Friday Night Organ: PREGO! The Italian Baroque takes OFF!  

 

The Evil Genius
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28/12/2018 4:22 pm  

Arcangelo Corelli (1653 – 1713) Corelli was born in the small Romagna town of Fusignano, then in the diocese of Ferrara, Papal States. His family were land-owners who had lived in Fusignano since 1506.  Although apparently prosperous, they were almost certainly not of the nobility, as several fanciful accounts of the composer's genealogy subsequently claimed. Corelli's father, from whom he took the name Arcangelo, died five weeks before the composer's birth. Consequently, he was raised by his mother alongside four elder siblings.

The wealth of anecdotes and legends attached to Corelli contrast sharply with the paucity of reliable contemporary evidence documenting events in his life. This gap is especially pronounced for his formative years, including his musical education, even though traditional accounts of a highly idealized childhood have long been debunked. According to the poet Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni, who presumably knew the composer well, Corelli initially studied music under a priest in the nearby town of Faenza, and then in Lugo, before moving in 1666 to Bologna which had a flourishing school of violinists associated with Ercole Gaibara and his pupils, Giovanni Benvenuti and Leonardo Brugnoli. Reports by later sources link Corelli's musical studies with several master violinists, including Benvenuti, Brugnoli, Bartolomeo Laurenti and Giovanni Battista Bassani. Although historically plausible, these accounts remain largely unconfirmed.

Chronicles of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna indicate that Corelli was accepted as a member by 1670, at the exceptionally young age of seventeen. Although the nickname Il Bolognese appears on the title-pages of Corelli's first three published sets of works (Opus 1 to 3), the duration of his stay in Bologna remains unclear. Anecdotes of trips outside Italy to France, Germany and Spain lack any contemporary evidence. For example, the anecdote that Corelli's continental fame stemmed from a trip to Paris at the age of nineteen, where he was chased away by an envious Jean-Baptiste Lully, seems to have originated with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It was also claimed that Corelli spent time in Germany in the service of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (supposedly in 1681), as well as in the house of his friend and fellow violinist-composer Cristiano Farinelli (between 1680 and 1685).

Although it is unclear quite when Corelli arrived in Rome, he was certainly active there by 1675, when "Arcangelo Bolognese" (as he was referred to) was engaged to play as one of the supporting violinists in lenten oratorios at the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, as well as in the French national celebrations held each year on 25 August at San Luigi dei Francesi and during the ordination of a member of the powerful Chigi family at Santi Domenico e Sisto. In August 1676, he was already playing second violin to the renowned Carlo Mannelli at San Luigi dei Francesi. Although Rome did not have any permanent orchestra providing stable employment for instrumentalists, Corelli rapidly made a name for himself, playing in a variety of ensembles sponsored by wealthy patrons, such as Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili, for whom he played in Lenten oratorios at San Marcello from 1676 to 1679.

In 1687 Corelli led the festival performances of music for Queen Christina of Sweden. He was also a favorite of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, grandnephew of another Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, who in 1689 became Pope Alexander VIII. From 1689 to 1690 he was in Modena. The Duke of Modena was generous to him. In 1708 he returned to Rome, living in the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni. His visit to Naples, at the invitation of the king, took place in the same year. The style of execution introduced by Corelli and preserved by his pupils, such as Francesco Geminiani, Pietro Locatelli, Pietro Castrucci, Francesco Gasparini, and others, was of vital importance for the development of violin playing. It has been said that the paths of all of the famous violinist-composers of 18th-century Italy led to Arcangelo Corelli, who was their "iconic point of reference".

However, Corelli used only a limited portion of his instrument's capabilities. This may be seen from his writings. The parts for violin very rarely proceed above D on the highest string, sometimes reaching the E in fourth position on the highest string. The story has been told and retold that Corelli refused to play a passage that extended to A in altissimo in the overture to Handel's oratorio The Triumph of Time and Truth (premiered in Rome, 1708), and felt seriously offended when the composer (32 years his junior) played the note.

