Posts tagged ‘Catholic’

July 31, 2015

Wien – Minoritenkirche (Italienische Nationalkirche Maria Schnee)

by ada

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February 22, 2015

Wien – Augustinerkirche

by ada

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November 21, 2012

Prague – St. Vitus’ Cathedral (Katedrála svatého Víta)

by ada

November 18, 2012

Prague – St. George’s Basilica (Bazilika Sv. Jiří)

by ada

November 1, 2012

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by ada

Today I did a walk to the pilgrimage church of Maria Plain in Bergheim. 

April 8, 2012

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by ada

For Easter Sunday and for my last music post is something that hopefully restores our cruelly shattered national image a bit: the cantata No.29, Surrexit Christus hodie from the collection Harmonia Caelestis of Esterházy Pál, the one and only Hungarian baroque composer. During Baroque times we were too busy with singing our deprimating folk tunes, mourning about our terrible destiny and rebelling against the Turks or the Habsburgs or both at once (and, in the short but happy breaks of war, wildly dancing csárdás while being drunk) to care about art music. Our dance music was always quite fashionable among folks from other parts of Europe, and during the Romantic era composing music in stile Hongroise was a huge hype and it resulted quite a revival of our national music even in our own country, but Hungarian Baroque music, as genre, actually doesn’t exist except of this collection. Esterházy himself was more of a politician and soldier, who took part in the war against the Ottoman Empire pretty decently, than a man of culture.

The family Esterházy is a prominent example of the almost 1000 years old Hungarian nobility. They are the ones, who employed Haydn as their court composer, so their love of music (and their irresponsibility in financial matters, haha) resulted some excellent compositions of Haydn, like the Baryton trios or the Surprise Symphony. And, if you care about modern literature, you’ve sure already run into the family roman Harmonia caelestis (yes, the same title) of our internationally acknowledged contemporary writer Esterházy Péter.

This very collection was published in 1711 in Wien and contains 55 cantatas for the Catholic liturgy. They are written in a rather simple style with homophonic accompaniment, but, I think, from a man who spent his life mostly with fighting for freedom, and from an era of blood, sadness and war, it’s a nice attempt of trying to keep up with the world and culture outside of Hungary.

April 7, 2012

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by ada

This year Seder evening fell on Good Friday, so for today I decided to look for some music that fits for both Passover and Easter purposes while being baroque. This means a very small circle of pieces to choose from. Before the liturgical reform of Salomon Sulzer in the 19th century, the amount of Jewish sacral compositions is insignificant. The music of Salomone Rossi, the one and only 17th century composer of Jewish origin, who wrote music for the liturgy, is more renaissance than baroque. The next composer who has anything to do with synagogal music, is Avraham Cáceres from the late 18th century, but I couldn’t find any single liturgical piece of his on YouTube. And than there are some non-Jewish people, like Carlo Grossi or Louis Saladin,  who were hired by synagogues to write music for prayers (like Franz Schubert by Salomon Sulzer, a hundred years later) but this didn’t happen too often.

Salomone Rossi l’Ebreo lived in the early 17th century, and wrote some really nice instrumental trio sonatas and some vocal music in the style of prima prattica. His set of motets, Shirim l’asher Shlomo, the Songs of Solomon contains mainly psalms and a few prayers. Although I cherish his cheerful and cute trio sonatas, typical for their genre and for the style of the transition period between renaissance and baroque in Italy, his motets and church music are just too much of stile antiqua for me. I’m rather uncomfortable with sheer renaissance polyphony. So I decided to rule him out and chose the cantatas Boi Beshalom and Kol HaNeshama, written by Cristiano Giuseppe Lidarti, an Austro-Italian baroque composer of non-Jewish origin, instead. He composed these pieces for the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam around 1770. Despite of the late date, the character of the pieces is almost entirely baroque. It seems, Lidarti was rather old-fashioned in his compositional manners, which is a big luck for me :o)

While it’s not exactly Passover music and singing Alleluia at 10am on Easter Saturday is also a bit early for the Catholic liturgy, it’s the best musical compromise I’m able to come up with. Happy Passover and happy Easter!

April 5, 2012

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by ada

Today’s music is the first movement of the oratorio Agonia di Cristo (Le Ultime Sette Parole), based on the seven last words of Christ, written by Niccolò Jommelli, one of the most prominent composers of the Italian galant opera. Its style is a bit too late for fitting in the category of baroque passion music, but oh, do I love the obligato bassoon part!

April 4, 2012

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by ada

Well, I guess, today’s music sort of fails to match my own criteria, because no one would dare to call the French composer François Couperin, court organist, composer and harpsichord teacher of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, a musician of small importance. He wrote a number of virtuoso and charming harpsichord pieces and some other amazing instrumental and vocal music, and his harpsichord tutorial, L’art de toucher le clavecin, published in 1716,  is really worth reading. This very piece of his, Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres pour deux voix, originally written for the Wednesday evening liturgy before Maundy Thursday, was even featured in the movie Tous les matins du monde, with Gérard Depardieu starring in the role of the old Marin Marais. Composing Leçons de ténèbres (Lectures of the Darkness) upon the text of the Lamentations of Jeremiah for the late night services of the three holy days before Easter was a huge trend in the late 17th – mid 18th century French music, and it resulted some really moving compositions. This version of Couperin is one of the most beautiful pieces of baroque vocal music I know (and well, I do know a bit about baroque music, hm).

April 3, 2012

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by ada

For every day of the Holy Week I decided to share a piece of music, written originally for this time of the year, mostly for the church  services. It is very difficult for me to choose from the huge amount of beautiful things that came to existence during the past few hundred years – even if I stick to the period I’m most familiar with, the late 17th and early 18th centuries, it means still too much of goodness to leave out. So I’ll try to avoid the very famous hits, like the Bach-Passions, and present some works of smaller composers or pieces less known.

Today’s music is Stabat Mater from Giovanni Felice Sances, an Italian baroque composer of the 17th century, who was among the first composers to write his melodies upon the so-called lament bass, an (often chromatically) descending tetrachord. In the presentation of Arpeggiata and Philippe Jaroussky, who, in my opinion, is one of the most talented early music performers nowadays.

April 1, 2012

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by ada

Happy Palm Sunday or, as we call it in Hungary, Flower Sunday.

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