G. F. HANDEL and J. S. BACH

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Jack Kelso
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G. F. HANDEL and J. S. BACH

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:42 am

About the only thing these two musical titans had in common was that they were both Protestant and born in the same year (Handel in February and Bach a month later), 1685. Each complemented the other---and together they brought baroque opera, oratorio, cantata, mass, concerto, keyboard and chamber music to their highest perfection.

It was Wagner (of all people!) who said that Handel is the only composer "who could bleed". Considering Wagner wasn't a fan of music of that period, this was a great compliment!

In my late teens I learned Handel's oratorios (what was available then) about the same time I discovered Bach's concerti. The latter's 5th Brandenburger is one of my top three "desert-isle concerti" (the others being Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and Schumann's Piano Concerto). Also, the keyboard concerti are marvelous, especially the D Minor----and then the beautiful violin concerti! I love many of the cantatas, the Mass in B Minor and the passions, too.

Today Bach is considerably more popular than Handel, of whose 46 Italian operas and 23 English oratorios only "Messiah" is performed with any regularity. A tragic and inexcusable omission! While "Messiah" is top-drawer Handel, others are superb in their own right: "Belshazzar", "Samson", "Solomon", "Saul", "Judas Maccabaeus", "Israel in Egypt", etc.

Poor Handel! I know of no other front-rank composer whose reputation rests on such a few compositions: "Messiah", "Royal Fireworks Musick", "Water Musick" and a few concerti grossi. Then there are the operas, "Giulio Cesare", "Semele" (English), "Acis and Galatea" (English) and many, many more---all of them delightful AND stageworthy. The melodic, rhythmic and harmonic invention contained in these works is unbelievable. Yet new recordings of these and other oratorios/operas are appearing regularly, so maybe the situation is slowly improving for the neglected Handel, who put heart and soul into his best works.

Here in Germany, it is rare that a large Handel music-drama is heard, while J. S. Bach becomes the most performed composer on radio during the Easter holidays.

Musicologist Alfred Einstein (Mozart and Schubert biographer) wrote that "Bach is as much greater than Handel as Handel is greater than Bach). I agree with that assessment. It all depends on where one's taste and preferences lie. I realize most people today will go strongly with Bach, but I might get a surprise.....

For me, generally, give me the instrumental Bach and the dramatist (oratorio, opera) Handel. Then I've got the best of the best.

Jack
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Post by Steinway » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:09 am

Jack..

I really think your descriptions of Bach..the instrumentalist..and Handel..the dramatist..are a good summary of the two geniuses.

Handel did compose some outstanding keyboard music, particularly his Keyboard Suites, which are sorely neglected.

How would you rank the great Antonio Vivaldi against the two German masters?

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Post by johnQpublic » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:23 am

I can't think of Bach as an instrumentalist given his long term composing for the church, although I own more of his instrumental than vocal!! :shock:

Thank goodness recordings allow us to hear Handel opera and oratorios. There's almost too much much good music collectively in all of them.

I bought his Saul about a year ago and was amazed at the wealth of wonderful material.

If you're trying to draw differences I like to generalize that Bach was the pure contrapuntalist of the two. Handel wrote sufficient number of fugues, etc but he tended to use less often the pure form of them, opting for fugatos.
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Post by Wallingford » Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:23 pm

steinway wrote:Jack..

I really think your descriptions of Bach..the instrumentalist..and Handel..the dramatist..are a good summary of the two geniuses.

Handel did compose some outstanding keyboard music, particularly his Keyboard Suites, which are sorely neglected.

How would you rank the great Antonio Vivaldi against the two German masters?
Actually, I can answer this for you. I can easily see myself living out my old age with all three, as well as many a minor master of the Baroque & early Classic eras. Much as I've loved & admired Beethoven above all other composers, I'm currently coming to the conclusion that musical history's "jump-the-shark" period occurred with him, and the whole concept of the artist with a chip on his shoulder, and the notion that the world owed the composer a living.....it was a slow and very gradual process, resulting in what we've got today.

Composers of Bach, Handel & Vivaldi's era wrote huge quantities of music that a few might be tempted to call "potboiler" stuff, but which is at the very least a pleasure to hear; this, to me, is music's only need for existing--their profounder stuff aside.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:26 pm

I had a grad school (student) colleague, one of those Schenker worshippers, a student of Ernst Oster making him two degrees removed from Schenker himself. (He is now a famous academic scholar but still a Schenker worshipper.) He was and is brilliant (and not just because of the Schenker thing), but he thought against his own instincts that Handel must be as great as Bach because their Schenkerian graphs are of similar complexity. I know we have posters who would rate the two equal or even prefer Handel, but perhaps not for that exact reason. :)


I don't think we want to get into a back-and-forth on this, nor is Jack suggesting that we should. I think, to take something he himself mentioned, that most of us would agree that Handel's concerti grossi, while fine examples of that genre, are not at the level of the Brandenburgs. Handel's solo harpsichord music is not on a par, and his solo organ music is non-existent.

By the way, Jack, nice cheating on the desert island. One of my selections would probably be the complete chamber music of Beethoven in a boxed set. :)

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: G. F. HANDEL and J. S. BACH

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:57 am

Nice post, Jack.
Jack Kelso wrote:all of them delightful AND stageworthy
Ah, yes, well, the problem is that until the 1980s this was not thought to be true and was proved true only by the dogged determination of a handfull of persistent champions, including Stephen Simon, Andrew Porter, Charles Mackerras, Rene Jacob, Janet Baker, and the Houston Grand Opera, to name a few. As recently as 1980 or 81 I attended a Handel Festival symposium with Simon and Porter at which Simon insisted that "modern audiences would never accept a woman in so masculine a role as Cesare." Two of us in the audience and Porter had to rebut this lame and tired old German excuse with reference to the then recently mounted ENO Cesare with Janet Baker, which was playing to sold out houses. Since 1980 every one of Handel's operas has been laid down on cd, and almost as many have been produced in working opera houses, at original pitches, bringing him at last to tardy recognition as a consumate dramatist.
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Post by miranda » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:26 am

Bach will always be my first choice, but over the years, I have grown to truly love and appreciate Handel.

