarian Dances op. 89. They are played by Nicole Tamestit & La Compagnie.

As a general view, they are very good performances; the main problem is that I feel the acoustics as a bit dry, but this situation doesn't bother too much the listening experience. The Hungarian Dances in the CD are one of the most evident examples available of national flavour to be found in the classical period; and concerning Hungarian music during these years, as evident as probably no other work I know excepting the Hungarian Dances for keyboard, op. 23, by Hummel.

A delightful release.

Somehow I think that Paris must have a better selection of classical music than Nacogdoches, TX has... :)

I will definitely give that disk a try if it comes available in the States. Or if the dollar strengthens vis-a-vis the Euro...  I already didn't have those works when you guys were talking about them earlier, and this one has the added bonus of the Hungarian Dances, a genre which has always pleased me no end. I love Rom music, real or imagined.  :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Boccherini: Quartets - Consortium Classicum - Quartet for clarinet, flute, horn & bassoon in C major, G. 262/3 (arranged by Othon Van den Broek): No. 1, Allegro con moto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 12, 2009, 08:36:41 AM
Interrelationships and influences between composers -

The recent post on Czerny (student of Beethoven, teacher of Liszt) reminded me on an interest I pursued a few years ago. And disappointed me at the same time due to my failure to write things down and not foresee that my memory would not always be the extraordinary tool it once was. ::)  In any case, the topic was direct relationships and musical influences between composers. Not in the sense of "he had to have heard X's work..." but rather "he knew X and learned from him or taught him...".

As an example: when Mozart was in Paris as an 8 year old wunderkind, he met Schobert and played his music with Schobert right there. His early violin/keyboard sonatas are in this French style directly influenced by Schobert. And a few months later, he met and spent a great deal of time with J.C. Bach, who again was a big influence on the early works. The galant style of much of Mozart's works up to 1772 or so can be directly attributed to the London Bach.

I wrote a long post on this topic in the old forum and I will look it up because I find it interesting, and you may too. But if you have any interesting examples (like Reicha and Beethoven), please post them here. It is amazing how this community was so tight, in a day and time when communication and travel were not what they are now. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Harnoncourt - Haydn: The Seven Last Phrases of Christ on the Cross -  - The Seven Last Phrases of Christ on the Cross: III. "Führwahr, ich sag'es dir"
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 12, 2009, 10:24:57 AM
Interrelationships and influences between composers -

The recent post on Czerny (student of Beethoven, teacher of Liszt) reminded me on an interest I pursued a few years ago. And disappointed me at the same time due to my failure to write things down and not foresee that my memory would not always be the extraordinary tool it once was. ::)  In any case, the topic was direct relationships and musical influences between composers. Not in the sense of "he had to have heard X's work..." but rather "he knew X and learned from him or taught him...".

Of course, at the Baroque-Classical transition were the Bach sons & their father; at the other end, one good example would be Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) - Wiki Bio HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Ries) - Beethoven was a major influence; both composers were born in Bonn; Ries' father, Franz Anton (1755-1846) was a violin virtuoso in the Bonn court orchestra, and taught the young Beethoven to play violin, and also gave lessons in violin & piano to his son.  The younger Ries ended up in Vienna, and over 4 years worked for Beethoven as a copyist and secretary, receiving piano lessons as compensation.  He composed much music, and his early works were strongly influenced by Beethoven; "He ........ left eight symphonies, a violin concerto and nine piano concertos, and numerous other works in many genres, including 26 string quartets", plus plenty of chamber and other piano works.

I've really enjoyed Ries' music over the years, and have obtained quite a bit, mostly on the CPO label; for those who may want to explore this composer and depending on your interests, below is 'what' I currently own - and I can't say that I dislike any of this music - the guy was good!

Complete Symphonies w/ Howard Griffiths & Surcher Kammerorchester on CPO - includes 8 symphonies recorded from 1997-1002; 4 CD box set.
Clarinet Sonatas & Clarinet Trio w/ Dieter Klocker; Armin Fromm on cello & Thomas Duis on piano - CPO; recorded 2003-4.
Flute Quartets w/ John Littlefield on flute; violin, viola, & cello the other instruments; on Naxos from 2006.
Piano Quartets w/ Andreas Frolich on piano; same strings, as above; CPO, recorded in 2002.
Piano Quintet w/ Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet; also includes similar work by Franz Limmer; on Brilliant, 2003.
Piano Trios w/ Mendelssohn Trio Berlin; again from CPO, dated 2004.
Septet & Octet w/ Linos Ensemble; CPO from 2002.
String Quartets, Vol. 1 w/ Schuppanizigh Quartett; CPO, 2004 - BOY, only 2 of 26!  Not sure 'how many' of the SQs have been recorded?

Hmmm - no Piano Concertos & a bunch of SQs missing; will appreciate comments on other options & 'new' additions - Dave  :)


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/FerdinandRies.jpg/180px-FerdinandRies.jpg)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 17, 2009, 04:57:00 PM
Well, a little surprised that no posts have been made to this thread in the last 5 days since the last one that I left!  And no comments at all on Ries, an excellent composer pertinent to the questions raised by Gurn concerning composer influences?  :-\

But, I'll bring up another Viennese 'transitional' composer, Emanuel Aloys Förster (1748-1823); he was born in the county of Glatz, Silesia, and the details of his early life and musical education seem obscure, athough he spent some time in Prague; in the mid-to later 1770s, he arrived in Vienna, and was active as a teacher, composer, and a member of a quartet until his death; thus, he spent nearly 50 years in Vienna and was pretty much a 'freelance' muscian - boy, how well and how many of the other composers of that LONG time period did he know?  Is there a BIO?

Apparently, Förster was a prolific composer with a main interest in chamber works - right up my alley!  :D

He wrote numerous works for piano, including a sextet & octet; four string quintets (including the works on the CD shown below), and 48 string quartets!  Apparently, few of his works have been published or recorded - yet another lost soul of that era - just sad -  :'(

My first experience to this composer are the works for String Quintet w/ the Les Adieux, apparently a group who are specializing in the works of these 'transitional' composers of the late 18th & early 19th centuries up to about 1840 (hey - what a period of interest for me!) - just listening to this disc for the first time - not sure what else is available for this composer, but I'd like to hear from others, please -  :)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/4019272978319.jpg)  (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ed/Emanuel_Aloys_Foerster.jpg/398px-Emanuel_Aloys_Foerster.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 17, 2009, 05:25:37 PM
Hey, Dave,
No, I've been a bit under the weather for a few days, better now though. :)

I would be delighted to expand on Ries in a bit, I have a fair bit of his music and enjoy it.

I have, however, with uncanny accuracy in re your choices, received these disks yesterday and today:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Forstercover.jpg) (http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Bocc5tets415.jpg)
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Kraustriovp.jpg) (http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/fieldsonatas.jpg)

As you say, the Förster is a wonder. I have only listened to the first disk so far, but that fantasia in d is just super. I was intrigued by the statement in the notes that the manuscript wasn't published because it was too technically difficult for the technology of the time. Something we don't often take into consideration.

The Boccherini disk was a great surprise for me. I have been watching this (OOP) disk for a long time, but the price was always prohibitive. Then I saw it for $7.49 at the Marketplace. The other 2 copies were $55 and $132 respectively, so I was suspicious, especially since it was advertised as "like new, only lacking shrink wrap". But I got it anyway, and guess what? It was "like new, only lacking shrink wrap"!! Even the jewel case is shiny bright, and the disk didn't even have a fingerprint on it!  I am giving it a first listen right now. First impression? This ain't your mother's Boccherini! These were his last works, and they were serious, intricate, beautiful music. And Ensemble 415 is, as always, impeccable. If you run into a deal on it, don't hesitate!

The Kraus is one I have been looking forward to. BRO have it, and you should like it, I think. We really need to give Kraus some airing. We have talked about the symphonies in the past (get 'em!), and I have the string quartets and fortepiano sonatas (Brautigam). These disks are the violin and fortepiano sonatas, and a piano trio, along with the arrangement of the Eb violin sonata for solo keyboard. Excellent disks! :)

And finally, as we discussed earlier, the complete (4) piano sonatas of John Field. I haven't listened to this one yet, so I will have to wait until tomorrow or Sunday to comment on them.

It was a great week for new music!  :D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Ensemble 415 - Boccherini: Quintettes avec deux altos - Luigi Boccherini - Op. 60/5 : I Allegro con moto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 18, 2009, 07:52:22 AM
Of course, at the Baroque-Classical transition were the Bach sons & their father; at the other end, one good example would be Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) - Wiki Bio HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Ries) - Beethoven was a major influence; both composers were born in Bonn; Ries' father, Franz Anton (1755-1846) was a violin virtuoso in the Bonn court orchestra, and taught the young Beethoven to play violin, and also gave lessons in violin & piano to his son.  The younger Ries ended up in Vienna, and over 4 years worked for Beethoven as a copyist and secretary, receiving piano lessons as compensation.  He composed much music, and his early works were strongly influenced by Beethoven; "He ........ left eight symphonies, a violin concerto and nine piano concertos, and numerous other works in many genres, including 26 string quartets", plus plenty of chamber and other piano works.

I've really enjoyed Ries' music over the years, and have obtained quite a bit, mostly on the CPO label; for those who may want to explore this composer and depending on your interests, below is 'what' I currently own - and I can't say that I dislike any of this music - the guy was good!

Complete Symphonies w/ Howard Griffiths & Surcher Kammerorchester on CPO - includes 8 symphonies recorded from 1997-1002; 4 CD box set.
Clarinet Sonatas & Clarinet Trio w/ Dieter Klocker; Armin Fromm on cello & Thomas Duis on piano - CPO; recorded 2003-4.
Flute Quartets w/ John Littlefield on flute; violin, viola, & cello the other instruments; on Naxos from 2006.
Piano Quartets w/ Andreas Frolich on piano; same strings, as above; CPO, recorded in 2002.
Piano Quintet w/ Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet; also includes similar work by Franz Limmer; on Brilliant, 2003.
Piano Trios w/ Mendelssohn Trio Berlin; again from CPO, dated 2004.
Septet & Octet w/ Linos Ensemble; CPO from 2002.
String Quartets, Vol. 1 w/ Schuppanizigh Quartett; CPO, 2004 - BOY, only 2 of 26!  Not sure 'how many' of the SQs have been recorded?

Hmmm - no Piano Concertos & a bunch of SQs missing; will appreciate comments on other options & 'new' additions - Dave  :)


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/FerdinandRies.jpg/180px-FerdinandRies.jpg)



Yes, a perfect example of influence. Oddly, other than the symphonies that we have in common, I have the piano sonatas and concertos rather than the chamber music that you have. An amazing divergence, given that 75% of my collection is chamber music. :)  The concertos are available on Naxos, and certainly worth picking up. And the sonatas are on CPO (1 disk that I have), and quite interesting. Unlike the symphonies, the sonatas are all Ries and little Beethoven. I would also add the clarinet trio, which I have on a Naxos disk with Beethoven's Op 38, which is his own arrangement of his Septet for clarinet trio. So, a doubly interesting disk. :)

Ries spent nearly the entire second half of his life in London, promoting his own and Beethoven's music (he brokered many of Beethoven's publisher deals, for example), and at some point in time, something occurred (what, exactly, it was, is not known) which caused a rift between the 2 of them. In any case, when listening to Ries' excellent symphonies, there is no doubt who his teacher was... ;)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 18, 2009, 01:15:08 PM
No love here for Kromien (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,8100.msg242569.html#msg242569)?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: jhar26 on April 18, 2009, 04:01:35 PM
Very interesting post, Gurn.  I have often wondered about this...  When do you stop using harpsichord and start using piano?  The practice seems to be any "Classical" work, but - as you have aptly pointed out - this runs into problems.  What about volume indications or the lack thereof?  Take Haydn's keyboard concerto in D, H. 23:11 - Pinnock and Koopman both seem to be of the notion that this is a harpsichord piece.  I assume this is do to a lack of crescendos/decrescendos and volume indications?
Well, it may be a harpsichord piece, but it sounds much better when played on a piano to my ears.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 18, 2009, 04:12:04 PM
Well, it may be a harpsichord piece, but it sounds much better when played on a piano to my ears.

I prefer it on the fortepiano myself. According to what I have read, and also to what sounds best to ME, it IS intended for the fortepiano because of the written dynamics, just as Sorin says. And they are written into the autograph. Of course, this was right in the transitional time when a lot of works were claimed as being "for fortepiano or harpsichord", but that is just pandering to the audience, really, since the intentions of the composer can't be properly reproduced on the harpsichord. As for Pinnock and Koopman, well, they are both harpsichordists, what else would they say? :D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Haydn: The Complete Overtures - Manfred Huss - Haydn Sinfonietta Wien - Philemon und Baucis: Overture in d
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 18, 2009, 04:28:16 PM
. . . Of course, this was right in the transitional time when a lot of works were claimed as being "for fortepiano or harpsichord", but that is just pandering to the audience, really, since the intentions of the composer can't be properly reproduced on the harpsichord.

Pandering to the audience, or realistic expectations of how the homes of your market are musically equipped? . . .
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 18, 2009, 04:34:06 PM
Pandering to the audience, or realistic expectations of how the homes of your market are musically equipped? . . .

Absolutely right, Doctor H. However, by 1800, the expectation was not as realistic, but the tradition continued... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Haydn: The Complete Overtures - Manfred Huss - Haydn Sinfonietta Wien - Die Sieben Letzten Worte Unseres Erlösers Am Kreuze: Introduzione in d
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 18, 2009, 04:36:24 PM
Even "grandfathering" has a history, Gurn  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 18, 2009, 04:40:56 PM
Even "grandfathering" has a history, Gurn  8)

Yes indeed. One shouldn't allow oneself to be misled by such vestigial customs though. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Haydn: The Complete Overtures - Manfred Huss - Haydn Sinfonietta Wien - L'Incontro Improviso: Sinfonia in D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 22, 2009, 06:04:23 PM
Development of the Classical orchestra -
All this talk on other threads (like HIP Beethoven Symphonies, for one) about performance practice got me curious to refresh my memory about size and constitution of the orchestra during the period in question (1750-1830 <>). So to start at the beginning, I looked up what our old friend Quantz had to say, since he wrote near the beginning of the period (early 1750's). What I found were a couple of anomalies from that era which changed over time as the orchestra itself and ideas about music evolved.

According to Quantz, a "nice sized" orchestra had between 8 & 10 violins. Not so many, eh? If there were 8 violins (divided half and half into firsts and seconds), then there would be 1 each of violas, cellos and basses. If there were 10 violins, then 2 each of the others. But here is where the oddity is: for that many strings (call it 16), there would be 3 or 4 each of flutes & oboes, along with 2 horns & 2 bassoons and a harpsichord to supply the necessary basso continuuo. By the standards that we are more familiar with (I'll get to that in a minute), this would have shifted the color of the sound quite heavily into the winds. I pondered this for a while and came to the conclusion that Quantz was a flutist, writing about flutes, and that he was the teacher of Frederick the Great, also a flutist and wind lover, and perhaps this alignment of instruments was peculiar to Northern Germany at the time, moreso than to Europe in general. Interested in other ideas on this subject, since the prevailing idea that I have gleaned elsewhere is that strings were always in the majority...  :-\

When Haydn began his tenure at Esterházy, his entire orchestra consisted of 20 players. Probably <> 14 strings and 6 winds, with himself playing continuuo. Since this was around 1761, and the private orchestra of one of the richest men in Europe, this was probably even a bit more than the norm. So when we hear the symphony #6, "Le Matin" played with an orchestra the same as plays "Drumroll" or "Surprise", it's probably just a bit beyond what Haydn envisioned. :)   Not making an argument for historical accuracy here, just sayin'.... ;) 

Mozart's early symphonies, from a very few years later than this, have written parts for 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 bass, no flutes, 2 oboes, 1 bassoon and 2 horns. The question lies in how many on a part? Well, the range of orchestra sizes back then was really pretty large. I let Dr. Neal Zaslaw do the research for me (Mozart's Symphonies), and he did a splendid job of it too. Just counting the 1760's for now, in places where Mozart's earliest symphonies were played for certain (London, The Hague, Amsterdam and Salzburg), we find 1st violins ranging from 3-6, 2nd violins from 3-4, violas from 1-6, cellos from 1-3, basses from 1-4, flutes from 0-2, oboes 2, bassoons 1-2 & horns 2-4. The high end numbers for all of these come from the 2 court orchestras, The Hague and Salzburg (!). Zaslaw continues in this way with all the orchestras he can find info on throughout Mozart's lifetime that he might have composed for. An interesting pattern emerges through time. Despite absolute numbers of instruments, when the ratio of string to wind is plotted, there is a steady proportion of 5.8 string players to 0.3 non-string players! And this holds true throughout the period....   Which brings me back to Quantz. The ratio there is approximately 2:1. ??? Well, maybe this is the exception that proves the rule. :)

Please feel free to cuss or discuss. I know well that there are those of you out there who know a lot more about this than I do. I would love to learn from you. And questions of balance and color are certainly welcome to be addressed, as they are germane to the topic. :)

8)




----------------
Listening to:
Venice Baroque Orchestra; Carmignola - RV 331 Concerto in g for Violin 2nd mvmt - Largo
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 22, 2009, 06:31:13 PM
Development of the Classical orchestra -
All this talk on other threads (like HIP Beethoven Symphonies, for one) about performance practice got me curious to refresh my memory about size and constitution of the orchestra during the period in question (1750-1830 <>). So to start at the beginning, I looked up what our old friend Quantz had to say, since he wrote near the beginning of the period (early 1750's). What I found were a couple of anomalies from that era which changed over time as the orchestra itself and ideas about music evolved....................

