Gurn's Classical Corner

Started by Gurn Blanston, February 22, 2009, 07:05:20 AM

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I hope Gurn is alive and well, unfortunately not to be taken for granted these days.

- CPE Bach: Hamburg symphonies (6 for strings and 4 for full orchestra), the are from rather late in his live
- Joseph Martin Kraus: symphonies with Concerto Köln (Capriccio)
- There are one or two collections (and of course they had been on single discs earlier) with Concerto Köln on Teldec with an assortment of mostly symphonies by lesser known composers like Vanhal
- Boccherini is huge, there are two discs with Europa galante (HIP) that were united as a Virgin Veritas duo, I think, that give a decent impression of some chamber music.
- Clementi: Recital of sonatas with Staier/Teldec and Demidenko (modern piano) on hyperion
- Michael Haydn (younger brother) wrote nice symphonies and a Requiem (as well as more church music) which is quite close to and probably was an influence on Mozart's
- Krommer, Reicha and Danzi have symphonies and woodwind concertos and woodwind chamber music roughly between Mozart and Beethoven.

However, it should be kept in mind that most of the music by "minor" classical composers will appear rather lightweight compared to the famous pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn.
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal


Quote from: vers la flamme on July 03, 2021, 04:53:49 PM
Lots of images indeed, an overwhelming amount. I think I'm primarily interested in the later classical period, ie. around and after the death of Mozart, 1780s - early 1800s. But I'm willing to give some of the earlier stuff a shot, provided I can find a composer whose music I connect with. To that end, I seem to enjoy CPE Bach a good bit, for example, though I've only heard a bit of his music—he almost strikes me as a very early proto-Romantic. I'm curious to check out some of the Bohemians, like Myslivicek and Stamitz—partly because of your vocal advocacy for their musics, Dave. I also think I might enjoy Boccherini and Clementi. I think symphonies and chamber music are what I'm more interested in than concerti and solo instrumental, at this point, but that could change.

Anyway, I usually go to Haydn and Mozart when I'm in a classical period mood. Enjoying some Haydn London symphonies right now. But as I've said I'd love to branch out.

I don't know what you have heard already, but if you want to straddle late Classical with Romantic, Carl Maria von Weber's Symphonies and Concertos ride that line nicely. If you don't mind chorus with orchestra, Cherubini and Hummel have some wonderful Mass and Requiem settings. Of course, if you haven't surveyed Haydn's late masses, I would start there.  :)
"All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff."


'However, it should be kept in mind that most of the music by "minor" classical composers will appear rather lightweight compared to the famous pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn.'
                                                               - Jo498

I've found Gluck's music to be exciting and beautiful, more than the other "transitional" composers from Baroque to Classical, and more than the minor Classical figures. I also have a suspicion Gluck was writing in the mature classical style before Haydn. It is hard to demonstrate this however. The opinion on his quality, as opposed to the timing, is regarding the sound of the style, because as an opera composer Gluck of course didn't write in Sonata form or any of the other appurtenances of the symphony. For wonderful Classical orchestral writing however, in his overtures, ballets and accompaniments, he ranks in my mind a lot higher than the position which posterity awards him.


Franz Krommer - selectively perusing my classical collection and up to the 'K's - just starting w/ this long-lived and prolific composer - love his wind music (and there is SO much!) - but I was shocked at how many non-wind string quartets and quintets he wrote and I own just 6 SQuartets - posted below in the listening thread so about to be buried - looking on Amazon there is little more available of his string chamber output which is hard to believe - any suggestions?  Dave :)

QuoteKrommer, Franz (1759-1831) - Bassoon, Clarinet & Flute Music - started in on my FK collection today w/ some of his MANY wind compositions as shown below - I own about 20 Krommer CDs, mostly wind works and symphonies w/ only six string quartets; just looking at his composition LIST and concentrating on string chamber works - according to Karel Padrta's catalogue, Franz wrote 35 String Quintets (P VI:1-P VI:35) and 78 String Quartets (P VIII:1-PVIII:78)!  An interesting life span, i.e. born the same year Handel died and outlived Beethoven by 4 years - AND this is good music!  Do I need more?  Oy vey -  ??? 8)  Dave