Nevertheless, his compositions for the instrument mark an epoch in the history of chamber music. His influence was not confined to his own country. Johann Sebastian Bach studied the works of Corelli and based an organ fugue (BWV 579) on Corelli's Opus 3 of 1689. Handel's Opus 6 Concerti Grossi take Corelli's own older Opus 6 Concerti as models, rather than the later three-movement Venetian concerto of Antonio Vivaldi favored by Bach.

Musical society in Rome also owed much to Corelli. He was received in the highest circles of the aristocracy, and for a long time presided at the celebrated Monday concerts in the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni. Corelli died in Rome in possession of a fortune of 120,000 marks and a valuable collection of works of art and fine violins, the only luxury in which he had indulged. He left both to his benefactor and friend, who generously made over the money to Corelli's relatives. Corelli is buried in the Pantheon at Rome.

His concerti grossi have often been popular in Western culture. For example, a portion of the Christmas Concerto, Op. 6 No. 8, is in the soundtrack of the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Corelli's Op. 6 No. 2 also provided the theme for Sir Michael Tippett's Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli.

Well since I mentioned it in the text above here is Bach’s take on a Theme by Corelli

Concerto Grosso opus 6, # 4 for two Harpsichords

The Christmas Concerto opus 6 #8 cited above is usually performed by a string ensembles but believe it or not I found a performance on organ.

 

Giuseppe Torelli (1658--1709) is most remembered for contributing to the development of the instrumental concerto, especially concerti grossi and the solo concerto, for strings and continuo, as well as being the most prolific Baroque composer for trumpets.

Torelli was born in Verona. It is not known with whom he studied violin though it has been speculated that he was a pupil of Leonardo Brugnoli or Bartolomeo Laurenti, but it is certain that he studied composition with Giacomo Antonio Perti. On 27 June 1684, at the age of 26, he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica as suonatore di violino. On 1687 Giuseppe Corsi da Celano played Torelli's music, from Op. 3, in Parma at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata. By 1698 he was maestro di concerto at the court of Georg Friedrich II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, where he conducted the orchestra for Le pazzie d'amore e dell'interesse, an idea drammatica composed by the maestro di cappella, and the castrato Francesco Antonio Pistocchi, before leaving for Vienna in December 1699. He returned to Bologna sometime before February 1701, when he is listed as a violinist in the newly re-formed cappella musicale at San Petronio, directed by his former composition teacher Perti.

He died at age 50 in Bologna in 1709, where his manuscripts are conserved in the San Petronio archives. The most notable amongst Giuseppe's many pupils was Francesco Manfredini.

Concerto in D for trumpet

Sinfonia for 4 Trumpets and Strings

And for the select few REALLY into the Baroque trumpet here is the complete trumpet concertos:

 

Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695 – 1764) Born in Bergamo little is known about Locatelli's childhood. In his early youth he was the third violinist and held the title of virtuoso in the cappella musicale of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. His first violin teachers were probably Ludovico Ferronati and Carlo Antonio Marino, both of whom were members of the cappella. The maestro di cappella, Francesco Ballarotti, may have taught him composition.

Locatelli began studying in Rome in autumn 1711, probably under Antonio Montanari or Giuseppe Valentini and perhaps for a short time under Arcangelo Corelli, who died in January 1713. In a letter of 17 March 1714 Locatelli wrote to his father in Bergamo that he was a confirmed member of the compita accademia di vari instrumenti, the household musicians of Prince Michelangelo I Caetani (1685–1759), where Valentini had worked as a violinist and composer since no later than 1710. Between 1716 and 1722, Locatelli was also a member of the congregazione generale dei musici di S. Cecilia, and thus under the protection of the noble prelate and future Cardinal Camillo Cybo. He also assisted other Roman noble houses, often including that of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in the church of San Lorenzo e San Damaso, probably until 7 February 1723. While in Rome, Locatelli debuted as a composer. In 1721 his XII Concerti grossi, Op. 1, dedicated to Camillo Cybo, was published in Amsterdam.

