Thursday, February 28, 2008

English Music 1600-1750

The title comes from a record that I recently transferred from tape to CD. I have no idea who the performers are, but the composers are the usual suspects: Purcell, Adison, Boyce, Brade and Handel. The tape was made from a record borrowed from Wimbledon library sometime in the early 1970s.
What strikes me most listening to this recording now, apart from the performing style (more about that later), is how minor-key, sombre, almost mournful, the music is~ even with dotted rhythms; even the 'dances'.
Of course, 'mournful' is my appellation; others might call this music 'serious and stately'.
Then again, it might be the performance that is the culprit. As a teenager I loved a recording of concerti by the Neapolitan composer Francesco Durante (1684-1741). It was an old recording and quite rare~ recordings of Durante are not common. Anyway, a few years ago a different, CD, recording that included a couple of the Durante concerti appeared and I bought it: but I recognised nothing! Contemporary period perfomance really makes these old works new...

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