Author Topic: Three favourite harpsichord concertos  (Read 409 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2487
Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« on: January 20, 2021, 12:58:48 PM »
What are your three favourite harpsichord concertos? There are no as many as with other instruments, so I thought three or five would be a fair number to include. I find fascinating how this instrument blends into and interacts with an orchestra. There are nice and quirky instances in the genre, like Martinu's and de Falla's. I wish Hindemith and Arnold had composed each a concerto. I really enjoy the timbre of this instument, I feel it like sharp-and-metallic-sounding. Kudos for the composers who composed and those who keep writing works like these.

Having said that, mine are:


Poulenc: The level of quirkiness and depth and how both are represented into the work leaves me with a big smile on my face. Utterly charming creation.

Nyman: This is a sound beast, it's like LSD in music. The writing for the soloist is just insane, an incredibly tricky and complex work. It's about moods, mostly, and requires a challenging playing. Only solid players could play this. Few like or enjoy Nyman, but I do. He's certainly one of my favorite minimalist composers.

Kalabis: I don't have strong memories of this, but I remember being impressed when I heard it.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2021, 01:06:22 PM »
In no particular order: Poulenc, Falla and Martinů.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4639
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2021, 01:38:35 PM »
Bach D minor, A major & E major

Offline pjme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1279
  • Location: Europa
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 02:07:27 PM »
In no particular order: Poulenc, Falla and Martinů.

My choices aswell.
 
Allow me to add:
Hugo Distler : a composition (harpsichord and strings) from 1935. The fast movements are very motoric, almost manic. The last movement is an incredible "tour(billon) de force", a crazy whirlwind. The Andante poco Adagio is sad and mysterious.
Maurice Ohana: Sarabande for harpsichord and orchestra (1950). Short (ca 8 minutes), serious and rather spooky...
(Frank Martin's concerto and the Petite symphonie concertante, of course)....

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9868
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 02:16:04 PM »
Kalabis, Poulenc and Falla.

I haven’t heard the Distler (hard to find and/or very expensive) but Distler is a favourite composer I’ve enthused about for his choral and organ music.

I don’t know the Martinu either. Suggestions ?

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2021, 02:55:56 PM »
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2021, 02:56:57 PM »
Kalabis, Poulenc and Falla.

I haven’t heard the Distler (hard to find and/or very expensive) but Distler is a favourite composer I’ve enthused about for his choral and organ music.

I don’t know the Martinu either. Suggestions ?

Check out this recording:



The recording with Zuzana Růžičková (w/ Neumann at the podium) is also worth looking into.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 02:58:39 PM by Mirror Image »
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline DavidW

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 388
  • Location: South Carolina, USA
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2021, 03:51:29 PM »
Bach D minor, A major & E major

Yup same here.  And if I exhaust Bach then it is... CPE Bach.  And I believe Haydn's early keyboard concertos are typically played on harpsichord.

I will say for those thinking outside the Bach  ;) try Gorecki's harpsichord concerto.  It is pretty neat.

I wonder if anyone will mention Carter's double concerto.

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9868
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2021, 04:36:41 PM »
Check out this recording:



The recording with Zuzana Růžičková (w/ Neumann at the podium) is also worth looking into.

Thanks, John !

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2021, 05:13:33 PM »
Thanks, John !

À tout moment, mon amie.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline MusicTurner

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1910
  • Location: Cph
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2021, 12:26:03 AM »
Poulenc, Martinu (recordings vary in their attractiveness though), Kokkonen.

And B1052.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19921
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2021, 01:09:17 AM »
Walter Leigh
Poulenc
Kalabis
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 01:16:49 AM by vandermolen »
"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 ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6904
  • Raoul Dufy, "Tragédie, Comédie"
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 01:25:05 AM »
My list (all 20th century):

Elliott Carter: Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano with Two Chamber Orchestras
Roberto Gerhard: Concerto for Harpsichord, Percussion and Strings.
Francis Poulenc: Concert champêtre
ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
„Gibt es kein Hinüber?
Sind wir schon da?
Wie konnt' es geschehen?
Sind wir schon drüben?“

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9868
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2021, 05:13:34 AM »
Yes, the Gerhard is a scorcher !

Offline DavidW

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 388
  • Location: South Carolina, USA
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2021, 06:33:38 AM »
Check out this recording:



The recording with Zuzana Růžičková (w/ Neumann at the podium) is also worth looking into.

This was going to be an Ives day for me but I think I will be listening to this recording instead.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2021, 07:32:15 AM »
This was going to be an Ives day for me but I think I will be listening to this recording instead.

An excellent choice if I do say so myself. ;)
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2021, 07:32:44 AM »
Yes, the Gerhard is a scorcher !

+1 I like this work quite a bit as well.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 53234
  • Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Magyar tánc a faluban
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2021, 07:33:40 AM »
My list (all 20th century):

Elliott Carter: Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano with Two Chamber Orchestras
Roberto Gerhard: Concerto for Harpsichord, Percussion and Strings.
Francis Poulenc: Concert champêtre

Nice list, Rafael. I’m quite surprised to see that Falla wasn’t on your list given your affinity for this composer.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19921
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2021, 08:54:45 AM »
This was going to be an Ives day for me but I think I will be listening to this recording instead.
Great soloist name.  8)
"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 Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2487
Re: Three favourite harpsichord concertos
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2021, 04:03:34 PM »
The Croatian Boris Papandopulo also wrote a fine concerto for this instrument. Actually, all I've heard from him has been so gratifying.

«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe