Friday Night Organ---"The Italian Bach".  

 

The Evil Genius
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11/01/2019 7:38 pm  

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671--1751) Popularly known as the “Italian Bach” was born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, a wealthy paper merchant in Venice, he studied violin and singing. Relatively little is known about his life especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer, and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. In 1694 he dedicated his Opus 1 to the fellow-Venetian, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. His first opera, Zenobia, regina de Palmireni, was produced in Venice in 1694. Albinoni was possibly employed in 1700 as a violinist to Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, to whom he dedicated his Opus 2 collection of instrumental pieces. In 1701 he wrote his hugely popular suites Opus 3, and dedicated that collection to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Unlike most composers of his time, he never sought a post at either a church or noble court, but then he was a man of independent means and had the option to compose music independently. In 1722, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, to whom Albinoni had dedicated a set of twelve concertos, invited him to direct two of his operas in Munich.

Around 1740, a collection of Albinoni's violin sonatas was published in France as a posthumous work, and scholars long presumed that meant that Albinoni had died by that time. However, it appears he lived on in Venice in obscurity; a record from the parish of San Barnaba indicates Tomaso Albinoni died in Venice in 1751, of diabetes mellitus.

Most of his operatic works have been lost, largely because they were not published during his lifetime. However, nine collections of instrumental works were published. These were met with considerable success and consequent reprints. He is therefore known more as a composer of instrumental music (99 sonatas, 59 concerti and 9 sinfonie) today. In his lifetime these works were compared favorably with those of Corelli and Vivaldi. His nine collections published in Italy, Amsterdam and London were either dedicated to or sponsored by an impressive list of southern European nobility. Albinoni wrote at least fifty operas, of which twenty-eight were produced in Venice between 1723 and 1740. Albinoni himself claimed 81 operas (naming his second-to-last opera, in the libretto, as his 80th). In spite of his enormous operatic output, today he is most noted for his instrumental music, especially his oboe concerti (from 12 Concerti a cinque op. 7 and, most famously, 12 Concerti a cinque op. 9). He is the first Italian known to employ the oboe as a solo instrument in concerti (c. 1715, in his op. 7) and publish such works, although earlier concerti featuring solo oboe were probably written by German composers such as Telemann or Händel. In Italy, Alessandro Marcello published his well-known oboe concerto in D minor a little later, in 1717. Albinoni also employed the instrument often in his chamber works.

His instrumental music attracted great attention from Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni's themes (Fugue in A major on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 950, and Fugue in B minor on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni, BWV 951) and frequently used his basses for harmonic exercises for his pupils. Part of Albinoni's work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library. (Thanks Allies) As a result, little is known of his life and music after the mid-1720s.

The famous Adagio in G minor, the subject of many modern recordings, is thought by some to be a musical hoax composed by Remo Giazotto. However, a discovery by musicologist Muska Mangano, Giazotto's last assistant before his death, has cast some doubt on that belief. Among Giazotto's papers, Mangano discovered a modern but independent manuscript transcription of the figured bass portion, and six fragmentary bars of the first violin, "bearing in the top right-hand corner a stamp stating unequivocally the Dresden provenance of the original from which it was taken". This provides support for Giazotto's account that he did base his composition on an earlier source.

Here are the COMPLETE Oboe concertos Opus 7 and Opus 9 referred to above.

Naturally I must include the famous Adagio in G minor written for orchestra and organ BUT not this time; I found a really nice transcription for guitar.

Here is the complete Concerti e Sinfonie Op 2

And here is Bach’s take on Albinoni’s music. BWV 950 and 951

And yes Glenn Gould tackled this one—

 

Since I mentioned Alessandro Marcello above I suppose I should elaborate. Marcello was born in 1673 and died in 1747. He was an Italian nobleman and composer. Born in Venice, Marcello was the son of a senator. He was a contemporary of Tomaso Albinoni. As such, he enjoyed a comfortable life that gave him the scope to pursue his interest in music. He held concerts in his hometown and also composed and published several sets of concertos, including six concertos under the title of La Cetra (The Lyre), as well as cantatas, arias, canzonets, and violin sonatas. Marcello, being a slightly older contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi, often composed under the pseudonym Eterio Stinfalico, his name as a member of the celebrated Arcadian Academy (Pontificia Accademia degli Arcadi). He died in Padua in 1747.

Alessandro's brother was the more well-known Benedetto Marcello, also a composer, who illegally married his singing student Rosanna Scalfi in 1728. After his death she was unable to inherit his estate, and in 1742 she filed suit against Alessandro Marcello, seeking financial support. Yeah---women---they never change.

Here is his 6 Concerti "La Cetra", mentioned above.

