Baroque Chamber Music

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Baroque Chamber Music

I thought it would be nice to open a thread on Baroque chamber music, giving it more or less our contemporary meaning: music for one to a few solo instruments without ripieno group. The tread could just be a place to come back every now and again to comment on some of this music, or anything to do with this repertoire.

As a starter:

A favourite recording of mine is a collection of sonatas for 3 cellos (and no continuo) by Emenegildo del Cinque. I know nothing about the composer or the music, I just have a flac rip of a CD, no booklet and the Web seems to know nothing about it either. Can't even remember how I got it in the first place, but it has been with me for some years  now. The music is exquisite and doubly valuable given the unique combination of instruments.

Does anyone know this music or know anything about the composer?

What a subject...and...what a start!

Interesting and valuable subject, Camaron. When this quite busy period passes, I will have much to contribute. There is a wealth of works, mostly underrated, neglected and, often, even forgotten.

However, your starting work(s) is really a shocking one. For all my collection and after having indulged extensively in this period, I do not recall any work by this composer. Searching, however, in some usual online retailers, there is probably your CD. It comes from an obscure label I have no knowledge at all, called Kvadro-disk. The Cd reads: 6 Sonatas for three Violoncelli, performed by some slave soloists and it had, apparently, been released in December 2010. DHM has released a CD that I do not have with Cello Sonatas by some Italian composers, called Viaggio Italiano, with works by Bassani, Platti, Romanelli, Paganelli, Vivaldi and someone called simply Ermenegildo.

Looking for some rare Italian Chamber Music of the 17th century, I got recently an interesting CD with Sinfonie a violino solo, Op. VII  (Violin, Cembalo) by someone called Angelo Berardi, on Tactus.

However, I would suggest to start with the basic and most essential works of the period, like the Chamber Music of J.S. Bach (and of his most significant Sons, despite the fact that they belong to a transitional period than the Baroque era itself) or Handel's. We may examine composers by geographical areas (French, Italian, German etc.) or by medium (solo sonatas with continuo or Trio Sonatas, Quadri etc.).

Anyway, it is your thread. You may set the pace.

Parla

I really didn't want to start

I really didn't want to start this obscure: but it was while listening to these sonatas this morning that the idea of the thread came up. I thought that if someone would have access to some more information on de Quince or his music might be you Parla!

I have -on purpose- not set a plan or order. Different lines within the thread can easily develop spontaneously or in any given order, to people's liking. I wouldn't personally include Bach's sons here, but I also see the point for doing it, so help yourself.

I also realise that apart from Bach's well known masterworks most of this repertoire falls outside the normal canon as well as most people listening habits, so we'll see what comes up.

No rush either, I know we are heading straight to a bit of a black hole that should last well over a week.

Well, I found a collection of

Well, I found a collection of trios here:

http://classical-music-online.net/en/listen/50504

The one I'm auditioning  (no. 1) sounds agreeable and reminds me what a pleasant sound an ensemble of 'cellos makes. In fact, it's quite well crafted stuff. I wonder if del Cinque was a 'cello teacher. Of course with a name like that, he should have specialised in quintets.

 

Baroque chamber music has quite a lot of scope. In addition to Bach's output, Handel and Vivaldi wrote a large number of sonatas. I have also been enjoying the viol music of Marin Marais played by Sarah Cunningham.

Best wishes

Adam

Yes, that's it phlogisto, but

Yes, that's it phlogisto, but again no information attached...

As you say the scope of Baroque chamber music is enormous. Just about any composer produced some collections, or many. All the great names that come to mind have something to show, regardless of nationality. Hopefully some of the more prominent works will come up little by little, once things get back to normal...

Louis - Gabriel Guillemain.

As I mentioned in my previous post,  camaron, the information requested can be found in some well-known retailers,  such as Amazon,  Archiv etc. The disc is also available to buy or download. 

Some rare chamber music from early 18th century: Guillemain: Amusements.  Works for solo violin(s) with a rich ensemble to follow. Performed brightly by an ensemble called Aliquando directed by violinist Stephanie Paulet. On the very marginal label...Muso.

