What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

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dulcinea
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What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by dulcinea » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:50 am

Having been born on 18-09-1954, I grew up with the Beethoven--Wagner style omnipresent everywhere, including pop music and film music, so that when I first started to listen in earnest to the Bach family, Corelli, Couperin the Great, Handel, Purcell, Rameau, Telemann and Vivaldi, among others, I was truly stunned. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: It was such cute and catchy music, yet so odd and different from what was usually meant as classical music!
How many of you were equally amazed at this ,,new'' definition of what art music sounds like?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

John F
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by John F » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:55 am

Though born in 1941, I heard Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern music from a very early age. Of course I had a vague notion of different period styles, but the only one that struck me as "strange" was modern music. Much of it still does.

At about the time you were born, Baroque music was getting many more performances and recordings than it had in about two centuries, Handel's "Messiah" apart. So your response to it is not necessarily typical of your generation's.
John Francis

dulcinea
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by dulcinea » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:05 am

John F wrote:Though born in 1941, I heard Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern music from a very early age. Of course I had a vague notion of different period styles, but the only one that struck me as "strange" was modern music. Much of it still does.

At about the time you were born, Baroque music was getting many more performances and recordings than it had in about two centuries, Handel's "Messiah" apart. So your response to it is not necessarily typical of your generation's.
I lived a very sheltered life, so I was not much aware of what was played in concerts worldwide. The Casals Festival did not venture far from the standard Romantic repertoire.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

ContrapunctusIX
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:03 pm

Some of my earliest memories are of my father playing the Brandenburg Concertos in our living room hi fi on Sunday mornings. So, for me, there was no such shock - the shock came when hearing Wagner for the first time!

jbuck919
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:19 pm

dulcinea wrote:
John F wrote:Though born in 1941, I heard Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern music from a very early age. Of course I had a vague notion of different period styles, but the only one that struck me as "strange" was modern music. Much of it still does.

At about the time you were born, Baroque music was getting many more performances and recordings than it had in about two centuries, Handel's "Messiah" apart. So your response to it is not necessarily typical of your generation's.
I lived a very sheltered life, so I was not much aware of what was played in concerts worldwide. The Casals Festival did not venture far from the standard Romantic repertoire.
If you actually attended the Casals Festival as a child, your life may have been sheltered but it may have been more musically privileged than mine was, and remember, we were born within two days of each other. Like John F, I have no sense of having encountered the music of most periods as something new and wonderfully strange. Exceptions would be medieval (but not Renaissance) polyphony, and then the unique figure of Monteverdi. Both of those astonished me when I first encountered them at university, though only Monteverdi is a continuing listening interest.

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

John F
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by John F » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:36 pm

I never attended the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico (or the other Casals Festivals either) and have no information about the repertoire, but Pablo Casals was devoted to Bach, and so was Alexander Schneider, who organized the orchestra and was its sometime concertmaster). Did they really never play one of Bach's Brandenburg concertos or orchestral suites? Or maybe you just didn't go to the right concerts?
John Francis

dulcinea
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by dulcinea » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:45 pm

John F wrote:I never attended the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico (or the other Casals Festivals either) and have no information about the repertoire, but Pablo Casals was devoted to Bach, and so was Alexander Schneider, who organized the orchestra and was its sometime concertmaster). Did they really never play one of Bach's Brandenburg concertos or orchestral suites? Or maybe you just didn't go to the right concerts?
That is a touchy subject; IIRC Casals was often chided for not following the authentic performance criteria, something that is now applied to such as Wagner and Mahler.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:52 pm

dulcinea wrote:
John F wrote:I never attended the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico (or the other Casals Festivals either) and have no information about the repertoire, but Pablo Casals was devoted to Bach, and so was Alexander Schneider, who organized the orchestra and was its sometime concertmaster). Did they really never play one of Bach's Brandenburg concertos or orchestral suites? Or maybe you just didn't go to the right concerts?
That is a touchy subject; IIRC Casals was often chided for not following the authentic performance criteria, something that is now applied to such as Wagner and Mahler.
I have no idea what you mean by comparing HIP in Bach with the continuous performance tradition of Wagner and Mahler. I never heard a Casals-sponsored performance, but his main venue in the US was Music at Marlboro, and I have heard second-hand descriptions of his Bach there from connoisseurs who thought his performances brilliant. And I heard Alexander Schneider myself in college performing the Bach Sixth Brandenburg impeccably by any standard.