And if anyone wants to listen to someone who, in my opinion, was one of the supreme interpreters of Handel's vocal music, look no further than this amazing lady:

Image

(FYI, I am not jumping on the LHL bandwagon just because she passed away recently. I had been a fan of Lorraine for years before she died last July.)

Also, her performance in this is one of the most transcendent and powerful performances I have ever seen--on DVD, anyway:

Image
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Post by James » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:50 am

i always sort-of of likened Handel as flamboyant & extroverted, and Bach solemn & introverted...for me, it's no contest....Bach blows him out of the water, his harmonies and music are far far richer....much more moving also.

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:58 am

James wrote:i always sort-of of likened Handel as flamboyant & extroverted, and Bach solemn & introverted...for me, it's no contest....Bach blows him out of the water, his harmonies and music are far far richer....much more moving also.
Well, then----you certainly don't know the Handel I'VE been listening to!

Jack
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Post by anasazi » Sat Feb 03, 2007 1:56 am

Bach at times, does not seem to even fit into his own era. My ears hear more of a commonality between Handel and Vivaldi. Bach just seems so different, at least the instrumental works.

I guess my problem is I'm not an opera fan, so that approach to Handel is not mine. And my primary approach to Bach is in playing his keyboard works, since I'm a pianist. Playing Handel just isn't the same thing. There is something more to Bach than meets the ear.
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Post by Opus132 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:56 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
James wrote:i always sort-of of likened Handel as flamboyant & extroverted, and Bach solemn & introverted...for me, it's no contest....Bach blows him out of the water, his harmonies and music are far far richer....much more moving also.
Well, then----you certainly don't know the Handel I'VE been listening to!

Jack
I've listened to a lot of Handel this past few years and i have to agree with James. Handel has a nice blend of German and Italian harmony but Bach is on another planet altogether. Not to imply counterpoint is the only determining factor in a composer's greatness but damn.

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:55 pm

Opus132 wrote:Not to imply counterpoint is the only determining factor in a composer's greatness but damn.
No, counterpoint is not the only determining factor, but it is also not the best way to compare Bach and Handel. Handel was a drop-dead contrapuntist who could excel in formal, er, forms in no way that could be equaled by other than, er, Bach. He just chose not to do it very often.

Limiting myself only to the obvious cliche--Messiah--the choruses "And With His Stripes" and "He Trusted in God" are the strictest of choral fugues and the equal to anything Bach wrote in that genre outside the passions and the Mass in B Minor. The concluding double chorus of "Worthy Is the Lamb" and "Amen" consists of modified fugues of immense power though through Handel's own choice they are "interrupted" in a way Bach would have eschewed.

Handel is not as great as Bach, but he is more than great enough, and we have to seek other reasons than his mastery of counterpoint to justify a comparison.

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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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:25 am

Opus132 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:
James wrote:i always sort-of of likened Handel as flamboyant & extroverted, and Bach solemn & introverted...for me, it's no contest....Bach blows him out of the water, his harmonies and music are far far richer....much more moving also.
Well, then----you certainly don't know the Handel I'VE been listening to!

Jack
I've listened to a lot of Handel this past few years and i have to agree with James. Handel has a nice blend of German and Italian harmony but Bach is on another planet altogether. Not to imply counterpoint is the only determining factor in a composer's greatness but damn.
If you think Handel "has a nice blend of German and Italian harmony" then you don't know the REAL Handel. Although he learned much in Italy, English harmony pervades the oratorios, since the original Purcell had a powerful influence on him.

There must be something about Bach (outside of his music alone) that brings so many of his fans out on a limb with excessive praise.

Handel's writing for the human voice can be far more daring, expressive, colorful, dramatic and melodic than anyone of the 18th century up to the time of Mozart. He is to Vivaldi what Wagner is to Mendelssohn.

Jack
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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:32 am

Opus132 wrote:Bach is on another planet altogether.
Exactly.
Not to imply counterpoint is the only determining factor in a composer's greatness but damn.
Certainly not for all of us. IMO Bach didn't know when to shut up and let the melody speak for itself. All that damn fussiness in the relentless contrapuntal noodling. God! Give it a rest already! German or Italian or neither, thank goodness Handel and Mozart both knew when to subordinate the counterpoint.
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:14 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
Opus132 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:
James wrote:i always sort-of of likened Handel as flamboyant & extroverted, and Bach solemn & introverted...for me, it's no contest....Bach blows him out of the water, his harmonies and music are far far richer....much more moving also.
Well, then----you certainly don't know the Handel I'VE been listening to!

Jack
I've listened to a lot of Handel this past few years and i have to agree with James. Handel has a nice blend of German and Italian harmony but Bach is on another planet altogether. Not to imply counterpoint is the only determining factor in a composer's greatness but damn.
If you think Handel "has a nice blend of German and Italian harmony" then you don't know the REAL Handel. Although he learned much in Italy, English harmony pervades the oratorios, since the original Purcell had a powerful influence on him.

There must be something about Bach (outside of his music alone) that brings so many of his fans out on a limb with excessive praise.

Handel's writing for the human voice can be far more daring, expressive, colorful, dramatic and melodic than anyone of the 18th century up to the time of Mozart. He is to Vivaldi what Wagner is to Mendelssohn.

