The Early Baroque

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Tarantella
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The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:19 am

I'm going to choose some great music from this period, circa 1550-1675, which you may not all know terribly well. The first is Terpsichore - music for the dance - by Michael Praetorius. (Shakespeare mentions this composer.) Terpsichore (pron. Terp-sickery) was written in 1612 and you get that pellucid quality found in Monteverdi, with lutes and chittarone and viols. Superb!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaqk_iYl ... re=related

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:52 am

I have literally hundreds of recordings from this period, so I will plug a few Brits...Tallis, Byrd, Tomkins, Taverner, Tye, Shepherd, Cornysh, Lawes, Gibbons and last but not least Purcell... :D :D :D
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:37 am

Chalkperson wrote:I have literally hundreds of recordings from this period, so I will plug a few Brits...Tallis, Byrd, Tomkins, Taverner, Tye, Shepherd, Cornysh, Lawes, Gibbons and last but not least Purcell... :D :D :D
And Dowland and Wilbye. I don't know how you rank them all (differently than I do, I imagine), but if some of those you name belong on the list then those two certainly do. To prevent overwhelming a newbie, it would not be unreasonable to recommend starting with Tallis and Byrd because they measure up to the very greatest continental composers. Then one might add Gibbons for a measure of accessibility. What do you think?

Edit: I just looked over some posts here and I realize that we are skirting the boundary of Renaissance and early Baroque, and are mainly talking about the former rather than the latter, even though many composers mentioned lived and composed to somewhat after 1600. When I think of early Baroque, I think of, well, the Wikipedia says it all as far as commonly accepted boundaries are concerned. I don't mind continuing this discussion on the basis of composers rather than nit-picking, but I do think a certain respect is in order for the integrity of standard and justified ways of labeling periods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroque_mu ... .931654.29

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:29 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:I have literally hundreds of recordings from this period, so I will plug a few Brits...Tallis, Byrd, Tomkins, Taverner, Tye, Shepherd, Cornysh, Lawes, Gibbons and last but not least Purcell... :D :D :D
And Dowland and Wilbye. I don't know how you rank them all (differently than I do, I imagine), but if some of those you name belong on the list then those two certainly do. To prevent overwhelming a newbie, it would not be unreasonable to recommend starting with Tallis and Byrd because they measure up to the very greatest continental composers. Then one might add Gibbons for a measure of accessibility. What do you think?
I was making a case for the Church of England's music... :wink:

Taverner definitely deserves to be on that list, John Sheppard wrote the hearkbreakingly beautiful Media Vita (and then, in midst of life, I am in death) and along with Tye and Taverner set the Western Wynde Mass...due to a distraction from another Thread I missed out Dowland, whose Lute Music is also exceptional and who pretty much has a lock on the word Melancholy...Wilbye is much lesser known, mainly for a couple of his Madrigals, Dowland, and obviously Gesualdo, are the more obvious choice for that kind of material...

When I get a chance I will post maybe ten CD's that I think should be in every Collection...
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:41 am

Chalkperson wrote: I was making a case for the Church of England's music... :wink:
How do you think I know most of them? :wink: Not a cradle Episcopalian (Anglican), but my musical soul belongs to the "one true church," for which I am still an organist. :D

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:29 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Chalkperson wrote: I was making a case for the Church of England's music... :wink:
How do you think I know most of them? :wink: Not a cradle Episcopalian (Anglican), but my musical soul belongs to the "one true church," for which I am still an organist. :D
NIce...William Byrd was a closet Catholic, sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth and who worshiped in his own tiny chapel, along with his servants...
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:39 pm

Just having realized that somehow I made a near-duplicate post, I invite your kind attention to the preferred version below.
Last edited by jbuck919 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tarantella
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:46 pm

I tend to regard those English composers - Byrd, Tallis etc. - as still of the Renaissance (very wonderful composers though they are). For me the 'early Baroque' begins with the Florentine Intermedii of 1589 and its earliest examples of 'orchestral' ensemble music, composed for the Christine de Medici marriage by Rinuccini, Malvezzi and others. The period embraces, but does not start with, the Florentine Camerata and a composer like Cavalieri who wrote the first oratorio circa 1599 and Peri's early 'opera' called "Dafne", same year. Another way of looking at it is that period either side of the birth of opera yet still predominantly modal. Monteverdi is the principal composer of this era in Italy as was Heinrich Schutz in Germany. Biber was another wonderful composer of the early Baroque and he lived until 1704. Purcell - one of my all time favourite composers - was another giant of this era. The shift from modality to diatonic triadic sonority is a major characteristic of the early Baroque, IMO.

