Harpsichord, etc.

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cheregi

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Aug 3, 2021, 2:52:03 PMAug 3
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I recently heard Wolfgang Rübsam's Bach recordings on lute-harpsichord and was struck not only by the appealing sound of the instrument but also by what he does with the music, the freedom and fluency to render each voice more voice-like than any other Bach I've heard, this immediately becomes a kind of 'default' for me compared to other Bach, I think anyone with interest in Bach should listen.

However in truth I'm not as interested in Bach as I am in earlier keyboard composers. In 'Desire and Pleasure in 17th-Century Music' Susan McClary reads Frescobaldi's elevation toccatas as post-Gesualdo modal 'madness' recontextualized or extended from privately profane to publicly spiritual, and then separately D'Anglebert's unmeasured preludes (standing in for the early French harpsichord school in general) as calculated to express, even within proto-tonal awareness of inexorable pull of the next moment, a fullness of beauty of present moment, i.e. a kind of stillness or desire for stillness, present moment as sufficient or even as eternity. Frescobaldi and D'Anglebert (and others adjacent to them) both become visible, here, as misunderstood alternatives to later German-derived forward-motion common-practice tonality, who therefore present unique difficulties for modern interpreters.

For D'Anglebert there is Elizabeth Farr, who seems connected to Rübsam and similarly interesting. What do people think of this style of playing? What are interesting approaches to Frescobaldi, or other French composers? Also, what about English composers from same period, what draws people so strongly to that repertoire?

cheregi

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Aug 3, 2021, 3:06:08 PMAug 3
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Just want to correct: 'What are interesting approaches to Frescobaldi, or to French composers other than D'Anglebert'

Mandryka

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Aug 3, 2021, 4:29:09 PMAug 3
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In fact I haven't heard Farr's D'Anglebert. I once suggested to Rubsam that he explore Chambonnieres with his new instrument, but he didn't seem to fancy it. I should say that his lute harpsichord is exceptionally good.

Farr doesn't seem to me to play counterpoint with independent voices in duet, certainly not as imaginatively and boldly as Rubsam at his best.

I can give you a list of things I've thought were memorable with pre Louis XIV French composers tomorrow -- and indeed Frescobaldi and English composers. You could also browse here

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,25291.msg928623.html#msg928623

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,13637.40.html

Note that I personally have no interest in English baroque music, though I am interested in renaissance composers in England -- I'm not sure the comparison with German cpt is relevant. You'd have to be thinking of German composers like Hans Leo Hassler, the composers in the Buxheimer Orgelbuch and thence to the style which originated with Peter Philips and which Sweelinck propagated through Europe (in Germany Samuel Scheidt would be a case in point.)

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 3, 2021, 6:03:19 PMAug 3
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In article <878f1857-de8d-4557...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>What are interesting approaches to Frescobaldi, or other French
>composers?

My favorite pieces from Frescobaldi have actually been the wacky
instrumental canzonas.... I enjoy Il Viaggio Musicale from way
back when in that repertory, but don't know if there are more recent
approaches.

>Also, what about English composers from same period, what draws
>people so strongly to that repertoire?

If you're talking about the Parthenia generation (Byrd/Bull/Gibbons)
-- I wasn't sure, particularly with the remark from Mandryka --
then it's the sense of melodic counterpoint (evoking the Renaissance
style). Also per your remark on instrument sonority, I particularly
enjoy a twangy muselear virginal & it often seems to suit this music
perfectly. Note, though, that I also wasn't just "throwing a bone"
in mentioning a recent piano album devoted mostly to Bull (in a
prior thread...), in that I never found his music all that compelling
on harpsichord, but it seemed to work well on piano. (Byrd feels
forced on piano, by contrast.) In that case, what you're hearing
is all the strange rhythms in 5s & 7s, etc. I'd compare it to
Chopin, but the Chopin lovers seem to refuse it....

