The Baroque Bubble
My relationship with baroque music is developing in a very special way. In my childhood I listened a lot of this music during the lessons at my music school: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Vivaldi etc. I liked it especially the most famous melodies but…I wouldn’t say it moved me very much. So for some time my attitude to this was kind of «it’s old music».
Some months ago I had an amazing experience in rediscovering the beauty of baroque music. It happened thanks to Joyce DiDonato’s «Drama Queens»! Before that moment I’d come across her CD too often here or there and I really liked the photo on the cover to ignore it so long:). So I decided to give it a chance! And I have no regrets. I suddenly realized how powerful this music could be! It’s not less emotional than the music of more modern composers! I like all the tracks and I know all of them by heart! They are rarely recorded arias belonging to various opera queens! My absolutely favorite is « Sposa, son disprezzata»!!! The melody is heavenly beautiful!!! I have no words to describe it properly, you have to listen to it!!! Joyce’s singing is gorgeous, I like listening to her in this very repertoire. Her voice blossoms here like nowhere else!
After such a discovery I decided to find other baroque treasures but….they found me themselves!!!
Pergolesi’s «Stabat Mater» with Anna Netrebko, Marianna Pizzolato and Antonio Pappano is one of them! I’ve always loved this piece (I mean «Stabat Mater» itself), many composers have written it (I personally heard Rossini, Poulenc, others are in my agenda:)). I think they all put so much soul in it because of the lyrics and its meaning that by this moment I haven’t been disappointed in anything! I enjoy the tempo and the emotional state of this particular recording. I’ve been at the local recital where this piece was performed by a soprano and a countertenor. «Stabat Mater Dolorosa» is the most significant and beautiful piece of all. It sets the tone for the rest part of this work. I always have goose bumps when I hear its first notes!!!
Another unique work which I certainly wanna recommend is Magdalena Kožena’s CD «Lettere Amorose». Every track here is an expression of love in its different variations. My acquaintance with this recording happened accidentally. I saw it on some fansite and it attracted me with its cover:) (silly girly thing!:)). And then I just clicked on the play button and I immediately loved it!!! The arrangement here is fantastic! It’s very unusual to say it about classical music but it’s a fact! I’ve read that the instrumental part is performed by «Private Musicke», the ensemble of Pierre Pitzl where the musicians play plucked and bowed period instruments. The sound is so suitable for these pieces of 17th century, so to say very medieval! It creates the proper atmosphere in my mind when I listen to it! I know that the musicians with Magdalena had been experimenting a lot with their interpretation of this music before they actually recorded it. My favorite love song is «O bei lumi», it made me want to hear the rest of the album! All in all we have a great CD, very unique and interesting which I endlessly love!!!
I have to say that I’ve begun to appreciate this kind of music for some musical reasons. You don’t know but I’ve been singing in an academic choir for 17 years and I was taking vocal lessons for 5 years and even still take them from time to time. In my case listening to such baroque recordings helps a lot: you can hear very well how a singer’s breath works and it tunes my ear for a high singing position. So I personally recommend it very much:).
So I’m gonna continue the discovery work in this area and maybe let you know about it someday!