Listen to this fabulous work by Biber ("Battalia") - an early example of 'programmatic' instrumental music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC2oaSAToRE

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:50 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Chalkperson wrote: I was making a case for the Church of England's music... :wink:
How do you think I know most of them? :wink: Not a cradle Episcopalian (Anglican), but my musical soul belongs to the "one true church," for which I am still an organist. :D
NIce...William Byrd was a closet Catholic, sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth and who worshiped in his own tiny chapel, along with his servants...
Tallis was also Catholic, but both also wrote music for Anglican use. And of course today virtually the only church performances of their music, even the Catholic stuff, would be in Anglican churches (the Cathedral of Westminster would be an exception).



No, they are not the King's College Choir, but they're pretty darn good. Note how the pope is spot on pitch-wise with the intonation of the Gloria.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:58 pm

Tarantella wrote:I tend to regard those English composers - Byrd, Tallis etc. - as still of the Renaissance (very wonderful composers though they are). For me the 'early Baroque' begins with the Florentine Intermedii of 1589 and its earliest examples of 'orchestral' ensemble music, composed for the Christine de Medici marriage by Rinuccini, Malvezzi and others. The period embraces, but does not start with, the Florentine Camerata and a composer like Cavalieri who wrote the first oratorio circa 1599 and Peri's early 'opera' called "Dafne", same year. Another way of looking at it is that period either side of the birth of opera yet still predominantly modal. Monteverdi is the principal composer of this era in Italy as was Heinrich Schutz in Germany. Biber was another wonderful composer of the early Baroque and he lived until 1704. Purcell - one of my all time favourite composers - was another giant of this era. The shift from modality to diatonic triadic sonority is a major characteristic of the early Baroque, IMO.
I tried to reinforce the same notion in a previous post, but frankly, you goofed, slightly anyway, by setting your starting date at 1550. That is actually the beginning point for the last great flourishing of the Renaissance, and people looking at that date will naturally think Palestrina, Victoria, Lassus, and Byrd (to cover four countries), among the other Renaissance composers mentioned here. I agree that this is not Baroque, and now thank you for clarifying your terms of reference. However, once a discussion gets going, people are going to respond according to their interests, just as a conversation often gets off topic. As you post more about Monteverdi and Schutz, also much beloved by people here including me, I am sure you will get more responses on topic. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:08 pm

Yes, sorry, that was a "typo" - 1550 had nothing to do with the 'early Baroque' and it should have been 1580. That should cover the bases.

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:51 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Tallis was also Catholic, but both also wrote music for Anglican use. And of course today virtually the only church performances of their music, even the Catholic stuff, would be in Anglican churches (the Cathedral of Westminster would be an exception).
They wrote mostly Anglican Music...to maintain the Queens favor...
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:53 pm

jbuck919 wrote:As you post more about Monteverdi and Schutz, also much beloved by people here including me, I am sure you will get more responses on topic. :)
Schutz, he was the Man... :D :D :D
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:09 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:As you post more about Monteverdi and Schütz, also much beloved by people here including me, I am sure you will get more responses on topic. :)
Schutz, he was the Man... :D :D :D
Oh I love that guy. To begin with, it was a Schütz piece that I first got through on the basis of reading it at sight, something that got a head turn from a superior chorister since I was not to that point famous for the talent. One of the remarkable things about Schutz is that he had to hold back in composing because his forces were so depleted by the Thirty Years War. But still, a composer of pure light.

Edited to add the umlaut to Schütz. Critically important, don't you know, when the word Schutz, meaning "protection," is part of the name of Shutzstaffel (protection squad), i.e., the SS. :wink:
Last edited by jbuck919 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Tarantella
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:07 pm

I'll tell you, it gives me a totally different attitude towards religion and the Divine. I'm not religious - rather spiritual - but there's something about this music which is transcendental and gives me pause, so to say. It's quite surprising that the Catholic church seems to eschew serious music at the local level and one is often subjected to guitar strumming and other such musical 'malfeasance' which tests the nerves and breaks the spirit. Not to put too fine a point on it!! A major reason why I stopped going each Sunday.

