Monday, February 26, 2024

Mid-Nineteenth Century Music, Watts 2023

Mid-Nineteenth Century Music, Watts 2023

This Week in Classical Music: June 19, 2023.  Mid-19th Century Music, Watts, and two Conductors.  Johann Stamitz, a Bohemian composer and the founding father of the so-called Mannheim Johann Stamitzcollege, which, with its sudden crescendos and diminuendos, grew to become highly regarded in the midst of the 18th century, was born on June 18th of 1717.   The mid-18th century was a bit brief on main expertise except you depend Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach who was about three years older than Stamitz (we’re not huge followers of CPE Bach however we perceive that many individuals are).  Johann Sebastian Bach died in 1750, George Frideric Handel – in 1759, however their music had went out of vogue a few years earlier.  Domenico Scarlatti, born just like the earlier two in 1685, was dwelling in Madrid and by then largely engaged in copying and enhancing his quite a few sonatas; in any occasion, his output wasn’t well-known exterior of Spain.  In 1750 Joseph Haydn was solely 18, so of the dwelling composers there have been Telemann, who was getting previous and never as productive as in his prodigious youth, and minor stars like Johann Friedrich Fasch and Johann Joachim Quantz.  The opera was faring higher: Rameau nonetheless reigned on the music scene in Paris, and Christoph Willibald Gluck, born the identical years as CPE Bach, whereas not but on the extent of Orfeo ed Euridice, was dispatching operas on the charge of a pair a yr.  The world had but to attend for Haydn to develop and for Mozart to seem.

Let’s hear one in all Johann Stamitz’s symphonies, this one in A serious, the so-called “Mannheim no. 2”.  Taras Demchyshyn conducts what appears to be largely the Ukrainian Hibiki Strings ensemble of Japan.

The American composer André Watts was born on June 20th of 1946 in Nuremberg.  Watts’s mom was Hungarian and his father – an African-American NCO serving in Germany.  Watts spent his childhood in several American navy posts in Europe.  He began his musical classes learning the violin and later switched to the piano.  At round 9, Watts went to the US and enrolled on the Philadelphia Musical Academy.  His breakthrough got here in 1963 when he performed Liszt’s First Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic beneath the course of Leonard Bernstein.  He later studied with Leon Fleisher on the Peabody Conservatory.  From an early age, Watts had a prodigious method, and his musicianship grew with expertise (and research with Fleisher).  His repertoire, whereas largely Romantic, was broad.  For a few years he taught on the Jacobs Faculty of Music of Indiana College.  Right here’s the 1963 recording of Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 1 with the NYPO and Leonard Bernstein.

Two conductors have been born this week, Hermann Scherchen on June 21st of 1891 in Berlin, and James Levine, on June 23rd of 1943 in Cincinnati.   Scherchen was one of many extra adventuresome German conductors: he promoted the music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Hindemith after WWI, and performed Mahler’s symphonies when only a few did so.  After WWII he was lively at Darmstadt and championed the music of Dallapiccola, Henze, and different younger composers.  He was the primary to conduct elements of Schoenberg’s Moses and Aaron. 

James Levine was most likely essentially the most gifted conductor to ever lead the Metropolitan Opera.  His place within the musical historical past of the US would’ve been very totally different have been it not for a intercourse scandal that broke out in 2017.  We’ll dedicate an entry to him shortly.

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