Author Topic: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes  (Read 682 times)

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Online Maestro267

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Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« on: February 12, 2020, 02:38:03 AM »
I've been absolutely fascinated by the Passacaglia recently. I'd like your favourite examples please. Anything goes here, whether it's a standalone work or an individual movement or section within a larger work such as a symphony, concerto or opera. Orchestrations and arrangements can also count.

Some of my favourites:

Schnittke: Cello Concerto No. 2, V
Chávez: Symphony No. 6, III
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8, IV; Symphony No. 15, IV; Violin Concerto No. 2, III
Britten: Peter Grimes, Act II; Violin Concerto, III
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 04:04:58 AM by Maestro267 »

Offline Biffo

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 02:56:16 AM »
Only obvious ones spring to mind -

Purcell: Chacony in G minor - this has been frequently recorded either on period instruments or arranged for string orchestra (eg Britten/ECO)
Brahms: Finale of Fourth Symphony
Britten: Passacaglia from Peter Grimes
Webern: Passaacaglia for Orchestra, Op 1

I am sure you will get plenty more.

Several years ago there was a discussion in the Amazon UK forum on the subject of whether there was a difference between a passacaglia and a chaconne. Those who insisted there was seemed to me to have pretty flimsy arguments. It arose from a mention of the Chaconne in Bach's Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV1004

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 08:45:30 AM »
Shostakovich VC No.1
Britten: Peter Grimes
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Jo498

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 08:56:43 AM »
Brahms, Finale of the 4th symphony
Webern, op.1
Bach/Stokowski BWV 582 (There are a few orchestral movements by Bach that are Chaconne-like, e.g. the slow movements of the d minor clavier concerto and the E major violin concerto,  but I don't think they qualifiy as real chaconne/passacaglia)
Shostakovich Violin concerto #1
Rameau, Chaconne from Les Indes galantes

There is another 20th century chaconne piece at the back of my mind but I am not sure which one. I don't think I know Peter Grimes.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline ritter

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 09:20:31 AM »
This little gem by William Walton (Passacaglia: the Death of Falstaff, from Henry V):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/dimZ-IgAtEI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/dimZ-IgAtEI</a>

The second movement, passacaglia, of Alferdo Casella's Concerto for Orchestra, op. 61 (this one is superb IMHO):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jMlZGCJU_1Y" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jMlZGCJU_1Y</a>

The ciaconna (second movement) of Goffredo Petrassi's Partita per orchestra (it starts at 6'10" of the video):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BC1CClO5qAM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BC1CClO5qAM</a>

And another Partita, this one by Luigi Dallapiccola, with a passacaglia as its first movement:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Ttk7bVdq96E" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Ttk7bVdq96E</a>
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 09:47:00 AM by ritter »
ritter
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 10:30:58 AM »
Atterberg - Passacaglia from Ballad and Passacaglia on a Swedish Folk Theme, Op. 38
Bach/Respighi - Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582
Ben-Haim - Chaconne from his Concerto Grosso
Casella - Passacaglia from Partita for piano and small orchestra and the one ritter posted
Corigliano - Chaconne from his Symphony No. 1
Flagello - Ciaccona from his Symphony No. 1
Hindemith - Passacaglia from Nobilissima Visione
Irgens-Jensen - Passacaglia
Kabelac - Mystery of Time
Lopes-Graça - Passacaglia from his Symphony for orchestra
Lutoslawski - Passacaglia from his Concerto for orchestra
Maconchy - Passacaglia from her Symphony for double string orchestra
Respighi - Passacaglia from Suite No. 3 on Ancient Airs and Dances
Shostakovich - Passacaglia from his Violin Concerto No. 1
Vaughan Williams - Passacaglia from his Symphony No. 5
Walton - Passacaglia from his Symphony No. 2
Webern - Passacaglia, Op. 1
Weinberger - Passacaglia for organ and orchestra (a majestic work!)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 10:50:33 AM »
This little gem by William Walton (Passacaglia: the Death of Falstaff, from Henry V):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/dimZ-IgAtEI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/dimZ-IgAtEI</a>

The second movement, passacaglia, of Alferdo Casella's Concerto for Orchestra, op. 61 (this one is superb IMHO):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jMlZGCJU_1Y" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jMlZGCJU_1Y</a>

The ciaconna (second movement) of Goffredo Petrassi's Partita per orchestra (it starts at 6'10" of the video):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/BC1CClO5qAM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/BC1CClO5qAM</a>

And another Partita, this one by Luigi Dallapiccola, with a passacaglia as its first movement:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Ttk7bVdq96E" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Ttk7bVdq96E</a>

Great choices, Rafael.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Online Maestro267

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 12:19:22 PM »
Great choices, and plenty of recommendations for me to discover as well. I'm sure I heard the Dallapiccola Partita at a Proms concert a while back.

Offline j winter

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 08:06:56 PM »
Cool thread idea, I'm definitely going to check a lot of these out.  Bach's Passacaglia, both the original for organ and Stokowski's orchestration, has long been one of my very favorite pieces of music.....
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Christo

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2020, 11:11:13 PM »
The Ciaconna Gotica (1920), only claim to fame by composer-conductor Cornelis Dopper (Stadskanaal 1870 – Amsterdam 1939), here with the Concertgebouw under - because dedicated to - Mengelberg & a modern - but less electrifying - recording under Bakels (yes, yes, we know, it's not a genuine chaconne, but it sounds like & it sounds nice  ;)):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/5WOqra8tquk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/5WOqra8tquk</a> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/wRy0UU-qVoM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/wRy0UU-qVoM</a>
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2020, 10:45:45 AM »
A lot of good choices here, though I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the finale of Rubbra's Symphony No. 7.
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Offline some guy

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 07:27:32 PM »
Varèse, Arcana.

Sorta.

Offline Christo

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 08:03:53 AM »
A lot of good choices here, though I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the finale of Rubbra's Symphony No. 7.

Errr, you did. Allow me to nominate it too: why not mention the third & final movement of Edmund Rubbra's Seventh (from 1957)? A Passacaglia & Fugue: Lento?   8)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline André

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Re: Favourite orchestral passacaglias/chaconnes
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2020, 09:39:38 AM »
SA mentioned the Passacaglia by Ludvig Irgens Jensen. It’s a superb work, easily available (3 versions that I know of). Recommended.