The first bars already make me feel happy and joyful. There is nothing like a keyboard concerto from the pen of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach to start a morning. This particular piece, the Keyboard Concerto in E Major (Wq. 14/H. 417), has a particular dynamic that fills me with energy, joy and hope, no matter how grey the day might be. But when I felt inspired to write about it, it was a clear, frosty morning, the sun still hiding behind the horizon, while the blue sky already announced a beautiful day.
Almost three years have passed since I introduced the Baroque composer Franz Xaver Richter to the readers of the blog and I am awfully sorry for not having followed up on the man and his delightful music. As I wrote in a post on Richter’s Seven Quartets (op. 5), his most remarkable contributions to music are his works for chamber music and his liturgical compositions. However, in the early phase of his career, he composed no less than 70 symphonic works, and today’s post will be about his Sinfonia in B-flat Major (VB 59), recorded by Capricornus Consort Basel.
The warmth of Baroque music, the dark and friendly tone of a bass viol, or even better two bass viols – what a pleasure it gives to me! In 1728 Georg Philipp Telemann founded the first German music journal under the title “Der Getreue Musicmeister” (The Truthful Master of Music), and I have grown fond of one particular piece that was published in this periodical: the Sonata in A major for Two Bass Viols (TWV 40:111), performed by the London-based viola da gamba player, Claire Bracher. The “Musicmeister” was meant to promote the study and performance of music at home, in a private context. It was published every second week until 1729 with composition written by Telemann, Jan Zelenka, Reinhard Keiser and Francesco Bionporti.
Some composers inspire me a feeling of familiarity, of friendship, the kind of attachment you feel for someone you have known a long time, someone who is far away now, but whose bond with you remains strong, despite the time that has elapsed, despite the distance that separates you and him. Dieterich Buxtehude is one of these composers. A Baroque musician, a paragon for Johann Sebastian Bach and one of the most eminent composers of Northern Germany as we have seen in my first post about him. For today I have selected a secular piece that seems perfect to me either to start the day or to end it.