Good evening Gurn - thanks for your detailed thread on the orchestra and its changes from this wonderful period that we both love!  ;D

But, not sure if I've posted the book below in this thread (maybe in the reading one?) - The Birth of the Orchestra - History of an Institution, 1650-1815 by John Spitzer & Neal Zaslaw (2004) by Oxford Press - I bought this 'paperback' book (and not cheap, so a local library checkout would be recommended) - but this is an absolutely superb tome (about 600 pages including appendices & index) that considers exactly the questions that you discussed, i.e. the origins & development of 'orchestras' from the dates indicated; there are numerous tables & listings of the various orchestras of the times w/ exact listings of the instruments used - the detail is definitive - now, this will not appeal to many, but if you are interested in the questions & issues raised by this post, then I can't imagine a book that would not answer virtually many of the questions raised.  Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/435177742_3fPr6-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 22, 2009, 06:49:05 PM
Good evening Gurn - thanks for your detailed thread on the orchestra and its changes from this wonderful period that we both love!  ;D

But, not sure if I've posted the book below in this thread (maybe in the reading one?) - The Birth of the Orchestra - History of an Institution, 1650-1815 by John Spitzer & Neal Zaslaw (2004) by Oxford Press - I bought this 'paperback' book (and not cheap, so a local library checkout would be recommended) - but this is an absolutely superb tome (about 600 pages including appendices & index) that considers exactly the questions that you discussed, i.e. the origins & development of 'orchestras' from the dates indicated; there are numerous tables & listings of the various orchestras of the times w/ exact listings of the instruments used - the detail is definitive - now, this will not appeal to many, but if you are interested in the questions & issues raised by this post, then I can't imagine a book that would not answer virtually many of the questions raised.  Dave  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/435177742_3fPr6-M.jpg)

Ah, thanks Dave, that looks interesting. I have a nice book about orchestras, but surprisingly, it concentrates almost exclusively on the evolution of the instruments rather than their numbers. By the looks of that book, it rivals Zaslaw's Mozart book in size and probably detail too. I'll have to see what I can find, maybe Amazon has a used one. I got the Symphony book in England, cost a bloody fortune with shipping, but worth every farthing. :)

I suspect that the orchestras charting is a superset of where he started in this book. Does he carry over the ratio chart? If so, does it hold true generally? I thought that was a useful tidbit of information to have. Although orchestra size increased from 20 to 60 during the period, the ratio stayed the same.

Cheers, Dave,
8)

----------------
Listening to:
Venice Baroque Orchestra; Carmignola - RV 177 Concerto in b for Violin 3rd mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 23, 2009, 04:30:40 AM
I see activity in the Corner!  ;D

Great post, Gurn.  I do think that smaller, more balanced forces like what you would have found in older times provide a much better sound, with more raw power and energy and clearer sonorities.  You bring up some interesting points here.

By the looks of that book, it rivals Zaslaw's Mozart book in size and probably detail too.

With Professor Zaslaw himself as co-author, nonetheless!  Looks like a fascinatingly informative book, indeed.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: FideLeo on April 23, 2009, 07:23:07 AM
(http://www.oupcanada.com/documents/Image/Jackets/l/9780195166651.jpg)

This one would make a nice sibling album for the one cited above, covering a later development and focusing perhaps more on the technical details of how to interpret contemporary notation.  I don't have this book but have read individual papers from Dr. Clive Brown.  Sir Roger Norrington supplied the foreword!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 23, 2009, 04:24:15 PM
(http://www.oupcanada.com/documents/Image/Jackets/l/9780195166651.jpg)

This one would make a nice sibling album for the one cited above, covering a later development and focusing perhaps more on the technical details of how to interpret contemporary notation.  I don't have this book but have read individual papers from Dr. Clive Brown.  Sir Roger Norrington supplied the foreword!

Yes, that's another one I've been looking at for a while. Actually, this book, the one Dave recommended and the one that I already have (Peyser) are/were listed by Amazon as a "three-fer" special. One could get a good orchestral library started for <> $100!   :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Collegium Aureum - K 248b_250 Serenade #7 in D "Haffner" 1st mvmt - Allegro maestoso - Allegro molto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2009, 05:52:46 PM
The chat on another thread about Piano Quintets put me in mind of this little series that I have been collecting for the last 6 months or so. Patience is paramount when collecting as released, so since it is just up to disk 3, it will be a while yet to achieve satisfaction. :D

The piano quintet as we usually think of it is composed of a string quartet (2 violins) and piano, except for Schubert's famous "Trout Quintet", right?  well, no, surprisingly enough, back at the cusp of the Classico-Romantic boundary (if you will concede such a thing), Schubert's "Trout" instruments were, in fact, the norm. Fortepiano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Baß. The first known quintet with these personnel was composed by Dussek <>1795, and the line extends up through the 1830's. The members of this group (The Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet) have found manuscripts so far of over 20 different composers. BTW, these are on Brilliant, and an example of works that they commissioned themselves rather than licensed. These are the 3 disks released so far:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/NFQ1.jpg) (http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/NFQ2.jpg) (http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/NFQ3.jpg)

The works are (alphabetically):
Cramer Op 79 in Bb
Dussek Op 41 in f
Hummel Op 87 in eb (yes, e flat minor, not major as usually written. Right there on the front page of the manuscript!)
Limmer Op 13 in d
Onslow Op 76 in G
Ries Op 74 in b
Schubert D 667 in A

Limmer? OK, fair enough, he was new to me, too. He was born in Vienna in 1808 and became a composer early on. Actually wrote an amazing amount of highly regarded (at the time) music, ranging from masses to chamber works. And I have to say, if you get this disk, you might agree that this is a hidden jewel, possibly the best work in the set so far.

Anyway, the playing is excellent, the recorded sound is good, and they are virtually giving it away (I have paid less than $5 new for each disk so far). For the people who haunt this Corner, I strongly recommend if you want to hear some new repertoire or some old favorites. :)

8)





----------------
Listening to:
Shaham; Rouilly; Mork; Dangel; Reid; Jenny; Hefti - Beethoven Op 20 Septet in Eb 2nd mvmt - Adagio cantabile
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2009, 07:12:47 PM
Limmer's first initial: G.?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 24, 2009, 11:57:51 PM
Mozart also has a charming little quintet for piano & winds (oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon), K. 452.  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2009, 08:38:15 AM
Limmer's first initial: G.?

No, it's "S" actually. He looks rather dull and emaciated compared to his peers. Historically, men in that age went big for the chubby look to display their prosperity. The Limmer in question, S, rebelled against all that.... ;)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet - Cramer Op 79 Quintet in Bb for Piano & Strings 2nd mvmt - Adagio cantabile
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2009, 08:41:26 AM
Mozart also has a charming little quintet for piano & winds (oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon), K. 452.  ;)

True enough, although the instrumentation is way off base. In any case, I'll see your Wolfgang and raise you a pair of Ludwigs (Spohr & Beethoven) and you will end up with 3 pretty nice 5tets with piano and winds. Chamber music was pretty diverse in those days, eh?  :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet - Cramer Op 79 Quintet in Bb for Piano & Strings 2nd mvmt - Adagio cantabile
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 25, 2009, 09:06:01 AM
True enough, although the instrumentation is way off base. In any case, I'll see your Wolfgang and raise you a pair of Ludwigs (Spohr & Beethoven) and you will end up with 3 pretty nice 5tets with piano and winds. Chamber music was pretty diverse in those days, eh?  :)
Yes indeed!  Nice for the ears, notosmuch for me when I try to categorise it all on my music player!  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2009, 09:10:41 AM
Yes indeed!  Nice for the ears, notosmuch for me when I try to categorise it all on my music player!  ;D

Yeah, that's a problem. I have mixed feeling about it. I have solved the problem of "having music that I haven't heard" as described in the "Unopened CD's" thread by ripping everything, and then just double-clicking randomly in the "Local Media" list in WinAMP and letting it play whatever it wants to. It is my opinion that categorizing (for ME) is just too anal. :D

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet - Dussek Op 41 Quintet in f for Fortepiano & Strings 3rd mvmt - Finale: Allegretto ma espressivo
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 25, 2009, 10:03:53 AM
Yeah, that's a problem. I have mixed feeling about it. I have solved the problem of "having music that I haven't heard" as described in the "Unopened CD's" thread by ripping everything, and then just double-clicking randomly in the "Local Media" list in WinAMP and letting it play whatever it wants to. It is my opinion that categorizing (for ME) is just too anal. :D
You're probably right.  I get lost and confused in my own music player when I don't have everything in order, though! (http://www.twcenter.net/forums/images/smilies/emoticons/wacko.gif)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2009, 10:10:35 AM
You're probably right.  I get lost and confused in my own music player when I don't have everything in order, though! (http://www.twcenter.net/forums/images/smilies/emoticons/wacko.gif)

Well, I only have 8 gigs on my MP3 player, so it is hard to get lost. But I have 220 gigs on my hard drive, and even though the file system keeps everything in perfect order, constantly choosing what to play can be an ordeal. I find myself listening to the same things all the time and ignoring other things that I really do like, but they just don't occur to me. This way, everything gets a chance. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet - Hummel Op 87 Quintet in eb for Fortepiano & Strings 4th mvmt - Allegro agitato
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 27, 2009, 02:39:37 PM
Well, I only have 8 gigs on my MP3 player, so it is hard to get lost. But I have 220 gigs on my hard drive, and even though the file system keeps everything in perfect order, constantly choosing what to play can be an ordeal. I find myself listening to the same things all the time and ignoring other things that I really do like, but they just don't occur to me. This way, everything gets a chance. :)
Speaking of which, when the great Gön does listen to music, what does he use?  Some top-of-the-line headcans, perhaps?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 03:45:34 PM
Speaking of which, when the great Gön does listen to music, what does he use?  Some top-of-the-line headcans, perhaps?

Well, they're pretty good. I can't stand things stuck in my ears, so I needed phones, but portable. So I got some Sennheiser PX200 over the ear folding phones. And I notice the price is half what I paid a year ago... >:(  Anyway, they have very nice sound, and fold up small for portability. Sweet! :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 27, 2009, 06:27:10 PM
Well guys, I'm reporting tonight from a hotel room @ the Sheraton in Boston - I'm here on a short medical meeting which is quite hectic w/ activities, people to see, events to attend, etc. leaving little time to enjoy this great city!

Arrived on Saturday and had some 'time off' on Sunday, so was perusing what might be available to enjoy musically, and found a 'perfect fit' at least for me; that afternoon at the Boston Symphony Hall, the historic performance center for so many conductors of the past was the program below:

Haydn in London conducted by Sir Roger Norrington, and sponsored by the Handel & Haydn Society (http://www.handelandhaydn.org/calendar/concert_sched/concert_sched_08-09.htm#apr), which was established in Boston in 1815!  We showed up @ the box office early that afternoon & were able to get seats at orchestra level just to the right, but could see the performers well and Norrington's unique conducting and his wonderful facial expressions.

We were early enough to hear the pre-concert lecture by Michael Ruhing (http://www.handelandhaydn.org/experience/hip/hip_fellow.htm) who wrote the program notes, and is current president of the Haydn Society of North American; he was a delightful speaker and 'laid' the background to Solomon's invitation to Haydn to visit London and the performance practices of the period - especially important was his comments on 'how' concerts of those days were often a mixture of orchestral, chamber, vocal, etc. works, even w/ the symphonies broken between other performances; he also emphasized that the audience applauded after each movement (and even w/i movements!) - Norrington insisted on applauds after each movement, would turn, and give a special gesture to the audience - quite delightful, different, and wonderful -  :D

The entire program lasted just 2 'short' hours including an intermission; below are the performances w/ a guest soprano - Nathalie Paulin; also, this was an orchestra of just about 3 dozen players w/ the winds duplicated; instruments of the times were used, including 'valveless' horns & trumpets, wooden flutes & clarinets, and a fortepiano:

Symphony No. 99 - first 2 movements.
Cantata: Scena di Berenice w/ Paulin
Symphony No. 99 - last 2 movements.
Intermission
English Songs (music by Haydn; words by Anne Hunter, wife of Dr. John Hunter)
Adagio from an earlier Divertimento played w/ 6 instruments
English Songs (as above); Paulin w/ the fortepiano
Symphony No. 92, Oxford - all movements to end the concert!

This will likely be the HIGHLIGHT of my 'short medical' trip to Boston; first visit to this historic Symphony Hall, Haydn (one of my favorite composers, if not @ the top?), a period instrument 'small' orchestra (the 'winds' just zoomed out the the ensemble brightly & clearly), and Sir Roger Norrington - could not ask for a better surprise!  Dave  :)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 06:35:49 PM
Crikey, Dave! How outstanding was that!!! And what a lineup of music. I am very pleased for you. Oh, was Karl there? I've heard he never misses one of those... :D   I look forward to the DVD (OK if it isn't Blu-Ray... ;) ).

Thanks for sharing,
8)

----------------
Listening to:
Andreas Staier, Daniel Sepec - Beethoven Op 23 Sonata #4 in a for Fortepiano & Violin 3rd mvmt - Allegro molto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 28, 2009, 05:02:35 PM
Well, they're pretty good. I can't stand things stuck in my ears, so I needed phones, but portable. So I got some Sennheiser PX200 over the ear folding phones. And I notice the price is half what I paid a year ago... >:(  Anyway, they have very nice sound, and fold up small for portability. Sweet! :)

Looked those up at Amazon.  Seems like a good deal!  I like the design as well.  I've not heard anything bad about Sennheiser, they seem a very good brand; the earpieces from them that I have hold up well.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 29, 2009, 01:57:39 AM
This will likely be the HIGHLIGHT of my 'short medical' trip to Boston; first visit to this historic Symphony Hall, Haydn (one of my favorite composers, if not @ the top?), a period instrument 'small' orchestra (the 'winds' just zoomed out the the ensemble brightly & clearly), and Sir Roger Norrington - could not ask for a better surprise!  Dave  :)

Dave, it seems a splendid concert indeed. How was the performance of the Scena di Berenice?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on April 29, 2009, 02:53:51 AM
About Sennheisers. I have the PX100 for portable duties. It's very similar to the PX200, but it's open, and I do think it's bass reproduction is more correct than the PX200 which seems a bit on the boosted side to me.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 29, 2009, 01:42:55 PM
Dave, it seems a splendid concert indeed. How was the performance of the Scena di Berenice?

Hello Gabriel - just returned home from Boston - could have spent a few more days, and would have loved to have met Karl, if we had had more time; he likely knows more about the soprano in this performance since she has appeared a number of times w/ Roger Norrington there -  :)

Nathalie Paulin, soprano from Canada - her Website HERE (http://www.nathaliepaulin.com/new_site/index.html) - now keep in mind that I'm not really an 'opera guy' and had not heard of this singer before nor the piece performed, so my opinion is likely not worth 'two bits' -  ;D

But, she did sing beautifully, projected herself quite well into the auditorium, had a pleasant & lyric voice (even when hitting the highest notes which she did not seem to miss 'to my ears'); the program notes allowed one to 'follow along w/ ease'; she had an 'affectionate & infectious' kind of relationship w/ Norrington, so the two of them obviously were quite comfortable together and the 'period instrument orchestra' was a good match.  My 'better half', Susan, who is also a soprano and sang in college classical groups while at Brown University & University of Chicago (plus, a lot of singing since) was quite impressed w/ this gal.

Now, for the English songs, she sang just w/ the fortepiano performer, another delightful combination; her voice, as expected, was quite operatic in these songs - I would imagine that Dawn Upshaw, who seems to do this 'crossover' singing well (to my hearing) likely would have been my preference, but I really enjoy Dawn in all types of repertoire.

Not sure if any of this helps, but Paulin was quite impressive and the audience was pleased!  Dave  :D

P.S. Below a pic of 'how' Norrington looked during the performance; kind of an 'oriental' black garment!  :)

(http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/04/22/1240446439_3338/539w.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 29, 2009, 01:57:24 PM
Thanks, Dave. I do not know Nathalie Paulin at all, but I trust Norrington's choices. On the other hand, it is not usual to have Haydn songs sung in a concert. A great concert for the Haydn year 2009! ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 29, 2009, 02:09:06 PM
Thanks, Dave. I do not know Nathalie Paulin at all, but I trust Norrington's choices. On the other hand, it is not usual to have Haydn songs sung in a concert. A great concert for the Haydn year 2009! ;)

Yep, kind of a 'double celebration' for the Handel & Haydn Society - 200 yrs since Haydn's death, but also 150 yrs for Handel's demise - guess those 'combos' don't come up very often! Dave  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 29, 2009, 06:13:58 PM
P.S. Below a pic of 'how' Norrington looked during the performance; kind of an 'oriental' black garment!  :)

Just call him, "Sensei Norrington!"
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on April 30, 2009, 03:30:42 AM
Hello Gabriel - just returned home from Boston - could have spent a few more days, and would have loved to have met Karl, if we had had more time . . . .