QuoteFranz Krommer - Born in Kamenice, he made his career in the service of various noblemen, finally settling in Vienna, where he became director of music for the Court Ballet and later entering the service of the Emperor Franz I, finally as imperial director of chamber music and court composer. Krommer's orchestral music includes symphonies and concertos, the latter for his own instrument, the violin, and for various wind instruments, either singly or in multiple concertos. He added to the repertoire of Harmoniemusik, music for wind band, with well crafted compositions that serve their entertaining purpose admirably. Krommer's string quartets seemed to contemporaries to equal those of Haydn and rival those of Beethoven. He wrote a quantity of chamber music, quintets and quartets, a number of these involving wind instruments, in addition to trios and duos, all reflecting the style and taste of the period in which he lived. (Source)


New Platti recording added to my collection in the last two years, i.e. the top left pic below - Luca Guglielmi performing the late KB Sonatas on the same fortepiano described in the second paragraph of the quoted post below; single excellent review attached.  Dave :)

P.S. Wiki bio HERE w/ selective compositions -  8)

Quote from: SonicMan46 on April 21, 2020, 09:53:04 AM
Platti, Giovanni (1697-1763) - now listening to my small collection of Platti's music (just 6 discs - 1 a double, shown below) - I noticed that he has not been discussed in this thread except for a post back in 2011, plus as an early transitional composer, i.e. Baroque-Early Classical (hopefully appropriate for this thread) - his keyboard music, especially when played on fortepiano anticipated some of the changes in that genre into the galant style and later.  I particularly like the first two CDs shown, i.e. the Epoca Barocca are excellent in these works (of course w/ the wonderful Azzolini on bassoon!).

In the Concerti per il Cembalo Obligato, Luca Guglielmi is performing on an outstanding sounding fortepiano, a copy by Kerstin Schwarz, 1997 after a 1726 original made none other than by Bartolomeo Cristofori - indeed, worth a listen; reviews of four of the recordings below are attached, along w/ a list of Platti's compositions cataloged by Alberto Iesuè (Wiki source).  Dave :)




Carl Stamitz TTT! 2 years since my last post (part below) - well, something new, i.e. I'm up to 10 CDs now since the addition of some more Symphonies, the CPO disc added below (top row last one) - now have only 8 of his 50+ works in this genre - Willens w/ the period instrument group Kölner Akademie - Carl emerged from his father's Mannheim orchestra composing orchestral music in a similar style, especially the crescendos made famous by this band - however, of all the recordings below I remain fondest of the clarinet compositions.  Dave :)

Quote from: SonicMan46 on May 24, 2020, 08:08:08 AM
Stamitz, Carl (1745-1801) - no dedicated thread on this composer and just a lot of 'mentions' in the 'classical corner' - going through my modest collection at the moment; plus there seems to be more available on Spotify than I can find on Amazon USA or at Presto Music!

Carl was born in Mannheim (palace front shown below), eldest son to Johann Stamitz, Director of the famous Mannheim court orchestra - short bio of him quoted below; he wrote more than 50 symphonies, at least 38 symphonies concertantes and more than 60 concertos for violin, viola, viola d'amore, cello, clarinet, basset horn, flute, bassoon and other instruments. He also wrote a large volume of chamber music. Some of the clarinet and viola concertos that Stamitz composed are considered to be among the finest available from the period (Wiki).

At the moment, I own 9 discs of Carl's compositions (3 are in a box of his 'Clarinet Concertos') - believe that I enjoy his clarinet works the best; apparently when he lived in Paris, Stamitz began to cooperate with the Bohemian born clarinet virtuoso Joseph Beer (1744–1811), which proved fruitful for both Stamitz and Beer (Wiki link above); and reminiscent of some great clarinet works of several other composers, such as Mozart and Brahms.

So, any Stamitz fans (Carl and kin)?  If so, what else is available - any period instruments clarinet works?  Dave :)