Friday, June 15, 2018

#ClassicsaDay #SchumannsCircle Week 2

Robert Schumann was born on June 8, 1810. Some of us contributing to the #ClassicsaDay feed decided to celebrate that birthday.

For the month of June, we encouraged folks to post works by Schumann and his circle. Schumann worked with several major composers of the day. He also reviewed up-and-coming composers in his magazine.

Here are my selections for the second week of #ClassicsaDay

Robert Schumann - Piano Concerto in F major, mvt. III

Schumann saw pianist/composer Ignaz Moscheles in concert. It inspired him to go into music as a career. Moscheles wrote eight piano concertos, Schumann struggled to produce one. The concerto in F major was the second of three abandoned attempts. He worked on it from 1829-31.

Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870) - Piano Concerto No. 3 in G minor, Op. 58

Moscheles was a highly successful piano virtuoso and composer. Schumann was inspired to take up music after seeing him in concert. Moscheles also conducted concerto performances with Clara Schumann as soloist.

Robert Schumann - Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 11

Schumann wrote his first piano sonata in 1835, the year he met Felix Mendelssohn. The Mendelssohns -- Felix and Fanny -- became close friends with the Schumanns -- Robert and Clara.

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Scherzo a capriccio WoO 3

Mendelssohn and Schumann met in 1835, the year this work was written. They were close friends. In 1839 he received the recently rediscovered score of Schubert's 8th Symphony from Schumann. Mendelssohn premiered it in March of that year.

Norbert Burgmüller (1810-1836) - Symphony No. 2. Op.11

Robert Schumann was an ardent supporter of Burgmüller. The young composer had completed but a few works when he died at age 26. They included a piano concerto and two symphonies. The second symphony was left unfinished. Schumann completed the second and third movements based on Burgmüller's sketches. There wasn't enough of the final movement for Schumann to build on, so the symphony remains unfinished. Schumann premiered it in 1837.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Line Mar Match Box Construction 091 - Wind Mill

I found a Line Mar Match Box Construction Set from the 1930s, complete and with instructions. The box claimed the set made 100 different toys. I decided to test that claim -- one toy at a time. You can read all the posts for the Line Mar construction project at 100 Toys.

091. Wind Mill

It took me a while to figure out exactly how this toy went together. Everything's kind of blurry in the illustration (especially around the crank assembly). 

The tower holding the windmill has to be open on the side, rather than the back. If the back was open, you couldn't secure the axle through two holes. 

Once I realized that the illustration was showing that open side, building the windmill was pretty easy. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fine performances of Quantz Concertos for Recorder

Johann Joachim Quantz is rightly considered the father of the flute. He was one of the first virtuosi of the transverse flute. He was also one of the foremost flute makers of his day.

Quantz's writings are still used as standard references for Baroque flute technique and ornamentation. And he wrote almost 600 works, most featuring the transverse flute or the recorder.

This recording features two concertos and two trio sonatas. Stefano Baliano is the recorder soloist. He plays with a warm, mellow tone that remains consistent, even in the upper registers. Like Quantz, he's the master of his instrument. Bagliano's technique has a fluidity that makes even the most difficult passage sound elegantly simple.

Bagliano's the founder of the Collegium Pro Musica. The deep relationship between soloist and ensemble make these performances pleasing to listen to.

I especially enjoyed the Concerto in G minor (QV6:8a) and the Trio Sonata in C (QV2:Anh.3). These feature both recorder and transverse flute as soloists. The rich, darker tone of Lorenzo Cavasanti's transverse flute blends well with Bagliano's recorder. It's a smooth, yet complex blend of sound that I liked very much.

A superb addition to the Collegium Pro Musica's growing catalog of fine early music performances.

Johann Joachim Quantz: Concertos & Sonatas with Recorder
Concerto in F for recorder and strings, QV5:130; Concerto in G minor for recorder, flute, and strings, QV6:8a; Trio Sonata in C for recorder, flute, and b.c., QV2:Anh.3; Trio Sonata in G minor for recorder, violin, and b.c., QV2:20
Stefano Bagliano, recorder
Collegium Pro Musica
Brilliant Classics 95386