Posts tagged ‘instrument’

November 20, 2012

Prague – The Czech Museum of Music (České muzeum hudby)

by ada

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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 14, 2012

music of the week – Telemann: Modéré from Quatuor Parisien N°12

by ada

I definitely enjoyed posting and writing about music during the Holy Week (even if no one else liked to read it, haha), so I decided to do it on a regular basis. Maybe it helps me get back to my real life and become again the person I was before the depression.

The music of this week is the sixth movement of the sixth quartet of Georg Philipp Telemann‘s collection Nouveaux Quatuors en Six Suites, published in 1738 in Paris (well, that’s why it’s usually called Paris Quartet). Telemann was an amazing composer and a very interesting character, if you have the opportunity to read his three autobiographies, don’t miss it. He studied music in a completely autodidact way and mastered all the important instruments of the era. This made his compositional style quite extraordinary: he completely understood the requirements, advantages and boundaries of every instrument he wrote for, so his compositions are just perfectly set. And that’s something you can’t tell even of Bach himself.

This is one of my favourite videos of this piece ever. It has an air of spring and happiness I never get bored with.

March 15, 2012

by the God of the Hungarians

by ada

Hungarian history is a long, straight line of tragical, ill-fated revolutions against different suppressive authorities. Being genetically coded for unhappiness, we insist to remember and celebrate all of them. Today is the anniversary of our unsuccessful revolution against the Habsburg empire in 1848.

We went for a walk to the castle district to see some of the festivities.

The weather was beautiful:

The street decorations were appropriate, festive and family friendly:

Hungarian folk music was played with various instruments:

There was opportunity to dance (or just to look at the professional folk dancers):

Masters of traditional Hungarian handwork presented their crafting process and sold their art:

People had picnic on the grass or took a stroll down the streets:

Children had fun:

One could buy traditional, painted Hungarian gingerbread and our national stuffed dragon Süsü, who is famous for having only one head but a happy soul:

There were plenty of delicious treats to choose from:

And of course there were also Hussars in picturesque robes, their facial hair styled in the Hungarian way. We are a martial nation, there were even times when whole Europe feared our arrows. All those times are gone more than a thousand years ago but we still proudly remember. We have a good (even if somewhat selective) memory and a collective unconscious Jung could be proud of.

People were proud of being Hungarian:

But even because we are Hungarians and proud of it, none of our holidays can pass without politics and demonstrations:

And well. Ehm. How to say it nicely. Dear Poland. If you want him, take him. For free. Asap.

The title of the post comes from a poem that is traditionally recited during the festivities every year and was written by the poet Petőfi Sándor, who died in the revolution at the age of 26. You can read the whole (terrible) translation here.

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