Jack
We don't have to do Bach/Handel the way we've been doing Brahms/Schumann, do we? I assure our posters who might be getting the impression there is some kind of controversy here, Bach is not better than he sounds, nor is anyone in danger of "going out on a limb with excessive praise." :roll:

Your other points are well taken and not at all commonplaces. Handel sounds very English when his text is English, and that is quite remarkable when you think about it. Undoubtedly his major influence (by default) must have been Purcell, but to say he transcended the limitations of Purcell would be to make a great understatement.

On the other hand, if you consider a work such as the Brockes Passion, it sounds like a prototype for Bach's Passions--thoroughly Germanic in declamation. Apparently Bach actually owned a manuscript of that work in a rare instance of one of those two composers knowing something about the other besides the bare fact of his existence. A case could be made that the Brockes Passion was actually a major influence on the Bach passions (the other of course being the works of Schuetz, whose recitative style is not like Bach's at all).

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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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:45 am

Yes, thanks to John for trying to mediate here, but there does seem to be "a controversy" when some folks are confronted with a just comparison of Handel and Bach (or other roughly equal great masters). And, yes---the same thing happened with Schumann and Brahms. (Are there "super-Bachians", too?!) Why doesn't this occur when discussing Mozart and Beethoven?

Bach doesn't lose any of his attributes, his depth or masterworks when some of us give Handel due praise. If Handel's most important compositions were anywhere near as well-known and oft-performed as Bach's, then I might be able to understand the guarded jealousy that some Bachians show when their man is compared with another mortal of equal ability, inspiration and grandeur.

Tschüß,
Jack
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:56 am

I've been listening to the Handelujah Chorus all my life (you know, the one that goes: "Handelujah, Handelujah; why don't we ever hear his other music?"). In my opinion, the main reason is that his operas and oratorios have a very annoying tendency to unevenness, not between works, but within them. While waiting patiently for that truly splendid Handelian moment, we tap our fingers through many movements that don't really rise much if at all above the level of the mundane baroque. This is emphatically not true of all great composers. I don't sit impatiently during the Missa Solemnis wondering if we'll ever get to the Benedictus, or through the St. John Passion wondering why Bach didn't put "Es ist vollbracht" first so I could get up and leave. Of course Bach only wrote a handful of titanic vocal works, Beethoven only one (of multiple movements) and then one opera.

The situation with Handel is of course not going to bother people who think something on the order of Purcell or Vivaldi is peachy keen as the "cruising" level of a work in the first place, but it does bother me, and from the looks of things, over time, not just me.

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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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:21 am

jbuck919 wrote:I've been listening to the Handelujah Chorus all my life (you know, the one that goes: "Handelujah, Handelujah; why don't we ever hear his other music?"). In my opinion, the main reason is that his operas and oratorios have a very annoying tendency to unevenness, not between works, but within them. While waiting patiently for that truly splendid Handelian moment, we tap our fingers through many movements that don't really rise much if at all above the level of the mundane baroque. This is emphatically not true of all great composers. I don't sit impatiently during the Missa Solemnis wondering if we'll ever get to the Benedictus, or through the St. John Passion wondering why Bach didn't put "Es ist vollbracht" first so I could get up and leave. Of course Bach only wrote a handful of titanic vocal works, Beethoven only one (of multiple movements) and then one opera.

The situation with Handel is of course not going to bother people who think something on the order of Purcell or Vivaldi is peachy keen as the "cruising" level of a work in the first place, but it does bother me, and from the looks of things, over time, not just me.
Now, John---you have to pick the right Handelian works: "Acis & Galatea", "Semele", "Judas Maccabaeus", "Saul", "Belshazzar", "Israel in Egypt" and "Samson" don't contain any dead wood. They can stand on their own.

But "Solomon" and a couple of others do have some weak moments, and most of the Italian operas have a few boring arias, conventional choruses or too many recitatives (e.g., "Sosarme").

Beecham did a marvelous re-construction of "Solomon" in the 1950's, with re-orchestration and weeding out of less-interesting parts. While it's not to everyone's taste (purists!), it IS dramatic, lyrical, powerful and fascinating.

Face it: not all of Bach's cantatas are packed from beginning to end with inspiration of the highest order either.

Since the oratorios are actionless dramas, deletion of inferior sections does not have a negative impact on the music as a whole. Even some masterpiece symphonies have experienced excisions and revisions at the hands of conductors and well-meaning publishers (e.g., Bruckner).

Tschüß!
Jack
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:13 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Now, John---you have to pick the right Handelian works: "Acis & Galatea", "Semele", "Judas Maccabaeus", "Saul", "Belshazzar", "Israel in Egypt" and "Samson" don't contain any dead wood. They can stand on their own.
Well, you're right, but I wasn't really addressing the relatively popularity of works like "Israel" and "Judas," which have always been number two and number three, but rather the notion now prevalent that Handel wrote dozens and dozens of oratorios and operas and they are all worth putting up with, shall we say, the longueurs to get at the gold. That has to be a matter of individual taste but could help explain why shelves of most listeners are not simply groaning with Handel.
Face it: not all of Bach's cantatas are packed from beginning to end with inspiration of the highest order either.
They are only uneven at Bach's already exalted level, and my usual illustration of that is something that causes controversy every time I bring it up, but here goes: The large parts of the B Minor Mass that are cantata parodies are merely very great. The parts Bach wrote especially for the Mass are of another artistic order and are what really lends that work its famous stature. High to low in Bach means nearly in space to the stratosphere. In Handel it means the stratosphere to occasionally being in danger of stalling.

Brahms, as you know, subscribed to both the Bach and Handel complete edition. Every time a Bach volume arrived he would play through it immediately. The Handel he would set aside for a little while.

