In the first performance of the Chaconne on this CD, these relationships are left implicit. In the second, with the Hilliards and Poppen together, they are made explicit. Eerie stuff, no? All this would be of little import, however, if the music and the performances on this CD were less than they are. Fortunately, Bach's chorales and Passion movements are wonderfully realized by the vocal quartet, and Poppen's musicianship in the Chaconne and in other movements from the Sonata 2 is outstanding.
This is not an "everyday" CD, and it is not recommended for those who want a straightforward presentation of Bach's music. However, there is something very compelling, atmospheric, and beautiful about this program; might it be that way because of the composer's "numbers game"? The engineering contributes to the pervasive mood of gently shimmering love and salvation. Bach's wife Maria Barbara died in Bach is believed to have commenced writing the Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin shortly thereafter.
It makes you think, doesn't it? That makes you think too, no? All Rights Reserved. Site Search. CD Review Morimur. Home News Contacts Copyright. Books Music. Yes, Bruckner can be refreshing. Witness this lively, flowing performance that never sacrifices the necessary gravitas for mere speed, but which delivers an interpretation of unusual cogency and music Claudio Santoro composed fourteen symphonies over the course of about fifty years, making him one of the most noteworthy twentieth-century Brazilian composers in large forms.
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First Class Jack Harlow. As It Was Harry Styles. In A Minute Lil Baby. Plan B Megan Thee Stallion. What Happened To Virgil feat. Gunna Lil Durk. Right On Lil Baby. Don't Think Jesus Morgan Wallen. Super Gremlin Kodak Black. Scrape It Off feat. Rock N Roll feat. Dreamin Of The Past feat. Kanye West Pusha T. Brambleton Pusha T.
Hold That Heat feat. Sleazy Flow SleazyWorld Go. Heat Waves Glass Animals. Call My Bluff Pusha T. Knife Talk feat. Diet Coke Pusha T. Flowers Lauren Spencer-Smith. Petty Too feat. Future Lil Durk. Broadway Girls feat. Morgan Wallen Lil Durk. Banking On Me Gunna. Thoene suggests that Bach also inserted his signature in bars and in the example on the top of page 54 of the booklet of the Ciaccona.
In these two cases, the notes are in the C-H-B-A order, not exactly a signature. If we follow the logic of this argument, any chromatic progression from A to C or vice-versa in Bach's work is intended as his signature, a claim I am not sure Bach specialists are willing to make.
The " Der Tod, der Tod " motif is not strictly from a chorale but movement 3 of cantata BWV 4 , as acknowledged on page So my strong impression from all of this is that if you take snippets of chorales here and there, and tweak their time values, you should be able to superimpose them on a multitude of works by a variety of composers to uncover almost any meaning you want give the Ciaccona to Peter Schikele and he will probably find a way to superpose excerpts from "Tea for Two" and the "Guns of Navarone" soundtrack.
Another small gripe: if the Hilliard are going to sing the " Christ lag " chorale four times, could they at least not choose four different harmonizations, rather than sing the same one four times? I hope some of you will take thopportunity to shoot down my arguments and expose my ignorance; I really want to like this CD and to appreciate such an interesting and unusual initiative.
We were talking about this recording just a few days ago. I can't make too many comments on your post, except by saying that it's well written and lucid, because I'm no music scholar, and haven't even bothered to read the 20 something pages of English liner notes for the disc.
I simply hit play on the CD player and enjoy the music without considering at all the theoretical underpinnings about what may or may not have been in Bach's mind when he was composing the Partita. I can see how if you disagreed with the theory that you may be bothered by the music in a way that someone who doesn't care about such things isn't.
The pleasure of listening to the music is all the convincing I need and care about, which is just one way among a many of approaching the work. So did you like the music on the disc? Any of the Hillard's singing? Poppen's violin playing? The way movements of the Partita were interspersed with vocal parts?
How about the effect of hearing the vocies superimposed on the Ciaccona at the end of the disc? Not the logic behind the project, but the music of the combined Ciaccona and vocal works? Pretend you don't know a thing about the reasoning that put them together.
I find the music very moving and refreshing, but when pressed will confess that I think of the work as more of a strange kind of quodlibet written just a few years ago than the conclusion of--what seems to my uneducated glance--a very hard case to prove. I'd like to hear more discs like this one. Once again, the argument that brought the music into being doesn't concern me. It's the final outcome, this lovely haunting unusual new Bachian kind of music, that impresses me.
