Author Topic: Music for Passiontide & Easter  (Read 31139 times)

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Offline North Star

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #60 on: March 11, 2016, 11:41:53 AM »
[Gesualdo Responsoria - De Labyrintho]
I'm taking notes...
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #61 on: March 11, 2016, 02:12:13 PM »
One thing I'm starting to think is that in a recording, and in real life,  it's good to have the responsoria broken up. I like the comparative plainness of chant interspersed with Gesualdo's music in Parrott's CD, and I'm sure the viol music in Karl's favourite from De Labyrintho is effective too.

In The Hilliard's recording, I find it pretty difficult to listen to (eg) an unbroken chain of Good Friday responsoria, whatever the merits of the performance (one voice per part, great counter-tenor, intimate) are. The music is too intense and expressive.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 02:14:02 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Que

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2016, 11:10:05 PM »
Sharing some items I came across while browsing for Passion music:



Quote
Musical Passion Play, April 28, 2013 by Gio
The staged dramatization of the the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, which draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Bavarian village Oberammergau every ten years, is a living fossil of Medieval European traditions that included the liturgical dramas sung in great monasteries as well as the "mystery plays" performed in the streets of English and French market towns. The Catholic Church had long asserted the requirement to include a reading or singing of the Passion narrative in the liturgy of Holy Week, usually as a portion of the services of Good Friday. One of the masterworks of the late Renaissance is the unique setting of the crucifixion narrative from the Gospel of John by the Italo-Fleming Cypriano de Rore. De Rore: Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi / Secundum Johannem Eschewing his typical polyphonic madrigalism, Cypriano set the text homophonically as an extension of Gregorian chant. That setting is in effect a "continental divide" between Renaissance and Baroque, paying tribute to the former and foretelling the latter. Later Italian composers generally chose to set the "Tenebrae" texts from Jeremiah, rather than the Gospel narratives, for vespers during Holy Week, but there are two very fine "Passions According to Saint John" - in Latin of course - available as recordings, by Alessandro Scarlatti and by Francesco Feo:Alessandro Scarlatti: Passio Secundum Ioannem / Johannes-Passion / ST. John Passion - Passio secundum Joannem

German Lutheranism in the 17th and 18th Centuries formalized an entire Baroque genre of Passion settings for their Good Friday worship services. The favored narratives were those of John and Matthew, though many composers produced setting of all four Gospel narratives. These German settings employ all the musical forms and effects of contemporary opera and oratorio. The earliest such Passion According to John now available on CD is that of Christoph Demantius, a polyphonic setting more motet-like than oratorio, but the seminal Baroque Passions are those of Heinrich Schütz. All four of Schütz's Passions have been recorded and are frequently performed these days, but the "900-pound gorilla" in the genre is unquestionably JS Bach. There are more recordings listed of Bach's "Johannes Passion" than of all the Passions of all other composers together. The same is true of Bach's "Matthew Passion," a work of such grandeur that it nearly eclipses any other efforts. Both Bach Passions have been superbly recorded quite recently by the Dunedin Consort. John Passion - Matthew Passion (Final Performing Version, c. 1742)Nevertheless, several of the dozens of Johannes Passions produced by German Baroque composers have been revived and recorded, including works by Handel, Telemann, CPE Bach, and the little-known Gottfried Homilius. To my taste, they're all well worth hearing.

Not the least worthy is this setting by Georg Gebel the Younger (1709-1753). Gebel was a Silesian, the scion of a musical family, who spent most of his short career in Rudolfstadt, Saxony. Apparently he was, like Mozart, a child keyboard prodigy with a pushy father. Paternal pushiness was successful; Gebel the Younger gained both fame and position, and composed an enormous oeuvre of music during his short life, nearly all of which has been lost. This Johannes Passion is the most ample of his surviving works, and "we" are very lucky to have it. It's an inventive, incisive concert oratorio, though the scant records suggest that it really was intended for Protestant worship services within the Catholic community of Saxony. To compare it to Bach's monumental Johannes Passion would do it no favors, and yet it's worthy of comparison. Both Bach and Gebel chose to stick to the single Gospel text rather than the fashionable poetic pastiche called the Brockes Passion, and Gebel chose to include every word of the Luther translation of John, a decision that precluded the inclusion of as many non-Gospel chorale hymns and meditational arias as one hears in most other Johannes Passions. Thus Gebel poured most of his inspiration and his expertise in counterpoint into those portions of the whole Passion that were often simplest and starkest in other settings. The chorales in this Passion are in fact the work of Gebel's anonymous assistant.