In Vienna I went to the most amazing Hochamt (High Mass) every Sunday with 4 or 5 priests, full orchestra, conductor, choir and organ. And that will induce jelly-legs and palpitations, I can tell you!! It's a beautiful rite, what's more!! BTW, Augustinerkirche ensemble is far superior to those at Stephensdom or Michaelerkirche!!

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:17 pm

I genuinely think this Music is possibly the most beautiful thing ever invented by Mankind...
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:27 pm

I'm listening right now to Schutz, "Symphoniae Sacrae 1", 1629, with Concerto Palatino. It's exquisite, pellucid, gentle and genteel.

When I was listening, again, to Josquin's "Missa L'Homme Arme" I was studying the bass vocal line and thinking, "there's a basso continuo crying out for invention right there!" It now seems so logical to include instruments to accompany what was formerly acapella music with a figured bass/thoroughbase where the lowest musical line existed. Perfection.

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:16 pm

Tarantella wrote:When I was listening, again, to Josquin's "Missa L'Homme Arme" I was studying the bass vocal line and thinking, "there's a basso continuo crying out for invention right there!" It now seems so logical to include instruments to accompany what was formerly acapella music with a figured bass/thoroughbase where the lowest musical line existed. Perfection.
Progress takes time, and back then they had plenty of it... :wink:
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:40 pm

Tarantella wrote:I'm listening right now to Schutz, "Symphoniae Sacrae 1", 1629, with Concerto Palatino. It's exquisite, pellucid, gentle and genteel.

When I was listening, again, to Josquin's "Missa L'Homme Arme" I was studying the bass vocal line and thinking, "there's a basso continuo crying out for invention right there!" It now seems so logical to include instruments to accompany what was formerly acapella music with a figured bass/thoroughbase where the lowest musical line existed. Perfection.
Actually, almost all that stuff was doubled by instruments and/or the organ. This is an aspect of historical performance practice that I have no interest in seeing revived, but it would have been rare in the late Middle Ages and most of the Renaissance to hear a truly a cappella performance of any polyphony. In fact, the term a cappella, meaning "in the style of the chapel," refers to none other than the Sistine Chapel, the one place where music was always performed this way.

Also, organ accompaniment without benefit of full notation precedes figured bass well back into the Renaissance. Adding figures to a bass line was originally considered a disreputable crutch for organists who couldn't figure out the proper harmonies without it.

You won't find any of this in the Wikipedia articles, but I lack the details and at-hand scholarly references to add it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:11 am

It appears I was short of the mark, but in some respects accurate. My instincts were coming into play with the comment about figured bass in the Renaissance. In fact, according to Claude Palica's "Baroque Music" (2nd ed.) which I have in front of me, the baroque actually started with the basso continuo - and I was right; about 1570. The rise of the virtuoso solo singer, he says, was the cut-off point from Renaissance to Early Baroque and that, consequently, the preference for 'chordal declamatory style' became fashionable. The melodic interest is in the top voice, the other parts being taken by accompanying instruments, but the heavy weighting of the melodic line meant that support could be provided, via a figured base, for the 'accompaniment'. All this started with madrigals. And this was my original instinct - hence the 'typo' with the dates.

BTW, Palisca's book is so easy to read - a complete contrast to the un-readable, dense and esoteric Rosen I've spoken about previously on these boards. And when one thinks how complex the issues are in relation to High Renaissance/early Baroque practice it's a minor miracle the book is so accessible. It's a fascinating subject - I love it.

AND...

It's hard to believe, but there are musical "Darwinists" around who think music pre-Classical period is 'simple' and 'evolving' into something more sophisticated, ergo 'better'. This is nonsense, of course, because music from Nostre Dame School (12th century) onwards has its own remarkable genius and artistic value irrespective of what else ever happened.

PS: I don't use Wiki for anything serious or academic - just names and dates.