Have I really become so immune to the simple enjoyment of music? Good question that will haunt many sleepless nights But I hope not. As an academic, my instinctive reaction when I see a "scholarly" piece is to see if I agree with its basic hypothesis. And since the raison d'etre of this CD is Dr. Thoene's research, the temptation is to judge one by the other. But your questions about the music are, of course, central.
Focusing only on that, thus, I am forced to question whether the performance of the individual pieces represents an improvement over the competition. Are there "better" performances of the solo violin sonatas and partitas? I find Huggett and Kuijken, for example, to be more statisfactory. If I want to listen to chorales on the Morimur CD, are there other sources to check out first? Here again, I believe so.
Two of them come from St John, one from St Matthew and the others from various cantatas not to mention volume 7 of Teldec's Bach , which includes all the 4-part chorales, beautifully performed by the Rundfunkchor Berlin. Whether or not one agrees with the one-on-a-part approach to Bach's choral music, there are many performances of these chorales with finer tuning and clearer acoustics.
As to your last question about the impact of the voices superimposed on the ciaccona, well yes, it sounds nice, in an Enya-like way. It would sound nice with almost anything superimposed on it, wouldn't it? Maybe what really prevents me from enjoying this is the impression of misguided scholarship and the superimposition of a randomly chosen music snippets on a masterly piece of music that is anything but random.
Maybe also the ambition that disputable research can claim to understand what happened in Bach's mind? I guess in a nutshell, the underlying scientific argument and the performance are not compelling enough, in my view, to make up for the convenience of having these wonderful violin pieces and chorales on one CD. Now I'll go and listen to some music just for the fun of it.
Good to have you here. Sorry if I came across as ouch-inducing. Just came back from having my teeth cleaned, now that's ouchy, along with comparing this disc with Enya's music. Next thing you know we'll be talking about Yanni. And I thought we were a civilized group. I can understand why those with more knowledge than I of the issue would have problems with it, and how that could effect the listening experience.
When it's all said and done, I don't really see how the Enya comparison works very well. After all, it's a real Bach Partita combined with a real chorales. What makes the combination of the two not come across as a kind of hybrid baroque composition a quodlibet, if you will and instead as elevated elevator music like Enya? You could be right about the high number of chorales that would sound well with the Partita, or any of the solo works.
I'd like to hear other discs like this to see if it's true. Jim who still says if you think this is the sort of album you'd like, then go for it. I enjoy it. PS: I may just have to track down the Teldec recording. You're not the only person to give it a high recommendation. But the idea remains, in the sense that the whole thing sounds very "new agey" to me, in part because of the acoustics. This being said, you're exactly right about the quodlibet comparison.
When it comes down to it and then I'll stop sharing my successive impressions of this work , from a purely--non scientific--point of view, I may resent the idea of adding anything to Bach's music. Even written for one melodic instrument, it's as perfect as it can be. More is less. Now, if the research were convincing, I would certainly appreciate listening to the exercise for that reason. Sympathies for your teeth! PS: The Teldec Vol. Seven CDs of chorales and songs Probably not to be listened to in one sitting Before attaching words like "beautifully performed" or "high recommendation" to this particular set of recordings by this group, I would suggest waiting to hear from Kirk McElhearn who will soon tell us what the Brilliant Complete Bach series has to offer in this particular Bach Chorales category.
But this goes with the works - some of them, in fact, many of them, are very short. I know the cantatas are coming out starting in November; I'm not sure about the rest. I'll get in touch with Hanssler and find out. I like violin partitas, but listening to the usual couple CD sets that enclose the "Complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin" is something I usually can't stand.
To my taste, the same goes for almost all "Complete" issues. Maybe 30 minutes of Harpsichord are sublime, but 78 minutes in a row not to mention more than one CD can make me nuts -Sorry Brad, It's sad, but it's a fact :o -. On the other hand, to build a comprehensive collection, the advantage of "complete" sets is obvious, so I happen to own many, and I usually feel more attracted to buy complete sets than isolated recordings.
With time, I developed some discipline, and when I play some integral recording, I go directly to an specific work, I listen to it and that's it. We need other recordings of this type for those listeners who wish to 'peer beneath the surface' and actually hear what others who have studied long and hard have discovered.