cheregi

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Aug 3, 2021, 7:02:26 PMAug 3
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On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 2:29:09 PM UTC-6, Mandryka wrote:
> In fact I haven't heard Farr's D'Anglebert. I once suggested to Rubsam that he explore Chambonnieres with his new instrument, but he didn't seem to fancy it. I should say that his lute harpsichord is exceptionally good.
>
> Farr doesn't seem to me to play counterpoint with independent voices in duet, certainly not as imaginatively and boldly as Rubsam at his best.
>
> I can give you a list of things I've thought were memorable with pre Louis XIV French composers tomorrow -- and indeed Frescobaldi and English composers. You could also browse here
>
> https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,25291.msg928623.html#msg928623
>
> https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,13637.40.html
>
> Note that I personally have no interest in English baroque music, though I am interested in renaissance composers in England -- I'm not sure the comparison with German cpt is relevant. You'd have to be thinking of German composers like Hans Leo Hassler, the composers in the Buxheimer Orgelbuch and thence to the style which originated with Peter Philips and which Sweelinck propagated through Europe (in Germany Samuel Scheidt would be a case in point.)

Per McClary, contrapuntal independence is deemphasized in D'Anglebert et al, it should be more like a succession of broken voice-fragments overtaken by ornament, which I hear more clearly in Farr than in other recordings of French harpsichord school, little clouds of texture passing by, strange and complex. Very different from Rubsam, and maybe not as distinctive as I'm hearing now, not sure.

Would love to get the list about French composers, definitely, and just went through the threads, planning to compare Frescobaldi recordings mentioned.

Not so much comparing to German baroque - I meant German classic/romantic music-as-forward-moving-structure ideal which can be easily read backwards into Bach, but not so easily into Couperin, for example, and under which aesthetic regime the whole French harpsichord school could be dismissed as trite and simply bad, as it has been for whole of 20th century, as far as I know.

cheregi

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Aug 3, 2021, 7:24:57 PMAug 3
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Listening now to the Canzonas and enjoying indeed the dense overcomplicated wackiness I am now thinking of as Frescobaldi's signature...

Interesting Chopin connection which I would never have arrived at, but will have to re-listen with this in mind. I'm listening now to the Kit Armstrong I presume is the Bull recording you're referring to, something about the lightness of ornament reminds me specifically of Marcelle Meyer's stunning 1950s Steinway Couperin and Rameau. On a related note I just read of a keyboard teacher playing for her students Schumann on a harpsichord just to give a sense of how bizarre it is what is taken for granted as normal going the other way, I'd love to hear a recording of that!

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 3, 2021, 7:42:42 PMAug 3
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In article <c0dc14af-121e-46a6...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>I'm listening now to the Kit Armstrong I presume is the Bull
>recording you're referring to ....

Alan Feinberg. I haven't heard the Armstrong recording.

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:18:10 AMAug 4
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Re the canzoni di sonare, I like Viaggio Musicale and Musica Fiata. Ensemble Hypothesis is interesting too, because to me they make the music sound old, more Renaissance than baroque.

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:23:22 AMAug 4
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On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 11:03:19 PM UTC+1, Todd Michel McComb wrote:
Bull wrote a cycle of Pavans and Galliards which IMO are as interesting as Byrd’s. However it has only been recorded in entirety once, by Joseph Payne. What he does is very listenable, but I can’t help feel that there is more to be said with this music.

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:25:01 AMAug 4
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On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 7:52:03 PM UTC+1, cheregi wrote:
If you can find an affordable copy of Wili Apel’s book The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, buy it.

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:26:25 AMAug 4
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Actually it’s here, though not in a form I find very friendly

https://archive.org/details/historyofkeyboar00will/page/n1/mode/2up

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:42:14 AMAug 4
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Concerning pre Sun King French keyboard music composers, IMO the most interesting of them are Jehan Titelouze and Louis Couperin. Pierre Attaingnant published a collection of music which is sometimes played on keyboard, and is well worth exploring, though myself I like it most on lute.


JohnGavin

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Aug 4, 2021, 5:14:45 AMAug 4
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If you use Spotify, do a search for “Renaissance Piano”. You will find just about everything there.

gggg gggg

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Aug 4, 2021, 2:30:52 PMAug 4
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(Recent Y. upload):

Dusek: Complete Music for Harpsichord Vol. 1

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 3:41:42 PMAug 4
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Some CDs of French harpsichord music which I remember vaguely as being interesting in some way or other -- performance or sound or instrument.