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:02 am

IMO, the greatest composers of this period of the Baroque (and, indeed, in any musical era) were Claudio Monteverdi and Henry Purcell. Both theatre composers too! I adore this opera by Monteverdi, "Il rittorno.." Incredibly, the whole opera is available on U-Tube (is nothing sacred?). One can hear the influences of the Italian violin masters, Giovanni Gabrieli and, of course, the madrigal itself. It's the sheer beauty of the thing which brings me to my knees - and those decorative melismatic passages and modal sonorities. Wow!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJeFcOqzdXc

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:10 am

As someone who has pretty much the entire output of Monteverdi and Purcell, I have to say that I do not completely share your view, I find them to often be over ornamented, a little over the top at times, and Purcell just wrote so much Music, The Songs, The Odes, The Operas his output is vast, maybe that's because I prefer the Chamber Music from this period, maybe it's because these two are the Beatles and Rolling Stones, well there was also The Kinks, The Who and others in that British Invasion, sorry for the analogy, but perhaps I should explain to Tarantella that I spent 25 years Photographing Rock Stars and thus, have spent a lifetime in Music, I often cannot express myself properly as I am without education, but, I listen to everything and give at all a fair crack of Percy Grainger's Whip...

PS, I can't stand Gabrieli...give me Corelli any time, day or night... :wink:
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:17 am

Tarantella wrote:BTW, Palisca's book is so easy to read - a complete contrast to the un-readable, dense and esoteric Rosen I've spoken about previously on these boards. And when one thinks how complex the issues are in relation to High Renaissance/early Baroque practice it's a minor miracle the book is so accessible. It's a fascinating subject - I love it.
Claude Palisca was one of my professors at Yale and yes, he is excellent. But having some academic background yourself I'm sure you understand the difference between music theory and musicology, a not entirely arbitrary division which was observed more or less formally at Yale and at many other music departments in the US. Palisca was a musicologist (a musician certainly), whose job was to look into the historical record and inform the modern reader about what happened. His musical anthologies are by his own description surveys, typical if very good, which present an overview of music without attempting to draw qualitative distinctions. All by themselves they offer no basis for preferring Josquin des Pres to the simple organum "Nobilis humilis." Also, Palisca once told the class that he himself could not realize a figured bass at the keyboard (neither can I, but then that's one of the reasons I was dropped from the music theory division).

On the other hand we have Charles Rosen, a music theorist, informed by music history and musicology of course, but with the job of explicating the music. I am not asking you to change your opinion about him, but I think these things need to be taken into account if one is comparing him to someone like Palisca.
It's hard to believe, but there are musical "Darwinists" around who think music pre-Classical period is 'simple' and 'evolving' into something more sophisticated, ergo 'better'. This is nonsense, of course, because music from Nostre Dame School (12th century) onwards has its own remarkable genius and artistic value irrespective of what else ever happened.
Yes, and you're now corresponding with one, though I would use the term "development" rather than "evolution" and avoid Darwin completely. Speaking of organum: I had a professor at my undergraduate college (not Yale) who though that the four-voice organa of Perotinus were as sophisticated as anything by Beethoven. This is nonsense. You are correct to value that music for "its own remarkable genius and artistic value," but that does not make all music that was the best at its time equal to all other such. Mature polyphony only flourished after about 1500 and required centuries to get there, and it is a better art than the early stuff--more complex, moving, and deep. Then tonality developed and eventually produced an even greater art than what had come before. Painting also developed from something fine but lesser to something greater. I don't see any need not to recognize that there can be and has been progress in the arts, through and between periods at least though certainly not from the beginning of them to the present.
PS: I don't use Wiki for anything serious or academic - just names and dates.
Well, there is enough good material in Wiki on various topics for me to have expected more than the inadequate articles on figured bass and a cappella music. It is so universally consulted these days that I thought I had to mention it so that people wouldn't ask me why I was making a scholarly statement that couldn't be backed up by referring to Wikipedia! :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by John F » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:18 am

jbuck919 wrote:Charles Rosen, a music theorist
I'd call Rosen a critic, not a theorist. Music theory is about music in general, topics such as harmony, counterpoint, structure; Wikipedia does a rather good job with the topic, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_theory. Music criticism is the examination of particular works, composers, and the like, often though not necessarily passing judgment, and this is what Rosen does.
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:40 am

John F wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Charles Rosen, a music theorist
I'd call Rosen a critic, not a theorist. Music theory is about music in general, topics such as harmony, counterpoint, structure; Wikipedia does a rather good job with the topic, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_theory. Music criticism is the examination of particular works, composers, and the like, often though not necessarily passing judgment, and this is what Rosen does.
Yes, but theory is more than textbooks on those topics, and there is a great deal of (often brilliant) theory in Rosen's works, which surely would have earned him a Ph.D. in theory somewhere if that was what he wanted and if he back-built them to a level of dry academicism (and he did get academic appointments related to them). Tovey was also a critic who incorporated a good deal of theory in his essays, whereas Harold C. Schonberg for instance did not.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:00 pm

It's 2.48am here and I'm doing the washing! So much happens on the board when I'm sleeping here in Australia!!

