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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vintage Voice: Melodious Music

It's no secret that I love music...and musicians! After all, I married one!

While my husband is no classically trained composer, he is a gifted drummer and has been in many popular local bands for the last 25 years. Enjoyment of music is one of many interests that we share!

I've had several  nice comments about the music on my playlist; all of the songs were chosen for a particular reason. I adore a wide variety of music, with the exception of country-western. It's not really my thing; at least in the "modern" style. I really like 'old' country music, like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash! I could listen to Patsy all day.
I became interested in classical music and opera in my late teens. My favorite composers are Mozart, Handel and Vivaldi. Mozart's opera "Le Nozze di Figaro" is perhaps my favorite opera and the one I know the best.

I've included several of Mozart's clarinet concertos in my playlist because I used to play clarinet when I was much younger and I have a special liking for anything for clarinet! I began playing the viola first, but later switched to the clarinet at age 12. I have not played for many years, although I still have my old "licorice stick". I hope to someday pick it back up!
I also have included some Handel in the playlist, because he is a favorite of mine and I particularly like his work Wasser Musik (Water Music).  George Fridrich Handel (1685-1759) was German-English , heavily influenced by Italian Baroque and Henry Purcell. He introduced many instruments in his works that up until then had been very uncommon  in musical compositions; such as the lute, trombones, double bassoon, harp,viola d'amore, lyrichord and small high cornets.


I have also included some of the Brandenburg Concertos, which were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is a collection of six instrumental works composed somewhere around 1721 or earlier. They are considered  among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque Era (extending approx from 1600 to 1750). The German Baroque style of Bach was heavy and robust and is not particularly my favorite style, but I have always loved the Brandenburg Concertos. I also very much adore the Prelude from Suite No.1 in the Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Bach. Specificallythe  Unaccompanied Cello Suite No1. in G Major. I chose this song as the processional music for my bridesmaids at my wedding. We had a lovely string quartet for our wedding ceremony and their cellist did a beautiful job with this piece!


Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini is a composer I have only begun to listen to in recent years. Boccherini (1743-1805)  was one of Italy's most talented composers during the Classical Period. A talented cellist and virtuoso at a young age and later, a talented composer, his style is courtly and gallant and of course, the cello features prominently in his works. He was also greatly influenced by Spanish and Mediterranean music. Boccherini's works are often likened to Haydn, with greater prominence for the cello, which in most other's works was often relegated to an accompaniment role. He wrote a large quantity of chamber music during his career including over one hundred quintets for two violins, a viola and two cellos (a very distinctive sounding quintet: most quintets were scored for two violins, two violas and one cello.)
His most well-known work is included in my playlist; "Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid (String Quintet in C Major, Op.30 No. 6).
This work is often used in films, so if it sounds familiar to you, that is probably why!  I chose the "Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid" as the recessional music at our wedding ceremony. The bright and spritely violins and viola with the deep cello sounded celebratory and optimistic; the perfect blend of the typical Rococo style characterized by lightness and charm, with much melodic and rhythmic invention.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite composers!


Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a beautiful post! I do love classical music! There is something so elegant about it!

Melanie@The Old White Cottage said...

I know absolutely nothing about classical music, but its so beautiful. I have it set on my alarm clock. Its such a fantastic way to wake up.