Just reading a treatise will never be as fulfilling as the direct understanding that comes from hearing it on a recording. I still have not received my copy of this CD, but today WFMT, the local classical radio station played a minute segment from this recording. At this time I do not wish to comment of the quality of the recording and the artists, but rather concentrate on the basic concept behind this recording. Personally, I was moved by what I consider to be a true possibility about "how Bach's mind works.
The implication that, based on statistics and probability, if one tried to apply the limited number of notes in a diatonic scale in the limited way that the chorales employed them, it would be a simple matter to come up with other meaningful connections between chorale text, chorale melody, and the resulting solo work for violin, loses significance when there is sufficient evidence in Bach's vocal works that Bach's mind did move in this direction.
Pointing to the basic chordal progressions of the Chaconne as simplifying the application of the chorale melodies, will not detract from the fact that Bach may still have been thinking whether consciously or unconsciously in this instance, we will never know with certainty of these chorales specifically.
That is why it is important to have many careful listeners who will come to their own 'tentative' conclusions about this effort in Bach scholarship and recording. To have a more valid conclusion regarding these matters, one really needs to study thoroughly Bach's scores while listening to the music, all this after studying what important Bach scholars have discovered in their own research.
This is almost like a sacred quodlibet in that we have fragmentary quotes of the beginning of another chorale Another factor that must be considered is that Bach was the supreme master in embellishing a simple melody, such as a chorale melody. In one of the Bach cantata discussions I do not want to take the time to relocate the specific cantata and mvt. It would, of course, be very helpful if someone were to overlay the chorale melody at least with an instrument such as the oboe to make such a connection more apparent for the average listener.
My constant amazement is stimulated by Bach's ability to condense material and operate at several different levels simultaneously, each level having significance on its own. The density he achieves in certain sections of certain compositions is such that the first-time listener is unable to 'comprehend' the complicated puzzle that Bach has 'solved' with such apparent ease. In his sacred music, Bach automatically draws upon his 's understanding of chorale texts and bible passages.
He need only intone a chorale snippet, usually the 1st line, to conjure up within the listener the thoughts and feelings usually associated with that quotation. More amazing yet are the hints and indications that Bach has in his musical score, things that only an astute musician or singer will notice, but things that nevertheless bear a direct reference to subject matter of the cantata text, although the congregation would have no way of realizing this level of thought and understanding.
For the congregation, or normal listener, such an aspect of compositional technique is simply esoteric - beyond the normal capacity for comprehension. Does this then prevent the listener from enjoying the music without all these references to possible esoteric levels of understanding? This is the sign of greatness, that Bach's music can have wide appeal without these references being made explicit. Think of the large portion of Shakespeare's audience at the Globe Theatre. Would they have understood the psychological depth of the dramas as explained by the experts?
Or think of Goethe's " Faust Part 1 ", or better yet his " Urfaust ". Despite the profound thought contained in these dramas, could not the average audience enjoy and understand the content without penetrating to its profound depths? Personally, I am moved to even greater admiration for Bach's work, each time a new understanding of what he was possibly doing at this or that point in a composition is revealed to me, but I can also understand that others can do without such additional insights in that the music is sufficient onto itself, just as Shakespeare and Goethe knew that their dramas would have to stand on their own as a spectacle that could be understood directly by the main audience.
But science concerns itself with "theories" Relativity, Evolution etc. Such verification never proves a theory, it merely renders it more probable. So in the final analysis the whole of science is based on probability and statistics, and talk of "scientific proof" in musicology or any other discipline is erroneous. Thomas Braatz wrote October 22, : [To Charles Francis] Thanks for the clarification, Charles, I got caught up in my own 'hubris' here, assigning certainty where there is none.
Unfortunately, as primarily understood by non-scientists, 'scientific proof' is assumed if the theory in question is very probable. I have to keep reminding myself that what you say is true there is no scientific proof for anything in any discipline. I think that what I was trying to say is that an overly strong emphasis in attempting to quantify what Bach possibly had in mind could lead to the statement that it seems more probable that the chorale quotations were accidental byproducts that could easily be replaced with other unrelated chorale quotations simply by choosing them and superimposing them on the existing composition.
It is such an quantifying approach that I would reject in favor of one that looks for similar situations in Bach's oeuvre. Then allow analogies to provide the links that would make an assumption, such as the one in "Morimur," seem reasonable. I am grateful to Teri Noel Towe for drawing the following to my attention. Samples can be found at: www. Whether one accepts the main point of its treatise may be a matter of faith, though not so much in a religion as it was for Bach , as in the man himself.