From 1723 to 1728 Locatelli travelled through Italy and Germany. Mantua, Venice, Munich, Dresden, Berlin, Frankfurt and Kassel are the only places he is known to have visited. Most of his concert compositions, including the violin concertos and the capricci, were probably written in this period. They were published later in Amsterdam.  Locatelli's activity at the court of the regent of Mantua, the landgrave Philipp von Hessen-Darmstadt, is attested by a 1725 document in which the landgrave refers to him as "our virtuoso".  One notice describes Locatelli's visit to Munich. On 26 June 1727, the "foreign virtuoso Locatelli" was paid twelve double golden guilder by the elector's director of music. Just one year later, in May 1728, Locatelli visited the Prussian court in Berlin. He moved from Dresden to Potsdam with Augustus II and the elector's escort of about 500 people, including Johann Georg Pisendel, Johann Joachim Quantz and Silvius Leopold Weiss. A notice about Locatelli's performance before Frederick William I anecdotally describes the musician's self-assurance and his vanity in wearing gorgeous, diamond-studded clothes.

Locatelli's last known stop was in Kassel, where he received the very high payment of 80 reichsthaler after his visit to Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, on 7 December 1728. The organist Jacob Wilhelm Lustig stated in 1728 that Locatelli had astonished his listeners with hugely difficult passages while scraping at his violin.

In 1729 Locatelli moved to Amsterdam, where he stayed until his death. He did not compose so much as previously, but gave violin lessons to amateurs and edited his opp. 1–9 and the works of other musicians. His sparsely documented public and semi-public performances were open only to music lovers, not to professional musicians. An Englishman who heard him in 1741 wrote "he is so afraid of People Learning from him, that He won't admit a Professed Musician into his Concert". Some rich music lovers, who would play as amateurs with Locatelli, helped him to become affluent. In aristocratic circles he was a recognized, admired and supported virtuoso and composer. In 1741 he set up a business selling violin strings from his home. Including taxes he earned about 1500 guilders in 1742 alone, the highest income of any musician from Amsterdam. It is unknown why from 1744, when he released Op. 8, to 1762, when he released Op. 9, there were no reports of him from lexicographers, listeners or national and international music journalists.

Locatelli died on 30 March 1764 in his house on the Prinsengracht.

A library with over a thousand documents shows Locatelli's interest in literature and science. It includes ornithological, theological, church historical, political, geographical, art historical and mathematical works, and literature on music theory dating back to the 16th century. His library includes all important writers from Dante on. Among the large quantity of printed and unbound sheet music there are the collected works of Corelli. Also available are pictures by Dutch, Italian and French masters. All these things, as well as his instruments and much more, were auctioned in August 1765.

Locatelli was master of the Capriccio, a musical form popularized much later by Paganini but Paganini can’t TOUCH the expertise of Locatelli. (A capriccio is a piece of music, usually fairly free in form and of a lively character. The typical capriccio is one that is fast, intense, and often virtuosic in nature.)

Here is the entire set of capriccios---I’ll tell you right now it sounds like someone needs to cut back on the sugar and caffeine.

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) was born in Jesi in what is now the Province of Ancona (but was then part of the Papal States), he was commonly given the nickname "Pergolesi", a demonym indicating in Italian the residents of Pergola, Marche, the birthplace of his ancestors. He studied music in Jesi under a local musician, Francesco Santini, before going to Naples in 1725, where he studied under Gaetano Greco and Francesco Feo among others. On leaving the conservatory in 1731, he won some renown by performing the oratorio in two parts La fenice sul rogo, o vero La morte di San Giuseppe [it] ("The Phoenix on the Pyre, or The Death of Saint Joseph"), and the dramma sacro in three acts, Li prodigi della divina grazia nella conversione e morte di san Guglielmo duca d’Aquitania ("The Miracles of Divine Grace in the Conversion and Death of Saint William, Duke of Aquitaine"). He spent most of his brief life working for aristocratic patrons like Ferdinando Colonna, Prince of Stigliano, and Domenico Marzio Carafa, Duke of Maddaloni.