Oh, we certainly ought to have got together, Dave!

Quote from: SonicMan
P.S. Below a pic of 'how' Norrington looked during the performance; kind of an 'oriental' black garment!

Go on! That's a still from Karate Kid III!  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 30, 2009, 08:51:03 AM
Oh, we certainly ought to have got together, Dave!

Karl - Susan & I would like to return to Boston soon!  So, will certainly keep a meeting in mind -  :D

Quote
Go on! That's a still from Karate Kid III!  8)

Well, Sir Roger did have a lot of 'body gestures' while conducting (used only his hands; no baton) but I can't recall any karate motions!  ;) ;D

I was curious about his age and just checked - turned 75 y/o last month!  Hard to believe -  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 30, 2009, 09:02:54 AM
Krommer, Franz (1759-1831) - String Quartets w/ the Marcolini Quartett on period instruments (violins, c. 1750 & c. 1813; viola, after Bergonzi, Cremona, 1739; cello, after Stradavari, 1721).

Franz K. has already been discussed numerous times in this thread, but I just received the disc below, and now listening for a second time.  The works were written between 1800-1820, but really are in a 'transitional style' between Haydn & Beethoven.  These works are really worth exploring, well composed and performed.  In fact, Krommer's string pieces may have been more popular than the 'early' ones of Beethoven - at least if the anecdote (from the opening liner notes) in quotes below can be believed:

Quote
...concerning an encounter between Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Krommer....both composers were present at a concert in Count Lichnowsky's palace in Vienna where string quartets by each of them were played.  In the middle of the performance, Beethoven began to lambaste Krommer's successful works, and his conduct was so unbecoming that the count found it necessary to reprimand him.


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/524943864_YzWoR-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on April 30, 2009, 02:07:21 PM
I haven't bought this CD yet, Dave, but I have it in my cart. I guess I will order soon and make further comments once I receive it, as I anticipated some time ago.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 02, 2009, 04:05:47 PM
Clementi, Muzio (1752-1832) - Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3 w/ Howard Shelley - Clementi has been already discussed in this thread earlier; this is the newest release of Shelley's perusal of these piano sonatas, not sure how many more will be released; Hyperion is packaging these as 2-CDs in a 'single' thin jewel box at a bargain price; as w/ the other two volumes, these continue in the same superb performances - now I've also been buying fortepiano interpretations of these works w/  Costantino Mastroprimiano on the Brilliant label - have 6 discs each from the different performers - love them both!   ;D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/524943859_XaG3f-S.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C7yg0-NtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2009, 04:51:31 PM
Clementi, Muzio (1752-1832) - Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3 w/ Howard Shelley - Clementi has been already discussed in this thread earlier; this is the newest release of Shelley's perusal of these piano sonatas, not sure how many more will be released; Hyperion is packaging these as 2-CDs in a 'single' thin jewel box at a bargain price; as w/ the other two volumes, these continue in the same superb performances - now I've also been buying fortepiano interpretations of these works w/  Costantino Mastroprimiano on the Brilliant label - have 6 discs each from the different performers - love them both!   ;D

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/524943859_XaG3f-S.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C7yg0-NtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Yes, you've already tempted me with the Shelley... :D   I'm still working on the Mastroprimiano right now, have the first 2 boxes. Out of curiosity, do they replicate the same works pretty much? Or did Shelley start at the end and work his way backwards?  Despite having a dozen or more Clementi disks, there are still quite a few sonatas that I don't have at all, and others that I have 3 or more times. BTW, do you (or does anyone) have a disk of his etudes (that's what they are, although not called anything in particular) Gradus ad Parnassum(Op 44)? I have a disk of the first 6 suites played by Danielle Laval, and they are really quite interesting. Of course, after his death, his piano method lived on, and these are at the heart of it. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Consortium Classicum - Boccherini - Quartet for clarinet, flute, horn & bassoon in B major, G. 263/3 (arranged by Othon Van den Broek): No. 1, Allegro non tanto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 02, 2009, 05:28:35 PM
Yes, you've already tempted me with the Shelley... :D   I'm still working on the Mastroprimiano right now, have the first 2 boxes. Out of curiosity, do they replicate the same works pretty much? Or did Shelley start at the end and work his way backwards?..................

Good evening Gurn - Shelley seems to be recording these works in pretty much the order of their Opus numbers, i.e. Vol. 1 = Op. 1, 2, 7, & 8; Vol. 2 = Opp. 9-12; Vol. 3 = Op. 13, 20, 23, & 24; OTOH, Mastroprimiano is mixing them up (but of course all will eventually overlap) - his Vol. 1 (3-CDs) include works from Op. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 24, & 41; Vol. 2 is different, e.g. disc 1 is mostly six sonatas dedicated to Peter Beckford, and the others are not quite the same as the Shelley numbering - I guess that your choice is the desire to have the 'modern' piano vs. the fortepiano.

Concerning the Etudes - cannot provide an answer - did a little searching w/o much success - seem to be 'later' works?  I have some of Clementi's Symphonies, and know that he wrote chamber works, but own none of these compositions, so would be interested in the comments from all about other offerings?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 02, 2009, 05:38:25 PM
BTW, do you (or does anyone) have a disk of his etudes (that's what they are, although not called anything in particular) Gradus ad Parnassum(Op 44)? I have a disk of the first 6 suites played by Danielle Laval, and they are really quite interesting. Of course, after his death, his piano method lived on, and these are at the heart of it. :)

Just yesterday I recommended (on the thread "What are you listening?") a very nice and complete version (4 Cds) of the Gradus ad Parnassum, recorded on the label Arts. Its sound is gorgeous and the interpretation (by several young Italian pianists) is excellent or at least very good.

Below is included the image of another disc (by John Khouri) also strongly recommended.

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2009, 05:39:41 PM
Good evening Gurn - Shelley seems to be recording these works in pretty much the order of their Opus numbers, i.e. Vol. 1 = Op. 1, 2, 7, & 8; Vol. 2 = Opp. 9-12; Vol. 3 = Op. 13, 20, 23, & 24; OTOH, Mastroprimiano is mixing them up (but of course all will eventually overlap) - his Vol. 1 (3-CDs) include works from Op. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 24, & 41; Vol. 2 is different, e.g. disc 1 is mostly six sonatas dedicated to Peter Beckford, and the others are not quite the same as the Shelley numbering - I guess that your choice is the desire to have the 'modern' piano vs. the fortepiano.

Concerning the Etudes - cannot provide an answer - did a little searching w/o much success - seem to be 'later' works?  I have some of Clementi's Symphonies, and know that he wrote chamber works, but own none of these compositions, so would be interested in the comments from all about other offerings?  Dave  :)

Well, I suppose we know what MY preference is :D  Interesting that Shelley is recording them in order, others who have attempted this haven't done that, I suppose because they wanted to get off to a bang-up start with some of those later works.

Well, later, but not too much so. Op 44 falls in there pretty much just past midway. But he did have a LOT of students by then (1805-10), so he must have needed something to illustrate his methods by. The liner notes say that some of the movements in each suite (these are the first 6 suites) are sonata movements, possibly ones that never found a home in a finished work.  My curiosity came about because other than the recording that I lucked into, I have never seen another, nor even another copy of this one. They play out as 6 movement suites that seem to go well together, almost like finished pieces. One thing I know, if I was a piano student, these would be a ferocious way to find my feet. :D

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Consortium Classicum - Boccherini - Quartet for clarinet, flute, horn & bassoon in E flat major, G. 263/1 (arranged by Othon Van den Broek): No. 3, Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2009, 05:44:46 PM
Just yesterday I recommended (on the thread "What are you listening?") a very nice and complete version (4 Cds) of the Gradus ad Parnassum, recorded on the label Arts. Its sound is gorgeous and the interpretation (by several young Italian pianists) is excellent or at least very good.

Below is included the image of another disc (by John Khouri) also strongly recommended.



Oh, hot damn! Thanks for that, Antoine! What synchronicity, since I have never mentioned these, nor seen them mentioned either! I really need to pick that up.

As for the the Khouri disks, absolutely a nice set, especially if you are a fan of the fortepiano. Very nice playing, great music too. But if you live for the sound of the modern grand piano, well, tough luck. :D  (perfect for me, though ;) )

8)
 

----------------
Listening to:
Consortium Classicum - Boccherini - Quartet for clarinet, flute, horn & bassoon in F major, G. 262/2 (arranged by Othon Van den Broek): No. 2, Larghetto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 02, 2009, 05:51:39 PM
Oh, hot damn! Thanks for that, Antoine! What synchronicity, since I have never mentioned these, nor seen them mentioned either! I really need to pick that up.


The Spirit blows where it will, my friend.   :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 02, 2009, 11:58:18 PM
I have the 4 CDs of the complete Gradus ad Parnassum played by Laval, and it is very good indeed. You should get a complete set, Gurn: it is a fundamental work of classical piano literature.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on May 03, 2009, 12:06:24 AM
I have the 4 CDs of the complete Gradus ad Parnassum played by Laval, and it is very good indeed. You should get a complete set, Gurn: it is a fundamental work of classical piano literature.

Are the recordings mentioned (Laval and the set on Arts) on fortepiano?
Because after having heard Clementi on Staier's Broadwood and on Mastroprimiano's copy after Dulcken, that's mandatory IMO! :o  :)

Q
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 03, 2009, 12:10:40 AM
Laval plays on modern piano, Que. (And considering the artists in the Arts recording, it should be modern piano too).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on May 03, 2009, 12:15:31 AM
Laval plays on modern piano, Que. (And considering the artists in the Arts recording, it should be modern piano too).

 :'(
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 03, 2009, 03:48:46 AM
:'(

Yes, the Arts set is played on modern piano, Que, but IMO it is recorded in a totally lovely way and, you know, I am a HIP dude too.

Here is possible to get some idea about the set:

http://artsmusic.de/templates/tyReleasesD.php?id=667&label=blue%20line&topic=arts-releases-detail
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on May 03, 2009, 03:54:42 AM
Yes, the Arts set is played on modern piano, Que, but IMO it is recorded in a totally lovely way and, you know, I am a HIP dude too.

Here is possible to get some idea about the set:

http://artsmusic.de/templates/tyReleasesD.php?id=667&label=blue%20line&topic=arts-releases-detail



Thanks, the music sounds very much worthwhile and significant.  :)
Performances sound excellent too, but imagine this by Andreas Staier! :o Would be just the thing for him, or maybe Immerseel, Brautigam or Komen?  ::)

Q
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 03, 2009, 05:03:39 AM

Thanks, the music sounds very much worthwhile and significant.  :)
Performances sound excellent too, but imagine this by Andreas Staier! :o Would be just the thing for him, or maybe Immerseel, Brautigam or Komen?  ::)

Q

Also sometimes my imagination has run wild, Que.

When I listened to András Schiff playing on the Beethoven’s Broadwood piano –before his ongoing set-, I imagined a complete set by him on period instruments!

I thought to write a letter suggesting the idea. But I didn’t do it considering his some “militant” position against the HIP movement and because I’m not (yet) totally crazy.  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 03, 2009, 06:16:15 AM
I have the 4 CDs of the complete Gradus ad Parnassum played by Laval, and it is very good indeed. You should get a complete set, Gurn: it is a fundamental work of classical piano literature.

Thanks, Gabriel. You know, I didn't even know that she did 4 disks, the disk I have (the original from 1981) doesn't say "volume 1", perhaps at the time they weren't sure if she would do them all. In any case, I really do enjoy it, and since I knew nothing about it I have never brought it up... :-\

Are the recordings mentioned (Laval and the set on Arts) on fortepiano?
Because after having heard Clementi on Staier's Broadwood and on Mastroprimiano's copy after Dulcken, that's mandatory IMO! :o  :)

Q

Don't you just hate that? ;D  To me, any composer before 1835 should be played on a pianoforte, that's all there is to it. I really need to get that Staier disk too; I have Schiff playing on Beethoven's own Broadwood, and I rather enjoy it a lot more than his Beethoven on modern piano.

Also sometimes my imagination has run wild, Que.

When I listened to András Schiff playing on the Beethoven’s Broadwood piano –before his ongoing set-, I imagined a complete set by him on period instruments!

I thought to write a letter suggesting the idea. But I didn’t do it considering his some “militant” position against the HIP movement and because I’m not (yet) totally crazy.  ;D


Me too, Antoine. That would be awesome. I also have Schiff playing (with his wife) on Mozart's own instruments from the Mozarteum, which is a very enjoyable disk. Not all modern pianists can adapt to the particular technique required on the fortepiano, but Schiff does a great job of it. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Northern Sinfonia \ Hickox - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 3rd mvmt - Adagio molto e cantabile

I have heard that Hickox' 4th movement here is excellent, can't wait to hear it for the first time!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on May 03, 2009, 09:29:57 PM
Mozart sure used alot of themes. What a wacko!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on May 03, 2009, 09:35:30 PM
Well, I know you are a chamber fan (like me!) but you would likely be interested in Paisiello's piano concerti. The #4 in g minor is particularly good (you can find it on a Naxos disk). Not all of the opera composers were good at purley instrumental music, but he was one who was. :)

8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/xmrcXKuY-gM
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on May 04, 2009, 05:11:14 AM
OK.....last night I was at a chamber music concert, and I heard the most wonderful Trio for violin, viola and cello by Boccherini!  :)  It was in D major, but there wasn't any other description as to opus number.  And I think Boccherini wrote more than 1 or 2 in D major.

The three movement structure was as follows:

Allegro giusto
Andantino
Allegro Assai


I really have to get this into my collection!  Well, I can always just buy all the string trios.  :D

Dvorak's Piano Quintet in A major was supposed to be the feature, highlight work last night at this concert.  And yes, it was great but the Boccherini D major trio stole my heart!  :)

Aha!! It's the G.98, Op. 14/4 D major Trio. What an awesome piece!!!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 04, 2009, 05:47:08 AM
Well, Ray, there aren't as many possibilities. Here they are:

G 80: String Trio Op. 1 No. 4 in D major
G 87: String Trio Op. 4 No. 5 in D major
G 98: String Trio Op. 14 No. 4 in D major
G 104: String Trio Op. 34 No. 4 in D major
G 111: String Trio Op. 47 No. 5 in D major
G 113: String Trio Op. 54 No. 1 in D major
G 122: String Trio Op. 3 No. 4 in D major
G 123: String Trio Op. 3 No. 5 in D major
G 126: String Trio Op. 7 No. 2 in D major
G 131: String Trio Op. 28 No. 1 in D major

The ones that are bolded are stronger possibilities, not least because they have been recorded, and so it is sure they are available. Anyway, I'll check tempi tonight when I get home and let you know if I can narrow it down...  :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 04, 2009, 09:09:46 AM
....The three movement structure was as follows:

Allegro giusto
Andantino
Allegro Assai


Aha!! It's the G.98, Op. 14/4 D major Trio. What an awesome piece!!!

Ray - believe that you got it right!  The movement descriptions matches the number you have given; if not already done, checkout the excellent Boccherini Catalog HERE (http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/catal/boccherini/boclchb3.html)!

Not sure if this set is available or can be downloaded, but I have the Op. 14 String Trios w/ Trio Miro; believe all that I have of his 'trio output' which was substantial according to the catolog mentioned - any other recommendations?  Dave  :D

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QcSi7k_AvSc/SdA4jOBKB2I/AAAAAAAAKJs/Nb_SaVbJFN4/s400/Boccherini_trios+%5BDISCOS%5D.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on May 04, 2009, 09:16:08 AM
Another thing I learned at last night's concert.  I knew he was extremely proficient with the cello, but Boccherini was such a virtuoso with the cello, that he could play violin passages on his cello.....in the same pitch as a violin!  :o
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 04, 2009, 09:22:37 AM
Another thing I learned at last night's concert.  I knew he was extremely proficient with the cello, but Boccherini was such a virtuoso with the cello, that he could play violin passages on his cello.....in the same pitch as a violin!  :o

Yes, one of the things he was famous for. And not just passages, he could play whole violin concertos at pitch on the cello. Not being a cello player, I can only say that if that is as impressively difficult as it sounds to be, I would have loved to hear it! :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on May 04, 2009, 09:39:17 AM
Yes, one of the things he was famous for. And not just passages, he could play whole violin concertos at pitch on the cello. Not being a cello player, I can only say that if that is as impressively difficult as it sounds to be, I would have loved to hear it! :)

8)

Oh yah?!  Well M could do that on the double-bass blind folded!  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 04, 2009, 04:54:24 PM
Well, another contribution to this traditional series of Gurn's Classical Corner.

