The Early mixtape #001

Notes about update #001 of The Early mixtape.

I really like the keyboard music of Jean-Philippe Rameau. For me he is one of the most important composers for the keyboard during the baroque era and on par with both  François Couperin and Domenico Scarlatti. He wrote three collections of keyboard music where Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin is the last one.

Another very good collection of chamber music by Rameau is the Pièces de clavecin en concerts for harpsichord, violin and viol.

The Early mixtape
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The Early mixtape

The Early mixtape is a playlist with music from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque era.

Some highlights.

Domenico Scarlatti is one of my favourite composers. A very good interpreter of his sonatas is Pierre Hantaï who have recorded four albums with Scarlatti’s sonatas.

Membra Jesu Nostri is seven cantatas, each one dedicated to one of Jesu crucified limbs, by Dieterich Buxtehude.

Graindelavoix astonishing recording of Guillaume de Machaut Messe de Nostre Dame.

Claudio Monteverdi stands between the Renaissance and Baroque Era. The music is both bold beautiful.

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Baroque: Buxtehude and the limbs of Jesus

Baroque 50 is a spotify playlist that contains baroque music.

Dieterich Buxtehude was a Danish-German composer and organist from the Baroque period. He is most famous for his organ music and his nineteen organ preludes is regarded his most important legacy.

Dieterich Buxtehude’s also wrote a lot of vocal music. One of those is a collection of seven cantatas called Membra Jesu Nostri, The Limbs of our Jesus in English. It is a collection of seven cantatas, each one about a different part of Jesus body. Every cantata have the same overall form with six different parts that mix instrumental and vocal parts.

Original manuscript of Ad Pedes, the first cantata from Membra Jesu Nostri

The vocal ensemble that performs Membra Jesu Nostri is the excellent Cantus Cölln lead by Konrad Junghänel.

Enjoy! (click here to open the playlist in spotify).

Composer Weekly: Monteverdi

Composer weekly is a Spotify playlist that is updated each week with a new composer. This weeks composer is Claudio Monteverdi.

Monteverdi stands between Renaissance and Baroque. You see that especially in his fifth book of madrigals. He was involved in a famous dispute with Giovanni Artusi regarding the new type of music, seconda practica, where Monteverdi defended and described it in the foreword to the fifth book. The prima practica is the old polyphonic style of the Renaissance and seconda practica is the new style with a more clear hierarchy of the voices and the beginning of continuo as found in Baroque music.

He worked for many years at the court of Vincenzo I of Gonzaga as a vocalist, viol player and musical director. Because of that he primarily wrote secular madrigals until he turned 40.

Later in his life Monteverdi developed the seconda practica into larger works and was one of the first to compose what we today call operas. He wrote quite a few but only three have survived, L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Monteverdi didn’t write many sacred works but one of them is very famous, Vespro della Beata Vergine.

BBC have made a really good documentary about Monteverdi and that piece.

The playlist is a made in chronological order, from Madrigals in the first book to scenes from the last opera, L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Enjoy! (click here to open the playlist in spotify).

Mirare on Spotify

A while ago the French label Mirare got available on Spotify with their full catalog. This is particularly great if you like baroque music. You can search for Mirare recordings with label:”Mirare”.

The most notable recording now available is probably the French harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï’s excellent recording of Bach Goldberg variations.

Also the Chinese pianist Zhu Xiau-Mei’s recording of Goldberg variations is available.

My personal favorite is probably the Belgian baroque ensemble Ricercar Consort recording of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.