Posts tagged ‘Holy Week Series’

April 5, 2012

365/96

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

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).

April 3, 2012

365/94

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.

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