A recommended list of works: Cherubini (1760-1842).


The most impressive thing is that this list includes most of the Cherubini works recorded (an important omission, alas, is the string quintet, but as I haven't listened to it yet, I will not include it in the list). In my opinion, Beethoven was right when saying that Cherubini was the greatest composer of his time, excluding himself. His technical command is impressive, and his counterpoint beautifully natural (for example, he was capable to write stile antico with ease, while Beethoven had to struggle to assimilate "ancient" writing in the Credo of the Missa Solemnis). His vocal lines are transparent and well crafted, and it was not an obstacle for expressing some of the most turbulent music of the classical era in Médée, the most noble anxiety in Les Abencérages, or the sublime mixture of the popular and the academic in Les deux journées. A solid, all-rounded composer.

Some days ago I heard live the introduction to the third act of Médée. I was overwhelmed: it is one of those cases in which recordings are really, really far from the effect of the direct perception of the work.

In my opinion, he's waiting in the 21st century the chance that Haydn had in the 20th. But it will be more difficult, for Cherubini is eminently a vocal composer: religious music and operas in French are not precisely the kind of works to be played as frequently as piano sonatas or symphonies. And yet, his symphony and the six string quartets are outstanding works: not just because of the remarkable beauty of the music, but also because his view is in many points different from the Viennese composers whose style is so "natural" to us.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 04, 2009, 05:12:14 PM
Thanks for that list, Gabriel. And as you noted, Beethoven turned me on to Cherubini, after I read his statement in a biography.

I have all the instrumental music that you've listed here, and I have to agree, it is all first rate music and a must-have for anyone who is inclined to get away from the routine (no matter how great the routine may be). I can add only a couple of works to your list:

Capriccio ou Etude for Pianoforte  1789 - a 4 part (movement?) solo piano work from the time of his student days in Vienna. Actually, it is eye-opening, since the 1789 date seems like it can't be right when you hear the music (but it is!). I have Mario Patuzzi playing it, don't know if there is anyone else (but would love it on a Walter!).

I also have 1 Etude for Horn & Strings, which, since it is marked "#2", leads one to believe there must be others. It is also very interesting.

8)




----------------
Listening to: Love / Derwinger - Danzi - Quintet in D for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon/1: Larghetto - Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 05, 2009, 09:48:28 PM
I admit, I didn't even consider Cherubini until I, too, read of Beethoven's high regard of the man's music.

For the Requiem in C Minor try the recording by Spering and Das Neue Orchester - he really lights a fire under it!  Unfortunately there are no exceptional recordings for the D Minor Requiem, which is a shame because it's a masterpiece!

Cherubini's six string quartets have been recorded on time-appropriate instruments by Hausmusik.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 06, 2009, 04:50:37 AM
Thanks for that list, Gabriel. And as you noted, Beethoven turned me on to Cherubini, after I read his statement in a biography.

I admit, I didn't even consider Cherubini until I, too, read of Beethoven's high regard of the man's music.

I guess it is the case with most people, myself included. It is a pity that his music is seldom performed and not very often recorded. Anyway, Riccardo Muti must be really thanked for his remarkable exploration on the sacred works of Cherubini; I hope that EMI will be clever enough to release the excellent Mass in C major to continue their series, because the only recording available suffers quite a lot by the sound quality and the soloists. (Muti also recorded Lodoïska, Cherubini's first important opera, but I think that a sharper approach would benefit the score).

Capriccio ou Etude for Pianoforte  1789 - a 4 part (movement?) solo piano work from the time of his student days in Vienna. Actually, it is eye-opening, since the 1789 date seems like it can't be right when you hear the music (but it is!). I have Mario Patuzzi playing it, don't know if there is anyone else (but would love it on a Walter!).

I also have 1 Etude for Horn & Strings, which, since it is marked "#2", leads one to believe there must be others. It is also very interesting.

Thanks for this advice, Gurn. I guess I saw the Capriccio once in a CD, but I haven't bought it. And it is great to have an outstanding piano work by his, for his piano sonatas are early compositions that do not show the genius that was creating them. As for the Étude, I don't know it (but I'm almost sure I've seen it in at least a couple of CDs).

Unfortunately there are no exceptional recordings for the D Minor Requiem, which is a shame because it's a masterpiece!

There is a very good recording by Igor Markevitch, but it already sounds a bit old. I would really like to know what would our HIP champions be able to do with this powerful work.

Cherubini's six string quartets have been recorded on time-appropriate instruments by Hausmusik.

Do not forget the Melos recording, originally for DG, that has recently been re-released by Brilliant. At full-price, those performances are a bargain. At Brilliant price, what to say!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 06, 2009, 05:31:38 AM
I transpose a message I've just written in another thread, concerning - naturally - a classical composer.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/88/455788.jpg)

It's interesting that you mention this CD, Traverso. It's the only CD I own of Brunetti's music, and I would like to know more of it before trying to describe the style of the composer. But specifically about these few string quartets I can say that it is some of the most intriguing chamber music of the classical period. Perhaps it is the use of listening to the Viennese composers of the time, but even compared with Boccherini's works these are very special; I would even say that they are very strange. Their emotional approach is a light one, but the music in itself is quite twisted: very strange textures, unexpected modulations, irregular subjects, and lots of other surprises.

If I had to describe these works, I'd say they are like a piranha. Their size is deceiving. And when gathered in groups, they can create a very powerful force. According to Wikipedia, he wrote a considerable amount of chamber music (44 string quartets, 66 string quintets, and so on). If most of his music had at least the level presented by this CD, we would be in front of a very sadly forgotten composer; and considering that Brunetti was active in Spain at the same time Boccherini was, they both could offer a most distinguished counterpoint to the Haydn-Mozart Austrian chamber music writing of this period.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 06, 2009, 02:02:15 PM
A recommended list of works: Cherubini (1760-1842).

  • The six string quartets: Eb, C, Dm, E, F, Am
  • Requiem in C minor
  • Requiem in D minor

The most impressive thing is that this list includes most of the Cherubini works recorded

Gabriel - thanks for the listing of Cherubini's works - only have the works above from your list - may need some more!   ;D

In the String Quartets, own the CPO offering of 3-CDs w/ Hausmusik London - enjoy them, but have no 'comparison' comments w/ others -  :-\

Love Requiem Masses - have Muti in the C minor & Markevich in the D minor (an older recording) - seems like I have much to explore!

I transpose a message I've just written in another thread, concerning - naturally - a classical composer.

It's interesting that you mention this CD, Traverso.  Re:  Gaetano Brunetti

Thanks again for the comments on this composer, unknown to me - but, as you may know, I'm a BIG Boccherini fan, so will put these works of Brunetti on my 'to buy' list - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 06, 2009, 04:22:14 PM
There is a very good recording by Igor Markevitch, but it already sounds a bit old. I would really like to know what would our HIP champions be able to do with this powerful work.

That's the one I have as well.  Not sure if I'd say this is a particularly inspired reading, but the music sure is amazing!  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 07, 2009, 01:08:30 PM
By the way, happy Symphony No. 9 Day to everyone here in Gurn's Classical Corner!  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: FideLeo on May 12, 2009, 02:49:30 AM
It's interesting that you mention this CD, Traverso. It's the only CD I own of Brunetti's music, and I would like to know more of it before trying to describe the style of the composer. But specifically about these few string quartets I can say that it is some of the most intriguing chamber music of the classical period. Perhaps it is the use of listening to the Viennese composers of the time, but even compared with Boccherini's works these are very special; I would even say that they are very strange. Their emotional approach is a light one, but the music in itself is quite twisted: very strange textures, unexpected modulations, irregular subjects, and lots of other surprises.

Thank you for a long and perceptive post - I agree with most of what you say and will only observe that the Schuppanzigh Qt is quite good at re-discovering forgotten gems and at presenting them as something truly remarkable.  Hausmusik, on the other hand, doesn't seem to possess the same knack for me.  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 12, 2009, 07:43:41 AM
Pleyel, Ignaz Joseph (1757-1831) - Clarinet Concertos 1 & 2 w/ Dieter Klocker on CPO.  In addition to being a student of Haydn, musical publisher, & piano maker, he was one of the most popular composers in Europe in the early 19th century and wrote a large number of varied works. 

Not sure that we've discussed Pleyel in this thread in depth, but I just received the disc below w/ the fabulous Klocker on the clarinet - he also wrote the superb liner notes in the CPO booklet.  Gurn started a thread on Pleyel in the old forum (which is linked on the first page of this current one); he quoted a short but excellent bio written by Allan Bradley, which can be read HERE (http://www.classicsonline.com/composerbio/Ignaz_Joseph_Pleyel/#), for those interested.

I have just 4 other discs of music from this composer:

Symphonies w/ Bamert & London Mozart Players on Chandos (9525)
Symphonies w/ Grodd & Capella Istropolitana on Naxos (8.554696)
Piano Trios w/ Trio Joachim on Dynamic (2017)
String Quartets, Op. 1, Nos. 1-3 w/ Enso Quartet on Naxos (8.557496)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/534313154_cf2nb-M.jpg)  (http://www.pleyel.at/pleyel/fotos/pleyellogo.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on May 12, 2009, 07:52:41 AM
I feel quite motivated today, because I bought the new Boccherini CD recorded by Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante for Virgin Classics. I have the two previous releases and they are nothing less than extraordinary. I hope this one (which I have not listened to yet) will keep on the same level. They play one trio (D major, op. 14/4, G. 98), one quartet (C minor, op. 41/1, G. 214), one quintet (C minor, op. 45/1, G. 355) and one sextet (F minor, op. 23/4, G. 457). Quite a proliferation of minor-key works! (Unfortunately my headphones collapsed yesterday and today I didn't have time for buying a replacement, so any comment will have to wait at least until tomorrow).

How do you enjoy this CD, Gabriel.  Upon first listen it was fantastic!  I partilarly enjoyed the Quintet and Trio.  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 12, 2009, 04:35:04 PM
How do you enjoy this CD, Gabriel.  Upon first listen it was fantastic!  I partilarly enjoyed the Quintet and Trio.  :)

Well, I guess I never wrote the further comments I suggested! ;D

My impression on this CD improves after every listening. It is played with delicacy, wit and sense of balance. I would be very (but thankfully) surprised if somebody could play these works better than Biondi and Europa Galante.

I would say that the star of the set is the Quintet op. 45/1 that strategically opens the CD. A true masterpiece that, to my ears, shows the most Italian side of Boccherini.

On the other works there are many features to be remarked. On the Sextet op. 23/4, the great difference in character with the Quintet that I just described. The long introductory Allegro moderato is outstanding because Boccherini makes every possible effort to diminish any contrast between the subjects (v. gr., the appearance of a major sentence in the B subject is exceptionally soft and timid) as well as between the sections (v. gr., there is a sort of fusion between the codetta of the B subject and the repetition of the A subject). This kind of dark approach is repeated in the third movement, Grave assai, with its sinuous lines that form almost an introduction to the exceptionally folk-like fourth movement. The Quartet op. 41/1 has the magnificent Andante flebile as its center, a simple yet impeccably written movement. Finally, about the Trio op. 14/4, I'm particularly fond of the Andantino, that according to the booklet is played sempre piano by the viola and the cello. The effect obtained by Boccherini is sensational: as it doesn't change this very soft playing, what he does during the four minutes is to gather energy for a possible outburst that never comes (it does with the final movement, but that is a different story).

I'm sorry if I have been inaccurate in some descriptions, but it is already 2:30 AM in France and this can have some consequences on musical explorations. ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on May 12, 2009, 05:25:32 PM
Well, I guess I never wrote the further comments I suggested! ;D

My impression on this CD improves after every listening. It is played with delicacy, wit and sense of balance. I would be very (but thankfully) surprised if somebody could play these works better than Biondi and Europa Galante.

I would say that the star of the set is the Quintet op. 45/1 that strategically opens the CD. A true masterpiece that, to my ears, shows the most Italian side of Boccherini.
  • The Adagio non tanto is remarkable in its natural but (at first) unexpected harmonic progressions and in the contrasts in intensity provided by the second subject.
  • The second movement, Allegro assai, is a compact sonata form movement that provides the most effective contrast between the Vivaldian (I can't put it better in other words) first subject and the somewhat incoherent (this is not pejorative, just descriptive) second one. The development is very beautiful, with no great surprises excepting a strange harmonic leap before the short transition to the recapitulation (around 3:25-3:27); this last one is quite short but keeps the surprise of changing to minor mode the second subject before the coda (what is quite natural as Boccherini wanted to end the movement in minor mode).
  • The Tempo di minuetto is not very eloquent, but it shows the hidden advantages of a A-B-A' structure: when listening to the minuet (A), it seems that it doesn't keep any surprise; then the trio (B) repeats a 3-note figure that answers quite violently to the first sentence; of course, the minuet (A') comes back... to show that in its first subject there are two echoes of the 3-note subject that was first clearly shown in the trio, one in the bass section of the first subject (not very clear), and then as a response (very clear) with the second note being higher than the other two.
  • Finally, the concluding Presto is a Boccherinian Sturm und Drang. Quick alternations between major and minor modes, between different intensities, it hides a formidable inner tension. Tremolandi play a substantial role, even in the short development (if I am listening correctly, it is a very short rondo-sonata form, with inverted subjects in the recapitulation).

On the other works there are many features to be remarked. On the Sextet op. 23/4, the great difference in character with the Quintet that I just described. The long introductory Allegro moderato is outstanding because Boccherini makes every possible effort to diminish any contrast between the subjects (v. gr., the appearance of a major sentence in the B subject is exceptionally soft and timid) as well as between the sections (v. gr., there is a sort of fusion between the codetta of the B subject and the repetition of the A subject). This kind of dark approach is repeated in the third movement, Grave assai, with its sinuous lines that form almost an introduction to the exceptionally folk-like fourth movement. The Quartet op. 41/1 has the magnificent Andante flebile as its center, a simple yet impeccably written movement. Finally, about the Trio op. 14/4, I'm particularly fond of the Andantino, that according to the booklet is played sempre piano by the viola and the cello. The effect obtained by Boccherini is sensational: as it doesn't change this very soft playing, what he does during the four minutes is to gather energy for a possible outburst that never comes (it does with the final movement, but that is a different story).

I'm sorry if I have been inaccurate in some descriptions, but it is already 2:30 AM in France and this can have some consequences on musical explorations. ;)

Thank you for the thorough feedback, Gabriel!  :)  The initial reason I got this disc was to get that Trio in D major, and because of that spectacular Andantino, which blew me away when I heard it in the concert I recently attended.  Definitely look forward to several repeat listens in the very near future.  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 12, 2009, 05:52:11 PM
Pleyel, Ignaz Joseph (1757-1831) - Clarinet Concertos 1 & 2 w/ Dieter Klocker on CPO.  In addition to being a student of Haydn, musical publisher, & piano maker, he was one of the most popular composers in Europe in the early 19th century and wrote a large number of varied works. 

Not sure that we've discussed Pleyel in this thread in depth, but I just received the disc below w/ the fabulous Klocker on the clarinet - he also wrote the superb liner notes in the CPO booklet.  Gurn started a thread on Pleyel in the old forum (which is linked on the first page of this current one); he quoted a short but excellent bio written by Allan Bradley, which can be read HERE (http://www.classicsonline.com/composerbio/Ignaz_Joseph_Pleyel/#), for those interested.

I have just 4 other discs of music from this composer:

Symphonies w/ Bamert & London Mozart Players on Chandos (9525)
Symphonies w/ Grodd & Capella Istropolitana on Naxos (8.554696)
Piano Trios w/ Trio Joachim on Dynamic (2017)
String Quartets, Op. 1, Nos. 1-3 w/ Enso Quartet on Naxos (8.557496)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/534313154_cf2nb-M.jpg)  (http://www.pleyel.at/pleyel/fotos/pleyellogo.jpg)

Dave,
Thanks for the reminder about Pleyel. I had only listened to his piano sonatas recently, and now I can go back to the piano trios and string quartets too. :D   

As a student of Haydn, the expectations on Pleyel are pretty high, and he does a good job satisfying them, at least up to a degree. It is a challenging job trying to match the Master! In any case, as we are coming to expect, the music I have by him seems to be totally different from yours (and this is a good thing in terms of presenting variety. ;)

Here are some good ones:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pie4ju5qL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-BbKn9EwL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/52/521830.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/214T3669HHL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

I also have the other Hungaroton disk, Vol 2 with the violin concertos, and the clarinet concertos, the Chandos symphonies by Bamert et al, and finally, a good mix of sinfonias concertantes, which are on disks with contemporary composers. Overall, I have found Pleyel to be a sound and well-structured craftsman who provides many hours of listening enjoyment. And if he's no Haydn, well, not very many are. :)

8)





----------------
Listening to:
Prague Chamber Orchestra / MacKerras - K 543 Symphony #39 in Eb 3rd mvmt - Menuetto: Allegrettto - Trio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 12, 2009, 05:55:54 PM
Thank you for the thorough feedback, Gabriel!  :)  The initial reason I got this disc was to get that Trio in D major, and because of that spectacular Andantino, which blew me away when I heard it in the concert I recently attended.  Definitely look forward to several repeat listens in the very near future.  :)

OK, well I guess I can't put it off any longer. I've put that Europa Galante disk in the shopping basket. :)

Thanks, Ray, for prodding Gabriel into letting us in on it. I always expected great things, but now I have no choice. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra / Zinman  Bronfman - Op 15 Concerto #1 in C for Piano 1st mvmt - Allegro con brio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 13, 2009, 03:04:38 PM
...(if I am listening correctly, it is a very short rondo-sonata form, with inverted subjects in the recapitulation).