We'll have to disagree about Rosen - just yesterday I read my husband sections of him to demonstrate his impossibly arcane and dense prose; and I get annoyed by the nudge-nudge-wink-wink comments. Palisca has clarity written all over it, not matter what the 'purpose, audience, context'. It's in the WRITING, no matter what the subject, and I've said this before: I've marked exam papers for the highest level of students in the state and can recognize outstanding writing when I see it; obscure and dense when I see it too. I'll leave it there.

"Musical Darwinism" is my own term. I don't 'compare' musical styles any more than I do with art, but I dislike the terms 'evolution' or 'progress', since whatever has come down to us from history represents (virtually) the very best of what was on offer and reflected a culture at the time of its creation. It also reflected the capacity for the human mind to always think outside the square: to whit, the Guidonian Hand and Guido of Arezza, Tinctoris etc., not forgetting that prolific composer "Anon"!! The movement from Gregorian Chant to the whole system of music notation was an immense achievement for human beings at every stage in the process, and we have music to reflect those innovations which is worthy of all the respect and admiration we can muster. I would never compare Beethoven with anyone, not even himself!! These works are all discreet and must be taken on their own terms and, of course, there will be those we simply don't enjoy - no matter what the era - which are glib and superficial and underwhelming. I wouldn't compare Organum and Bach's counterpoint any more than I would compare Purcell to the Beatles (cough). Conceptually, I reject 'evolution' as a criteria for whether or not some music is 'better' than other music. And I detest PC. The reason is that I love Machaut's "Messe de Nostre Dame" as much as I do Josquin's "L'Homme Arme Mass".

This discussion would work better, for me, if I could use the quote function!! I disagree that Musicologists don't make 'qualitative' assumptions. A good one, like Bukofzer or many one can name, have an excellent understanding of musical structures, harmony and genres and are capable of compressing that understanding into a lucid discussion about style and HOW and WHY this was achieved. Don't under-estimate the considerable analytical skills which allow a person to observe, analyze, understand and synthesize quite complex information when is then translated into a lucid account of development and difference. From where I sit that's quite a skill!! I wouldn't compare Palisca with Schenker, for example.

I'm suitably impressed that you had Claude Palisca at Yale!! Yes, that must have been a buzz. My Professor of Musicology was about the same age as me and we used to go down to the pub together and discuss harmony. He used to say to me, "There are more things in life, Sue, than harmonic analysis" and I used to say, "name 3, Rex"!!

It's great having the discussion.

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by johnQpublic » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:21 pm

Interesting sub-topic of "critic" vs" theorist". My take is that a critic without clear theoretical points to back them up is not worth my consideration which is why I enjoy such a one as Rosen.

As to the main topic, I'm a sucker for viol consorts like the ones Lawes and Jenkins explored.
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:35 pm

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There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:46 pm

johnQpublic wrote:Interesting sub-topic of "critic" vs" theorist". My take is that a critic without clear theoretical points to back them up is not worth my consideration which is why I enjoy such a one as Rosen.
Donald Francis Tovey was among other things a journalistic critic and did yeoman service that way (Rosen was also a primary critic, but at the moment I want to talk about Tovey). His essay collections contain many brief items on works that were heard once and forgotten, but he did not disparage them if they had even momentary value. He did not coin the phrase "it was not awful" which I sometimes use in whatever reviewing I do, but that is often the sense of his piece, and he was my inspiration for giving the benefit of the doubt. However, when Tovey got going, he was very much a critic of the type you describe, while no currently writing journalistic critic I can think of is. In fact, indiscriminate appreciation of the music itself as opposed to the performance, or the appearance of that anyway, seems to be a requirement for the job.
Last edited by jbuck919 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by John F » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:59 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Yes, but theory is more than textbooks on those topics, and there is a great deal of (often brilliant) theory in Rosen's works, which surely would have earned him a Ph.D. in theory somewhere if that was what he wanted and if he back-built them to a level of dry academicism (and he did get academic appointments related to them). Tovey was also a critic who incorporated a good deal of theory in his essays, whereas Harold C. Schonberg for instance did not.
I think you may be merging the roles of a journalistic reviewer like Schonberg, often called a critic, and that of a critic in the more serious sense, such as Tovey (in "The Mainstream of Music and Other Essays"), Joseph Kerman, Edward T. Cone, and literary critics like Kermode, Bloom, and T.S. Eliot. Rosen sometimes writes book reviews, as have other critics, but his claim to fame is on the higher ground. As far as I know, he has never written a treatise or essay on any aspect of music theory as such; music theory is not his subject matter but a foundation and a tool for his critical thinking and writing about music and musicians.

