Something which even I forget is that I was brought up without a television, no rock music and the family went to over 30 operas like this in my teens (yes this one included). While others smoke marijuana in their teens I come from a sheltered home. It not hard to see is it that I would eventually write vocal music and seek to express good taste and beauty. Anyway, the subject is the Italian School of Music. As I recently bought my sister's share of my late mother's house I still have the recording of this and I have listened for many hours in the past.
Rossini - Una Voce Poco Fa Barbiere di Siviglia
Dad loved Rossini, so I would have seen this opera several times. Callas sings like a virtuoso instrument. People don't sing like that now. Franz Schubert, the student of Salieri invented the Lied, the art song, which became the modern ballad. In a Lied the singer and piano are equal partners. Also you get the piano to do the Callas stuff, because it has an iron frame.
Tornami a dir che m'ami ( Don Pasquale - Gaetano Donizetti )
Dad also loved Donizetti and Bellini and so do I. Donizetti was a contemporary of Franz Schubert. I love Bel Canto. The late Mr Michael Cole, Perth's best piano teacher, appeared to be hugely impressed when I played one of my Improvizations, but I sensed that he had difficulty in giving praise. When he heard it, he said "My talented students never practice." He also said I hear Mozart, Donizetti and Schubert (you do it very well - it is in very good taste!) Reading the above one wonders why Michael? And look at me now. An almost professional Schubert plagiarist. Ironically Antonio Salieri accused Franz Schubert of plagiarizing Mozart. As Salieri was the center of Viennese musical, life and Michael of that in Perth (plus the plagiarizing Mozart accusation) I have a lingering suspicion that Michael Cole was Antonio Salieri, as Souls reincarnate in groups and families.
Schubert - I hear a flowing brook.
"Ich hört' ein Bächlein rauschen" von Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert showed a better way of song writing. If you listen to the lyrics, it is quite an ordinary song, with the occasional strategically placed ornament. In equal partnership with this voice is the piano accompaniment. It depicts a rapidly flowing stream. I would say the piano voice is impossible to sing. It is like an aural shimmer. Like a layer in photoshop. Franz was way ahead of his time and it took a century before his work was fully appreciated.
Other roles which can be played by the piano are mirroring /echoing as in Ständchen. In this Lied, "Ich hört' ein Bächlein rauschen", the piano supports the melody line, more in some places for emphasis. This can be achieved when the piano plays exactly the melody concurrently with the vocalist or at an octave higher or lower or at a third or sixth interval or the root of the chord. Similarly there can be a bird call, question and answer session as in the beautiful Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The shepherd on the rock). In Der Hirt, the piano even offers a punctuation full stop similar to the shrieks of Russian Folk Dancers. Deep discordant rumblings can create a mood and are not practical to be sung. Notes from the piano melody can frequently clash with the melody line, adding colour, as in counterpoint. What I learned from studying Schubert's scores is that he spent a lot of time working out how to add discords without offending the ear. As Corelli's music is more monophonic also (a break from Baroque tradition), it sounds like he did the same, then passed it on down the food chain. Even Cindy mentioned how excruciating Corelli's beautiful music is.
Going back from 200 years ago to 300, we have Arcangelo Corelli in the Italian School. He brought us the Concerto, which is the basis also of Sonatas and Symphonies and the modern violin school, although my favourite is the archaic Violin School of Corelli, Tartini, Locatelli, Geminiani and others, most likely all students of Corelli. Before that time you didn't really have classical music like this. There was a lot of counterpoint overall.
When I first heard this playing when I opened the door, in my early twenties, my life was forever transformed. I know deep down, my Italian musical roots. Now I remember the room, there was a harpsichord there too which I was building with wood from Bunnings, Flemish after Mörmans, not that Italian Cembalo. Note the discords.
Hear rumblings of Four Seasons. Antonio Vivaldi was Arcangelo Corelli's pupil too, also Händel.
Monteverdi - Tirsi e Clori (Lib. 7)
400 years ago and the birth of the Major and Minor Scale and the Baroque. No small achievement. I find it amusing that Schubert and Johny Rotten thought that they were modern. This man was a giant among men! Paul Agnew speaks the most wonderful French and sings so beautifully in Italian. They are both over the hill like me, but the whole thing speaks of Joy, Movement and Eternal Life. They look like they are in love. I am so glad that I found that a few months ago and I am so proud to have inherited the Italian School. Franz Schubert would have been a Castrato without the Major and Minor Scale and of course Tonality and Scales. My tenant congatulated me on Ständchen. He said it is a nice ending but Serenade should be in a Minor Key. I gave him a withering look. Schubert's Serenade starts in D Minor and ends in D Major. If I steal anything from Franz it is the structure. The piano echoes the voice in a major key for two bars and then the same repeated in a minor key. Schubert can easily visit 5 scales in 8 bars, but please remember that Monteverdi made this possible. It is the interplay of masculine and feminine. Before Monteverdi, music was for cloistered monks.
Papal Service on Good Friday 2010, St. Peter's Rome, Palestrina - Popule meus
500 years ago with Palestrina. How could I say that Monteverdi, Corelli or Schubert are better than this?
TARANTELLA CALABRESE con Fortunato & Valentina - LIVE a Reggio Calabria - Insieme per AISM
...and every 3 months I have to have a dose of Tarentella Calabrese.
Before 500 years of the Italian School?
The music and discords go back 5000 years. They are way ahead of us!