And yes He also has a famous Adagio Arranged and performed by Jonathan Scott at the organ of All Saints' Church, Stand, Whitefield, Greater Manchester UK (This is BS's backyard so maybe he can tell us more about the instrument involved---I couldn't find anything).

And this is what Bach and Glenn Gould did with Alessandro’s Adagio BWV 974


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may72020
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11/01/2019 7:54 pm  

Thanks Evil Genius...good music to listen to when I do some video editing this weekend. I don't think the impending snow is going to let me go zipping around the backroads with the topless Asian girlfriend looking for picturesque stuff to take pictures of. 


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The Evil Genius
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11/01/2019 8:15 pm  

Thanks man---oddly I really liked the Marcello 6 concerti they are quite well done, and the Albinoni Sinfonias were great. The oboe concertos---well not a big fan of the oboe and they all started sounding alike. I'll be interested to see what Matcha Savage and BSC have to say when they weigh in on the topic. 


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Matcha Savage
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13/01/2019 11:00 am  

😀 Yeah! Thank you, Evil Genius!

Hearing the prelude to Tomasi Albinoni‘s Oboe concerto opus 7, I knew that I would just listen to the whole concerto in one go.

See, me was onboard with this, instantaneously, so I cannot really tell you what kind of ship it is when looked at from the outside and a certain distance - which I seemed just not to have, yesterday.

I was floating in it - and right away. With hands folded behind my head.

Sometimes for a little while humming, singing, whistling, laughing or even using my surroundings as a percussion set.

 

What I actually did notice a lot, were the pauses between the songs signaling that one for whatever reason had ended, so another would thankfully and soonish be starting off, instead.

In the first hour these pauses would often take me by sheer surprise!

Then, I would ask myself: Savage, could you even describe the song that has just ended? Other than it having oboe and strings and so on? How long it has been or what its special characteristics are in comparison to the ones before it?

Or could you even tell how many of these songs you have already listened to, until now?

—Well, not so much. I mean: It did pearl a lot, didn’t it? With motives peeling themselves fast and fluently out of other motives that had done so already before them in an ever flowing/giving/changing/watery manner.

Unfolding from and folding back into zero/the basic state. With no drop going to waste.

I gotta say, though: What I did notice very well, was everything other than the music by Albinoni, like the precisely measured silence in between songs and the drumming of the strong rain pushed against the windows by the storm, with its wind howling from time to time.

 

But I totally missed the part, when concerto op. 7 actually ends and concerto op. 9 begins!

😆

So, I listened to that as well, because I did not find a spot in it, where I would want to stop its flow.

Oh, my poor millennial attention span! LOL

My timetable for the weekend was a little bit in disarray and, when I finished listening to op. 9, I was already good to go, in full storm gear and with my backpack on standing besides the device that played the final notes.

Laughing about what ‘just’ has been happening.

 

The Oboe concerto op. 7 and 9 to me resemble a refreshing or joyous, rocky, wild water stream cascading and whirling downwards the mountain range, that it is a smoothing pleasure to behold or just sit at its banks and come to senses and renewed forces.

So much for now, godspeed!


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The Evil Genius
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13/01/2019 7:33 pm  

That is an excellent observation about Albinoni--his stuff is generally very bright and upbeat. Of course Venice in the 18th century is a VERY upbeat place to be---it is a cultural hub of art, music, literature, philosophy etc. ITS A HAPPENING PLACE. HELL Marco Polo was born there.

That is it was a great place until Napoleon blew it up in 1797. 

 


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Matcha Savage
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14/01/2019 9:58 am  

Very interesting. I wondered about this, because equipped with my limited knowledge and understanding of Venetian history, I had a hard time bringing these three (the composer, the city and the works) together.

I have to admit, I painted all of Venice with a pretty dark and broad brush in my own mind: decadence, affairs, scandals, assassinations, rivalry,...

It would simply not have occurred to me, calling this an upbeat or even bright place, but, again, I didn’t knew it had seen better days than the ones which have formed my little prejudices.

Napoleon’s armies engaged in acts of horrific barbarism. Ordered from above, mostly.

Thank you! I will have to look at this with new eyes .

 


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Matcha Savage
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15/01/2019 6:01 pm  

‘A happening place’

 

The Oboe concertos of Albinoni remind me of a place in nature:

It is a little part of a wider landscape, where a river springs in a high moor and cascades and winds itself like a snake through and down the mountain range into the surrounding plains.

Doktor Faust meeting up with the spirits of the elements and nature in that particular high moor at night pretty much sums it up.

Goethe has been there and Heine, too. The latter was full of lenghty praise and poetry for the place.

There are legends about it from a far more distant past. One day, one was to be found true.

There is a living and breathing kingdom of heaven on earth full of riches unseen and unheard.