For those who haven't heard of it, the basic idea behind this record comes from papers published by musicologist Helga Thoene at the University of Duesseldorf. Thoene ties the creation of the autograph manuscript for Bach's Partita for Unaccompanied Violin in D Minor and to a lesser extent, the other solo violin Sonatas and Partitas to the earth-shattering event in Bach's life in , the death of his first wife, Maria Barbara Bach.
The fact that her death was a total surprise and occurred while he was away for the summer with the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Coethen he had no word of the event until his return home and its undoubtedly profound effect on Johann Sebastian, is the basis so argues Thoene that the Partita's monumental Chaconne exists as an elegy to his dead wife. Hence the CD title "Morimur", which comes from the Latin and roughly means "we die", though in the context of death as a passage to being reborn.
The notes for the CD go over these ideas in some detail, and are written both by Thoene and Herbert Glossner. They show as supporting evidence the use of hidden, or unheard, insertions of various chorale melodies within the harmonic and melodic structure of the Chaconne.
Thus the meat of this recording is a performance of the Chaconne, with the chorales sung with the violin part to show how they fit over it. These chorales include " Christ lag in Todesbanden ", " Jesu meine Freunde ," " Auf meinen lieben Gott ," and several others. The hymm " Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt " "The Death no one could subdue" is used not only within the Chaconne, but is sung separately at several significant sequences throughout the CD, one supposes as a sort of marking motif.
Glossner buttresses the argument by pointing out the "coding" of various numbers significant to Christianity, via the commonly-used numerical mechanism known as gematria, among others. Also significant are the places where Bach's own signature tagline the pitches B flat, A, C, and B natural, or H in German notation occur within the music, as can also be seen in the Art of the Fugue. One of the main arguments that have been advanced against the idea behind "Morimur" regards the notion that Bach would write "by the numbers".
The very idea seems to strike at the heart of "creativity" as we understand it now, implying a sort of composition-by-algorithm if not by computer method that enrages some of Thoene's detractors. Certainly one can take the analysis to extremes, and find "hidden" passages and numerical allusions in just about any work, if one tried hard enough.
In this sense, I think it's possible to find codes and numericals in Bach's music where none exist, at least to a provable level of intent on his part. Philosophically-based allusions, cited in the sonatas of Biber and Schmelzer, has been a keen subject of study for example, with many of the "riddles" still unsolved to this day. And of course, the use of "canned" harmonic progressions was a given in those times ostinatos anyone? Similarly, there's skepticism that Bach would have written the Chaconne specifically to imbed hidden cantus firmus chorales within the complexities of the arpeggiation and multiple stopping--for what purpose?
Certainly not as a guide to future performances. So I can agree with the skeptics' argument to an extent, simply because in the CD, the way in which the chorales are set with the playing of the solo violin sound to me somewhat contrived in a few spots. The singing is not continuous, so there are places in which no chorales are sung, and it's not clear to me in the liner notes why this would be. But in the end, one of the reasons why I could find Thoene's thesis plausible has nothing to do with proofs or analyses of any kind.
Rather, there's simply the towering figure of JSB himself. How possible is it for any musicologist, let alone regular music lovers, to discern the thought and creative processes that went on in the mind of the man who IS the greatest composer in Western musical art tradition? Especially if the work was to be written as a "tombeau" to Maria Barbara? In the end, you can only listen and decide in your own gut whether it works or not, and whether your own vision of Bach as a composer fits into this hypothesis.
The "Hilliards" are in this case, just four singers. They sing in a kind of ethereal manner which may not be to everyone's taste; perhaps "angelic" might be an appropriate term? But they nonetheless provide a striking vocal impression as only the Hilliards can, and singers such as John Potter bring a special sensitivity to Bach. Similarly the recording acoustic the monastery of St. Gerold in Austria is rather reverberant, which means some of the acoustic details could thus be sharper.
But this may have been done as much for balance reasons as anything, especially when the singers and the violin perform together. As for Christoph Poppen's violin playing, I cannot fault it, though I'm not familiar with many other available recordings of the work to compare. The tracks of each movement of the Partita are separated by chorales, but you can program your CD player to give you an integrated performance of the Partita itself.