Pergolesi was one of the most important early composers of opera buffa (comic opera). His opera seria, Il prigionier superbo, contained the two-act buffa intermezzo, La serva padrona (The Servant Mistress, 28 August 1733), which became a very popular work in its own right. When it was performed in Paris in 1752, it prompted the so-called Querelle des Bouffons ("quarrel of the comic actors") between supporters of serious French opera by the likes of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau and supporters of new Italian comic opera. Pergolesi was held up as a model of the Italian style during this quarrel, which divided Paris's musical community for two years.

Pergolesi also wrote sacred music, including a Mass in F and three Salve Regina settings. It is his Stabat Mater (1736), however, for soprano, alto, string orchestra and basso continuo, which is his best-known sacred work. It was commissioned by the Confraternita dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo, which presented an annual Good Friday meditation in honor of the Virgin Mary. Pergolesi's work replaced one composed by Alessandro Scarlatti only nine years before, but which was already perceived as "old-fashioned," so rapidly had public tastes changed.

The Lenten Hymn ‘God of Mercy and Compassion’ by Redemptorist priest Edmund Vaughan is most commonly set to a tune adapted by Pergolesi. While classical in scope, the opening section of the setting demonstrates Pergolesi's mastery of the Italian baroque durezze e ligature style, characterized by numerous suspensions over a faster, conjunct bassline. The work remained popular, becoming the most frequently printed musical work of the 18th century and being arranged by a number of other composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, who re-orchestrated and adapted it for a non-Marian text in his cantata Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden (Root out my sins, Highest One), BWV 1083.

Pergolesi died on 16 March 1736 at the age of 26 in Pozzuoli from tuberculosis and was buried at the Franciscan monastery one day later.

Here is an Organ Sonata played on a fine old period organ in England.

This is his Stabot Mater transcribed for organ—of COURSE:

Violin Concerto in B-flat Major

And my personal favorite Concerto Number 3 in A

 

 

 


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BigSiameseCat
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29/12/2018 2:13 am  

Pergolesi was quite sophisticated in his compositions, considering the time period and his relatively young age. We can but wonder what he would have accomplished living another 30 or 40 years. It also gives me pause for thought, being as I am on the other side of 50, as to how grateful those of us who have made it that far in life should be for the additional years.

Corelli's music seems to be rather formulaic, even his Concerto grossi "takes few musical risks", that is, it doesn't challenge the listener or really hold one's attention. Quite frankly, it feels more like dinner music to me. Of course, it's entirely different when Bach takes a theme of Corelli's and creates great blocks of chords thundering across the aural landscape like giant prehistoric beasts.

Capricci really did need to switch to decaf...as always, thanks for these posts.

 


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Matcha Savage
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29/12/2018 10:56 am  

Excellent! Thank you, The Evil Genius, once again.

It is my pleasure to read your highly elaborated and elegant posts.

 

Arcangelo Corelli at its premiere not wanting to play the A in altissimo in the ouverture to Händel’s composition The Triumph of Time and Truth is very funny and telling a side note.

 

BSC, yes, being grateful is a wise decision.

Now, please excuse me, while I am going to listen to Pergolesi.

 


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Matcha Savage
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29/12/2018 3:17 pm  

Oh.

This seems to me the best place in the world to come forward with this question:

What does it actually say about a person who is (quote:) ‘REALLY’ into the baroque trumpet as shown in the works of Guiseppe Torelli?

 

 

Turns out I didn’t remember his name, but some of his works, I had the fortune listening to at this place:

https://www.ulrichshusen.de/de/home.html

Where there was an extraordinary, quite intimate and (mostly) baroque chamber music concert one evening. Young international talents performed in a hall of the brick hunting castle filled with about 120 guests.

Lucky me. They played at least two of the (excuse me:) “songs” from Giovanni Battista Perlogesi out of his works you linked above (Concerto no 3 in A and Concerto in B-flat Major).

The young and upcoming musicians had such a good time performing - and so had we listeners. In between the plays they joked around with us and we laughed together.