I'm sorry if I have been inaccurate in some descriptions, but it is already 2:30 AM in France and this can have some consequences on musical explorations. ;)

I was inaccurate indeed. The fourth movement of the quintet is written in sonata form with inversion of the subjects in the recapitulation, and not in rondo-sonata.

OK, well I guess I can't put it off any longer. I've put that Europa Galante disk in the shopping basket. :)

You will not regret it, Gurn. This is really great music, and excellently played.

I will try to post in the near future some comments on the new CD of Krommer's string quartets by the Marcolini Quartet. I've listened to it once and I think there are some interesting points to write about. (As Dave has the CD too, I guess he could start writing some appreciations). :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 13, 2009, 05:47:22 PM
Pleyel...  What I have heard of him I have liked.  No doubt he lies somewhere around the bend in my ever-winding music road!  ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 14, 2009, 04:28:16 AM
Pleyel...  What I have heard of him I have liked.  No doubt he lies somewhere around the bend in my ever-winding music road!  ;)

That's the great thing about music: so much of it to catch up to! I've no doubt you will run across Pleyel, probably rather sooner than later, and you'll like what you hear. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 17, 2009, 06:17:54 PM
I have been waiting for the appearance of one of my very favorite composers here, but since he is shy as well as lovable, I guess I will have to bring him into the Corner on my own, with an able assist from Dave, who originally posted this bio in the old Forum.

Antonio Rosetti (1746-1792), a.k.a. František Antonín Rössler (or confusingly by other names) was born in Bohemia of Czech origin, but chose to Italianize his name (leading to further confusion with other musicians).  He received his education in Prague and at a Jesuit college in central Bohemia, where he studied theology (intending to be a priest) and music, but in the early 1770s decided to pick music as his avocation.  Rosetti was a double bass player and a member of the Prince Ernst orchestra, of which he became director in 1785.  The Prince's orchestra had a fine group of wind players and musical events at the chateau occurred weekly, so a large part of Rosetti's compositional oeuvre comprises works of chamber music.

In 1781, he visited Paris, where his music was warmly received, an event repeated in other European cities.  Rosetti became orchestral conductor of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1789 at the peak of his reputation; symphonies and vocal works were commissioned further enhancing his reputation.  During that time, he was also summoned to the court of King Frederick William III of Berlin to present his Oratorio Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  However, Rosetti, who suffered from poor health most of his life, became seriously ill. and died in June of 1792 and was buried at Ludwigslust (debate exists about his age claiming his year of birth to be ca. 1750).

Rosetti's musical influences were primarily late Baroque-early Classic with Haydn having a major impact on his compositional direction.  In addition, his writing for smaller groups, especially wind instruments, was governed by his contact with the wind players in the ochestras of which he directed or was a member.  A partial listing of his works (comprising 400 or so) include 44 Symphonies, 4 keyboard concerti, 6 violin concerti, 1 viola concerto, 12 flute concerti, 7 oboe concerti, 4 clarinet concerti, 5 bassoon concerti, 17 horn concerti, 6 double horn concerti, 5 sinfonia concertantes, 38 partitas/serenades, 12 string quartets, 11 keyboard sonatas, 13 keyboard trios, 13 masses, 4 requiems, 22 other church works and 82 lieder reference here).

I wish I could say I have more of his music, since much of it has finally come available over the last 10 years, but I do have 10 or so disks which I am quite fond of. He is the quintessential Classical composer, writing in all genres as noted above, and particularly composing very fine wind music. Maybe someone will post some disks of interest, and I certainly will do so soon. :)

8)

PS - This one below is particularly choice! ;)
----------------
Listening to:
Concerto Köln - Rosetti Mur A27 Sinfonia  in Eb 4th mvmt - Finale: Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on May 18, 2009, 12:38:21 AM
(http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00029/2_29457t.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51k0by59mIL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

These are sublime.

The modernist Pollini and that impeccable VPO in live recordings of K. 414 & 491, and 453 & 491. Musical awareness easily undoes historical awareness, IMO.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 18, 2009, 09:48:07 AM
Antonio Rosetti (1746-1792) ...............Rosetti's musical influences were primarily late Baroque-early Classic with Haydn having a major impact on his compositional direction.  In addition, his writing for smaller groups, especially wind instruments, was governed by his contact with the wind players in the ochestras of which he directed or was a member.  A partial listing of his works (comprising 400 or so) include 44 Symphonies, 4 keyboard concerti, 6 violin concerti, 1 viola concerto, 12 flute concerti, 7 oboe concerti, 4 clarinet concerti, 5 bassoon concerti, 17 horn concerti, 6 double horn concerti, 5 sinfonia concertantes, 38 partitas/serenades, 12 string quartets, 11 keyboard sonatas, 13 keyboard trios, 13 masses, 4 requiems, 22 other church works and 82 lieder reference here).[/color]

I wish I could say I have more of his music, since much of it has finally come available over the last 10 years, but I do have 10 or so disks which I am quite fond of. He is the quintessential Classical composer, writing in all genres as noted above, and particularly composing very fine wind music. Maybe someone will post some disks of interest, and I certainly will do so so.....

Hello Gurn - just returning from a long weekend trip to the mountains & ready to 'jump into' the forum again!  :D

Despite Rosetti's varied output, I would strongly endorse his wind music for those in a classical 'breezy' mood!  I also have about 10 discs (most on the CPO label - in fact, bought as a large 'box set' that may no longer be available); however, for those who use BRO, check HERE (http://www2.broinc.com/search.php?row=0&brocode=&stocknum=&submit=Find+Item&text=rosetti&filter=all) for some great values on CPO offerings from this composer! 

However, I've not acquired any recent CDs, so must take a look!  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 23, 2009, 07:05:41 AM
Gaetano Brunetti's (dates below) String Quartets have been coming up in a number of threads and may warrant further discussion?  He was first brought to my attention from posts by Traverso & Gabriel, the latter quoted below my short one left in the 'listening thread'; about the only other recording that I can find on Amazon are some Symphonies by a group which I admire (pic inserted below, right).  Gabriel's comments on the SQs are quite perceptive and I'm listening to that disc @ the moment.

Brunetti, an Italian, spent his adult years in Spain at the Madrid court; he was sponsored by Carlos IV, ruler of Spain - he pretty much co-existed w/ Boccherini on the Iberian peninsula, but little of his large output has been published and a scant amount recorded.  Brunetti, according to the liner notes composed 39 symphonies and overtures, much chamber music, and many compositions in other categories; the chamber works include violin sonatas, 60 string quintets, and over 50 string quartets; apparently, Carlos IV was often a second violinist in the performances of these chamber works, and was devastated by the sudden death of the composer in 1798; perhaps these works still survived, sequestered in Madrid (or elsewhere) - yet, another long forgotten classical composer who deserves a MAJOR rediscovery!   :D

Brunetti, Gaetano (1744-1798) - String Quartets w/ Anton Steck & Schuppanzigh Quartett - this composer is 'new' to me but has been recommended in these pages; an Italian who spent his adult life at the Spanish court of the late 18th century, and a contemporary of Boccherini - Brunetti wrote a LOT of music (esp. chamber works & symphonies), but little has been published and even much less recorded - this guy is good & needs some further exploration!  If you like classical SQs, this recording will be a joy!

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/540470824_LqRTz-M.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CDKPAANHL._SL500_AA240_.gif)

I transpose a message I've just written in another thread, concerning - naturally - a classical composer.

It's interesting that you mention this CD, Traverso. It's the only CD I own of Brunetti's music, and I would like to know more of it before trying to describe the style of the composer. But specifically about these few string quartets I can say that it is some of the most intriguing chamber music of the classical period. Perhaps it is the use of listening to the Viennese composers of the time, but even compared with Boccherini's works these are very special; I would even say that they are very strange. Their emotional approach is a light one, but the music in itself is quite twisted: very strange textures, unexpected modulations, irregular subjects, and lots of other surprises.

If I had to describe these works, I'd say they are like a piranha. Their size is deceiving. And when gathered in groups, they can create a very powerful force. According to Wikipedia, he wrote a considerable amount of chamber music (44 string quartets, 66 string quintets, and so on). If most of his music had at least the level presented by this CD, we would be in front of a very sadly forgotten composer; and considering that Brunetti was active in Spain at the same time Boccherini was, they both could offer a most distinguished counterpoint to the Haydn-Mozart Austrian chamber music writing of this period.

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 23, 2009, 11:16:29 AM
Thanks for recalling Brunetti into this discussion, Dave. What is your opinion on the symphonies CD? Are they written with the same twisted spirit of the string quartets, or are they closer to traditional mid-classical standards?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 23, 2009, 11:28:41 AM
Thanks for recalling Brunetti into this discussion, Dave. What is your opinion on the symphonies CD? Are they written with the same twisted spirit of the string quartets, or are they closer to traditional mid-classical standards?

Hi Gabriel - I don't own that symphony disc, but was amazed on 'searching' Amazon that it was about the only other recording available of this composer's works! However, I'm putting together an Amazon order this weekend and may just add the CD to my list (need to re-check the pricing, though) - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 23, 2009, 02:42:07 PM
Check the pricing... I hope it will be bon marché! I would be eager for such a review, Dave!

(I've received a new Krommer flute quintets CD, and it is extremely good! I hope, nevertheless, to post something about the Krommer string quartets CD in the following days, as I promised).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on May 24, 2009, 05:30:44 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.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on May 24, 2009, 05:34:45 PM
Actually...it seems they do it there too...im trying out the op 76 d minor one and they do it there also.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 05:39:06 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)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 05:40:33 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)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on May 24, 2009, 05:51:54 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.

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 05:56:29 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)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Valentino on May 25, 2009, 12:23:43 AM
You should be, Gurn.  ;D

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on May 25, 2009, 06:50:27 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 jewel of the CD is op. 103/3, in A minor. It is a very regular work; every movement hides interesting features. Very briefly:


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.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 25, 2009, 06:59:16 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)

----------------
Listening to:
Schröder / van Immerseel - LvB Op 24 Sonata in F for Fortepiano & Violin 4th mvmt - Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 26, 2009, 06:50:44 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
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 27, 2009, 06:11:39 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
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on May 28, 2009, 05:00:38 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.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on May 28, 2009, 05:31:26 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 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,46.msg313404.html#msg313404)).  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.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 28, 2009, 05:34:54 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 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,46.msg313404.html#msg313404)).  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)

----------------
Listening to:
Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg / Graf - K 249 March in D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on June 03, 2009, 12:01:46 PM
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.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on June 03, 2009, 12:18:25 PM
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.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 03, 2009, 12:52:45 PM
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)


----------------
Listening to:
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra - K 297B Anh C14.01 Sinfonia Concertante in Eb for Flute, Oboe, Horn & Bassoon 2nd mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on June 03, 2009, 04:08:33 PM
Lovely, Gabriel!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: snyprrr on June 03, 2009, 05:58:12 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!!!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 03, 2009, 06:09:34 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)


----------------
Listening to:
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra - K 300a 297 Symphony #31 in D 1st mvmt - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 03, 2009, 06:22:33 PM
And there is this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61NrQqYTGyL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

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

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Joanna Leach - Hob 17 06 Variations in f for Keyboard - Square Piano
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 03, 2009, 06:52:18 PM
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......................

Gabriel - thank you for the wonderful travelogue - I would have loved to enjoy those very experiences w/ you!  I consider such a trip almost 'religious' -  :D

My most recent similar feeling (not musical but historical) was a recent trip to Boston - took a day off from a medical meeting and took the subway to Braintree MA, south of Boston; visit to the John Adams houses (saw three) - homes of John & Abigail Adams & their son, John Quincy - both presidents of the USA - first time visit and just a special visit - love those thrilling experiences!   Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on June 04, 2009, 03:14:00 AM
Thanks for your kind comments on my Austrian musical experiences, my friends. :)

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.

The Haydnsaal is unbelievably beautiful and its acoustics are remarkable. And the audience came from different parts of the world (I met people from the UK, Hong Kong and Germany), even if I think that naturally most of them were Austrians. I was surprised by the excellent organization: two weeks before the concert I received an e-mail explaining that there would be a live broadcast and so that all attendants should arrive on time because access would be forbidden after the beginning of the performance. (As a matter of fact, the three parts of the oratorio were played almost without any pause).

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. :)

I was as quiet in GMG as in the Haydnsaal, with so magnificent music being performed so brilliantly! (I have no words for explaining the effect of "Und es ward Licht!" in the performance: I felt "brushed" by the music, as if a kind of "musical solar wind" had appeared. It is incredible that, even knowing what will happen, this moment does not lose its magnificence.

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

So you won't be surprised. ;D It is a very good CD, a good purchase for anyone interested in Haydn's or Mozart's quartets. They are not in the front line of the most excellent quartets of the period, but they are beautifully written. Even if Albrechtsberger was famous as teacher of counterpoint, he doesn't display any exaggerated profusion of it: these are austere works that invite for a pleasant listening. A very pleasant one, I'd say.

Gabriel - thank you for the wonderful travelogue - I would have loved to enjoy those very experiences w/ you!  I consider such a trip almost 'religious' -  :D

It was a very beautiful experience. When thinking that Haydn said (to Hummel I guess) that everything that was beautiful came from God, it was inevitable to link all the trip to Haydn's very religious approach to life: the visit to his mausoleum, the performance of Die Schöpfung - a religious composition -, and so on. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on June 04, 2009, 04:10:21 AM
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (Composer)

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

[...]

Hmm;  more credible that Albrechtsberger "really" wrote Mozart, wot?  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 04, 2009, 07:04:40 AM
And there is this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61NrQqYTGyL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://www.szabadi.com/HCD%2032109.jpg)

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

Gurn - thanks for bringing together that information on Albrechtsberger - he keeps 'popping up' in my readings of this era, but I own nothing by this composer (and not much seems available!).  Thanks to Gabriel on his comments about the disc you posted.  In perusing Amazon, another recording that was of interest to me is added above, i.e. String Trios (performances split w/ another composer, Johannes Sperger) - comments from anyone, please?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: snyprrr on June 04, 2009, 08:53:26 PM
Hmm;  more credible that Albrechtsberger "really" wrote Mozart, wot?  8)

 >:D/ 0:)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Brewski on June 05, 2009, 09:33:18 AM
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...

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.

Gabriel, thank you for the great write-up of your trip.  And Quasthoff is amazing, isn't he!  Great that you got to hear him, and even nicer that you got to meet him.  IMHO he is one of the great singers on the scene today, and generally gives performances that linger in the memory for long after. 

Loved the "Moon River" anecdote, priceless. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on June 05, 2009, 03:30:25 PM
Gabriel, thank you for the great write-up of your trip.  And Quasthoff is amazing, isn't he!  Great that you got to hear him, and even nicer that you got to meet him.  IMHO he is one of the great singers on the scene today, and generally gives performances that linger in the memory for long after. 

Loved the "Moon River" anecdote, priceless. 

--Bruce

Bruce, I have your same "humble opinion" about Quasthoff: a great artist and a great man.

Thanks so much for your kind comments about my impressions. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on June 08, 2009, 04:24:01 PM
I have been waiting for the appearance of one of my very favorite composers here, but since he is shy as well as lovable, I guess I will have to bring him into the Corner on my own, with an able assist from Dave, who originally posted this bio in the old Forum.

Antonio Rosetti (1746-1792), a.k.a. František Antonín Rössler (or confusingly by other names) was born in Bohemia of Czech origin, but chose to Italianize his name (leading to further confusion with other musicians).  He received his education in Prague and at a Jesuit college in central Bohemia, where he studied theology (intending to be a priest) and music, but in the early 1770s decided to pick music as his avocation.  Rosetti was a double bass player and a member of the Prince Ernst orchestra, of which he became director in 1785.  The Prince's orchestra had a fine group of wind players and musical events at the chateau occurred weekly, so a large part of Rosetti's compositional oeuvre comprises works of chamber music.

In 1781, he visited Paris, where his music was warmly received, an event repeated in other European cities.  Rosetti became orchestral conductor of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1789 at the peak of his reputation; symphonies and vocal works were commissioned further enhancing his reputation.  During that time, he was also summoned to the court of King Frederick William III of Berlin to present his Oratorio Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  However, Rosetti, who suffered from poor health most of his life, became seriously ill. and died in June of 1792 and was buried at Ludwigslust (debate exists about his age claiming his year of birth to be ca. 1750).