P.S. I see that while I was writing this, you were writing along somewhat parallel lines, but what the hey, I'll leave it as is.
John Francis

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:29 pm

John F wrote:I think you may be merging the roles of a journalistic reviewer like Schonberg, often called a critic, and that of a critic in the more serious sense, such as Tovey (in "The Mainstream of Music and Other Essays"), Joseph Kerman, Edward T. Cone, and literary critics like Kermode, Bloom, and T.S. Eliot. Rosen sometimes writes book reviews, as have other critics, but his claim to fame is on the higher ground. As far as I know, he has never written a treatise or essay on any aspect of music theory as such; music theory is not his subject matter but a foundation and a tool for his critical thinking and writing about music and musicians.
You threw in the unlikely Ed Cone there because you knew he was another one of my professors, didn't you? (Just kidding.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:13 pm

Chalkperson wrote:As someone who has pretty much the entire output of Monteverdi and Purcell, I have to say that I do not completely share your view, I find them to often be over ornamented, a little over the top at times, and Purcell just wrote so much Music, The Songs, The Odes, The Operas his output is vast, maybe that's because I prefer the Chamber Music from this period, maybe it's because these two are the Beatles and Rolling Stones, well there was also The Kinks, The Who and others in that British Invasion, sorry for the analogy, but perhaps I should explain to Tarantella that I spent 25 years Photographing Rock Stars and thus, have spent a lifetime in Music, I often cannot express myself properly as I am without education, but, I listen to everything and give at all a fair crack of Percy Grainger's Whip...

PS, I can't stand Gabrieli...give me Corelli any time, day or night... :wink:
I'm sorry to read this! If these composers' works are over-ornamented (I presume you speak here of the melismatic vocal line decorated, as it is, with accacciaturas, repeated; a type of trilling effect) - this was the convention at the time and, from memory, a treatise was written by Caccini ("Le nuove musiche", 1602) about how this should all be 'performed'. I love this music precisely because of the vocal embellisments and the magnificent instrumental accompaniment. Purcell - THE supreme English genius!

In another post I commented that the Monteverdi sounded like "Gabriel" and I've realized that instrumental support of Monteverdi's music is largely discretionary because most of the extant scores were merely vocal parts which had to be filled out later by (mainly) *musicologists or musicians (like Rene Jacobs). In which case, the particular recording I heard was reflecting that reconstruction rather than what Monteverdi might have specified. With regard to specific works of Monteverdi, I am unsure which work has which parts missing. So, the original comment I made was probably redundant.

(* I don't know why musicologists get a tough time of it from musicians, and why they're often referred to a "music historians". My Musicology professor transcribed Renaissance masses written in neumes, into modern notation.)

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:48 pm

Tarantella wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:As someone who has pretty much the entire output of Monteverdi and Purcell, I have to say that I do not completely share your view, I find them to often be over ornamented, a little over the top at times, and Purcell just wrote so much Music, The Songs, The Odes, The Operas his output is vast, maybe that's because I prefer the Chamber Music from this period, maybe it's because these two are the Beatles and Rolling Stones, well there was also The Kinks, The Who and others in that British Invasion, sorry for the analogy, but perhaps I should explain to Tarantella that I spent 25 years Photographing Rock Stars and thus, have spent a lifetime in Music, I often cannot express myself properly as I am without education, but, I listen to everything and give at all a fair crack of Percy Grainger's Whip...