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

starrynight
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by starrynight » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:44 am

In a way I think it is like a world apart to us now, both baroque and earlier music. It was an age in which religious music was still at the forefront, and music was much more regular than the more rhapsodic and dramatic style that came with classicism and that arguably still resonates with music to this day. This is all a huge generalisation, but maybe there's some truth in there. Going back to that world of order probably gives us some relief from the chaotic world we are now in, giving us an alternate perspective, which can be a good thing.

barney
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by barney » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:04 pm

starrynight wrote:In a way I think it is like a world apart to us now, both baroque and earlier music. It was an age in which religious music was still at the forefront, and music was much more regular than the more rhapsodic and dramatic style that came with classicism and that arguably still resonates with music to this day. This is all a huge generalisation, but maybe there's some truth in there. Going back to that world of order probably gives us some relief from the chaotic world we are now in, giving us an alternate perspective, which can be a good thing.
And of course it makes babies more intelligent. Though that is also claimed of Mozart. Still, classical symmetry is still, comparatively, a world of order.

I have no idea whether the intelligence claims have any merit, and rather doubt it, but I want people to believe it so they (and their babies) get more exposed to Mozart.

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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by Lance » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:10 pm

Well, I never thought of "Baroque" as being strange. I grew up with most from the three great periods, mostly Romantic, where my heart is first, followed equally by the Classical and Baroque periods with little interest in music composed beyond 1940 except in the case of, say, Copland and Thomson, but even those descend from the late Romantic period practices where harmony/melody prevail more often than not. Intersting that Baroque took us into the Classical- and then that into the Romantic periods, probably as nature intended. What happened after the Romantic period to change music so thoroughly among composers ... who knows.

Indeed, many wonderful surprises among the Baroque composers. Try Telemann's "Water Music" and let your ears be perked up substantially!
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starrynight
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by starrynight » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:05 am

I very much doubt it the improving intelligence claims have any merit, though I'm not sure how exactly intelligence is supposed to be measured anyway.

And obviously once you get used to something it's no longer strange, but I think the more distant something is the more strange it could seem at first.

bigshot
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by bigshot » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:23 pm

I've heard it described as "sewing machine music", which I can understand because it is very symmetrical and organized. But I like it!

barney
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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by barney » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:03 pm

starrynight wrote:I very much doubt it the improving intelligence claims have any merit, though I'm not sure how exactly intelligence is supposed to be measured anyway.
Yes, I also expressed scepticism. But, against that, if classical music does not boost intelligence, how come we are all so brilliant?

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Re: What Is This Strange Music That Is Called Baroque?

Post by rogch » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:57 am

When i grew up in the 80s and learned about music in school the baroque period was defined as a separate period with its own characteristics. Just like the baroque period in painting and architecture. And when people talked about classical music, Bach was always presented as one of the greatest composers of all time. But some of the things we were told about classical music were perhaps not accurate. Baroque music was presented as somewhat heavy (because of the musical structures i suppose). We were not told that baroque music was played by smaller ensembles than 19th century music, that many movements were dance movements etc. These insights were not new in the 80s, but not commonly known i suppose. At least not here. Actually the lighter movements were not unknown. I remember a teacher was a little puzzled by the badinerie from Bach´s second orchestral suite. It seemed to contradict what he had said about baroque music in general. I guess our ideas about baroque music were influenced by our ideas about baroque cathedrals and paintings. And we did not know too much about those either.

I have always enjoyed classical music, but for many years i listened more to other kinds of music. So for a long time my knowledge about classical music was limited. It took a long time before i was aware of period instrument performances. Actually i had heard music played on period instruments and even knew about a couple of the ensembles. I just did not know that they played on period instruments.

And for many years i did not know that baroque music had existed for a long time before Bach and Händel came along. I knew little or nothing about the important French and Italian contributions to baroque music. I knew about Monteverdi, but for a long time he was a vague figure. So it took me a long time to fully appreciate the qualities of baroque music.
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