D'Anglebert - Paola Erdas, Barbara Maria Willi -- some good odd things by Leonhardt (G major suite)
Chambonnieres -- Karen Flint
Louis Couperin -- See here https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,26286.0.html
The Asperen series is exceptional.
Forqueray -- Leonhardt's last recording
Francois Couperin -- the last two recordings Blandine Verlet made; Leonhardt; the latest recordings Davit Maroney made (on Analekta)

Compilations -- Ken Gilbert (Clerambaut, d'Anglebert, Gaspard de la Roux); Colin Tilney (Preludes and Dances for a French Harpsichord); Guilia Nutti Le Coeur et L'Oreille; Jane Chapman (3 volumes, very contentious interpretation)

gggg gggg

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Aug 4, 2021, 3:45:32 PMAug 4
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What about Rameau?

gggg gggg

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Aug 4, 2021, 3:50:53 PMAug 4
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According to this:

- Rameau’s harpsichord music is among some of the most virtuosic ever written.

https://www.sfcv.org/learn/composer-gallery/jean-philippe-rameau

Mandryka

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Aug 4, 2021, 4:07:52 PMAug 4
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It's OK and it is indeed virtuosic.

Mandryka

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Aug 5, 2021, 1:11:37 AMAug 5
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I forgot one fun D’Anglebert one, this

https://www.discogs.com/Lully-Kenneth-Gilbert-Ouvertures-Airs-Dances-Transcriptions-Pour-Clavecin-Par-dAnglebert/release/4870400

Brigitte Tramier is also good in these transcription pieces, a CD called Les songes agréables d’Atys.

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 5, 2021, 6:03:41 PMAug 5
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In article <2069707a-2495-4f23...@googlegroups.com>,
Mandryka <howie....@gmail.com> wrote:
>Bull wrote a cycle of Pavans and Galliards which IMO are as interesting
>as Byrd’s. However it has only been recorded in entirety once, by
>Joseph Payne. What he does is very listenable, but I can’t help feel
>that there is more to be said with this music.

I've tended to agree, maybe found a little more success in an organ
recital, but was starting to doubt that Bull was really a composer
whose music I enjoyed much... but am rethinking with piano.

Most of this repertory, especially the French & Italian is something
I explored many years ago now, so it's a bit of reminiscing with
comments there I guess.... And yes, I read Apel's book at the time.

cheregi

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Aug 5, 2021, 7:39:40 PMAug 5
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Thanks for all the recommendations. I liked what you had to say in one of the gmg threads you linked - "That's what I want French music to sound like now - birdsong, lots of different bird species all singing at the same time in a forest."

I'm reading that in the French dance suites sequential sections were arranged not for continuity but for contrast, which is something I find hard to hear in most recordings. Does each dance have a specific rhythm performers were expected to know how to play, over and above notated rhythm, in other words is it plausible there was 'swing' which has been lost? Or do contemporary performers already have this awareness but just do it subtly?

The unmeasured preludes remind me of modal procedures in nonwestern musics where modal identity / pitch relationships are established in for melody and rhythm to 'inhabit', and this also seems to intersect with the incredibly noisy overtone richness of the harpsichord, like equal-tempered harpsichord must just sound so much more immediately wrong than equal-tempered piano - I would guess?

On the other hand am I right that lutes and viols, of course the other mutually-influential solo instruments of that moment, as fretted instruments, are necessarily dramatically less 'pure-tuned' than harpsichord? Or do they somehow solve the issue of frets in a way that guitar cannot?

gggg gggg

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Aug 5, 2021, 8:31:54 PMAug 5
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On Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 4:39:40 PM UTC-7, cheregi wrote:
> On Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 11:11:37 PM UTC-6, Mandryka wrote:
> > I forgot one fun D’Anglebert one, this
> >
> > https://www.discogs.com/Lully-Kenneth-Gilbert-Ouvertures-Airs-Dances-Transcriptions-Pour-Clavecin-Par-dAnglebert/release/4870400
> >
> > Brigitte Tramier is also good in these transcription pieces, a CD called Les songes agréables d’Atys.
> Thanks for all the recommendations. I liked what you had to say in one of the gmg threads you linked - "That's what I want French music to sound like now - birdsong, lots of different bird species all singing at the same time in a forest." ...

