Frans Brüggen,who has died aged 79, was a Dutch recorder player, conductor and musicologist who brought the recorder out of the classroom and into the concert hall as a serious musical instrument.
In his early days he would play anything that he felt might sound good on the recorder — “which included, for better or worse, [tunes from] symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven”.
Later Brüggen explored more carefully how the instrument was used in the baroque era, while pushing for its acceptance as a modern instrument — including commissioning works from composers such as Louis Andriessen and Luciano Berio (notably Gesti, which tests the performer’s powers of control and interpretation). Indeed, Berio once described Brüggen as “a musician who is not an archaeologist but a great artist”.
Along the way Brüggen founded the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, spearheading the move away from the luscious accounts of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven that had become popular in the first half of the 20th century and towards a realisation of how the music would have sounded during the composers’ lifetimes.
(I just have to laugh at the crossed legs!)
The widely admired Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos died this morning in Pamplona, Spain at age 80. It was just a week ago that Frühbeck acknowledged he was ill with cancer and announced, via the Boston Symphony Orchestra, that he would have to cease working.
I learned yesterday that David Weiss has died. I heard him play musical saw last year at the IDRS, and he and I had conversed a bit via email due to this website. He will be missed. I send my sympathies to his family as they deal with this sudden shock. He was far too young ….
A rather young Mr. Weiss with the L.A. Philharmonic (1979):
A bit later, playing Telemann:
From the YouTube page:
David Weiss, Oboe. Izabela Spiewak, Violin.
Alpha Walker, Piano. Yang Xi, Viola
live performance from the tour of ” Two duo and a Saw ” in NY,
Here he is on the saw:
From the YouTube page:
Astor Piazzolla’s OBLIVION arranged for musical saw, flute, bassoon, and piano by Alpha H. Walker. Performed live by the Weiss Family Woodwinds: David Wiess, oboe and musical saw, Dawn Weiss, flute, Abe Weiss, bassoon, and Alpha H. Walker, piano.
And finally …
2011 – Tribute to David Weiss from Christopher Allport on Vimeo.
I just read that John Shirley-Quirk died today. I don’t yet see any articles about this.
Here is an interview with him from 2013.
One of my favorite songs:
Silent Noon ( D Rossetti)
Ralph Vaughan Williams (House of Life Song Cycle No.2)
John Shirley Quirk (baritone)
Martin Isepp (piano)
… and then there’s this:
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Cantata BWV 82 “Ich habe genug”
0:00 1. Arie ‘Ich habe genug’
9:42 2. Rezitativ ‘Ich habe genug’
11:12 3. Arie ‘Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen’
22:25 4. Rezitativ ‘Mein Gott! wann kommt das schone: Nun!’
23:25 5. Arie ‘Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod’
John Shirley-Quirk, bass
Roger Lord, oboe
George Malcolm, organ continu
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Conducted by Neville Marriner
I wasn’t familiar with the name, but Paul Salamunovich was a conductor and you can read about him here
Here’s another fascinating story:
“I approached his bed,” Dr. Lauridsen remembers, “and whispered in his ear, ‘Paul, your composer is here. Please wake up so you can conduct the O Magnum Mysterium and Lux Aeterna again.’ “
“When I said those words, and each time I mentioned the names of those pieces that I had written for him that he premiered and recorded with the LA Master Chorale, his right arm went up (still attached to tubes) and his hand began waving in the air, as if he were conducting these pieces. The very mention of those works caused him to physically respond even while in a deep coma.”
“It was a profound and magical moment that I, his wife Dottie and the attending nurse will never forget.”
I read it here.
Wow. I need to remember that even someone who appears not to hear a thing just might be understanding me. I wish I had thought of that when my father and mother were in their last days.
I hadn’t heard until now that Sid Caesar died on the twelfth.
From the YouTube page:
[From "Kovacs Corner" on YouTube.com] – First telecast on “Caesar’s Hour” on October 10, 1955 over NBC, this kinescoped sketch is a take-off on the Italian opera “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo. Sid plays the role of “Gallipacci” (“Canio” in the real opera) an actor in a traveling Italian comedia dell’arte troupe during the late 19th century. His wife “Rosa” (“Nedda” in tha actual opera), who is played by singer and comedienne Nanette Fabray, falls in love with fellow actor “Emilio” (the opera’s “Silvio” character), performed by Carl Reiner, and they make plans to elope. Sid sings a rendition of songs in a jibberish Italian dialect which he picked up in his youth from waiting tables at his father’s 24-hour blue-collar diner in Yonkers, New York. Straying off of the real opera’s musical score just a bit, we hear hilariously bastardized renditions of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, Cole Porter’s “Begin The Beguine”, and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” among others. Howie Morris (Ernest T. Bass from “The Andy Griffith Show”) is “Vesuvio” (whose real opera character is “Tonio”) and he performs a parody song and dance rountine to the tune “If I Know What You Know”. In one of the most famous “saves” in the history of live television, Sid was supposed to paint a teardrop on his cheek when the mascara pencil broke at the beginning of his nonsense rendition of “Just One of Those Things”. Not breaking his stride, Sid proceeds to pick up one of Nanette’s lip brushes and paints an unscripted tic-tac-toe board on his face. The grand finale concluded with a variation of the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas” after Gallipacci takes care of the situation along the lines of a Mafia hit. Also, in the early days of live television, one time “specials” which pre-empted regular series programs were initially called “spectaculars”. Listen for a young Don Pardo introducing the sketch.