Lastly they played an Hungarian Folk Dance from the epoch and pulled - or kicked it off grinning and smiling.

After the concert the musicians and the guests and organisators would mingle and talk with each other outside and in front of the castle for hours.

I could watch, listen to and enjoy all this mingling taking place, mostly while eating river crab tails in white whine sauce. That was a funny dinner. We had gotten bibs and each a little bowl of lemon juiced water and a little extra napkin, but I digress.

 

Though, I only read the word ‘Capricci’ to NOT listen to Antonio Pietro Lucatelli’s work linked above. I had to laugh about T.E.G.’s related comment concerning coffee and sugar - and had an idea...


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The Evil Genius
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30/12/2018 4:43 am  

Well obviously someone really into the baroque trumpet is someone of class, style and taste to be sure! I have a lot of brass in my CD collection. And I'm delighted to see agreement about Locatelli. One little fact I failed to mention; he was physically unable to perform some of his capriccios himself---they were theory to him---kind of like the Bach Fantasy in D which is written for a note in the pedal that doesn't exist.  Actually I have the complete collection--four cds and you CAN'T listen to them "en blanc" that is without some booze. 

We're going to explore a few more Italian gems next week then its OFF to France. 

 

Forgot to mention Matcha I know what you mean. Many Many years ago I visited the McCormick estate/museum just west of Wheaten Ill. And there in the Library was set a magnificent grand piano. A young lady was playing Bach's Goldberg variations. It was a very small intimate setting with about 30 people---I remember it fondly to this day.

The girl I took with me was less than impressed with the entire outing---it was a date and in the spring the estate gives tours of the botanical gardens and the house. There is also a military museum dedicated the the American 1st division (The Big Red One) 

She was bored by the whole thing. 


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Matcha Savage
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30/12/2018 10:29 pm  
Posted by: The Evil Genius

Well obviously someone really into the baroque trumpet is someone of class, style and taste to be sure! I have a lot of brass in my CD collection. And I'm delighted to see agreement about Locatelli. One little fact I failed to mention; he was physically unable to perform some of his capriccios himself---they were theory to him---kind of like the Bach Fantasy in D which is written for a note in the pedal that doesn't exist.  Actually I have the complete collection--four cds and you CAN'T listen to them "en blanc" that is without some booze. 

We're going to explore a few more Italian gems next week then its OFF to France. 

 

Forgot to mention Matcha I know what you mean. Many Many years ago I visited the McCormick estate/museum just west of Wheaten Ill. And there in the Library was set a magnificent grand piano. A young lady was playing Bach's Goldberg variations. It was a very small intimate setting with about 30 people---I remember it fondly to this day.

The girl I took with me was less than impressed with the entire outing---it was a date and in the spring the estate gives tours of the botanical gardens and the house. There is also a military museum dedicated the the American 1st division (The Big Red One) 

She was bored by the whole thing. 

 

Ah! Jolly good! Glad to hear all of this!

 

To be frank, though, it took a good part of the day until the joke about the girl attending with you at the McCormick estate finally dawned on me.

Wasn’t she hiding or disguising that she actually was pissed you ‘so easily’ enjoyed yourself at this date and so well, without relying on her attention and approval for doing so, whatsoever?

They hate to be shown that you can do a ok without them and be grand at that. They do not want to be reminded that they are a liability and lack originality.

It takes from their precious pride - for example of easily controlling us - and instead confronts them with what they lack so bitterly, themselves. For once, like momentarily it makes ‘clic’ in their heads and they seem to feel bad for themselves - for the little while it takes to get away and find someone else to blue pill worship them for a change - until that (one) has gotten boring very soon and needs to be replaced, as well.

 

 

Then, amused, I listened to the Goldberg variations of Bach:

they are all very good, of course, but variation 25 is my fav’ here.

He quasi invented the Jazz-piano, Bach?

 

Ah, yes: and the young lady at the piano, she played all of these 30 variations to your delight? Astonishing.