Ever heard the virelai EN CE GRACIEUX TEMPS?:

https://www.google.com/search?q=en+ce+gracieux+temps&btnK=Google+Search&sxsrf=ALeKk02gCtWIV3zFHOfsxbLufr2MpvTvWQ%3A1628209743149&source=hp&ei=T4IMYdOfBtTU-gTnhrbIDg&iflsig=AINFCbYAAAAAYQyQXz16yHM_rnyHD9CsFx89kYVeDQpW

cheregi

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Aug 5, 2021, 8:44:54 PMAug 5
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It's so literal! And only one bird! More like something from Haydn than D'Anglebert, but Haydn at least would do something unexpectedly interesting with it.

Of course now we have Messiaen hanging over us too...

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 5, 2021, 8:52:35 PMAug 5
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In article <b5aff872-63ff-4ba3...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>Of course now we have Messiaen hanging over us too...

And evocations of chirping birds are a free improv commonplace.

(I think Messiaen's bird music is brilliant.)

gggg gggg

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Aug 5, 2021, 8:52:43 PMAug 5
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On Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 5:44:54 PM UTC-7, cheregi wrote:
> On Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 6:31:54 PM UTC-6, gggg gggg wrote:
> > On Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 4:39:40 PM UTC-7, cheregi wrote:
> > > On Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 11:11:37 PM UTC-6, Mandryka wrote:
> > > > I forgot one fun D’Anglebert one, this
> > > >
> > > > https://www.discogs.com/Lully-Kenneth-Gilbert-Ouvertures-Airs-Dances-Transcriptions-Pour-Clavecin-Par-dAnglebert/release/4870400
> > > >
> > > > Brigitte Tramier is also good in these transcription pieces, a CD called Les songes agréables d’Atys.
> > > Thanks for all the recommendations. I liked what you had to say in one of the gmg threads you linked - "That's what I want French music to sound like now - birdsong, lots of different bird species all singing at the same time in a forest." ...
> >
> > Ever heard the virelai EN CE GRACIEUX TEMPS?:
> >
> > https://www.google.com/search?q=en+ce+gracieux+temps&btnK=Google+Search&sxsrf=ALeKk02gCtWIV3zFHOfsxbLufr2MpvTvWQ%3A1628209743149&source=hp&ei=T4IMYdOfBtTU-gTnhrbIDg&iflsig=AINFCbYAAAAAYQyQXz16yHM_rnyHD9CsFx89kYVeDQpW
> It's so literal! And only one bird! ...

Wasn't there a nightingale AND a cuckoo?

gggg gggg

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Aug 5, 2021, 8:58:49 PMAug 5
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Mandryka

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Aug 5, 2021, 11:37:06 PMAug 5
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Oh I think there are some wonderful Bull recordings. Names I like: Van Asperen, Siegbert Rampe, Pierre Hantai. His music is strange, not lyrical, spiky sounding and often angry.

There used to be a couple of amazing things on YouTube. A really angry Walsingham Variations by Leon Berben, and a fantasy from Robert Hill on a lovely meantone tuned harpsichord.

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 6, 2021, 12:36:08 AMAug 6
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In article <seck9e$7q6$1...@hope.eyrie.org>,
Todd Michel McComb <mcc...@medieval.org> wrote:
>I haven't heard the Armstrong recording.

Oh, this is a brand new release.... I will check it out soon.

Message has been deleted

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 7, 2021, 8:15:32 PMAug 7
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In article <seie7l$3k0$1...@hope.eyrie.org>,
Todd Michel McComb <mcc...@medieval.org> wrote:
>Oh, this is a brand new release.... I will check it out soon.

