Classical Sunday: Schütz’s Schwanengesang

Beautiful, and somewhat haunting.

Heinrich Schütz: Schwanengesang – Hilliard Ensemble

Opus ultimum (Der Schwanengesang)

Track Listings

  1. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 482: I. Wohl denen, die ohne Wandel leben (Aleph und Beth)
  2. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 483: II. Tue wohl deinem Knechte (Gimel und Daleth)
  3. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 484: III. Zeige mir, Herr, den Weg deiner Rechte (He und Vav)
  4. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 485: IV Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort (Dsain und Chet)
  5. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 486: V. Du tust Guts deinem Knechte (Thet und Jod)
  6. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 487: VI. Meine Seele verlanget nach deinem Heil (Caph und Lamed)
  7. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 488: VII. Wie habe ich dein Gesetze so lieb (Mem und Nun)
  8. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 489: VIII Ich hasse die Flattergeister (Samech und Ain)
  9. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 490: IX. Deine Zeugnisse sind wunderbarlich (Pe und Zade)
  10. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 491: X. Ich rufe von ganzem Herzen (Koph und Resch)
  11. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 492: XI Die Fursten verfolgen mich ohn Ursach (Schin und Tav)
  12. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 100, SWV 493: XII. Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt
  13. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Deutsches Magnificat, SWV 494: XIII. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren

The Hilliard Ensemble
Knabenchor Hannover
London Baroque

Heinz Hennig direction

Heinrich Schütz (1585 – 1672) was a German composer and organist, generally regarded as the most important German composer before Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as one of the most important composers of the 17th century. He is commemorated as a musician in the Calendar of Saints of some North American Lutheran churches on 28 July with Johann Sebastian Bach and George Friedrich Händel.

Cover: Asen’s Fortress in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria

Classical Sunday: Chaimovich Plays Piano Masterworks in Old Style

Played by a Lithuanian pianist

Piano Masterworks in Old Style: Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Haydn, Grieg

Piano: Vadim Chaimovich

Dietrich Buxtehude
Suite in D Minor, BuxWV 233 “Suite d’Amour”:
00:00 I. Allemande d’Amour
02:42 II. Courante
04:15 III. Sarabande d’Amour
07:22 IV. Sarabande
09:46 V. Gigue

Johann Pachelbel
11:00 Hexachordum Apollinis: Aria and 6 Variations in G Minor, P. 196

Franz Joseph Haydn
Partita in G Major, Hob. XVI:6:
22:56 I. Allegro
26:39 II. Minuet – Trio
20:29 III. Adagio
34:42 IV. Allegro molto

Edvard Grieg
From Holberg’s Time, Op. 40 “Suite in Olden Style”:
17:26 I. Praeludium. Allegro vivace
40:29 II. Sarabande. Andante
44:46 III. Gavotte. Allegretto
48:09 IV. Air. Andante religioso
59:30 V. Rigaudon. Allegro con brio

Recording: 2019, Studio, Frankfurt am Main

Classical Sunday: Weber’s Flute Trio in G Minor

Weber had a significant impact on composers of the Romantic period, particularly in Germany.

Carl Maria von Weber:  Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano in G minor, Op 63

Emi Ferguson, Flute
Julian Schwarz, Cello
Peter Dugan, Piano

LIVE (8/4/16) from pianoSonoma Festival, Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, California

Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (1786 – 1826) was a Romantic German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic.

weber in 1814
A painting of Carl Maria von Weber (1814) by Thomas Lawrence, (1769 – 1830), leading English portrait painter

Classical Sunday: Böhm’s Wagner

Böhm was widely admired for his skillful balance and blend of sound, his feeling for a stable tempo and his sense of dramatic tension.

Selection of Richard Wagner’s famous opera overtures and preludes

01. Rienzi: Overture 00:00
02. Parsifal: Prelude 12:26
03. Der Fliegende Holländer: Overture 24:27
04. Lohengrin: Prelude 35:00
05. Tristan und Isolde: Prelude 44:55
06. Die Meistersänger von Nürnberg: Prelude 56:48
07. Tannhäuser: Overture 01:06:53

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Karl Böhm (1894 – 1981)

Karl Böhm was an Austrian conductor, best known for his performances of the music of Mozart, Wagner and Richard Strauss.  Some consider him one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century.  I’m wondering if he was my maternal grandfather‘s favorite conductor – he quite possibly was.  Grandpa did love Wagner and no mistake.

The paintings shown are:
Arthur Hacker: The Temptation of Percival.
Johann Heinrich Füssli: The Shepherd’s Dream.
Nils Blommér: Ängsälvor (meadow elves).
Frederic Leighton: Tristan and Isolde.

Classical Sunday: Telemann’s Paris Quartets

Chamber music is on the menu today.

Georg Philipp Telemann: The Paris Quartets (Pariser Quartette)

1. Concerto Primo in G major 0:00
2. Concerto Secondo in D major 10:13
3. Sonata Prima in A major 20:52
4. Sonata Seconda in G minor 32:31
5. Première Suite in E minor 43:34
6. Deuxième Suite in B minor 1:01:45

Performed by the Freiburger BarockConsort.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767) was a largely self-taught German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist.  His contemporaries considered him to be one of the leading German composers of the time, and compared him favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to Georg Friedrich Händel, whom Telemann also knew personally.