 


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The Evil Genius
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30/12/2018 10:44 pm  

HOLY SHIT. That was 38 years ago and I never realized that the point you made above is entirely accurate! "she hiding or disguising that she actually was pissed you ‘so easily’ enjoyed yourself at this date and so well, without relying on her attention and approval for doing so, whatsoever?"

Until this moment I didn't even think that would be the case--but upon reflection I believe you are right on! (Another reason I didn't get her lack of interest was the fact SHE was a musician--piano, organ and cello) BUT now I get it. Well it only took 38 years: better late than never. 

As for the performance; I'm not a big fan of the piano and although Glenn Gould built his rep on the back of the Goldberg variations played on piano for a long time I preferred the harpsichord. Then I heard a version of the Goldberg variations played on the harpsichord and I was astonished that the work played on the piano is much deeper, richer and has greater depth.  


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The Evil Genius
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30/12/2018 10:51 pm  

You know in retrospect if she had really wanted to take back the "initiative" in a chess sense of the word then she could have offered to bang me in he museum's mock up of a WWI bunker. We could have done some live role playing---me the dashing Imperial officer, her the French peasant girl caught spying. And thus the questioning commences. I would have forgot all about the Goldberg variations!  


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BigSiameseCat
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30/12/2018 11:38 pm  

Yes, MachaSavage cuts to the core of the famous "I'm boooooorrrrreeeddd!" comment by women. It all comes back to controlling a man by eliminating the things that make him happy; pets, friends, hobbies, stereos, musical performances, grilling over lump charcoal, cars, motorcycles, video games, ect.

EG was enjoying someone else's music in her presence, how dare he!


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Matcha Savage
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31/12/2018 11:49 am  
Posted by: BigSiameseCat

It all comes back to controlling a man by eliminating the things that make him happy; pets, friends, hobbies, stereos, musical performances, grilling over lump charcoal, cars, motorcycles, video games, ect.

EG was enjoying someone else's music in her presence, how dare he!

When she was a musician herself, how could she ever credibly manage to keep him from enjoying music - without rubbing it under his nose, that it is not the least about the music or whatever he enjoys: it is only about stopping him from enjoying himself (independently) to establish a monopoly on his joy, which has to be controlled by her only.

 


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The Evil Genius
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31/12/2018 4:31 pm  

I have to be honest here, she was not exactly a font of joy in my life. Even at age 20 she was a pretty miserable wretch; selfish, inconsiderate, narcissistic and entitled. She wasn't a very nice person either....but she did have a smoking bod.  


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Matcha Savage
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02/01/2019 5:35 pm  
Posted by: The Evil Genius

I have to be honest here, she was not exactly a font of joy in my life. Even at age 20 she was a pretty miserable wretch; selfish, inconsiderate, narcissistic and entitled. She wasn't a very nice person either....but she did have a smoking bod.  

 

Yeah, sounds too familiar.

Had a similar model to drive me nuts with her endless crazy.

Their bipolarity gets used or utilized as a way to drive us insane/weaken us for easy control. It is a tool for them to use against us often in a conscious and premeditated fashion.

For you lurkers: I am not kidding.

On another day (one she would have already ruined for me, beforehand) she somehow would have been maneuvering me into that mock bunker to ‘discipline her thoroughly’ for having been such a bad girl.

Do you understand? She would fuck me up any way possible to make me angry and to get that back at her, sexually. She would start considerable trouble to get fucked like wildfire, later.

 

Once we should be really hit and considerably hurt (just as planned and aimed at), though, chances are high that they loose any interest in a heartbeat. Their house of cards falls with them getting what they want.

It is mad a game through and through and damsels like her or my ex ‘fiancé’ are a good example for that. The blatant in your face way of conducting themselves as selfish ‘beasts’, which is due to their thinly disguised narcissism and sociopathy, made me wonder why and if at all I really should spent time with any women.

At least, witnessing such made me stay the fuck away from most of them, since I was 20, myself.

 

Maybe I should be thankful for her being such a twisted sociopath?