I feel similarly about the Armstrong recording. That is, the Byrd
pieces seem like they're trying to sound like harpsichord -- although
Armstrong has a nice, light touch, so I enjoy this too. And Bull
keeps sounding to me more like he wished he had a piano! (To allude
to an old "author's intent" saw.... And I've heard all the Bull
harpsichord recordings mentioned here, fwiw, but mostly not recently.)

cheregi

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Aug 8, 2021, 12:03:46 AMAug 8
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This conversation led me (did someone link it directly?) to Glen Wilson's website and writings on harpsichord history, composers, etc., he's very convincing about these claims: that most of what's attributed to Louis Couperin is actually the work of Charles Couperin; that much of what we think of as renaissance Italian organ music was actually primarily for harpsichord; Adrian Willaert is even more of a historically significant and also rigorously excellent composer than I already believed.

Mandryka

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Aug 8, 2021, 12:25:20 AMAug 8
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On Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 5:03:46 AM UTC+1, cheregi wrote:
> This conversation led me (did someone link it directly?) to Glen Wilson's website and writings on harpsichord history, composers, etc., he's very convincing about these claims: that most of what's attributed to Louis Couperin is actually the work of Charles Couperin; that much of what we think of as renaissance Italian organ music was actually primarily for harpsichord; Adrian Willaert is even more of a historically significant and also rigorously excellent composer than I already believed.

Wilson argues that the organ works attributed to Lois Couperin are not by him. I once heard Davitt Moroney say that there was more evidence that Louis Couperin wrote the organ works than there is for his writing the harpsichord works.

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 8, 2021, 12:31:15 AMAug 8
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In article <2668fb5e-e004-4a6b...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>... Adrian Willaert is even more of a historically significant and
>also rigorously excellent composer than I already believed.

Did I miss a Willaert album by Wilson?

gggg gggg

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Aug 8, 2021, 2:52:43 AMAug 8
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According to this:

- We’re in a golden age of Oliver Messiaen. The French composer, whose life spanned nearly the entire 20th century, nurtured enough acolytes to ensure that his sound world would continue long after he was gone...

https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/best-classical-music-performances-2018.html

Mandryka

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Aug 8, 2021, 4:12:46 AMAug 8
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Yes and no, there’s a ricercare on his Marc Antoni Cavazzoni CD. Well chosen words there by Wilson. Willaert is historically significant because his is the first cycle of ricercare for keyboard we have. He is, no doubt, excellent at the level of rigour.

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 8, 2021, 12:02:10 PMAug 8
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In article <653bc368-7390-4678...@googlegroups.com>,
Mandryka <howie....@gmail.com> wrote:
>Willaert is historically significant because his is the first cycle
>of ricercare for keyboard we have. He is, no doubt, excellent at
>the level of rigour.

Of course, Willaert was already highlighted as one of the leading
figures of his generation by e.g. Apel.... (Where more general
readers might hear Willaert's style is in e.g. music by Gabrieli.)

I've long enjoyed the weird (mostly because it pairs keyboards)
Ricercari recording on Stradivarius, but it's almost 30 years old
now!

http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/svs33355.htm

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 8, 2021, 12:06:17 PMAug 8
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In article <seov5v$bbi$1...@hope.eyrie.org>,
Todd Michel McComb <mcc...@medieval.org> wrote:
>Willaert was already highlighted as one of the leading figures of
>his generation by e.g. Apel....

Excuse me, I meant to say Reese here -- i.e. beyond keyboard per
se. (The above statement might also be true, but I don't quite
recall.)

cheregi

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Aug 8, 2021, 4:11:13 PMAug 8
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Glen Wilson: "Adrian Willaert may be the best example of a composer religiously cited as “historically important”, and then either ignored or misunderstood, or both. His counterpoint is so rigorous, so complex and so devoid of superficiality that it requires long, patient, penetrating analysis before it reveals its profundities."

In other words, all that scholarly praise, and we still have only the one recording of 1559 Musica Nova! I'm continually amazed by these works, seeming to bypass completely Josquinian developments into surface-attractiveness or public-facing-drama (pervasive imitation, dynamic contrast) and instead build directly from Ockeghem, long subtle horizontal free-melodiousness fitting like puzzle pieces into contrapuntal texture... so to read now that the same composer is also instrumental in taking Josquin's pervasive imitation to 'logical conclusion' ("Willaert’s three contributions to the volume already show significant reduction in the number of themes used relative to the number of bars, as opposed to the still-novel “motet style” of continuous, overlapping imitation of new themes for each fragment of text." -Wilson again) in the other (1540) Musica Nova... plus of course the cascading-into-baroque domino effect of polychoral composition...