What will delight a modern listener in the aesthetic cocoon of her/his living room is the fanciful variety and delicacy of Gebel's instrumentation, both of continuo and obbligato. Each aria has its own affect, its rhythmic and harmonic surprises, and its special instrumental effects. The Weimarer Barock-Ensemble, conducted by Ludger Remy, includes the usual strings plus horn, traverso, oboe, bassoon, theorbo, and organ, and each instrument gets its moment of glory, particularly the theorbo played by Andreas Arend. On the whole, this is not a Passion that requires or inspires religious fervor. Rather it's a finely-wrought Baroque opera for the stage of one's musical imagination.

Review by Johan van Veen:
Quote

It doesn't happen that often that a totally unknown work turns out to be a real treasure. But in my view that is exactly what is the case here. The St John Passion by the German composer Georg Gebel the Younger is a splendid work to listen to. It is also a remarkable work from a historical point of view.

http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/CPO_999-894-2.html

Q
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 03:43:15 PM by Que »

Offline Que

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #63 on: March 22, 2016, 11:26:14 AM »
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Quote
Revival of One of the Founders of Modern Music, by Gio on May 18, 2015

Superb performance of the earliest and perhaps the most musically coherent setting of the Brockes Passion, which was also set by Stolzel, Telemann, and Handel among others. You can learn all about Brockes from Wikipedia or from the album notes accompanying this CD. Reinhard Keiser was arguably the most influential composer you've never heard of. His career was chiefly devoted to opera; he was indeed widely regarded as the "greatest composer of operas" of his era, and his role as an impresario entitles him to be venerated (or despised) as one of the founders of the public concert hall. His music must have sounded radically colorful to his contemporaries because of his flamboyant instrumentation. He assigned his distinctive instruments not only the traditional "obbligato" passages of other baroque composers but also surprising and delightful roles in the full orchestra. Therein he was certainly the direct progenitor of Haydn, Mozart and Co. I can almost guarantee that, once you hear this major musical monument, you'll be combing the listings for more of Reinhard Keiser.
Vox Luminis is one of the choicest vocal ensembles to have emerged from Europe in recent years. All of their CDs are gorgeously sung. And here's some good news for American music cognoscenti: Vox Luminis will be featured at the Boston Early Music Festival this June 2015 and at the Berkeley Early Music Festival in June 2016.

Review by Johan van Veen:
Quote

This production is really a winner in every respect. It is a riveting account of the Passion story from the point of view of the Hamburg poet Brockes. 


http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/Ramee_RAM1303.html
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 03:45:55 PM by Que »

Drasko

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #64 on: March 22, 2016, 12:01:06 PM »


In December 1959 Leonard Bernstein commissioned a new work from Poulenc for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He chose to write the 'Sept Répons des Ténèbres' (Seven Tenebrae Responses) for treble soloist, a chorus of boys’ and men’s voices and symphony orchestra. The posthumous first performance took place on 11 April 1963 at Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) under the direction of Thomas Schippers.

Though only Pretre's EMI recording uses original forces. Both The Sixteen and Reuss opt for mixed chorus and female soprano. Nevertheless Reuss' is an excellent performance.

Offline Que

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2016, 03:38:09 PM »
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Quote
Review by Johan van Veen

A title like 'St John Passion' suggests a composition from the renaissance or by a German composer of the 17th or the 18th century. But here we have a Passion from Italy, and from Naples, of all places, where religious music was under the influence of opera. 