 


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Matcha Savage
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07/01/2019 6:40 am  

Leaving that chain of thought behind, I happen to remember what I initially wanted to post on this thread - or on the ‘Modern music sucks donkey balls’ thread, where it would have fitted at least equally as good as here.

So, The Evil Genius or anyone who can tell me more about this:

 

Can you tell me, why exactly or in more detail why Bach was unbeloved by the authorities of his time and if you are aware of him being a strong and enthusiastic proponent of the coffee-use - and how that played into this?

 

The new coffee house culture of the time was a great thorn in the eye of the authorities, because men out of different walks of life came together, there, and freely discussed and debated all kinds of topics outside the control and program of church and state.

Bach was a coffee revolutionary. He wrote at least one cantate praising the coffee’s beneficiary and mind altering effects, which stimulated the creative process of much of his works - and often lead to an outcome in sound and style, which maybe went a little too bit too far in artistical freedom - according to the clerus and nobility of his time.


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Matcha Savage
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07/01/2019 8:40 pm  

(...) I looked it up in the book, yet, unfortunately, it doesn’t name the cantate. But there is an excerpt of its text, which I will just translate for all of you, so, the heroine sings:

 

 

”Oi, how does the coffee taste sweet

more lovely than thousand kisses

milder than nutmeg whine.

Coffee, coffee I have to have,

and if someone wants to refresh me,

alas so pour me in (some) coffee!”

 

(“Ei, wie schmeckt der Coffee süsse

lieblicher als tausend Küsse

milder als Muskatenwein.

Coffee, Coffee muss ich haben,

und wenn jemand will mich laben,

ach so schenkt mir Coffee ein!“)

 

 

The first coffee house in Leipzig opened its gates in 1685.

 

 

 

 


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The Evil Genius
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07/01/2019 9:36 pm  

Well I learned something today. I knew about the coffee cantata but I never read the translation.  I guess he would have loved Starbucks. HA all kidding aside it is true that the coffee houses of Europe were regarded as "zones" for free thinkers and the 17th century version of beatnik culture. 

But no I think the strife is the result of Bach's inherent distrust/dislike of authority figures combined with the fact he had to deal with the politics of the Town Council of Leipzig who hired him. The first big issue was the requirement that Bach not only compose and perform  and conduct but he had to be a teacher as well.  In point of fact Telemann passed on the post for precisely that reason--he didn't want to be a teacher subject to the parochial whims of the town council---Bach needed the job. 

It is an odd thing. That the Town council often considered Bach's music TOO progressive, TOO innovative and they urged he compose in a more traditional old fashioned style. I say this is odd because in most music circles (and even his own kids) regarded his music AS too old fashioned and out of date. Personally I think the conflict is simpler than that. 

Councilmen in cities like Leipzig were traditional aristocrats who were accustomed to the deference of folks they regard as servants plebeians. They regarded Bach as merely another servant to do as he is told by his betters. To a genius like Bach long chaffed by popinjays with the luxury of a "von" in their name this had to be VERY difficult.   


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Matcha Savage
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08/01/2019 6:59 am  

Yep, very difficult:
Being accustomed and believing in one’s own entitlement to the plebs‘ mindless deference is a bad position for any debate - especially so, when you happen to be the poor pleb in this equation.

I am a little set back by your answer for a somewhat cunning and funny reason. Let me explain:
-So. Music circles and his own kids thought of Bach’s works as being (paraphrasing:) ‘antiquated’?
(Oh. Wait, I, actually, heard that one before... Like the ringing of a faint bell somewhere back in time)
-But. Really? What or whom were these kids listening to, instead, then?
(Ahem, this is very funny to behold, indeed)
-Because: Foremost, I have to confess, that I did (think) so, too, myself. Now, that I look back on it, this kept me from actually listening to Bach willingly for a prolonged period of time. A too sober/sacral and too pure/mathematical sound for my comparably rather dirty and destructive taste back in the days.

Recognizing myself delight- and peacefully listening especially to Torelli and Bach’s Goldberg variations was not only a strange thing to happen in my own mind or imagination, but a strange thing that stands to universal reason.

Actually.


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