Rosetti's musical influences were primarily late Baroque-early Classic with Haydn having a major impact on his compositional direction.  In addition, his writing for smaller groups, especially wind instruments, was governed by his contact with the wind players in the ochestras of which he directed or was a member.  A partial listing of his works (comprising 400 or so) include 44 Symphonies, 4 keyboard concerti, 6 violin concerti, 1 viola concerto, 12 flute concerti, 7 oboe concerti, 4 clarinet concerti, 5 bassoon concerti, 17 horn concerti, 6 double horn concerti, 5 sinfonia concertantes, 38 partitas/serenades, 12 string quartets, 11 keyboard sonatas, 13 keyboard trios, 13 masses, 4 requiems, 22 other church works and 82 lieder reference here).

I wish I could say I have more of his music, since much of it has finally come available over the last 10 years, but I do have 10 or so disks which I am quite fond of. He is the quintessential Classical composer, writing in all genres as noted above, and particularly composing very fine wind music. Maybe someone will post some disks of interest, and I certainly will do so soon. :)

8)

PS - This one below is particularly choice! ;)
----------------
Listening to:
Concerto Köln - Rosetti Mur A27 Sinfonia  in Eb 4th mvmt - Finale: Allegretto

I caught a piano concerto of his on youtube, it was delicious! I never heard of this guy before.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 08, 2009, 04:55:20 PM
I caught a piano concerto of his on youtube, it was delicious! I never heard of this guy before.

Really. I need to dig that up. I have never heard any piano music by him, concerto or sonata (or in between). Thanks for mentioning it, I'll go look. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Zukerman Nat. Arts Center Orch / Zukerman - FJH Concerto #1 in C for Violin Hob VIIa 1 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on June 08, 2009, 05:23:07 PM
I think you are in for a surprise! It certainly took me that way. Here is a taste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/-EGcPb9sWww&feature=PlayList&p=30D65B6654A16A9A&index=0
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 08, 2009, 05:38:12 PM
I think you are in for a surprise! It certainly took me that way. Here is a taste.


Hey, that was good!  Very much Viennese High Classical style. And as you would expect, he features the horns in the tutti quite prominently. Nice, thanks!  :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Zurich CO / Griffiths - Cherubini Overture from Lodoïska 1791
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on June 08, 2009, 05:43:23 PM
Hey, that was good!  Very much Viennese High Classical style. And as you would expect, he features the horns in the tutti quite prominently. Nice, thanks!  :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Zurich CO / Griffiths - Cherubini Overture from Lodoïska 1791
Interestingly he wrote 4 horn concertos as well, which I am listening to now, and they remind me of someone's I just can't remember who...  ;D

I wonder who wrote them first, as they really sound so similar to Mozart's!

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/LgXSooIs9pI&feature=PlayList&p=092B7E620499A0BF&index=11
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 08, 2009, 05:49:53 PM
Interestingly he wrote 4 horn concertos as well, which I am listening to now, and they remind me of someone's I just can't remember who...  ;D

I wonder who wrote them first, as they really sound so similar to Mozart's!

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/LgXSooIs9pI&feature=PlayList&p=092B7E620499A0BF&index=11

Oh, he wrote more than 4, he wrote 17 for 1 horn and 6 for 2 horns (that survive today). I have one disk of them too, which I quite enjoy. Somehow it seems unusual to me that he was a double bassist (and cellist, I read somewhere), yet he made his reputation composing for winds. Rather like Danzi, who I believe was a violinist, but who is remembered today as a great composer for flute particularly and also oboe and bassoon. men of many parts. :)

Since Mozart's horn concerti were from rather late in his career, and they died at almost the same time, I would guess that Rosetti wrote his earlier. Maybe not though, just speculating. I haven't seen any sort of chronology on Rosetti's music. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Zurich CO / Griffiths - Cherubini Symphony in D 1815 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on June 08, 2009, 05:53:24 PM
Who was the first to use the tittle romanze in a movement? He uses it in one of the horn concertos also. I am beginning to wonder which dusty shelf this guy out of! I've lived everything I have heard so far.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 08, 2009, 05:58:25 PM
Who was the first to use the tittle romanze in a movement? He uses it in one of the horn concertos also. I am beginning to wonder which dusty shelf this guy out of! I've lived everything I have heard so far.

Oh, that was used at least back in the 1760's in Germany, but probably farther back still in France. But as for Rosetti, he has been kept a secret for some reason that I can't quite figure. I've enjoyed all his music right from the first symphony I heard. You should see if they have any wind partitas on there to listen to. They are very nice indeed! :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Zurich CO / Griffiths - Cherubini Symphony in D 1815 1st mvmt
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on June 10, 2009, 08:48:37 AM
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vcIu5PB4Qz4/SYyM9SNeyHI/AAAAAAAAA9Y/uNsDwAoxlLk/s320/Hoffmeister_6_duets_1.jpg)

I am taking a this, and have to say its great! It's humorous music stuff.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 10, 2009, 05:10:48 PM
Gurn & Mozart - just have been reading your numerous exchanges on Rosetti - I have about 10 discs of this composer's music, mainly 'wind compositions' of various types, including one CD of horn pieces (shown below) - looks like that there are plenty of other areas of his work to explore - thanks for refreshing my memory of this composer - will put on my own discs soon!  Dave  :D


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CfBsm1WtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 10, 2009, 05:19:22 PM
Gurn & Mozart - just have been reading your numerous exchanges on Rosetti - I have about 10 discs of this composer's music, mainly 'wind compositions' of various types, including one CD of horn pieces (shown below) - looks like that there are plenty of other areas of his work to explore - thanks for refreshing my memory of this composer - will put on my own discs soon!  Dave  :D


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CfBsm1WtL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Dave,
Yes, I always like to be reminded of Rosetti, because then I play some of his music, to my great enjoyment. :)  Since that discussion the other night, I have been hunting around to see if any of his keyboard sonatas have ever been recorded, but nothing in North America, nor at JPC nor Crochet, so my guess is that they are still virgins in this regard. Unless someone has any info... :-\

CPO has always done Rosetti proud, although my favorite recordings of his symphonies have always been Concerto Köln on Teldec.... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Hübner / Lüthy / Eaton / Latzko - Krommer Op 46 #1 Quartet in Bb for Bassoon & Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 10, 2009, 05:47:18 PM
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vcIu5PB4Qz4/SYyM9SNeyHI/AAAAAAAAA9Y/uNsDwAoxlLk/s320/Hoffmeister_6_duets_1.jpg)

I am taking a this, and have to say its great! It's humorous music stuff.

Franz Hoffmeister (1754-1812) - a Mozart contemporary, but lived longer! Just have two CDs of this composer, both of which I enjoy and shown below:

Wind Serenades, Vol. 2 w/ Consortium Classicum (with the wonderful Dieter Klocker on clarinet!) - other instruments include clarinet, horns, bassoons, & double bass; recorded beautifully on the CPO label.

Clarinet Quartets w/ Klocker again + Vlach Quartet Prague (2 violins + cello); again CPO label.

Now, how is the Clarinet & Piano disc? May add to my 'to buy' list if good!  ;D

(http://tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:2yRL7Q7cI728qM:http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2006/Feb06/hoffmeister_7771332.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/450/455971.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on June 11, 2009, 07:57:20 AM
Franz Hoffmeister (1754-1812) - a Mozart contemporary, but lived longer! Just have two CDs of this composer, both of which I enjoy and shown below:

Wind Serenades, Vol. 2 w/ Consortium Classicum (with the wonderful Dieter Klocker on clarinet!) - other instruments include clarinet, horns, bassoons, & double bass; recorded beautifully on the CPO label.

Clarinet Quartets w/ Klocker again + Vlach Quartet Prague (2 violins + cello); again CPO label.

Now, how is the Clarinet & Piano disc? May add to my 'to buy' list if good!  ;D

(http://tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:2yRL7Q7cI728qM:http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2006/Feb06/hoffmeister_7771332.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/450/455971.jpg)

It is very...witty music, is it a good adjective? Very enjoyable, I imagine babies laughing to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/iii8J6u0w0s


I heard some string quartets by Rosetti and they put me to sleep :/
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: snyprrr on June 17, 2009, 08:32:26 AM
I heard some string quartets by Rosetti and they put me to sleep :/

In the good way, or the bad way? ???

btw- what is UP with those craaazy CPO covers??? :o Not very "classical"!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: snyprrr on June 17, 2009, 08:33:37 AM
And no one's heard those Albrechtsberger SQs?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 17, 2009, 09:37:09 AM
And no one's heard those Albrechtsberger SQs?


So you won't be surprised. ;D It is a very good CD, a good purchase for anyone interested in Haydn's or Mozart's quartets. They are not in the front line of the most excellent quartets of the period, but they are beautifully written. Even if Albrechtsberger was famous as teacher of counterpoint, he doesn't display any exaggerated profusion of it: these are austere works that invite for a pleasant listening. A very pleasant one, I'd say.

It was a very beautiful experience. When thinking that Haydn said (to Hummel I guess) that everything that was beautiful came from God, it was inevitable to link all the trip to Haydn's very religious approach to life: the visit to his mausoleum, the performance of Die Schöpfung - a religious composition -, and so on. :)

Here is what Gabriel wrote about it. I think he is the only one so far who has heard it, although SonicMan, like me, has it on his wish list. 8)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 17, 2009, 10:02:36 AM
Here is what Gabriel wrote about it. I think he is the only one so far who has heard it, although SonicMan, like me, has it on his wish list. 8)

Well, Gurn is correct - the SQ disc is still on my 'wish list' - I have the Trios disc on order (as shown on the previous page); but Gabriel's positive review was the prompt to add the recording to my list -  :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: snyprrr on June 22, 2009, 01:12:28 PM
Almost three months ago I was just happy as a clam listening to the modern music and going about my research, when two things happened simultaneously. I got the ABQ/Teldec box with the Mozart SQs, and robnewman showed up challenging people to listen outside their comfort zones (so to speak, puhleeze, don't pick on me here).

Ever since, I've been on this "classical" kick, and, oh boy, it's getting deep. I'm obsessed with finding the holy grail of c minor and g minor SQs! My general rule is that I won't get it unless it has a minor key SQ on it (which, of course, I've broken!).

Boccherini, Haydn, Dittersdorf, Pleyel...ha!... I can almost tell them apart now! Medic!!!

However, The Artist Known As Mozart does seem to stand out. No one else yet has as much chromatic noodling, for one; and there is a songfulness here missing in others (Andante con moto in K428; the Dissonance SQ). These SQs are quite unique.

One of the most interesting things I've learned is that not everyone wrote SQs in 4 mvmts. Most everyone other than H & M wrote in 3 mvmts., which were substantial, so that SQ timings were about the same no matter how many mvmts. were used. Also, 2 mvmt. SQs were also a feature of a lot of the French SQs (Saint-Georges, Gretry, Gossec, etc.) of the time.

Also, the stylistic change between Haydn's Op.20 and the later maturation of the "classical" sound is really interesting. Op.20 seems almost anachronistic. I seem to like it better than some of the mid-period type SQs before LvB.

But Haydn does seem to emerge as the big daddy. Though the Haydn "sound" seems to run through most all of the composers, he always seems to be at the forefront, his SQs seem the most "interesting." I liked the story about how it dawned on him that the entire civilised Western world considered him the "doyen" of music, and how his Op.77 SQs have such a majestic, opulent gait and demeanor.

I must say, though, through all this, I stttill like minor keys betters, for which, the classical era is not really that well known for (and even some minor key SQs that seem to have been written as trick major key works!). Still, I have found some hints of romanticism here and there (Haydn Op.20, for instance).

I am, however, trying to extricate myself from this quagmire before I run out of gas money!!!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Scarpia on June 28, 2009, 01:00:37 PM
Maybe this one has already come up, but I'd think this recording would be a no-brainer for classical fanatics:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/2564697650.jpg)

Six symphonies by Vanhal.  Not quite Mozart, rather short works (15 minutes average) but very inventive use of the orchestra and sometimes arresting themes.  The third work on the disc, the "Sinfonia Comista" in C is a standout work, infectious with truly brilliant orchestration.  Nicely performed and recorded.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 28, 2009, 01:03:30 PM
Maybe this one has already come up, but I'd think this recording would be a no-brainer for classical fanatics:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/2564697650.jpg)

Six symphonies by Vanhal.  Not quite Mozart, rather short works (15 minutes average) but very inventive use of the orchestra and sometimes arresting themes.  The third work on the disc, the "Sinfonia Comista" in C is a standout work, infectious with truly brilliant orchestration.  Nicely performed and recorded.


Thanks for that tip. I have a couple of the Vanhal disks on Naxos, and I like the music more than the playing. But Concerto Köln is one of my top favorite bands. I, for one, will have to give this one a go. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy / Crawford / Godburn (Bassoon) - K 191 Concerto in Bb for Bassoon 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Lethevich on June 28, 2009, 01:42:02 PM
It's an essential disc, indeedie, and much better than the already good Naxos ones. Such wiry energy!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Scarpia on June 28, 2009, 01:59:25 PM
And beware you'll pay a kings ransom for them on an American site, they are bargain releases in Europe.  MDT.  They have an offer on "Das Alte Werk" that is worth checking out.

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/pages/search/searchresults.asp?sFilter1=DAW0509


Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on June 29, 2009, 06:39:44 AM
Note that that disc is part of this larger set from Concerto Koln, comprising works by other unknowns from the Classical era.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0825646988990.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Concerto-K%F6ln-Edition/hnum/6314224)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on June 30, 2009, 07:51:20 AM
It's an essential disc, indeedie, and much better than the already good Naxos ones. Such wiry energy!

Indeed! ;) Lovers of minor keys should be delighted with this selection of symphonies (4 out of 5), outstandingly performed. (However, my favourite Vanhal symphony is the "great" D major, D4 in the Bryan catalogue, if I'm not mistaken).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on June 30, 2009, 07:53:24 AM
I like when Sara says, "Indeedie." Heh.

Anyway, I just bought this:

(http://smallfiles.naxos.com/SharedFiles/Images/cds/others/8.570519.gif)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Scarpia on June 30, 2009, 08:53:36 AM
Note that that disc is part of this larger set from Concerto Koln, comprising works by other unknowns from the Classical era.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0825646988990.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Concerto-K%F6ln-Edition/hnum/6314224)

That looks sweet.  For US purchasers, taking shipping into account MDT is a better deal than jpc.

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//2564698899.htm

I'm severly tempted, although I already have the Vanhal disc.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on June 30, 2009, 09:29:43 AM
I like when Sara says, "Indeedie." Heh.


I guess she thinks Indeedie is less rude and pompous than Indeed.   ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on June 30, 2009, 10:59:46 AM
Note that that disc is part of this larger set from Concerto Koln, comprising works by other unknowns from the Classical era.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0825646988990.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Concerto-K%F6ln-Edition/hnum/6314224)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/578407907_c7A33-M.jpg)

As w/ many others in this thread, the Concerto Köln is a favorite group of mine, also!  8)

I have that 'box set' (above left) on my 'wish list' - but just received them in the 2-CD addition added above (right) -  Antonio Rosetti's Symphonies - now an absolute steal on the Apex label (recordings from 1995/97); Rosetti has been discussed extensively earlier in this thread, so if you like this band, then yet another consideration (and not repeated in the larger box!) -  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on July 02, 2009, 08:48:15 PM
Gurn and others, what do you know about Spech? I'm listening to a string quartet of his played by the Festetics and its good stuff :) Never heard his name before and there isn't much info on him to be found.

Im surprised how good this quartet is...I've only heard num 2 in g minor.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AV2JR2SHL.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on July 03, 2009, 10:53:24 AM
Hmmm

What do you think people?

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/tEvuQOC9z9s

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/3kxlA8wjb9I

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/NDXkyjIZJfM

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/qsfXOkOJMsg



Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Que on July 03, 2009, 11:03:42 AM
Hmmm

What do you think people?

Nice, and well played too!

Q
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on July 03, 2009, 07:23:51 PM
Nice, and well played too!

Q

Do you know anything about this guy Q? It seems there are only 2 cds of his music, but judging by this quartet why is that so?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: snyprrr on July 06, 2009, 09:15:30 AM
Pichl???
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: The new erato on July 06, 2009, 09:37:04 AM
Gurn and others, what do you know about Spech? I'm listening to a string quartet of his played by the Festetics and its good stuff :) Never heard his name before and there isn't much info on him to be found.

Im surprised how good this quartet is...I've only heard num 2 in g minor.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AV2JR2SHL.jpg)
Spech should be recorded by the Swedish Flesch Quartet.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 06, 2009, 09:44:43 AM
Pichl???

What about him? I have 2 or 3 lovely symphony disks by him, but have never seen any chamber music, nor particularly SQ's...

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 06, 2009, 03:20:00 PM
Pichl???

