Monday, March 31, 2008

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) - Air on the G string


Hi passengers !
Musicologie presents tonight to celebrate J.S. Bach the brilliant Air on the G String which is an August Wilhelmj's arrangement of the second movement in Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068.
The original orchestral suite was written by Bach for his patron Prince Leopold of Anhalt some time between the years 1717 and 1723. The title comes from violinist August Wilhelmj's late 19th century arrangement of the piece for violin and piano. By transposing the key of the piece from its original D major to C major and transposing the melody down an octave, Wilhelm was able to play the piece on only one string of his violin, the G string. Later, a spurious story was put about that the melody was always intended to be played on the G string alone.
The Air on the G String was the very first work by Bach to be recorded. This was by the Russian cellist Aleksandr Verzhbilovich and an unknown pianist, in 1902 (as the Air from the Overture No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068).
Johann Sebastian Bach 
Johann Sebastian Bach  (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. 
Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor, the The Well-Tempered Clavier, more than 200 cantatas, two Passions, and keyboard works. His music is revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty. 
Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, into a great musical family; his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians. His father probably taught him to play violin and harpsichord, and his brother, Johann Christoph Bach, taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music. 
Apparently at his own initiative, Bach attended St Michael's School in Lüneburg for two years. After graduating, he held several musical posts across Germany: he served as Kapellmeister (director of music) to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, Cantor of Thomasschule in Leipzig, and Royal Court Composer to August III. 
Bach's health and vision declined in 1749, and he died on 28 July 1750. Modern historians believe that his death was caused by a combination of stroke and pneumonia. Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741) - Spring from 4 seasons


Hi Passengers !
Musicologie presents tonight Spring to celebrate Vivaldi's instrumental works. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, Catholic priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. 
Recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over forty operas. 
His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi had been employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. 
Vivaldi also had some success with stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for preferment. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival and Vivaldi himself died less than a year later. 
Though Vivaldi's music was well received during his lifetime, it later declined in popularity until its vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century. Today, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded of Baroque composers.
Instrumental Works Cross-Reference
Being a great admirer of Vivaldi's instrumental works, I've always wished I had a comprehensive and complete listing of all the master's works with the assigned catalog numbers by the various catalogers structured in such a way as to allow easy searching, sorting and translation between the catalog numbers. 
A fairly thorough search turned up no such resource, so I decided to create a database of Vivaldi's works that could be used to create cross-reference lists including any and all information usually included in the various works lists. These lists are generated from that database.

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