Parla

Chamber Music, Why or Why Not?

What I find difficult though not inappropriate, is the blurring between the definition of a chamber sized ensemble and an orchestra sized ensemble. I brought out a copy on Archiv of Boccherini thinking that the group was a chamber sized ensemble and by today's standards they would be but according to the jacket description, it's a Baroque Orchesta.

Right now I'm playing my mono vinyl copy of A. Corelli, J.S. Bach,

J.M. Leclair and G.F. Handel on a 1954 Haydn Society release. Performers are; Lili Friedemann Baroque Violin, Finn Videro Harpsichord and Hans Erik Deckert Viola da Gamba. All four works are Sonatas for Violin and Continuo. 

goofyfoot

K

Karajan's concerto grosso records may not be so blurry. On the other hand, he was confronted on the recent BBC film on his Wagner being chamber.

Idiosyncratic

As great as Karajan was, I will always have the opinion that he took liberties to control the score with an idiosyncratic approach. His Brahms with the Vienna is breathtaking but I don't know enough about his catalogue to associate him with the Baroque performance practice and have never listened to his Concerto Grosso recordings. 

Anyhow, Telemann wrote a number of compositions for small groups (woodwinds stand out in my mind) but I couldn't begin to say which pieces are strongest and which recordings are the most desirable. It's odd given how gifted Telemann was, but I have very little of his music in my CD or vinyl library. Any enlightened suggestions would be graciously appreciated.

goofyfoot

Telemann's Chamber Music.

Goofyfoot, Telemann is one of the top composers in Chamber Music, in the Baroque era. He was very prolific and there are numerous works and recordings to indulge in. However, I believe, if you have to rely on a minimum set of CDs, one has to start with his Chamber masterpieces: the 6 Parisian Quartets. There are enough recordings, some unavailable, but, only recently, we enjoyed two quite competitive releases, the one with the Age of Passions, on DHM, and one with Les Ombres, on Mirare. On CPO, there is a quite good one with violinist John Holloway leading an excellent group. My most favourite, elegant, brilliant in almost every detail and in a superb SACD recording is on Channel, with the splendid group Florilegium.

Beyond these great works, for some fascinating Trios and Quartets, you may look for a disc on Centaur with the group Aulos Ensemble or on Linn with the Ensemble Meridiana, in great SACD sound.

For some solo Sonatas, I would suggest the double SACD set of NCA, with the 12 Solos for Violin or Flute and B.C. The soloists include the seasoned and always solid Christine Schornsheim, on Cembalo. Another very impressive SACD recording came this year by MDG with the Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord from a manuscript from Frankfurt dated 1715.

The Russian audiophile label Caro Mitis has recorded some very interesting SACDs on Telemann. Two most natable are the ones titled "Telemann in Minor" and "Telemann in Major", exploring works, mostly in Chamber Music in minor and in major modes respectively.

Finally, the famous collection of works, titled "Tafelmusik" and "Der getreue Music-Meister" contain some very engaging Chamber Works (along with other works for larger forces) by the composer.

I hope the above info might be of help, at least to start with.

Happy New Year!

Parla

goofyfoot wrote:What I find

goofyfoot wrote:

What I find difficult though not inappropriate, is the blurring between the definition of a chamber sized ensemble and an orchestra sized ensemble. I brought out a copy on Archiv of Boccherini thinking that the group was a chamber sized ensemble and by today's standards they would be but according to the jacket description, it's a Baroque Orchesta.

 

That blurring is one of the reason why  I said that I was adopting our modern understanding of what chamber music is. It is not a definition that would make sense for baroque composers at the time: chamber music just meant no church music, no opera. Back then there was not a clear concept of orchestra, and it would be more appropriate to distinguish genres that use ripieno (ensemble playing in unison) and others that don’t do. So basicly Corellian or Vivaldian (ritornello) concertos and French suites/overtures.

But even so, the doubling of parts could be done discretionary, or depending on forces (take Geminiani’s Op. 5, after Corelli’s solo sonatas)

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