Understanding some basics: Concerto and Concerto grosso

Concertos are musical works usually written for orchestras and feature a both musically and technically talented soloist or sometimes even a group of soloists. In its more than 300-year history, the designation concerto has been used to describe a large variety of musical pieces.

Here goes three of my favourites that you can explore to appreciate the different work pieces named concertos:

1) Vivaldi’s Four Violin Concerti ‘The Four Seasons‘, Opus 8 (1723-25) – here beautifully executed by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin:

2) Liszt’s Piano Concerto Nr 1 in E-flat major, S.124 (1849) – with one of the finest pianists ever, Mrs. Martha Argerich:

3) Elliot Carter’s Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano with two Chamber Orchestras (1961)

On a separate note, Concerto grosso is more often used to refer to baroque compositions (1600-1750s) where a group of solo instruments establishes a conversation and are accompanied by an orchestra.

If you feel like appreciating how it sounds, here goes another suggestion: one of the oldest works in this arena, Händel’s Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, Nr 4, in A minor, HWV 322, written between 1739-40 – and considered one of his finest:

More to come on other music work formats. See ya!

Daniel Barenboim – A Music Ambassador

For concert music fans, the conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim is by far one of the most celebrated. Both brilliant musician and a controversial character. Piano player, conductor, music director, professor, writer, and owner of an externes list of awards and recognitions. Born to a jewish-russian family in Argentina, in 1942, he is also well known by being a resolute critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

His music interests me a lot, but I am also specially fan of his writing and thoughts about music and life. When researching another theme, I happened to find out this interview he gave to “The Frost Interview” in 2013. I thought you might be delighted to check it out!

What kind of leader are you?

This is about lessons for leaders. But what makes it unique is its charming argument: Mr. Itay Talgam, an israeli conductor and consultant, establishes parallels between 6 of the great 20th century conductors and leadership styles.

You may find of special interest the one official talk attached to this post – it was made during a TED Conference held back in 2009. Its lessons are universal and still perfectly up to date!

At first it occurred me that I should post this to my Business blog, but its connection to music is so close that LesAmis seems actually more suitable to accommodate this discussion.

Now, reserve some time to watch the video. Enjoy!

** O Video com legendas em português (Brasil) está disponível aqui.

Questões Não Respondidas em Música – por Leonard Bernstein

Buscando um material de curso em Harvard estes dias cheguei sem querer a uma preciosidade: uma série de 6 aulas ministradas por ninguém menos do que o aclamado regente, compositor e escritor norte-americano Leonard Bernstein, nos idos de 1973, para uma turma de alunos num curso de inverno em Harvard.

A série – coletivamente denominada “A Questão Não Respondida”, uma tradução livre para o original em inglês “The Unanswered Question” – trata basicamente do tema música, mas o faz passeando livremente entre poesia, linguística, filosofia e física. São nada menos do que 11h de video disponíveis via Youtube!

Infelizmente, os videos estão disponíveis apenas com áudio original – em inglês – e sem legendas. A parte boa é que a pronúncia do Bernstein é muito clara e pausada, mas ainda assim, pode não ser acessível para quem não tem muita intimidade com o idioma.

A primeira aula segue aqui abaixo. A partir dela, no Youtube, é possível acessar as demais. Este material foi disponibilizado pela Escola de Música de Harvard, e faz parte do conjunto de cursos online que a escola oferece gratuitamente. É isso: boa aula! 🙂