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07 June 2019
""Willst du dein Herz mir donate", the particularly beautiful Anniversary album by and for Ton Koopman, Tini Mathot and Klaus Mertens, on the Challenge Classics label."Stretto, 06-6-2019
2019, waarom een jubileumjaar?Een van de redenen om 2019 tot een jublileumjaar uit te roepen is de 75ste verjaardag van de internationaal bekende klavecinist, organist, dirigent en onderzoeker Ton Koopman, die ook kan terugkijken op 40 zeer succesvolle jaren met het door hem opgerichte ensemble het Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. Een ander opmerkelijk feit is dat deze Bach-kenner in 2019 is benoemd tot voorzitter van het Bach-Archiv Leipzig en zal optreden als ambassadeur voor het Bachonderzoek.
Georg Frideric Handel was a composer from the Baroque period. Handel wrote primarily music-dramatic works: 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, which comes to a total amount of almost 2000 arias! Furthermore, he composed English, Italian and Latin sacred music, serenades and odes. Among his instrumental music are several organ concertos, concerti grossi, overtures, oboe sonatas and violinsonates, along with many solo works for harpsichord and organ.
Together with Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in the same year (1685), Handel is viewed as one of the greatest composers of his time. He was extremely prolific and wrote in total more than 610 works, many of which are still performed today.
Compared to his contemporaries Bach, Telemann and Scarlatti, Handel was by far the most cosmopolitan. When Handel was a child, his father, who was a surgeon at the court of Saxe-Weissenfels, imagined a juridical career for him. But his musical talents did not go unnoticed at the court, which forced the father to let him study music. In Hamburg, Handel befriended Mattheson. Together they visited Buxtehude, the greatest organ player of his time, in 1703 (two years before Bach did). At that time, Handel was already an excellent musician, but it wasn't until his stay in Italy - the land of opera - that his talents and skills truly started to flourish. Back in Germany, he received a position at the court of Hannover, where the noblemen had a connection to the British throne. Thanks to these connections, Handel decided to move to London, after which a puzzling history of intrigues and political games started. For example, it is unclear what the exact political message of his famous Water Music is, which was composed for a boat ride on the river Thames by King George. Initially, Handel focused on Italian opera during his stay in London, but from the 1730s onwards he started composing English spoken oratorios, with the celebrated Messiah at its peak.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. From 1763 he traveled with his family through all of Europe for three years and from 1769 he traveled to Italy and France with his father Leopold after which he took residence in Paris. On July 3rd, 1778, his mother passed away and after a short stay in Munich with the Weber family, his father urged him to return to Salzburg, where he was once again hired by the Bishop. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
It can't be easy to have been a son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was undoubtedly very strict, and if you'd have any composition ambitions, you would have to find a way to step out of the shadow of your father. Luckily, his sons had everything going for them considering their music. Whereas the traditional Baroque music of their father slowly went out of fashion, most of Bach's sons managed to follow the new trends of the early Classicism. In other words: relatively simple, melodic music which is not too heavy on the listener, yet still very passionate.
Carl Philipp Emanuel, Bach's fifth son, became the most outstanding among his siblings. Like each of Bach's sons, he received a solid education from his father, en Carl Philipp developed into a remarkably talented keyboardist. Moreover, he became a prolific composer and of all Bach's sons, he was able to came closest to the quality of his father's work, albeit in a completely different style.
Among the general public, Dieterich Buxtehude is mostly known due to the admiration Johann Sebastian Bach had for his organ and composing skills, for which Bach traveled to the North German city of Lübeck to stay with him for four months, no less. This says quite something about the quality of Buxtehude's performance, but even more so about the influence it had on Bach and all composers after him. Yet, nowadays Buxtehude's music does not need Bach to survive, as a matter of fact it is extraordinarily beautiful just by itself! Buxtehude was originally Danish, but he spent most of him life in Lübeck. His so-called 'Abendmusik', which was a series of evening concerts outside of the liturgy, grew famous. In the works he wrote for these occasions, his enormous fantasy and creative freedom truly shows. As an organ player, Buxtehude was widely famous. If you would listen to his Organ Preludes, you would quickly know why. Buxtehude manages to combine an unprecedented virtuosity with a large variety of styles and techniques. No wonder Bach traveled all that way to see him!
"Willst du dein Herz mir donate", the particularly beautiful Anniversary album by and for Ton Koopman, Tini Mathot and Klaus Mertens, on the Challenge Classics label.