Snyprrr - check out Gurn's thread in the old forum HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4251.0.html) on Pichl - I just have one of those Chandos Symphony discs (thought I had obtained more!) - checking Amazon a few moments ago, still not much more, esp. of the chamber works!   :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on July 07, 2009, 11:11:37 AM
I haven't got too many Pichl works either. The Chandos symphonies CD is very pleasant (almost not unforgettable listening), and I'm happy to own one chamber composition of his, a string trio in D major. I'm afraid Pichl doesn't rank among the top composers of his time, but as a secondary composer he's a very competent one.

I'd like to remark a recent discovery: some days ago I bought a recent Naxos CD containing three violin concertos by Pierre Rode (1774-1830), linked to Beethoven's last violin sonata. I am often reticent to buy Naxos recordings, but as I didn't have anything by this composer, I decided to pick it up. Great surprise: I'd say the 7th concerto (A minor) is a hidden jewel (and the booklet points out that it was a favourite of Wieniawski), while the other two are excellent works. If anyone is interested in violin concerti of the late classical style, this should be a must (until a better version becomes available).
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on July 20, 2009, 11:02:36 AM
As far as I could find this composer has only been mentioned twice: once on a cello concertos thread, the other as a joke by D Minor.  I couldn't sleep last night so I was listening to the radio and there was a fantastic trumpet concerto.  I thought who could this be?  It was clearly classical in style, but I've already re-listened to the great trumpet concerto of the classical era just a few days ago, Michael Haydn's concerto, and this was not that.  So who could this be?  At the end of the piece it was identified as Neruda's trumpet concerto.

Johann Neruda (according to wikipedia) was a classical era composer known primarly for being chief conductor of the Dresden Court Orchestra.  He wrote several concertos, symphonies and other works.  You can find his trumpet concerto, bassoon concerto, cello concertos and his trio sonatas on cd.

I found the trumpet concerto available for $.89 on amazon mp3!  If you can spare that amount, you are in for a treat. :)
http://www.amazon.com/Johann-Baptist-Georg-Neruda-Trompetenkonzert/dp/B000YYO8YQ/ (http://www.amazon.com/Johann-Baptist-Georg-Neruda-Trompetenkonzert/dp/B000YYO8YQ/)

If there are any Neruda fans out there, and you have favored recordings I would appreciate if you shared them. 8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on July 20, 2009, 11:05:23 AM
As far as I could find this composer has only been mentioned twice: once on a cello concertos thread, the other as a joke by D Minor.  I couldn't sleep last night so I was listening to the radio and there was a fantastic trumpet concerto.  I thought who could this be?  It was clearly classical in style, but I've already re-listened to the great trumpet concerto of the classical era just a few days ago, Michael Haydn's concerto, and this was not that.

You sure it wasn't Franz Joseph's?—or are you proposing that Michael really wrote Franz Joseph's music?  ;D ::) 8) 0:)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on July 20, 2009, 11:10:12 AM
You sure it wasn't Franz Joseph's?—or are you proposing that Michael really wrote Franz Joseph's music?  ;D ::) 8) 0:)

I mean early classical era, i.e. same style as what I was hearing played on the radio.  Sorry about that.  I won't directly the compare the two works since it's pretty much apples and oranges considering the gulf between when they were written.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 20, 2009, 02:40:33 PM
Holzbauer, Ignaz (1711-1783) - Flute Concertos w/ Karl Kaiser (on a wooden reproduction) & La Stagione Frankfurt (period instruments); not much on this composer - Gurn had started a thread a few years ago (link can be found earlier in this thread) that went for just a page!

Holzbauer was Austrian and pretty much a contemporary of the elder Bach sons; his early training was in Vienna, and then to Italy; so, German/Italian influences in his music (his flute concertos reflect a lighter more atmospheric 'Vivaldian' influence).  He was then hired to 'head up' the famous Mannheim orchestra (quite a position!); the court was headed by Karl Theodor (who like Frederick the Great of the Prussian court), a flute player - thus, Holzbauer wrote a lot of varied flute compositions (of course, most yet to be re-discovered and recorded).

The only other disc that I own of his music are some Symphonies, also on the CPO label (and excellent).  The Flute Concertos on this disc are played beautifully and recorded well, as expected.  Holzbauer emphasizes the flowing melodic capabilities of the flute rather than fast pyrotechnics - quite enjoyable.  If you are a fan of 'period flute' recordings, I cannot imagine you not enjoying this disc.

Upon exploring Amazon, there is not much more available from this 'once famous' composer, except for an opera (apparently that was one of his major outputs!) - looking forward to CPO finding and recording more of his works -  :)


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/596777317_BAFKt-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on July 27, 2009, 04:25:28 AM

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/596777317_BAFKt-M.jpg)

They flipped this picture around for the cd-cover! The woman should be facing the other direction. It is a portrait  of Mme Henriette de Verninac, sister of painter Eugene Delacroix, painted by Jean-Louis David. It's in the Paris Louvre, and I visit it every time I'm in Paris. Since it's not in the room with the big famous David pictures (Napoleon's coronation, the Rape of the Sabine Women, &c) it's always a quiet place.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 27, 2009, 09:03:00 AM
(http://giradman.smugmug.com/photos/596777317_BAFKt-M.jpg)  (http://hoocher.com/Jacques_Louis_David/David_Portrait_of_Henriette_de_Verninac.jpg)

They flipped this picture around for the cd-cover! The woman should be facing the other direction. It is a portrait  of Mme Henriette de Verninac, sister of painter Eugene Delacroix, painted by Jean-Louis David. It's in the Paris Louvre, and I visit it every time I'm in Paris. Since it's not in the room with the big famous David pictures (Napoleon's coronation, the Rape of the Sabine Women, &c) it's always a quiet place.

Herman - yes I see - included another pic above reversed; I've been to the Lourve a couple of times, but has really been a while - must have seen that original, and have always like David -  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Herman on July 27, 2009, 12:26:54 PM
(http://joshthought.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/71.jpg)

Another one by Jacques-Louis David. The portrait of Mme de Recamier, with the unfinished background. This one is in the hall with the big historical paintings. It's rather funny; all the tourists (and of course I'm a tourist too) are thronging the big pictures, and usually I'm the only one looking in the other direction.

Another favorite on the "back" wall is this one:

(http://philologos.narod.ru/lotman/Vigee_Lebrun_Self_Portrait.jpg)

It's from a second-tier painter, Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun. It looks like a sentimental mom-daughter picture, but if you realize it's a self-portrait, it's a little different. Lebrun was royalist and fled to Russia duringthe Revolution.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on August 02, 2009, 11:54:41 AM
From some notes of a cd:

Quote
In Mozart's day, the pianist not only assumed the solo part, but also that of the basso continuo.

Really? So why is it not played that way now?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 02, 2009, 12:48:45 PM
From some notes of a cd:

Really? So why is it not played that way now?

Sometimes it is. Certainly on some fortepiano recordings. The soloist will play BC during the tuttis... :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on August 02, 2009, 02:18:10 PM
I see that the "Classical Corner" is widening its contents to include, other than classical composers, classicist paintings... ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 02, 2009, 02:22:29 PM
I see that the "Classical Corner" is widening its contents to include, other than classical composers, classicist paintings... ;)

Quote
Visit us in "Gurn's Classical Corner". We discuss music, composers, instruments and other things from the Classical Era.

Well, what could I say? Nice painting! :D  How are you, mon ami?  New music lately?

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Collegium Musicum 90 / Hickox - Hob 01 101 Symphony in D 'Clock"  2nd mvmt - Andante
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 02, 2009, 02:27:50 PM
Well then we need to discuss cafes in 18th century Vienna!  It's crucial in our understanding of the great Viennese composers how good their coffee was, and how much they drank on a daily basis! ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 02, 2009, 02:37:28 PM
Well then we need to discuss cafes in 18th century Vienna!  It's crucial in our understanding of the great Viennese composers how good their coffee was, and how much they drank on a daily basis! ;D

Kaffe und Sachentorte with a pipe in the morning, then beer and little brown sausages and a pipe in the evening. The good life. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Collegium Musicum 90 / Hickox - Hob 01 101 Symphony in D 'Clock"  4th mvmt - Finale: Vivace
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on August 02, 2009, 02:43:30 PM
Well, what could I say? Nice painting! :D  How are you, mon ami?  New music lately?

I've been very enthusiastic about the discovery of the Naxos recording of three of Rode's violin concertos. I also bought two other Naxos recordings of Kraus' music: a violin concerto (big but not particularly impressive) and some ballet music (wonderful music that shows a spectacular ability for orchestration, as nowhere else - as far as I know - in Kraus' production.

This reminds me of a CD with vocal music by Kraus in the Phoenix Edition label, that includes the finest recording I know of the splendid overture to Olympie.

And you, Gurn? New discoveries?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 02, 2009, 02:54:26 PM
I've been very enthusiastic about the discovery of the Naxos recording of three of Rode's violin concertos. I also bought two other Naxos recordings of Kraus' music: a violin concerto (big but not particularly impressive) and some ballet music (wonderful music that shows a spectacular ability for orchestration, as nowhere else - as far as I know - in Kraus' production.

This reminds me of a CD with vocal music by Kraus in the Phoenix Edition label, that includes the finest recording I know of the splendid overture to Olympie.

And you, Gurn? New discoveries?

Sounds interesting, particularly the Rode, given my taste for violin music. I'll have to pick that one up. :)

No, not new discoveries as such, I have been concentrating for the last 2 months on assembling a Complete Haydn (without resorting to a Big Box). Once one gets past the well-known works, this task becomes incredibly difficult. But since I am stubborn I will persevere. :)  Today on eBay I acquired my first Solomons disk of his symphonies which I look forward to, but it is the divertimentos that are so difficult. Well, that's what makes things interesting. If it was simple, anyone could do it. :D

8)



----------------
Listening to: Collegium Musicum 90 / Hickox - Hob 01 102 Symphony in Bb 2nd mvmt - Adagio (http://www.foxytunes.com/artist/collegium+musicum+90/track/hob+01_102+symphony+in+bb+2nd+mvmt+-+adagio)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Antoine Marchand on August 02, 2009, 03:05:26 PM
"... I have been concentrating for the last 2 months on assembling a Complete Haydn (without resorting to a Big Box).

Great! I'm doing something similar, Gurn. We are brave men.  ;D

Today on eBay I acquired my first Solomons disk of his symphonies which I look forward to, but it is the divertimentos that are so difficult. Well, that's what makes things interesting. If it was simple, anyone could do it. :D

Comments will be very, very welcomed, when you listen to your Solomons. It has been mistery for me during years.

 :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 02, 2009, 03:15:12 PM
Great! I'm doing something similar, Gurn. We are brave men.  ;D

Comments will be very, very welcomed, when you listen to your Solomons. It has been mistery for me during years.

 :)

I would be interested to compare notes with you some day, Antoine. There are some real stickers in the divertimentos that are proving a challenge for me. :-\

Yes, I had read some good things about these symphonies, and when I saw a set with 35, 38, 39, 49, 58 & 59 come available, I pleased myself immensely by winning that auction. Hopefully be next weekend. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Collegium Musicum 90 / Hickox - Hob 01 103 Symphony in Eb 1st mvmt - Adagio - Allegro con spirito
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 06, 2009, 05:45:42 PM
Just put a post in the Listening Thread which will likely be 'buried' w/ little if no response - so decided to quote the post below, mainly because the composer lived during the Gurian Era, and spent some of his time in Vienna in the early 19th century, and was considered the BEST guitarist of the times there; also, the performances on this 3-CD set were performed on 'period' instruments belonging to muscians/composers of renown - if you are fond of 'solo' (or 'duo') guitar and likely HEARD as back in that wondeful period of music, then is a strong consideration -  :)

Quote
Giuliani, Mauro (1781-1829) - Guitar Duos - Complete w/ Claudio Maccari & Paolo Pugliese - 3CD set from the Brilliant label - music played on 'original guitars' that belonged to Mauro Giuliani & Nicolo Paganini w/ gut strings and played according to performance techinques of the times!  BOY, if you love guitar music & HIP performances, this is a CHEAP experience - listened to the first 2 discs tongiht - just marvelous music, performances, and sound recording - RECOMMENDED!   :D

(http://www.earlyromanticguitar.com/erg/pics/Giuliani-duos-MP.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2009, 05:58:32 PM
So they are actual guitars and not lutes? :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 06, 2009, 06:04:56 PM
So they are actual guitars and not lutes? :)

Sure, extremely popular in Vienna in the first half of the 19th century. Did you know that Stradivari made guitars too? I have a picture of one, it's gorgeous! :)

Thanks for the tip, Dave. I've seen some of his works offered, but hadn't got to getting any. No excuse now. He also has a bunch of sonatas for fortepiano and guitar, IIRC. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Quatuor Festetics - Hob 03 42 Op 33 #6 Quartet in D 3rd mvmt - Scherzo: Allegretto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2009, 06:08:27 PM
Huh that's interesting, I just didn't know that they made guitars that early.  That's cool. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 06, 2009, 06:10:53 PM
Huh that's interesting, I just didn't know that they made guitars that early.  That's cool. :)

Yeah, some of Schubert's Lieder are written for guitar accompaniment too. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Quatuor Festetics - Hob 03 43 Op 42 Quartet in d 1st mvmt - Allegretto ed innocentemente
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 06, 2009, 06:11:43 PM
So they are actual guitars and not lutes? :)

David - guitars, my boy!  :D  Shown below belonged to the composer of the Brilliant set shown; the booklet contains about 3 pages of notes on mainly Italian (and also French) producers of guitars from that era; descriptions of a variety of instruments varying from 6 to 9 strings and both those w/ and w/o frets - just LOVE instrument making back in those times (maybe I should repost on my 'wooden instruments' thread?) - Dave  :)

(http://www.maccaripugliese.com/pool/files/cg_chitarra_giuliani_3.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2009, 06:15:28 PM
Yup those are beautiful instruments Dave.  I wonder what they sound like?

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 06, 2009, 06:17:03 PM
How about this Strad from 1680!!!

(http://www.lutesandguitars.co.uk/images/kaiser1.jpg)

If you Google up Strad Rawlins guitar and check 'Images' you will see a beauty! From 1702, I think it said. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Quatuor Festetics - Hob 03 43 Op 42 Quartet in d 2nd mvmt - Menuet
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 06, 2009, 06:18:57 PM
Wow that looks too precious too play! :o
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 06, 2009, 06:21:53 PM
Wow that looks too precious too play! :o

I wouldn't even want to touch it! I like the way they used to fill the sound hole up. Very attractive. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Quatuor Festetics - Hob 03 43 Op 42 Quartet in d 4th mvmt - Finale: Presto
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 06, 2009, 06:44:22 PM
Yup those are beautiful instruments Dave.  I wonder what they sound like?

Well, the guitar shown is the Gennaro Fabricatore 1809 owned by Mauro Giuliani, which is one of the number of guitars that is used in the 3-CD set shown previously; now, did you already suspect that response?   ;) :D  Dave


Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 07, 2009, 03:21:04 AM
Well you can't get anymore Historically Informed than that! :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Mozart on August 12, 2009, 08:20:40 PM
I'm listening to that cd of Spech string quartets again, and I can't stop wondering, why is there only 1 cd of his but 50 of Dittersdorf or others. It's really good music!

Maybe its just the playing?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on August 14, 2009, 02:52:34 AM
I'm listening to that cd of Spech string quartets again, and I can't stop wondering, why is there only 1 cd of his but 50 of Dittersdorf or others. It's really good music!

Maybe its just the playing?

I doubt there are 50 CDs of Dittersdorf string quartets!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 14, 2009, 02:56:56 AM
To my shame, I discovered rather late this splendid thread and I took the time to read through all the pages. I am delighted by the congenial, relaxed and witty atmosphere that reigns here (very classical-ish, so to speak :) ) and by the goldmine of information and recommendations found here. Superb job, gentlemen! Bravo!

In the same spirit I want to share with you two recently discovered Youtube channels  that in my opinion fit very well here. The music is very well organized in playlists and I think it might be of interest to you. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Meyerbeer1&view=playlists

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=18thCenturyMusic&view=playlists



Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 14, 2009, 04:28:36 AM
I doubt there are 50 CDs of Dittersdorf string quartets!

Well, maybe 50 copies of that one, cpo disk... ::)

Here is a supposition though: despite the fact that Ditters is, um, less well known, nonetheless, he is famous compared to Spech. I haven't heard the Spech so I can't comment critically, but I will say this much anyway; record companies don't fund project based on the relative worth of the music, they do it based on whether they think it will sell. So let's say that a million people have heard of Mozart and might buy one copy each. Of those, maybe 10,000 have heard of Ditters and might buy one copy each. And of those, maybe 100 have heard of Spech and might buy one copy each. Throw in enough adventurers who would buy it on... Spec(h), and do the math.

I don't know, just sayin'. I don't think it's right, but I don't own a record company. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 14, 2009, 04:30:39 AM
To my shame, I discovered rather late this splendid thread and I took the time to read through all the pages. I am delighted by the congenial, relaxed and witty atmosphere that reigns here (very classical-ish, so to speak :) ) and by the goldmine of information and recommendations found here. Superb job, gentlemen! Bravo!