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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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:34 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Now, John---you have to pick the right Handelian works: "Acis & Galatea", "Semele", "Judas Maccabaeus", "Saul", "Belshazzar", "Israel in Egypt" and "Samson" don't contain any dead wood. They can stand on their own.
Well, you're right, but I wasn't really addressing the relatively popularity of works like "Israel" and "Judas," which have always been number two and number three, but rather the notion now prevalent that Handel wrote dozens and dozens of oratorios and operas and they are all worth putting up with, shall we say, the longueurs to get at the gold. That has to be a matter of individual taste but could help explain why shelves of most listeners are not simply groaning with Handel.
Face it: not all of Bach's cantatas are packed from beginning to end with inspiration of the highest order either.
They are only uneven at Bach's already exalted level, and my usual illustration of that is something that causes controversy every time I bring it up, but here goes: The large parts of the B Minor Mass that are cantata parodies are merely very great. The parts Bach wrote especially for the Mass are of another artistic order and are what really lends that work its famous stature. High to low in Bach means nearly in space to the stratosphere. In Handel it means the stratosphere to occasionally being in danger of stalling.

Brahms, as you know, subscribed to both the Bach and Handel complete edition. Every time a Bach volume arrived he would play through it immediately. The Handel he would set aside for a little while.
I guess the stratosphere is where your gods reside. For me, they're more interesting as human beings---and Handel has lots of PASSION (e.g. when Jupiter sings his love-arias to Semele)!

Forty-six Italian operas and twenty-three English opera/oratorios---- like, of course there's going to be weaknesses here and there. Wagner has weak points in his music dramas as well.

Sounds like Brahms was just your kind of buddy. But don't worry, Schumann felt the same way about Bach....

Tschüß,
Jack
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Post by Opus132 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:16 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: Certainly not for all of us. IMO Bach didn't know when to shut up and let the melody speak for itself. All that damn fussiness in the relentless contrapuntal noodling. God! Give it a rest already! German or Italian or neither, thank goodness Handel and Mozart both knew when to subordinate the counterpoint.
Contrapuntal noodling? What nonsense. Bach's polyphonic writing is as crystal clear as you can get. In that regard he's completely on par with Des Prez or Palestrina. There's nothing excessively complex for the sake of complexity in Bach's music. The only reason why his work may appear confusing at first is that there's just so much melodic and harmonic invention in such a concentrated level it takes a while to absorb everything without going on overload.

Frankly, i had no idea people here were such superficial listeners. :roll:

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Post by Opus132 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:25 pm

Jack Kelso wrote: If you think Handel "has a nice blend of German and Italian harmony" then you don't know the REAL Handel. Although he learned much in Italy, English harmony pervades the oratorios, since the original Purcell had a powerful influence on him.
You are exaggerating. Handel's primary influence was italian music, just like every other Baroque composer, including Purcell. I see more of Handel in Alessandro Scarlatti then any German, French or English composer.
Jack Kelso wrote: Handel's writing for the human voice can be far more daring, expressive, colorful, dramatic and melodic than anyone of the 18th century up to the time of Mozart. He is to Vivaldi what Wagner is to Mendelssohn.
You obviously have never heard any of Bach's cantatas... 8)
Last edited by Opus132 on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Opus132 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:42 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:If Handel's most important compositions were anywhere near as well-known and oft-performed as Bach's, then I might be able to understand the guarded jealousy that some Bachians show when their man is compared with another mortal of equal ability, inspiration and grandeur.

Tschüß,
Jack
I think this is the problem here. If Handel's (or Schuman's) most important
compositions were anywhere near as well known as Bach's or Brahm's, i doubt anybody here would take the time to claim their equal standing with those better known composers.

The irritating part is that neither Handel nor Schuman are as great as either Brahms or Bach, respectively. We are not guarding the reputation of the formers, we are guarding truth.

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Post by Opus132 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:52 pm

jbuck919 wrote:No, counterpoint is not the only determining factor, but it is also not the best way to compare Bach and Handel. Handel was a drop-dead contrapuntist who could excel in formal, er, forms in no way that could be equaled by other than, er, Bach. He just chose not to do it very often.
This is exactly it. It's not so much that Bach was a more talented artist that he achieved more, he simply worked harder on his craft. To claim Handel was his equal is to completely ignore this simple fact.

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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:38 am

Opus132 wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:If Handel's most important compositions were anywhere near as well-known and oft-performed as Bach's, then I might be able to understand the guarded jealousy that some Bachians show when their man is compared with another mortal of equal ability, inspiration and grandeur.

Tschüß,
Jack
I think this is the problem here. If Handel's (or Schuman's)(sic!) most important
compositions were anywhere near as well known as Bach's or Brahm's, i doubt anybody here would take the time to claim their equal standing with those better known composers.

The irritating part is that neither Handel nor Schuman(sic!) are as great as either Brahms or Bach, respectively. We are not guarding the reputation of the formers, we are guarding truth.
Gee---thanks for informing me that YOUR favorite composers are "greater" than MY favorite composers. Funny that such great musicians like George Szell and a host of others felt/feel that Schumann was greater than Brahms....poor misled geniuses.

By the way, I know Bach's cantatas VERY well, and ALL of his concerti, wherein he did his best work.

Funny---that it's only Bachians and Brahmsians (not the Beethovenians or Wagnerians) who like to put down Schumann (and Handel).

I don't know where you live, but here in Germany Schumann's works are generally loved and performed more by MUSICIANS than is Brahms' music. Here Schumann and Brahms are about equally famous (with the average citizen/concertgoer).

John Eliot Gardiner: "Nobody understands Schumann."

So do not worry----you have plenty of company.

Tschüß!
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by Opus132 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:15 pm

Jack Kelso wrote: Gee---thanks for informing me that YOUR favorite composers are "greater" than MY favorite composers.
You are welcome.
Jack Kelso wrote: By the way, I know Bach's cantatas VERY well, and ALL of his concerti, wherein he did his best work.
Nein. Bach's greatest achievement as a composer is the keyboard music. 8)
Jack Kelso wrote: Funny---that it's only Bachians and Brahmsians (not the Beethovenians or Wagnerians) who like to put down Schumann (and Handel).


