Posts tagged ‘composer’

May 23, 2015

Wien – Haus der Musik, part 2

by ada

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Haydn 1

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Queen of the Night

Beethoven

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Otto Nicolai

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May 22, 2015

Wien – Haus der Musik, part 1

by ada

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February 1, 2014

music of the week – Anton Cajetan Adlgasser: Sinfonia in E flat Major CatAd 15:10

by ada

Anton Cajetan Adlgasser, organist of the Salzburg Cathedral between 1750-1777 and composer of countless Schuldramas for the University of Salzburg, that are all forgotten by now, is remembered mostly for being the father of Maria Victoria Adlgasser, Nannerl Mozart‘s bff, and for writing the third, now missing part of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s first oratorio, Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots (the second part was composed by Michael Haydn) (fyi, Mozart was only eleven years old at the time when he finished it. What does your eleven years old child do with their life?) (Okay, I’m obviously kidding now. Mozart couldn’t write a sentence in proper German at the age of thirty. He clearly had his weak points too).

Adlgasser became a victim of Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach‘s generous policy of providing his staff with free wine, and suffered a deadly stroke  at the age of 48 while playing the organ. Being a musician is a dangerous profession. Remember Lully who died of blood poisoning after penetrating his own foot with his baton while conducting a march?

January 6, 2014

music of the week – Carl Heinrich Biber: Concerto a quattro per la chiesa

by ada

Altough I no longer live in Salzburg, I decided to carry on with the Salzburg Series, because I don’t like things unfinished. There are really not that many Baroque composers that have anything to do with Salzburg and have some surviving works, so it’s a real shame it took 18 months for me to cover only 8 of them. I’ll try to speed up and finish this project because I have already my next one in mind.

So for today I picked Carl Heinrich Biber, the sixth and most talented son of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern. There is not much to know about him except that he lived, worked and died in Salzburg and loved to compose for those excellent and virtuoso trombone players of the Salzburg court orchestra like Thomas Gschladt (although I know of no written evidence of them having been in contact, but hey, Salzburg is and were always the provinces a small town where everybody is the cousin of everybody, even in our most recent days, haha).

From all the four pieces of his work YouTube offers I chose Concerto a quattro per la chiesa for strings. It’s a disturbing piece of music which The Cat very much dislikes – I hope at least some of you appreciate Carl Heinrich’s courage of using dissonances so freely in a harmony worshiping era.

PS.: Okay, so it’s not allowed to embed this video, so go over there for it.

July 20, 2013

Salzburg – Michael Haydn Museum

by ada

Michael Haydn

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Michael Haydn Museum Salzburg

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Entrance of the Michael Haydn Museum Salzburg

June 6, 2012

music of the week – Johann Joseph Vilsmayr: Partita V. from Artificiosus Concentus pro Camera à Violino Solo Con Basso bellè imitate

by ada

I admit I don’t know more about Johann Joseph Vilsmayr than Google does and that’s not much; but I have a heart for no-name Baroque composers with only one or two surviving works (or, better, only some fragments); and his music is hilarious.

And, well, he is also from Salzburg.

May 14, 2012

music of the week (month, haha) – Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Sonata representativa for violino solo

by ada

Well, it was quite a time since my last music post, but blogging becomes somewhat difficult in the lack of own internet connection.

I was really tempted to put some Mozart here but it would be only too obvious. Luckily the Salzburger Hof always served as a center of music, so there are plenty of composers to choose from. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern was a very famous composer and violin virtuoso of his time, and got quite unjustly forgotten. Now he is only known in early music and musicology circles. If I mention Mozart, the average people go Oooohh!!!; if I mention Biber, the usual reaction is only some Heh? (if not something like Oh, Justin is sooo cuuute! which makes me want to kill everybody around me).

Again I was tempted to show one of the Mysterien– or Rosenkranz-Sonaten (Rosary Sonatas), as The Work of Biber, but he composed so many other music that are worth for listening, that it was really easy to resist this temptation. I chose the Sonata representativa (Representatio Avium) instead, which is a funny piece that mimics animal sounds. All the animals and their musical manifestations are taken from Athanasius Kircher’s famous music treatise, Musurgia universalis, published in 1650. If you are interested in such obscure musical ideas of the 17th century as how to play piano with cats’ tails or how to compose music with logarithms (well, Kircher could easily be considered as the first composer of computer music, haha), or just want to know why do parrots say hello in ancient Hebrew, I really recommend you to read this book. It’s written in Latin but, being the bestseller of the era, was (partly) translated to German as soon as in 1662. Kircher himself gained an enormous popularity through writing this compendium, he received emotionally loaded fan letters from enthusiastic nuns from all over the world. I don’t know if Biber ever met him but it’s clear that he read and appreciated his book.

April 4, 2012

365/95

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).

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