Francisco Feo was born in Naples and also died there. He received his first musical education at the Conservatorio di S. Maria della Pietà dei Turchini. Very quickly he started to make a name for himself as a composer of operas, and also contributed arias and scenes to operas by other composers. Feo was also active as a composer of sacred music, most of which was written between 1723 and 1743. He composed music in all then common genres, like oratorios, masses, vesper psalms, cantatas and lamentations. In 1791 the German theorist Johann Friedrich Reichardt considered him "one of the greatest of all composers of church music in Italy". In modern times Feo has been largely forgotten until recently when a Mass and a Psalm setting were recorded. 

The performance and recording of Feo's Passio secundum Joannem is more or less a coincidence. The director, Lorenzo Ghielmi, was planning to perform the Stabat mater by Pergolesi. During his preparations the name of Francesco Feo turned up several times. He was a close friend of Pergolesi's and warned him against overstretching himself while composing his Stabat mater. Ghielmi searched after music by Feo, and found this Passion oratorio. It is one of three Passions by Feo; of his two St Matthew Passions only the turbae are extant. 

Whereas Pergolesi's Stabat mater was meant to replace an older setting by Alessandro Scarlatti, Lorenzo Ghielmi believes Feo's Passion could be written to replace Scarlatti's St John Passion. And as at that time in Naples a setting of the Stabat mater and a Passion were often performed together, Ghielmi thinks these two works by Pergolesi and Feo could have been performed together as well. This seems plausible in the light of the strong similarity between these two works. One of them is that they are in the same key of f minor. 

Feo's Passion which dates from 1744 is a remarkable work. It is more modern than Scarlatti's Passion, but the scoring is almost the same: five voices (SATTB) and an instrumental ensemble of two violins, viola and bass. Even more remarkable is that Feo, like Scarlatti, only uses the text of the Gospel, without any free poetic additions, like arias and duets. 

The most important part is that of the Evangelist, which is scored for an alto - again like in Scarlatti's Passion. It is a mixture of recitative and arioso, in which the text is effectively translated into music. Especially notable are the fermates which frequently appear in the part of the Evangelist. They are taken here as an opportunity to add a cadenza. In an interview with the German magazine Toccata/Alte Musik Aktuell Ghielmi says that they more or less compensate for the lack of arias. 

There are also many passages in which Feo makes use of harmonic means to express the text. The part of the Evangelist contains some striking examples. The words of Jesus are always accompanied by the strings. They also contribute to the depiction of particular events. Examples are the strong chords in the passages about the betrayal of Judas or the scourging of Jesus. The turbae are just as dramatic, mostly homophonic, and very powerful. 

The Passio secundum Joannem is an impressive composition, and in my view a very important addition to the repertoire for Passiontide. The performance is of the highest order. The part of the Evangelist is given a splendid performance by Doron Schleifer, who has a beautiful and very agile voice, and sings his part with an impeccable technique. Krystian Adam is also impressive in the role of Jesus, and Mirko Guadagnini gives a very good account of the role of Pilate. The smaller roles are also well executed. 

Ghielmi has added some short arias, two by Feo and one by his contemporary Gasparini. I don't see any reasons for that as I think Feo's Passion is good enough as it is. But these arias - which are relatively short - are nice to listen to, and Barbara Schmidt-Gaden sings them very well. The choir and the instrumental ensemble are also first-rate, and the scoring of the basso continuo, with harpsichord, organ, harp, with cello and violone, gives some colour to the foundation of the ensemble. 

This Passion is something special, and so is the booklet of 84 pages. It contains the complete lyrics, with translations in English, German, French and Italian. There are concise liner notes by Lorenzo Ghielmi. I had liked them to be more extended and include the remarks about the performance which I referred to above. Also in the booklet are beautiful pictures from the Sacro Monte sopra Varese. They are from the five 'sorrowful mysteries' from the Mysteries of the Rosario, depicting the Passion of Christ. They do go well with the music by Feo. 

In short, this is an exemplary production which can only be strongly recommended. 

Offline HIPster

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2016, 03:51:54 PM »
.



Thanks for posting Que.  Have you heard this recording?