Who's putting down what? Just because i consider Bach a greater composer then Handel doesn't mean i don't recognize the latter.

I'm also not sure what you mean by 'Bachains' or 'Beethovenians' or any such nonsense. For the record, i rank Beethoven above Brahms, why would that prevent me from claiming Schumann just isn't as great as the latter?
Jack Kelso wrote: John Eliot Gardiner: "Nobody understands Schumann."

So do not worry----you have plenty of company.


Considering just how much influence Schumann bestowed upon Brahms i wouldn't be singing so much praise for the latter if i didn't understand something about the first. To me it's just a matter of logic. It doesn't take much to see Brahms surpassed his mentor in early every genre except perhaps for the lieder, where Schumann maintains the upper hand. If you take the symphonies, the sonatas, the chamber music, the concertos, and compare each category side by side it seems to me Brahms simply went above and beyond Schumann, or am i mistaken?

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:04 am

Opus132 wrote:I'm also not sure what you mean by 'Bachains' or 'Beethovenians' or any such nonsense. For the record, i rank Beethoven above Brahms, why would that prevent me from claiming Schumann just isn't as great as the latter?
Jack Kelso wrote: John Eliot Gardiner: "Nobody understands Schumann."

So do not worry----you have plenty of company.


Considering just how much influence Schumann bestowed upon Brahms i wouldn't be singing so much praise for the latter if i didn't understand something about the first. To me it's just a matter of logic. It doesn't take much to see Brahms surpassed his mentor in early every genre except perhaps for the lieder, where Schumann maintains the upper hand. If you take the symphonies, the sonatas, the chamber music, the concertos, and compare each category side by side it seems to me Brahms simply went above and beyond Schumann, or am i mistaken?
"Bachians" are simply folks who put J.S. Bach into the no. 1 place in music history. "Schumannians", "Wagnerians" etc. consider THEIR man to be the greatest since Beethoven (one doesn't go beyond Beethoven).

If you sincerely believe that Brahms "surpassed" Schumann in "(n)early every genre" then you are a "Super-Brahmsian". Schumann's keyboard music, like Bach's and Beethoven's, is unsurpassed---and in a class all by itself. Brahms, however, does have some fine piano works.

Again, Schumann's concerti are, like Bach's and Mozart's, uniquely inspired and could never be eclipsed or bettered by anyone. The Piano Concerto, the 'Cello Concerto take among the highest places in the repertoire---while the Konzert für 4 Hörner und Orchester, op. 86 is regarded as the most important concerto for brass since Haydn's "Trumpet Concerto". The Violin Concerto is also unique---and considered a masterpiece here in Germany.

Schumann's chamber works are of very high spiritual dimensions. Brahms seldom equalled and never surpassed Schumann's Trio No. 1 in d minor, op. 63; Piano Quintet; Piano Quartet; the first two violin sonatas, not to mention the 3 string quartets. Your going "above and beyond" Schumann makes as much sense as Schumann going "above and beyond" Beethoven (which in a sense he DID, since music is always advancing harmonically).

In the symphony, Schumann made far-reaching innovations, filled his works with awesome inspiration and power. Brahms works are just different, technically more refined---and equally important and inspired. I wouldn't put their symphonies above or below Bruckner either.

Schumann is FAR above Brahms in dramatic/choral works, a genre which you failed to mention. The 3 marvelous oratorios ("Paradies und die Peri", "Faust", "Der Rose Pilgerfahrt"), the opera "Genoveva", plus the shorter works and "Manfred" are still somewhat neglected in America but show a Schumann who was unequalled in this realm of the Romantic Era.

If you wish to understand the depth and complexity of Schumann, you must delve deeper into his music, not just know "something about" him; this is what Gardiner meant. To regard Schumann merely as a precurser to Brahms is equivalent to saying "Beethoven went beyond Mozart (in everything but opera)".

That, too, would be a great error.

I apologize to our readers for this diversion from my original topic:

Now back to Handel and Bach. Apples (Bach) and Oranges (Handel). So what if the apple lacks the juice of the orange; for that it's crispier, is redder and doesn't have to be peeled. Yes, both are equally healthy but very different in content and texture.....(any more comparisons...?!)

Tschüß!
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

anton_jerez
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Post by anton_jerez » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:45 pm

Miranda wrote
>And if anyone wants to listen to someone who, in my opinion, was one of >the supreme interpreters of Handel's vocal music, look no further than
>this amazing lady:

I agree that Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is one of the supreme interpreters of Handel. She is very much missed. Her voice has an almost unique warmth and expressiveness that reminds me of Janet Baker. That said I feel that in the late recording of Handel arias with Harry Bicket conducting she almost tries to squeeze too much sentiment out of this wonderful music. Bicket´s tempi are often ponderously slow. More on the spot conductorwise is William Christie in the gloriously sung performance of Theodora from Glyndebourne.
A performance that I will also always treasure is Hunt Lieberson in Ariadante and Theodora with McGegan conducting. She always brings me to tears singing "when deep as darkness..."
May I also add in the ongoing discussion Bach contra Handel that Handel seems to have a more natural affinity when writing for the human voice than Bach. That Bach was an intrumentalist at hearts shows up in that much of his vocal music often seems like it was written for an instrument. Much of Handel´s instrumental music on the other hand seems like it was written for a voice.

Best wishes
Antonio Jerez

Antonio Jerez

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Post by anton_jerez » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:51 pm

A small correction to my earlier message. The last paragraph should have read:
"That Bach was an intrumentalist at hearts shows up in that much of his vocal music often sounds like it was written for an instrument. Much of Handel´s instrumental music on the other hand sounds like it was written for a voice.