And one hears the great Chaconne twice; first in its traditional, violin-only version, as well as the version with the interpolated voices. Poppen's Chaconne is taken at a slower pace than other HIP versions of which I'm aware; his performance at over 14 minutes compares to Sigiswald Kuijken's more brisk s recording at just over 11 minutes. But Poppen's playing is definitely no less impressive for either virtuosity or expressiveness.
So even Poppen's solo instrumental version of this work reflects the treatise behind "Morimur". Perhaps the recording, which is rather short by CD standards, could have provided both a better value and a more convincing case for Thoene's ideas if it had included a second, interactive CD-ROM that discussed in even greater detail what's given in the album notes not to mention larger, easier-to-read texts!
For example, a complete score of the Chaconne with the hidden chorale passages inserted and just maybe, a tutorial on why the passages wouldn't have worked elsewhere in the score, thus supporting the interpolations made in the recording would have been useful. In the meantime, I hope that those people who buy this CD out of word of mouth and curiosity, but who aren't otherwise familiar with the whole body of Bach's solo instrumental works will be drawn in to further explore this music.
Suffice for me to say that, whether the ideas are valid or not, I probably will never again listen to this music in the same way. Morimur C. Peck wrote: What's happening to this NG now? I've never seen so few messages! I was rather disappointed. I find they handle Renaissance music Lassus for instance better than Bach. Charles Francis wrote January 22, : [To C. Peck] As it happens I was at a Hilliard Ensemble concert a few days ago.
They hardly ever sing Baroque music and in 'Morimur' they abandoned their usual style and copied the purported 'HIP' doctrines pioneered by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Unfortunately, this manner of chorale performance is not supported by the historical evidence and leads to poor musical results.
There is no relationship with Harnoncourt, that's just something Charles Francis made up. I'm still waiting that Mr. Charles explains the artistical connection between N. Harnoncourt and the Hilliard Ensemble. Sybrand Bakker wrote January 25, : [To Riccardo Nughes] Isn't that clear enough : [quote] and in 'Morimur' they abandoned their usual style and copied the purported 'HIP' doctrines pioneered by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Evidently there is much more historical evidence for those so-called 'doctrines' than for the unfounded assumption the word 'Clavecymbel' can imply a fortepiano. But obviously, Charles Francis think there is such thing as the historical evidence, which of course basically includes only the sources he has read and uses as dogma to determine what has to be called 'poor musical results' and what not. This is basically the same procedure followed by some totalitarian 20th century leaders: always proof your argument by discrediting your opponents, always play your opponents instead of the subject.
There is, however, an assumption that "a new Clavicymbel, such as had not been heard here before" can imply a fortepiano. Wolff apparently accepts this possibilty, for he feels the need to refuteit using purely acoustical arguments. Moreover, Stauffer also accepts the possibility. But, Tom Hens and yourself have taken the dogmatic position that "a new Clavicymbel, such as had not been heard here before" cannot possibly under any circumstances be taken to indicate a fortepiano.
As noted previously, the burden of proof always lies with the ones asserting a dogma. With regard to Harnoncourt's chorale performance practice, I'm surprised you take issue with me regarding his lack of historical justification. For as you yourself wrote in this group "I don't believe any congregation, whether at that time, or nowadays has been singing or is singing these chorales in the same fashion.
Examples of this method abound in this newsgroup, I'm not going to try to hit you with previous posts, as you indulge in. Time to question who educated you, who learned you to filter out anything what doesn't suit you, and time to advise you to get deprogrammed.
You have a sick mind and you know it. Quoting from a recent post of Zachary Uram, and I fully agree with his words. Discussing this with you is impossible since discussion assumes flexibility and at least intellectual honesty on both ends. Final words: You've accomplished your goal. As you won't stop with your iditioc posts and your hostile comments, I will shortly unsubscribe from this newsgroup.
Is it better for you to unsubscribe than to merely ignore those comments that disturb you? For what it's worth, think it would certainly be better for the newsgroup if you decided to remain here. It is. Why do you want to give CharlesFrancis the power to decide who posts in this newsgroup? One of the defining characteristics of an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup is that any idiot can post whatever crap he likes.
That is both the biggest weakness and the biggest strength of Usenet -- its total immunity to censorship. It doesn't mean one should let the idiots, or in this case one single idiot, rule the place. Unlike CharlesFrancis, you're actually a musicologist.
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