In the same spirit I want to share with you two recently discovered Youtube channels  that in my opinion fit very well here. The music is very well organized in playlists and I think it might be of interest to you. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Meyerbeer1&view=playlists

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=18thCenturyMusic&view=playlists


Well, we're delighted you could join us. Thanks for the links, we never have enough to look and listen (Classical music is like Chinese food, eat a lot and get hungry again an hour later. :) ).

Don't be a stranger. We're always here. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 14, 2009, 04:36:14 AM
To my shame, I discovered rather late this splendid thread and I took the time to read through all the pages. I am delighted by the congenial, relaxed and witty atmosphere that reigns here (very classical-ish, so to speak :) ) and by the goldmine of information and recommendations found here. Superb job, gentlemen! Bravo!

In the same spirit I want to share with you two recently discovered Youtube channels  that in my opinion fit very well here. The music is very well organized in playlists and I think it might be of interest to you. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Meyerbeer1&view=playlists

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=18thCenturyMusic&view=playlists





Oooh, that second link is great!  All kinds of stuff, from famous to obscure. Merçi beaucoup!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 14, 2009, 05:06:33 AM
Oooh, that second link is great!  All kinds of stuff, from famous to obscure. Merçi beaucoup!

You're most welcome! The first link is worth checking out as well. Have you heard Andreas Romberg's "Der Messias"? Or Norbert Burgmueller's Symphony in C minor? Lot of obscure stuff like that there.  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on August 14, 2009, 06:03:05 AM
In the same spirit I want to share with you two recently discovered Youtube channels  that in my opinion fit very well here. The music is very well organized in playlists and I think it might be of interest to you. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Meyerbeer1&view=playlists

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=18thCenturyMusic&view=playlists

Excellent! Thanks a lot! Just the username (in the second link) excited me, and the organisation of the videos is in itself pleasing to the eye. :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on August 14, 2009, 09:33:16 AM
(Classical music is like Chinese food, eat a lot and get hungry again an hour later. :) ).

Gurn, what a great analogy!!  Love it.  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 14, 2009, 09:42:01 AM
(Classical music is like Chinese food, eat a lot and get hungry again an hour later.

A book I recently started completed that analogy by saying that vibrato is like MSG. ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 14, 2009, 10:04:14 AM
A book I recently started completed that analogy by saying that vibrato is like MSG. ;)

;D

Well, a little vibrato is a necessary thing, despite what any theorist might say. But MSG though  :P

:D

8)

Gurn, what a great analogy!!  Love it.  ;D

Seems like it works for both of us, then. :D

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 16, 2009, 11:57:05 PM
Don't be a stranger. We're always here. :)

OK, you asked for it!  :D

If I may offer my two cents on the use of fortepiano, here they are.

I've always found the whole idea behind it a little problematic. Judging from all available accounts, Mozart and Beethoven constantly complained about the quality of orchestras and instruments, especially keyboards. Just imagine how delighted would have they been had they a modern piano at their disposal! Also, just fancy what could have Haydn done with a modern orchestra, comprising all the winds and brass in their present form!

So, I see no reason to reject the technical progress of instruments when playing their music. I particularly can't stand the sound of fortepiano, an aversion that has only been enhanced when listening to Antonio Rossetti's Piano Concerto (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EGcPb9sWww&feature=PlayList&p=30D65B6654A16A9A&index=0): until the fortepiano came in everything was wonderful, but after the first stroke of the keyboard it was horrendous and I couldn barely made it halfway through the movement. Such a weak and impotent sound, barely audible at times, ruined all the magic for me.

To those who find merit and pleasure in the use of fortepianos, my kudos and envy! I don't think I'll ever come to terms with it. :)

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 17, 2009, 04:36:41 AM
OK, you asked for it!  :D

If I may offer my two cents on the use of fortepiano, here they are.

I've always found the whole idea behind it a little problematic. Judging from all available accounts, Mozart and Beethoven constantly complained about the quality of orchestras and instruments, especially keyboards. Just imagine how delighted would have they been had they a modern piano at their disposal! Also, just fancy what could have Haydn done with a modern orchestra, comprising all the winds and brass in their present form!

So, I see no reason to reject the technical progress of instruments when playing their music. I particularly can't stand the sound of fortepiano, an aversion that has only been enhanced when listening to Antonio Rossetti's Piano Concerto (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EGcPb9sWww&feature=PlayList&p=30D65B6654A16A9A&index=0): until the fortepiano came in everything was wonderful, but after the first stroke of the keyboard it was horrendous and I couldn barely made it halfway through the movement. Such a weak and impotent sound, barely audible at times, ruined all the magic for me.

To those who find merit and pleasure in the use of fortepianos, my kudos and envy! I don't think I'll ever come to terms with it. :)



Florestan,
Well, everyone's opinion has value. I have no vested interest in trying to change your mind. I'm the first to admit that the sound of a fortepiano is an acquired taste. Some more than others. But once you have acquired that taste, nothing else quite fills the bill. :)

No, I don't play that 'imagine if...' game. I believe composers wrote to the instrument they had in hand. And made the most of it too. Somewhere (I'll find it) I have a little chart that lists all of Mozart's sonatas, and the notes used in each. In some of them, he used every single note on the keyboard, in others, all but one or two notes. So, he used what he had available. BTW, I never heard Mozart complain about instruments. He very often complained about 'wretched players', but I have yet to read anything (in many dozens of books) about instruments not being up to snuff. Beethoven, it's true, had some problems with his pianos. However, never was it with the sound of it, it was things like the compass, or the durability, or the escapement. Since your complaint is mainly with the sound, I'm afraid that neither of these stalwart composers can stand by your side.  :D

But as I say, if you don't acquire a taste for the fortepiano sound, it doesn't mean that we won't let you listen to the music. By all means, bring us something new to listen to, and we will return the favor. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 17, 2009, 04:51:44 AM
BTW, I never heard Mozart complain about instruments. He very often complained about 'wretched players', but I have yet to read anything (in many dozens of books) about instruments not being up to snuff. Beethoven, it's true, had some problems with his pianos. However, never was it with the sound of it, it was things like the compass, or the durability, or the escapement.

I'm sure that had they knew what was to come, they'd have complained about the sound, too.   ;D >:D

Since your complaint is mainly with the sound, I'm afraid that neither of these stalwart composers can stand by your side.  :D

Fair enough.  0:).

A related aside: I discovered the wonderful Paisiello's 4th piano concerto from your recommendation here. It is played on a modern piano. What is it in there that doesn't suit the music? Is the charm and the beauty of the music really lost or altered?

By all means, bring us something new to listen to, and we will return the favor. :)

8)

Speaking of which, are you aware of any recording of Rosetti's Concerto on a modern piano?  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 17, 2009, 05:14:33 AM
I'm sure that had they knew what was to come, they'd have complained about the sound, too.   ;D >:D

Doh! I hate that argument! :D

Quote
Fair enough.  0:).

A related aside: I discovered the wonderful Paisiello's 4th piano concerto from your recommendation here. It is played on a modern piano. What is it in there that doesn't suit the music? Is the charm and the beauty of the music really lost or altered?

Speaking of which, are you aware of any recording of Rosetti's Concerto on a modern piano?  :)

Delighted you liked the Paisiello. I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect, but whatever it was wouldn't be too high. So I was equally pleased when I discovered it. :)   I don't know the answer to your question, since the only version I've heard is the Naxos one, thus I can't make any comparison. You shouldn't think that just because I greatly enjoy, in fact even prefer, period instruments (yes, I'm a PIon, I admit it   :-\ ), that I don't like modern instruments too. This is particularly true in orchestral music. However, in chamber music, all other things being equal (the players' abilities, for example), I will prefer the PI every time. They just sound better to me. Although I have no argument with you if you like, for example, the Beaux Arts Trio in Mozart's piano trios. They are wonderful. So are the Gryphon Trio. :)

No, I don't. I thought that one on CPO that Sonic mentioned was on modern instruments. I don't have that work myself, but maybe one of the others will see this and help out. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 17, 2009, 08:10:45 AM
Doh! I hate that argument! :D

Ah yes Rosen's argument.  It's amusing how ridiculous is to speculate about what a composer would have wanted if the composer had known about the future instruments... even the Mozart is a fraud thread was better reasoned! :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on August 17, 2009, 11:01:30 AM
... even the Mozart is a fraud thread was better reasoned! :D

(http://www.smileydesign.net/smileys/cost10.gif) 0:) 8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 17, 2009, 11:29:04 AM
It's amusing how ridiculous is to speculate about what a composer would have wanted if the composer had known about the future instruments...

Well, let's take Haydn's case. Upon his own avowal, as an old man he much regretted that he came to know too late the full capabilities of winds and brass (I'm sure Gurn can find the quote in no time). Add to that the innovative spirit he manifested all throughout his life and suddenly the things are not that ridiculous, methinks.

Just my two cents.  0:)

Bottom line, to each his own. I'm sure nobody will mind me listening to Paisiello on a modern piano just as I don't mind
anyone listening to Mozart's PC 20 on fortepiano.  0:)

Now listening to Gaetano Brunetti's Symphony in G minor.  8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 17, 2009, 11:44:10 AM
Well, let's take Haydn's case. Upon his own avowal, as an old man he much regretted that he came to know too late the full capabilities of winds and brass (I'm sure Gurn can find the quote in no time). Add to that the innovative spirit he manifested all throughout his life and suddenly the things are not that ridiculous, methinks.

Just my two cents.  0:)

Bottom line, to each his own. I'm sure nobody will mind me listening to Paisiello on a modern piano just as I don't mind
anyone listening to Mozart's PC 20 on fortepiano.  0:)

Now listening to Gaetano Brunetti's Symphony in G minor.  8)

Good taste. Paisiello and Brunetti. We'll make you a Corner Dweller in record time. :D

Well, Haydn did say that. He was talking about Beethoven's compositional style after hearing the 3rd symphony. Of course, Haydn didn't have those instruments to play with for most of his career anyway, so the regret is probably more for that than it is for 'overlooking' them, so to speak. I got Solomons Haydn symphonies last week, and caught the orchestration for the first time.  These are mainly the Stürm und Dräng era works, 35, 38, 39, 49, 58 & 59 which he composed from 1767-69. They are written for strings (2-2-1-1-1), 2 oboes, 4 horns & continuuo (bassoon and harpsichord). That's like 15 players. You have to wonder if he could have gotten quite the impact out of the opening of the Eroica with them... :D

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 17, 2009, 11:19:43 PM
Good taste. Paisiello and Brunetti. We'll make you a Corner Dweller in record time. :D

Oh, but I've been dwelling in the corner ever since I've started listening classical music back in 1985. :)

Well, Haydn did say that. He was talking about Beethoven's compositional style after hearing the 3rd symphony. Of course, Haydn didn't have those instruments to play with for most of his career anyway, so the regret is probably more for that than it is for 'overlooking' them, so to speak.

Yes, that's my point: it was not a matter of "overlooking" but of a lack of availability.

I got Solomons Haydn symphonies last week, and caught the orchestration for the first time.  These are mainly the Stürm und Dräng era works, 35, 38, 39, 49, 58 & 59 which he composed from 1767-69. They are written for strings (2-2-1-1-1), 2 oboes, 4 horns & continuuo (bassoon and harpsichord). That's like 15 players. You have to wonder if he could have gotten quite the impact out of the opening of the Eroica with them... :D

Well of course he couldn't. He missed the flutes, the clarinets, the trumpets and the timpani. Now, I wonder if he missed them because there were no such players at his disposal or because their capabilities in 1769 were far behind of what they could achieve (and did) in 1804-06?

Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 18, 2009, 04:15:35 AM
Well, let's take Haydn's case. Upon his own avowal, as an old man he much regretted that he came to know too late the full capabilities of winds and brass (I'm sure Gurn can find the quote in no time). Add to that the innovative spirit he manifested all throughout his life and suddenly the things are not that ridiculous, methinks.

Since he did not realize the full capabilities of wind and brass as you just said, he did not compose with them in mind, your point undermines itself and it's still ridiculous.

Whenever you say "well so and so would have loved the modern piano" it begs the obvious rebuttal he did not have a modern piano, he didn't know what it sounded like, and he didn't compose for it. 

You are talking about a convenient fiction of the composer being dissatisfied with the instruments and ensembles that he composes for.  With that logic you can argue that it would be right to change old classics to use cgi special effects ala star wars because you would say "well I bet if they had the effects then, they would have wanted to use them!"

Do you see how absurd that is now?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 18, 2009, 04:21:10 AM
Well of course he couldn't. He missed the flutes, the clarinets, the trumpets and the timpani. Now, I wonder if he missed them because there were no such players at his disposal or because their capabilities in 1769 were far behind of what they could achieve (and did) in 1804-06?

This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say ridiculous.  The whole "maybe he would have wanted that way" is speculative, and not a firm foundation for anything.  It's not even an argument!  I can do that too...

Maybe Bach would have preferred his orchestral music to be transcribed to twenty harpsichords.  Hey he liked the sound of the harpsichord!  You can't say for a fact that he wouldn't approve of such a transcription, thus my performance of the Brandenburg #2 on twenty harpsichords is legitimate! :D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 18, 2009, 04:33:22 AM
With that logic you can argue that it would be right to change old classics to use cgi special effects ala star wars because you would say "well I bet if they had the effects then, they would have wanted to use them!"

I never argued such a thing.  I just expressed my views based on reasonable --- for me --- assumptions, given certain facts. Of course it's all a matter of speculation and I never pretended otherwise (in case you haven't noticed there were two emoticons after the sentence starting with "I'm sure"). If it sounds absurd to you I have no problem with that. Is it really necessary to continue this controversy? I don't think so. You'll still listen to pianoforte, I'll still listen to a modern piano. The world is large enough for us to live under the same sun.  :) 0:)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on August 18, 2009, 04:44:19 AM
You can't say for a fact that [Bach] wouldn't approve of such a transcription, thus my performance of the Brandenburg #2 on twenty harpsichords is legitimate! :D

We shouldn't say that Bach disapproved at all of the practice of transcription.  He was notably efficient with his forces, though, and I doubt he would have found 20 necessary for the musical material of the BWV 1047  8)

Are we channeling Stokowski, David?  ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 18, 2009, 05:01:03 AM
Bach (J.S.) ist verboten hier... >:(

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gabriel on August 18, 2009, 05:11:31 AM
Bach (J.S.)* ist verboten hier... >:(

8)

This (*) precision was necessary indeed, Gurn... Otherwise we would miss some of the best music of the period! ;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 18, 2009, 05:27:22 AM
This (*) precision was necessary indeed, Gurn... Otherwise we would miss some of the best music of the period! ;)

:D

Yes indeed, Gabriel. Bach (J.S.) did have good seed, it seems. :)

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on August 18, 2009, 05:32:31 AM
The Musical Dandelion, they called him.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on August 18, 2009, 05:57:29 AM
I've been craving restraint so classical and baroque have become even more appealing.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: karlhenning on August 18, 2009, 06:12:37 AM
I've been craving restraint so classical and baroque have become even more appealing.

SQUONK!
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on August 18, 2009, 06:13:45 AM
;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on August 18, 2009, 06:54:39 AM
Bach (J.S.) ist verboten hier... >:(

8)

I used to like this place... >:(



;)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 18, 2009, 07:02:52 AM
I used to like this place... >:(



;)

Well, if you can make a credible argument that he is a Classical composer, without resorting to Newmanesque methods, then we'll allow him in. Otherwise, he has at least 10 threads already.... but hey, he had kids. Lot's of 'em. Pick one! :D

8)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Opus106 on August 18, 2009, 07:33:11 AM
Well, if you can make a credible argument that he is a Classical composer

Heaven forbid, no! I'm glad he's Baroque. :D

But I can probably..., maybe attempt to give you enough reason (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_van_Swieten#Sharing_works_by_Bach_and_Handel) to not prevent his mention here.
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on August 18, 2009, 08:16:47 AM
Well, if you can make a credible argument that he is a Classical composer, without resorting to Newmanesque methods, then we'll allow him in. Otherwise, he has at least 10 threads already.... but hey, he had kids. Lot's of 'em. Pick one! :D

8)

Well said.  JSB should probably just have a forum dedicated to him, or a Parent forum within "The Music Room"
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: DavidW on August 18, 2009, 08:20:24 AM
Well said.  JSB should probably just have a forum dedicated to him, or a Parent forum within "The Music Room"

I would rather crap in Gurn's thread. ;D
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Florestan on August 18, 2009, 08:22:25 AM
Gurn, what's the period again? Do you count Schubert, Weber and Arriaga in or out?
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Dr. Dread on August 18, 2009, 08:36:12 AM
Just ordered this:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kt5X5NYoL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: ChamberNut on August 18, 2009, 08:41:28 AM
Just ordered this:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kt5X5NYoL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Sweet, Dave!  :)
Title: Re: Gurn's Classical Corner
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 18, 2009, 08:41:41 AM
Gurn, what's the period again?