Best wishes

Antonio Jerez

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Post by Jack Kelso » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:14 am

anton_jerez wrote:A small correction to my earlier message. The last paragraph should have read:
"That Bach was an intrumentalist at hearts shows up in that much of his vocal music often sounds like it was written for an instrument. Much of Handel´s instrumental music on the other hand sounds like it was written for a voice.

Best wishes

Antonio Jerez
You have a fine-hewed music sense. Handel truly did write for instruments as though they were voices---and Bach wrote for voices as though they were instruments!

Who cares how many folks think one or the other is superior? We should be thankful we have both of them!

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:33 am

Opus132 wrote:Bach's greatest achievement as a composer is the keyboard music. 8)
Although it was a gigantic achievement, I do not believe this opinion is universally accepted. (Most of) the concerti are the finest before Mozart and as a composer of (Protestant) church music Bach has no peers.

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:44 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Who cares how many folks think one or the other is superior? We should be thankful we have both of them!
What fun is THAT?
Corlyss
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Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:51 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Who cares how many folks think one or the other is superior? We should be thankful we have both of them!
What fun is THAT?
Sure---it takes away the sport of fighting. But then again, isn't analysis fun, too...?!

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:36 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Who cares how many folks think one or the other is superior? We should be thankful we have both of them!
What fun is THAT?
Sure---it takes away the sport of fighting. But then again, isn't analysis fun, too...?!
Smackdowns doth a bulletin board make.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

anasazi
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Post by anasazi » Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:32 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
Opus132 wrote:Bach's greatest achievement as a composer is the keyboard music. 8)
Although it was a gigantic achievement, I do not believe this opinion is universally accepted. (Most of) the concerti are the finest before Mozart and as a composer of (Protestant) church music Bach has no peers.

Tschüß,
Jack
Maybe he means solo keyboard music? Actually, that is what I think first, not of Bach's concertos, fine though they may be.

And, well claiming Bach as having no peers in Protestant church music must be taken pretty literally. There were just not many composers of Protestant church music. Or if there were, they're names have kind of been lost in history.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

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Post by Marc » Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:36 pm

anasazi wrote:There were just not many composers of Protestant church music..
If 'Protestant' stands for 'Calvinist', you're right. Composing and performing church music was forbidden there. There were a lot of (German) Lutheran church music composers in Bach's time though, I think at least hundreds of them, and they were all part of a long tradition, that started with Martin Luther himself.
Or if there were, they're names have kind of been lost in history.
You're right for some of them, although not entirely. Here are the names of some Lutheran church music composers who lived between ca. 1650-1750 and who were rather famous:

Georg Philipp Telemann
Johann Friedrich Fasch
Johann Philipp Krieger
Philipp Heinrich Erlebach
Johann Kuhnau
Johann Ludwig Bach
Johann Gottlieb Görner
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
Christoph Graupner
Gottfried Grünewald
Johann Melchior Molter

I do agree with Jack Kelso: as a composer of church music Bach has no peers. Although I do think that Johannes Ockeghem and Josquin Desprez are great, too .... oldies but goldies, one could say. :wink:

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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:47 pm

Marc wrote:
anasazi wrote:There were just not many composers of Protestant church music..
If 'Protestant' stands for 'Calvinist', you're right. Composing and performing church music was forbidden there. There were a lot of (German) Lutheran church music composers in Bach's time though, I think at least hundreds of them, and they were all part of a long tradition, that started with Martin Luther himself.
Or if there were, they're names have kind of been lost in history.
You're right for some of them, although not entirely. Here are the names of some Lutheran church music composers who lived between ca. 1650-1750 and who were rather famous:

Georg Philipp Telemann
Johann Friedrich Fasch
Johann Philipp Krieger
Philipp Heinrich Erlebach
Johann Kuhnau
Johann Ludwig Bach
Johann Gottlieb Görner
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
Christoph Graupner
Gottfried Grünewald
Johann Melchior Molter
These are ants, with the exception of Telemann, who overwhelms with his sheer fecundity but is still a composer of limited dimensions. To say that Bach is above that "peerage" is not to make a meaningful comparison. If there is another Lutheran composer whose church music lives on and rightly so, though he is no Bach, it is Schuetz.
I do agree with Jack Kelso: as a composer of church music Bach has no peers. Although I do think that Johannes Ockeghem and Josquin Desprez are great, too .... oldies but goldies, one could say. :wink:
I was already pushing it with Schuetz. I would not go back into the Renaissance, where in my opinion music must be judged on its own standards (which were very high). The great high Renaissance composers, and you have named only two of a dozen or more possibilities, were along with the unknown composers of the Gregorian chant in a significant sense the greatest composers of religious music (they were of course almost all Catholic with the odd Anglican thrown in). It was their aesthetic as much as their talent that made them so. They and Bach are apples and oranges.

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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Post by Marc » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:12 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Marc wrote:
anasazi wrote:There were just not many composers of Protestant church music..
If 'Protestant' stands for 'Calvinist', you're right. Composing and performing church music was forbidden there. There were a lot of (German) Lutheran church music composers in Bach's time though, I think at least hundreds of them, and they were all part of a long tradition, that started with Martin Luther himself.
Or if there were, they're names have kind of been lost in history.
You're right for some of them, although not entirely. Here are the names of some Lutheran church music composers who lived between ca. 1650-1750 and who were rather famous:

Georg Philipp Telemann
Johann Friedrich Fasch
Johann Philipp Krieger
Philipp Heinrich Erlebach
Johann Kuhnau
Johann Ludwig Bach
Johann Gottlieb Görner
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel
Christoph Graupner
Gottfried Grünewald
Johann Melchior Molter
These are ants, with the exception of Telemann, who overwhelms with his sheer fecundity but is still a composer of limited dimensions. To say that Bach is above that "peerage" is not to make a meaningful comparison. If there is another Lutheran composer whose church music lives on and rightly so, though he is no Bach, it is Schuetz.
Ants? Well, I'm not sure that Bach thought the same about them. I deliberately chose these names, because they are Bach's contemporaries, most of them 18th century baroque composers. Krieger and Erlebach were the first ones who composed so-called Neumeister-cantatas. Erdmann Neumeister (1671-1756), a clergyman from Weissenfels, invented a new type of church cantata lyrics, a combination of free poetry, church hymns and psalm texts, and bible quotations. Well-known is his Geistliches Singen und Spielen (from 1711).
This was a very important 'invention', because lots of Lutheran composers, among them Bach, were inspired by this new cantata concept. Bach had great respect for these composers, and, being the ever curious and studious 'sponge' he was, he was very much influenced by a lot of them. I think that especially Telemann, Fasch, Graupner, Stölzel and Bach's own cousin Johann Ludwig Bach were rather important to him. Bach 'only' combined his own genious with all the good things that he learned to create his own ideal concept of church music.
jbuck919 wrote:
Marc wrote:I do agree with Jack Kelso: as a composer of church music Bach has no peers. Although I do think that Johannes Ockeghem and Josquin Desprez are great, too .... oldies but goldies, one could say. :wink:
I was already pushing it with Schuetz. I would not go back into the Renaissance, where in my opinion music must be judged on its own standards (which were very high). The great high Renaissance composers, and you have named only two of a dozen or more possibilities, were along with the unknown composers of the Gregorian chant in a significant sense the greatest composers of religious music (they were of course almost all Catholic with the odd Anglican thrown in). It was their aesthetic as much as their talent that made them so. They and Bach are apples and oranges.
I hesitated to name Schütz, because he was more or less a 17th century composer, and I wouldn't dare to compare him to Bach. But I totally agree with you: Schütz is a great (liturgical) composer. And so is Buxtehude, for instance. Especially Buxtehude was a great example for Bach.

I did name Ockeghem and Desprez, not really to compare them to Bach, but mainly because I do rate them very high as liturgical composers, too. But indeed, Bach and the Renaissance are apples and oranges, even more than Bach and Schütz.

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:03 pm

Marc wrote:Ants? Well, I'm not sure that Bach thought the same about them. I deliberately chose these names, because they are Bach's contemporaries, most of them 18th century baroque composers. Krieger and Erlebach were the first ones who composed so-called Neumeister-cantatas. Erdmann Neumeister (1671-1756), a clergyman from Weissenfels, invented a new type of church cantata lyrics, a combination of free poetry, church hymns and psalm texts, and bible quotations. Well-known is his Geistliches Singen und Spielen (from 1711).
This was a very important 'invention', because lots of Lutheran composers, among them Bach, were inspired by this new cantata concept. Bach had great respect for these composers, and, being the ever curious and studious 'sponge' he was, he was very much influenced by a lot of them. I think that especially Telemann, Fasch, Graupner, Stölzel and Bach's own cousin Johann Ludwig Bach were rather important to him. Bach 'only' combined his own genious with all the good things that he learned to create his own ideal concept of church music.
Your point is well taken. It is true that Bach expressed admiration for many of his contemporaries and immediate predecessors, and there is no reason to think that this was insincere. Also, he undoubtedly used them as models and to some extent teachers. However, on the basis of the artistic merit of their works, most of the composers on your list are nearly if not completely forgotten. Most people would agree that among opera composers of his time Mozart had no peers, but in terms of his general stature he had peers in Haydn and Beethoven, and once the latter actually rose to the occasion, but to me that is what it means to be "without peer" in a genre. It does not mean, for instance, Mozart writing greater sypmhonies than Stamitz and his ilk, for it would never occur to anyone to mention them in the same breath in the first place.

But I realize that this is a quibble.

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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Post by Marc » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:43 pm

Yes, it's hard to be a contemporary of guys like Bach and Mozart. :wink:

But .... just after I completed my 'thoughts about Bach and his contemporaries', I listened to a CD with cantates of Johann Friedrich Fasch (played by Hermann Max and Das Kleine Konzert).
And then I think: I would not call this man an 'ant'.

Unless one would state that Bach is an ant-eater.
How cruel! :cry:

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Post by piston » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:09 pm

Not so much ants but less extended ripples on the great pond of cultural achievements over time. Heck, a lot of twentieth-century composers would have gone to their final resting place fully satisfied with their achievements in life had they known that, like D. Buxtehude, they would still be played and celebrated three hundred years later! Quite a few Buxtehude events are in store this year, in Europe and even in the USA.

JAMES R. OESTREICH
Published: January 19, 2007

Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times
The Taylor & Boody organ at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, on which John Scott will perform all the surviving organ works of Buxtehude.

In March 2005 nine students from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., along with a teacher, a chaperone and the chaperone’s young son, walked some 33 miles over three days, from New Brunswick, N.J., to Manhattan. It was around the time of Bach’s birthday, on the 21st, and they were loosely commemorating the 300th anniversary of Bach’s 250-mile hike from Arnstadt in central Germany to Lübeck in the north to hear the master organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude perform.

It was an odd but touching tribute, the journey truncated to fit neatly into the academic schedule. It ended even more anomalously. Having reached their destination, the pilgrims attended a performance, but — there being no Buxtehude at hand — it was a concert of Mendelssohn by the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.

If the Moravian students, or anyone else, were to make a similar journey this spring, they could crown their exertions with the real thing, music by a charming and imaginative composer whose influence extended from Bach to Brahms and beyond. Over 10 Saturdays, beginning tomorrow and continuing sporadically through late May, John Scott, the organist and director of music at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, will present all the surviving organ works of Buxtehude (pronounced book-steh-HOO-deh) on the church’s magnificent Taylor & Boody organ, built in 1996 in a style emulating those of north Germany and the Netherlands in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The appropriateness of that instrument was one reason for embarking on a Buxtehude festival, said Mr. Scott, an Englishman who took the St. Thomas position in 2004 and had performed a similar survey on the organ at the huge St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. “It is fair to say that that instrument was not ideally suited to this repertory,” Mr. Scott said.
The other catalyst for the series, he said, was the 300th anniversary of the death of Buxtehude on May 9 of this year. Mr. Scott is not the only one to commemorate the occasion. The American organist James David Christie has been presenting a similar survey of Buxtehude’s organ works in eight programs at both the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Mass., and at Harvard. Those recitals began in September and end in April.