Mandryka

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Aug 8, 2021, 4:38:47 PMAug 8
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Yes it's an attractive CD. And it's curious that they paired organ and harpsichord like that -- rather than use a claviorganum to get the same effect. I'm assuming that you don't need four hands.


Mandryka

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Aug 9, 2021, 1:38:19 PMAug 9
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On Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 9:11:13 PM UTC+1, cheregi wrote:
>

>
> In other words, all that scholarly praise, and we still have only the one recording of 1559 Musica Nova!


No, there are at least two other complete recordings of Musica Nova - Liuwe Tamminga and Roberto Loreggian.

Mandryka

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Aug 9, 2021, 1:54:16 PMAug 9
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What is Musica Nova? I notice that Singer Pur calls his recordings of Willaert’s vocal music “Musica Nova”, so it may be more than a publisher’s name for an anthology of instrumental music.

cheregi

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Aug 9, 2021, 2:35:10 PMAug 9
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On Monday, August 9, 2021 at 11:54:16 AM UTC-6, Mandryka wrote:
> What is Musica Nova? I notice that Singer Pur calls his recordings of Willaert’s vocal music “Musica Nova”, so it may be more than a publisher’s name for an anthology of instrumental music.

1540 Musica Nova and 1559 Musica Nova, I've learned recently, are two different publications associated with Willaert. 1540 Musica Nova is all instrumental with ricercars etc. by Willaert alongside others from his circle. 1559 Musica Nova is a collection of motets and madrigals (though all in contrapuntal motet style), mostly previously published, compiled on commission from Florentine or Ferrarese nobles exiled in Venice, serving first of all for the exiled nobles to recover wounded pride by showing off what sophisticated musical culture they still cultivate even in exile, but also as kind of career retrospective for near-death Willaert. There is no overlap between the two publications as far as I know.

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 24, 2021, 10:19:56 PMAug 24
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In article <sen7n0$vjm$1...@hope.eyrie.org>,
Todd Michel McComb <mcc...@medieval.org> wrote:
>I feel similarly about the Armstrong recording. That is, the Byrd
>pieces seem like they're trying to sound like harpsichord -- although
>Armstrong has a nice, light touch, so I enjoy this too.

Coming back to this after an interval, I'm not as impressed
(technically) by Armstrong -- although he takes on a greater variety
of material (& so more preparation). He's good with (dramatic)
effects, but his articulation is more often muddy.

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 26, 2021, 5:10:14 PMAug 26
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Further to Kit Armstrong's recent _The Visions of Piano Music_
double album, contrary to my more general impressions, I'm actually
feeling taken with the Byrd fantasies "Ut re mi fa sol la" (BK64)
& "Ut re mi" (BK65) as piano pieces.

Maroney performs these on a big organ on the third disc of his
Complete Byrd, and that recital has not really worked for me as
well as others. So I guess these other versions ended up striking
me a bit more. BK64 seems like shades of Der Hammerklavier at
one point... BK65 much more flowing.

cheregi

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Aug 27, 2021, 2:18:48 PMAug 27
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Comparing Armstrong's Ut re me fa sol la with Elizabeth Farr's harpsichord version, and to Armstrong's credit I'm about equally engaged by both. Armstrong's weird feeling of progressive alternation between sections of pseudo-'objective' strictness and pseudo-Romantic dramatics strikes me as an interesting way to approach this on a piano, and well-suited to especially the last few minutes of the piece. Farr is much slower but not 'stately' per harpsichord cliches, rather maintaining narrative intrigue via ornamentation and subtle rhythmic shifts. I can't imagine enjoying this on a big organ, the piece already seems at risk of bombast...