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Matcha Savage
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20/01/2019 12:46 pm  

Marcello has had a hard time with Albinoni, I am almost certain.

Being by no means a bad musician or composer, Marcello’s works here only serve as a good example for the unique and extraordinary strengths of the ones written by Albinoni.

That is life.

Because in comparison it shows so well, what exactly Albinoni does to elevate his music to be so upbeat and very bright.

It becomes obvious, what powers are at work and where they lead a man towards, when followed through life.

 

That didn’t hold me back from listening to Alessandro Marcello’s 6 Concerti ‘La Cetra’, fully.

In contrast, I listened very carefully, because it would explain to me in detail why I appreciate the works of Albinoni so very much.

I will see for listening through all the works of Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni.

That will take me a while, given how eagerly and much the man produced   and how ‘slowly’ I am listening.

‘Slowly’ because I will listen to the Oboe concertos 7&9 for a fourth time, today.

 

In my ears the oboe, be it an instrument that is highly impractical to be carried around all day in a dense and natural forest, is the best of all woodflutes, sound wise.

Finally, I do not want to keep away from you the fact, that I found out, why I have such a favor for solo instruments which are driven by breath. Be it brass or wood instruments.

So, without further do:

Listen, I found out why.

Have a nice day!

 


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MG-ɹǝʍo┴
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20/01/2019 2:15 pm  

If you're gonna make music from brass tubes, at least use the hand held model with some vocals! 


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c^Pig
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27/01/2019 12:45 am  

🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy thoughts make happy slaves 🙂 🙂 🙂


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Matcha Savage
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12/04/2019 12:09 pm  

Rick Wakeman´s outer appearance in a good sense very much fits what he is doing with these keyboards. At first, I wanted to describe it as a sort of whacky-artist-and/or-professor style, but then decided against going into too much detail in my rambling about the obvious. Anyways, it has been a little while, since I listened to and watched his great performance, but this superficial, visual component sticks out of my memory like a thore thumb, I guess, because he reminds me of someone I know, who is a musician as well and does somewhat look alike.

Aside from that, I thought it might be a great idea to stop by and drop off a link to Albinoni´s Sonata da Chiesa Op.4. From what I gathered in impressions so far, the earlier works of Albinoni seem to be a little more tame, predictable and (I´d say) courtly, judging from what I heard so far. The Sonata nonetheless struck me as being a good fit to the pieces linked in this thread so far. Without further due, I hope some of you might enjoy this.


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Matcha Savage
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07/05/2019 7:22 am  

Very slowly, but surely I am listening to more and more pieces and works of Tomasio Albinoni, yet I am still far from having established a definite overview of what he has and has not composed. What contributes to keep the speed of exploration at snail pace is my tendency to listen to "new" pieces and works I find at least a quadrillion times/like again and again, which, unfortunatrely, leaves only little room for further expansion of my horizon considering the total of Albinoni´s work.

The Adagio in the video below - although it may not seem special at all- is one of these. 

 

 


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The Evil Genius
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07/05/2019 4:52 pm  

That is a good performance Matcha EXCEPT the work was originally scored for chamber orchestra and organ. I noticed the organ parts in the video above were taken up by the second violin---I think. 🍺  


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Redditbob
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12/05/2019 3:16 am  

r some of these in Devil May Cry? Sounds familiar.

Reddit is dying, censorship is growing. Speak now before you can speak no more.


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Matcha Savage
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13/05/2019 6:51 pm  
Posted by: The Evil Genius

That is a good performance Matcha EXCEPT the work was originally scored for chamber orchestra and organ. I noticed the organ parts in the video above were taken up by the second violin---I think. 🍺  

You crack me up, man! 😆


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GregBO
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15/05/2019 1:53 pm  

Bach you say ... 

Check Matcha. Sometimes you just have to take the time and allow the music to place nature into perspective for you!

Music is the effort we make to explain to ourselves how our brains work. We listen to Bach transfixed because this is listening to a human mind. 
- Lewis Thomas

--------------->  Wikipedia further information <--------------------------------

Lewis Thomas was an American physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher.

Thomas was born in Flushing, New York and attended Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He became Dean of Yale Medical Schooland New York University School of Medicine, and President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute. His formative years as an independent medical researcher were at Tulane University School of Medicine.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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Matcha Savage
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15/05/2019 6:07 pm  
Posted by: GregBO

(...)

Sometimes you just have to take the time and allow the music to place nature into perspective for you!

(...)

This strikes me as a very noble and truthful message. Thank you, GregBo, for kindly sharing that with me!


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GregBO
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15/05/2019 11:06 pm  

Matcha,  You are quite welcome and thanks for the reply!

Life today is consumed with a frenetic pace that often allows little opportunity to heal and recover.  Music has always been a solice for me that facilitates this regrowth.  

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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