PS, I can't stand Gabrieli...give me Corelli any time, day or night... :wink:
I'm sorry to read this! If these composers' works are over-ornamented (I presume you speak here of the melismatic vocal line decorated, as it is, with accacciaturas, repeated; a type of trilling effect) - this was the convention at the time and, from memory, a treatise was written by Caccini ("Le nuove musiche", 1602) about how this should all be 'performed'. I love this music precisely because of the vocal embellisments and the magnificent instrumental accompaniment. Purcell - THE supreme English genius!

In another post I commented that the Monteverdi sounded like "Gabriel" and I've realized that instrumental support of Monteverdi's music is largely discretionary because most of the extant scores were merely vocal parts which had to be filled out later by (mainly) *musicologists or musicians (like Rene Jacobs). In which case, the particular recording I heard was reflecting that reconstruction rather than what Monteverdi might have specified. With regard to specific works of Monteverdi, I am unsure which work has which parts missing. So, the original comment I made was probably redundant.

(* I don't know why musicologists get a tough time of it from musicians, and why they're often referred to a "music historians". My Musicology professor transcribed Renaissance masses written in neumes, into modern notation.)
I enjoy the Madrigals, think the Vespers is overrated, dislike the Brass in Gabrieli (Heretic that I am) and think that Purcell was just too prolific for his own good..That does not mean that I don't listen to it, just means that I don't recommend all of it to others...Giulio Caccini, however was a interesting Composer, he was the first Florentinian to write an Opera, Euridice, I enjoy those works I have of his, and his contemporaries, Frescobaldi in particular, but also Peter Philips and Giovanni (Hieronymous) Kapsberger...I would gladly listen to Frescobaldi all day, and he taught Froberger too, Philips of course takes us to the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book along with Bull, Byrd, Munday and Morley and as Henry Slofstra is a Dutch Canadian he would want me to also plug Jan Swellinck...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:59 pm

As Chalkie knows from previous posts of mine, I find many of those composers of great utilitarian use as an organist but would not have them on my playlist. In fact, I played Sweelinck just this morning. It was this piece, which I first played when I was sharing the duties of chapel organist at Princeton. Got a comment from one of the others on the roster about how boring it was. Oh well, I never get bored playing such things, and we can think of anything used in the prelude spot as ecclesiastical mood music.



In case anyone is interested, the antiphon on which this is based has this text:

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris, quia non est alius qui pugnet pro nobis nisi tu Deus noster.

Give peace, o Lord, in our time because there is no one else who will fight for us if not you, our God.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Tarantella » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:16 pm

I'm very interested in the antiphon for this work, and thanks for including the work. As I've said before, it's a sad thing that this kind of music for mass has been replaced by guitar strumming and "pop" singing. I guess this all reflects on the region and demographic. When I took my Australian (country) friends to mass at Augustinerkirche last year in Vienna I said after the magnificent musical performance, "..now, transposing that experience back to the local church in the Hunter Valley...!" My friend smiled wryly but said nothing. Too late for me: I cannot go back to 'provincial' church and "pop" music. Sydney St. Mary's Cathedral or nothing!

When I was a Musicology student a male friend was choirmaster of one of our leading private schools. He used to have the all-male choir singing Tallis, Byrd etc. One evening at a school function he must have revealed his enthusiasm because the Principal of the school took him aside and said, "No need to be so enthusiastic, old boy!!" My friend observed that if it was Rugby it would have been more 'acceptable'!!

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Re: The Early Baroque

Post by Marc » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:26 am

jbuck919 wrote:[....] In fact, I played Sweelinck just this morning. It was this piece, which I first played when I was sharing the duties of chapel organist at Princeton. Got a comment from one of the others on the roster about how boring it was. Oh well, I never get bored playing such things, and we can think of anything used in the prelude spot as ecclesiastical mood music.

If Sweelinck's music is boring then I must be the world's most crushing bore!

Last May I went to a nothing-but-Sweelinck recital by Stef Tuinstra on a beautiful 17th century organ (1645-1651, Jacobuskerk, Zeerijp, NL, instrument built by Theodorus Faber,) and it enlightened my mood for at least a couple of weeks.
His music was of great influence to the (North) German baroque (Sweelinck -> Reincken -> Buxtehude -> Bach).
In the Netherlands 2012 is celebrated as a Sweelinck Year, because of the 450th anniversary of his birthday. You won't hear me complaining .... :D

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