Dieterich Buxtehude — to adopt the spelling of his first name from The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians — was born in Helsingborg, then in Denmark, now in Sweden, in 1637. Or so it is generally accepted. Then again, to stick with New Grove, he might have been born in Oldesloe, Germany, around — not necessarily in — 1637.
The family was German, probably stemming originally from the town of Buxtehude, but Buxtehude’s father was an organist first in Helsingborg and then in Elsinore, Denmark, where Dieterich was raised. Buxtehude himself worked as an organist in Helsingborg and Elsinore cities before settling in Lübeck, where he worked at the Marienkirche from 1668 to his death in 1707. This was one of the most prominent and prestigious musical posts in Germany, and Buxtehude achieved great renown.

Handel visited him in 1703, and Bach took his famous hike two years later “to learn one thing and another about his art,” according to the records of his Arnstadt employers. Having been granted a four-week leave, Bach stayed about four months.
As Mr. Scott said, “He obviously found something he couldn’t pull away from,” whatever unpleasant consequences might have awaited him on his return to Arnstadt.
Bach was undoubtedly influenced by Buxtehude’s vocal and choral music, though he went far beyond it. Buxtehude’s famous Passion work, “Membra Jesu Nostri,” has appeared on two CDs in time for the anniversary: one by Jos van Veldhoven and the Netherlands Bach Society on Channel Classics; the other by Konrad Junghänel and Cantus Cölln on Harmonia Mundi France. It is a striking creation, meditating on Jesus’ crucifixion by way of various suffering body parts: feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heart and face. But it sounds modest and antiquated in relation to the heights to which Bach took vocal and choral writing, and that impression carries through the other Buxtehude works on the discs.

His organ works are something else. The casual listener might well mistake fleeting moments for Bach. Mr. Scott spoke of the “flamboyant rhetorical style” that Bach probably drew from Buxtehude, and Mr. Christie said that “some Bach pieces indisputably owe their legacy to Buxtehude.”

One head-turning convergence comes in Buxtehude’s Passacaglia in D minor, in which the slow repeating theme is remarkably similar in its opening contour to that of Bach’s in his Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Either Bach or Buxtehude or both might have modeled the theme after one by the French composer André Raison, though Mr. Christie is dubious.

In any case the themes are put to widely divergent uses. Whereas Buxtehude leaves the head of his theme as a sort of open-ended question, imparting a certain speed and urgency to his piece, Bach goes on to supply a response. Proceeding placidly in complete sentences, as it were, Bach achieves a monumentality that Buxtehude, who generally worked on a smaller scale, does not seek.

Mr. Scott pointed out some of Buxtehude’s innovations. A Prelude in C, for example, begins with an extended solo passage for pedals. “Buxtehude changed the course of organ writing in one single gesture,” Mr. Scott said. Then too there are works for manuals without pedals, in which Mr. Scott finds “a more learned, elegant style.”

For all the pleasure Buxtehude’s organ works offer the listener, they present special problems for the performer, because they do not come down in original manuscripts, let alone printed editions, but in copies by his students, probably based on his improvisations or theirs. Mr. Christie, who has performed all of Bach’s organ works in a series, said that Buxtehude’s presented a greater challenge, requiring more conjecture and fantasy.
“You have to treat each work as a great new experience, as if you were playing it for the first time,” said Mr. Christie, who is an adviser for a new critical edition of Buxtehude’s organ works. “If you don’t play them that way every time, you’ve missed the boat.”

It is a busy season for Mr. Scott, who, on Jan. 28, will play a program of works by Gyorgy Ligeti and Jonathan Harvey in the first of two concerts presented at St. Thomas by the Miller Theater of Columbia University. (Kevin Bowyer performs the second, on Feb. 11.)
And it is a busy season for the organ generally in New York, as Kent Tritle concludes a midwinter organ festival on the splendid Mander instrument at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Sunday, performing with Joseph Alessi, the principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic.

New York has long had a good supply of fine organs. Now with the additions of recent decades and with a good supply of enterprising organists, it promises to become an organ capital worth a listener’s journey, if not necessarily on foot.

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Post by Opus132 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:17 pm

I'm not sure if he was a Lutheran or not, but i think among the late Baroque composers of sacred music Zelenka is definitely the most interesting. Ho, and the cantatas of Buxtehude are very impressive indeed, perhaps even more so then his organ music.
Last edited by Opus132 on Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Eetu Pellonpää » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:24 am

On the basis of what I have heard from both of these artists, it's difficult to say which would be better in my opinion. I'm very fond of Bach's cantatas, as I like vocal music. The overall amount of this great material seems to be much bigger than Händel's output, but then Händel has wrote some songs which are much greater than anything I have heard from Bach. For example pieces like "Lascia Ch'io Pianga" or "Ombra Ma Fui" sung by Beniamino Gigli, it's difficult for me to think more affecting songs like these!

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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:36 am

Marc wrote:Yes, it's hard to be a contemporary of guys like Bach and Mozart. :wink:

But .... just after I completed my 'thoughts about Bach and his contemporaries', I listened to a CD with cantates of Johann Friedrich Fasch (played by Hermann Max and Das Kleine Konzert).
And then I think: I would not call this man an 'ant'.

Unless one would state that Bach is an ant-eater.
How cruel! :cry:
Cruel statements are only cruel if they are true. :)

Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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