Todd Michel McComb

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Aug 27, 2021, 4:22:37 PMAug 27
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In article <87af2244-7613-4a8c...@googlegroups.com>,
cheregi <elir...@gmail.com> wrote:
>Comparing Armstrong's Ut re me fa sol la with Elizabeth Farr's
>harpsichord version, and to Armstrong's credit I'm about equally
>engaged by both.

Perhaps I should also mention the rendition by Pieter-Jan Belder
(also on harpsichord) on last year's 15CD _Complete Fitzwilliam
Virginal Book_ from Brilliant Classics. (I'd forgotten about this
recording that I'd downloaded in May! And so had only listened to
2 discs, I believe....) Initial impressions of Belder are very
good (although Farr has a more interesting sounding instrument, as
far that part alone) -- for all I've heard so far.

cheregi

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Aug 27, 2021, 6:45:39 PMAug 27
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Farr does tend to pick interesting instruments...

I'm not totally sure how to feel about Farr's habit of obscuring Byrd's polyphonic clarity with French-style ornamental 'artifice'. On the one hand everything is much clearer in Belder which is immediately appealing. I think at some point you described the keyboard of music of Byrd or of England generally around this time as 'uplifting', which I didn't understand but which comes through here, a sense that the music, especially at those ringing chordal moments, can actually impart clarity and focus. On the other hand Farr creates something mysterious or unknowable, something almost seeming implicit underneath the actual recorded sound, which has its own kind of power...

Mandryka

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Aug 27, 2021, 11:32:46 PMAug 27
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With English music one problem is to mark the pulse without pounding, without being too forceful. I guess Farr’s approach is one way of dealing with that. I haven’t heard much of Belder’s set, whenever I’ve dipped in it always seems OK.

For Byrd, one person I like is Aapo Hakkinen. Hogwood is also outstanding IMO, and the earlier recordings by Colin Tilney. The one everyone seems to love is Moroney, I don’t know it so well.

cheregi

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Aug 29, 2021, 2:11:22 PMAug 29
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I'm enjoying Hakkinen a lot, probably more than anybody else I've heard in Byrd. He seems to be splitting the difference between, arbitrarily, Farr and Belder. It's interesting how there seems to be so much more knowledge of French technique than English or anywhere else, like the French were the only ones to obsessively document each type of ornament etc etc.

Mandryka

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Aug 29, 2021, 3:15:52 PMAug 29
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There are two Hakkinen Byrd recordings, I enjoyed the first more than the second, but both are very good indeed I think. He owns a good harpsichord, with a powerful bass. I liked his Frescobaldi and his Naxos Cd which is mostly made up of pieces attributed to Bach, but disputably.

gggg gggg

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Sep 5, 2021, 4:53:46 PMSep 5
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On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 11:52:03 AM UTC-7, cheregi wrote:
> I recently heard Wolfgang Rübsam's Bach recordings on lute-harpsichord and was struck not only by the appealing sound of the instrument but also by what he does with the music, the freedom and fluency to render each voice more voice-like than any other Bach I've heard, this immediately becomes a kind of 'default' for me compared to other Bach, I think anyone with interest in Bach should listen.
>
> However in truth I'm not as interested in Bach as I am in earlier keyboard composers. In 'Desire and Pleasure in 17th-Century Music' Susan McClary reads Frescobaldi's elevation toccatas as post-Gesualdo modal 'madness' recontextualized or extended from privately profane to publicly spiritual, and then separately D'Anglebert's unmeasured preludes (standing in for the early French harpsichord school in general) as calculated to express, even within proto-tonal awareness of inexorable pull of the next moment, a fullness of beauty of present moment, i.e. a kind of stillness or desire for stillness, present moment as sufficient or even as eternity. Frescobaldi and D'Anglebert (and others adjacent to them) both become visible, here, as misunderstood alternatives to later German-derived forward-motion common-practice tonality, who therefore present unique difficulties for modern interpreters.
>
> For D'Anglebert there is Elizabeth Farr, who seems connected to Rübsam and similarly interesting. What do people think of this style of playing? What are interesting approaches to Frescobaldi, or other French composers? Also, what about English composers from same period, what draws people so strongly to that repertoire?

(Recent Y. upload):

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): The Complete Works for Harpsichord
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