The featured image shows the Telemann bench in the Polish town of Żary, located in the east of the historic Lower Lusatia region, in the borderland with the Silesian lowlands and Greater Poland, in other words, close to Germany’s eastern border.  Telemann lived and worked in Żary for four years, from 1704 to 1708.

Classical Sunday: Mattheson’s Brauchbarer Virtuoso

Here’s something light for the first Sunday in 2020.

Johann Mattheson – Der brauchbare Virtuoso, Transverse flute & Harpsichord (CD1)

12 Kammersonaten (1717)

Toke Lude Christiansen : Traverse flute
Jesper Bøje Christensen : Harpsichord

Sonata I in D major 0:00
Sonata II in G major 11:38
Sonata III in A major 20:24
Sonata IV in D major 28:28
Sonata V in G major 35:47
Sonata VI in E minor 44:27

Händel, Telemann, Buxtehude – many big names are connected with northern Germany (Hamburg in particular) and Baroque music.  So is Johann Mattheson’s (1681 – 1764), native of Hamburg, diplomat, composer, writer and close friend of Georg Friedrich Händel’s.  Mattheson is mainly famous as a music theorist and wrote abundantly on performance practice, theatrical style, and harmony of the German Baroque.

The harpsichord was a very popular instrument at the time, although it might take modern ears some time to appreciate it.  Enjoy!



Classical Sunday: von Bülow’s Carnevale di Milano

“Always conduct with the score in your head, not your head in the score”.

Hans von Bülow:  Carnevale di Milano.  Op. 21 (1871)

Carnevale di Milano. Ballabili e Intermezzi Op. 21 (1871)
#1. 00:00
#2. 5:44
#3. 12:28
#4. 15:17
#5. 17:18
#6. 18:18
#7. 19:15
#8. 20:18
#9. 21:29
#10. 22:53
#11. 24:50
#12. 29:56
#13. 34:04
#14. 38:45
#15. 40:12

Mark Anderson (Piano)

Hans Guido Freiherr von Bülow (January 8, 1830 – February 12, 1894) was a German conductor, virtuoso pianist, and composer of the Romantic era.  The Carnevale di Milano is one of his compositions.


Classical Sunday: Wagner’s Lohengrin

Kick back and relax for three hours and a half:  Here comes Wagner’s Lohengrin, conducted by Christian Thielemann at the Semperoper in Dresden. 

Richard Wagner: Lohengrin – A Romantic Opera in Three Acts

Conductor: Christian Thielemann

Heinrich der Vogler (Henry the Fowler): Georg Zeppenfeld
Lohengrin: Piotr Beczala
Elsa von Brabant: Anna Netrebko
Friedrich von Telramund: Tomasz Konieczny
Ortrud, Telramund’s wife: Evelyn Herlitzius
The King’s Herald: Derek Welton

Staatskapelle Dresden

Saechsischer Staatsoperchor Dresden

The story of the Knight of the Swan, or Swan Knight, is a medieval tale about a mysterious rescuer who comes in a swan-drawn boat to defend a damsel, his only condition being that he must never be asked his name.

In the early 13th century, the German poet Wolfram von Eschenbach adapted the Swan Knight motif for his epic Parzival.  Here the story is attached to Loherangrin, the son of the protagonist Parzival and the queen of Pelapeire Condwiramurs.  As in other versions Loherangrin is a knight who arrives in a swan-pulled boat to defend a lady, in this case Elsa of Brabant.  They marry, but he must leave when she breaks the taboo of asking his name.

In 1848, Richard Wagner adapted the tale into his popular opera Lohengrin, probably the work through which the Swan Knight story is best known today.

Classical Sunday: Lassen sings Nielsen and Loewe

Morten Ernst Lassen is best known to us from singing Aragorn’s parts on The Tolkien Ensemble’s CDs An Evening/ A Night/ At Dawn in Rivendell.

Today’s offering is a playlist of songs by Carl Nielsen and Carl Loewe, all sung by Morten Ernst Lassen, a Danish baritone who, regrettably, retired over 15 years ago from singing.

Carl August Nielsen (9 June 1865 – 3 October 1931) was a Danish composer, conductor and violinist, and is widely recognized as his country’s most prominent composer.

Johann Carl Gottfried (Karl) Loewe (30 November 1796 – 20 April 1869), was a German composer, tenor singer and conductor.

Classical Sunday: Wagner’s Liebesmahl der Apostel

“I designed a great choral scene, selecting the apostolic Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost as its subject.”

Richard Wagner – Das Liebesmahl der Apostel (for male chorus and orchestra)

Das Liebesmahl der Apostel – biblical scene for male chorus & orchestra
Written by Richard Wagner in 1843

Performed by the Ambrosian Male Voice Chorus and the Symphonica of London, conducted by Wyn Morris

Of Das Liebesmahl der Apostel (Love-feast of the Apostles), composed between May 14 and June 16, 1843, Wagner wrote, “I designed a great choral scene, selecting the apostolic Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost as its subject.”

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