Looks interesting.
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Never waste a good reason for a purchase....  ;)

Offline Que

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2016, 10:50:36 PM »
Thanks for posting Que.  Have you heard this recording?

Looks interesting.

Doesn't it? :) I always hold Johan van Veen's opinion in high esteem.
Sometimes he is a stickler on details that don't bother me that much, but other than that he is strict but fair and has a keen eye for interesting music and good HIP performances.

Haven't heard it yet, but already got it. Will report! :)

Q

Offline The new erato

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2016, 11:18:46 PM »
I have had it for some time. Classy stuff, playing it now. Deluxe packaging.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #69 on: March 24, 2016, 12:24:53 PM »
Surprised no one's yet mentioned Krzysztof Penderecki's dramatic setting of the St. Luke Passion. On the orchestral front, there is Josef Bohuslav Foerster's Symphony No. 4, "Easter Eve".

Offline André

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #70 on: March 24, 2016, 12:37:23 PM »
Listening to the Passion According to St John by Karl Henning. The dramatic second part never fails to astonish and move, after the contemplative, ruminative first part.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #71 on: March 24, 2016, 06:38:29 PM »
Listening to the Passion According to St John by Karl Henning. The dramatic second part never fails to astonish and move, after the contemplative, ruminative first part.

Many thanks.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 05:34:22 AM by karlhenning »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
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nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2016, 04:39:25 AM »
Listening to the Passion According to St John by Karl Henning. The dramatic second part never fails to astonish and move, after the contemplative, ruminative first part.

Here is a link to Karl Henning's work:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/wdpk77t7m042s7o/Karl+Henning+-+The+Passion+According+to+St+John%2C+Opus+92.mp3


 0:)  Happy Easter!   0:)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 04:55:49 AM by Cato »
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2016, 06:32:10 AM »
Listening to the Passion According to St John by Karl Henning. The dramatic second part never fails to astonish and move, after the contemplative, ruminative first part.

That was Karl WHO? (just kidding).
Who were the performers?

ZB
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2016, 08:15:58 AM »
That was Karl WHO? (just kidding).
Who were the performers?

ZB

IIRC, that was the première performance by the choir of the Cathedral Church of St Paul here in Boston, directed by Ed Broms.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2016, 08:38:48 AM »
IIRC, that was the première performance by the choir of the Cathedral Church of St Paul here in Boston, directed by Ed Broms.

Cool!
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline Que

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #76 on: March 26, 2017, 12:28:05 AM »
Bumping this thread with this new release:
(Would this be a reissue of a recording originally issued on the French label K617?)



Q
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 12:31:27 AM by Que »

Online aligreto

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2017, 01:13:39 AM »
Bumping this thread with this new release:
(Would this be a reissue of a recording originally issued on the French label K617?)



Q

That looks quite interesting. I have always enjoyed the small amount of Jommelli's music that I have.
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Offline HIPster

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #78 on: March 26, 2017, 06:33:38 AM »
Bumping this thread with this new release:
(Would this be a reissue of a recording originally issued on the French label K617?)



Q
That looks quite interesting. I have always enjoyed the small amount of Jommelli's music that I have.

I agree.  Looks very interesting.  ;)

Thanks Que:)
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Offline Que

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2017, 06:44:14 AM »
Thanks for posting Que.  Have you heard this recording?

Looks interesting.

I did get it last year.
My comments were brief at the time, but definitely worthy of a strong recommendation.
If you like a chamber oratorio in Neapolitan style, high in musical invention, this is the ticket.
Beautiful presentation.

Credits for discovery go to new erato BTW.... :)

Morning listening:


A Passion in Neapolitan style, in Latin following the Bible texts.
Fransesco Feo wrote it in a relatively modern style but in a small setting, ceating a pure and emotive atmosphere.
He has a keen sense of balance and detail in singing and instrumental accompaniment. Very stylish.
If you're  into Italian Baroque, this is a beauty not to be overlooked! :)

Q

FANFARE review: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Namedrill?name_id=239466&name_role=4&rewr=1#review

Review by Johan van Veen: http://www.musica-dei-donum.org/cd_reviews/Passacaille_964.html