Modern pieces in Baroque style

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Tbone00
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Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by Tbone00 » Fri Oct 08, 2021 2:01 pm

I am planning to have a concert based on contemporary pieces composed in baroque style. I know the Hidas Baroque Concert for Alto trombone, the Bozza Hommage a Bach and the Gouinguene Concerto in a minor.
Do you know any other pieces? Thanks
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by CalgaryTbone » Fri Oct 08, 2021 6:17 pm

I believe that Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum wrote an Alto concerto for Christian Lindberg, based on some fragments of a Baroque piece found by her husband (a trombonist/historian) when he was doing some research in Europe.

Sorry, I don't remember the title, but she's a skilled composer, and I'm pretty sure it was written in the style of Wagenseil, Albrechtberger (sp?), etc.

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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by fsgazda » Fri Oct 08, 2021 6:36 pm

Defaye wrote "A La Maniere de Bach" and "A La Maniere de Vivaldi".
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:17 am

CalgaryTbone wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 6:17 pm
I believe that Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum wrote an Alto concerto for Christian Lindberg, based on some fragments of a Baroque piece found by her husband (a trombonist/historian) when he was doing some research in Europe.

Sorry, I don't remember the title, but she's a skilled composer, and I'm pretty sure it was written in the style of Wagenseil, Albrechtberger (sp?), etc.

Jim Scott
Yes that is the "Olmutz concerto". She wrote it based on the incipits of three lost pieces (the incipit survive in a historical catalogue, they are each just a couple bars in length). It's probably the closest we have to a "modern piece in baroque style", all of the others mentioned so far are clearly neo-baroque or neo-classical, and are still very much modern in nature. It might sound pedantic but there's a pretty big distinction between neo-baroque and actually writing baroque music today.

Very few people do the latter, but the idea is to really write music that actually could have been composed at the time, rather than merely featuring stylistic elements of the past. Take Pulcinella. It clearly features stylistic elements and is based on actual pieces, but it's also clearly 20th century music, you couldn't have shown it to an 18th century musician and have them believe it could have been written in their time. The same way a neo-gothic church draws inspiration in gothic architecture but almost always displays later influences as well.
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by Tbone00 » Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:04 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:17 am
CalgaryTbone wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 6:17 pm
I believe that Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum wrote an Alto concerto for Christian Lindberg, based on some fragments of a Baroque piece found by her husband (a trombonist/historian) when he was doing some research in Europe.

Sorry, I don't remember the title, but she's a skilled composer, and I'm pretty sure it was written in the style of Wagenseil, Albrechtberger (sp?), etc.

Jim Scott
Yes that is the "Olmutz concerto". She wrote it based on the incipits of three lost pieces (the incipit survive in a historical catalogue, they are each just a couple bars in length). It's probably the closest we have to a "modern piece in baroque style", all of the others mentioned so far are clearly neo-baroque or neo-classical, and are still very much modern in nature. It might sound pedantic but there's a pretty big distinction between neo-baroque and actually writing baroque music today.

Very few people do the latter, but the idea is to really write music that actually could have been composed at the time, rather than merely featuring stylistic elements of the past. Take Pulcinella. It clearly features stylistic elements and is based on actual pieces, but it's also clearly 20th century music, you couldn't have shown it to an 18th century musician and have them believe it could have been written in their time. The same way a neo-gothic church draws inspiration in gothic architecture but almost always displays later influences as well.
Of course, thanks for the clarification. My idea was to play modern pieces composed with some elements of the baroque music so Neo-Baroque pieces but I am open to all sugestions, thanks!
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by robcat2075 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:42 pm

LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:17 am
...but the idea is to really write music that actually could have been composed at the time, rather than merely featuring stylistic elements of the past..
It is a hopeless endeavor. It will never be acknowledged as an original creative effort worthy of acknowledgement.

If one does capture the style people will just say something like, "Oh, that sounds like ________".

Saying that one's music sounds like someone else's is among the most withering back-handed compliments that composers dismiss each other with.
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by Matt K » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:44 pm

Didn't Bill Reichenbach write a trombone choir piece in this vein? I want to say something like Tower Music but it might be more modern than I'm remembering it.
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by BGuttman » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:44 pm

Matt K wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:44 pm
Didn't Bill Reichenbach write a trombone choir piece in this vein? I want to say something like Tower Music but it might be more modern than I'm remembering it.
Reichenbach's piece was based on a Medieval tune that was popular in the 1960s called "Scarborough Fair".

I also had a brass sextet called "Turmmusik". I think it was by Willy Scheider (hope I got that right).
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by LeTromboniste » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:58 pm

robcat2075 wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:42 pm
LeTromboniste wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:17 am
...but the idea is to really write music that actually could have been composed at the time, rather than merely featuring stylistic elements of the past..
It is a hopeless endeavor. It will never be acknowledged as an original creative effort worthy of acknowledgement.

If one does capture the style people will just say something like, "Oh, that sounds like ________".

Saying that one's music sounds like someone else's is among the most withering back-handed compliments that composers dismiss each other with.
Just to be clear, I'm not advocating for or against either. I love neo-classicism. I was just pointing out that neo-baroque doesn't equal music written in baroque style today.

But I don't agree with your assessment. If it were true, then we'd have to say the same of any composer who uses a shared musical language (that would be pretty much everyone ever). I don't think anyone would dispute that different composers of any given era shared a common musical language and idioms that can be recognized as being typical of their time and geographical area yet still had a personal style that allows their work to be more or less easily distinguished from other composers of the same time. Then if we accept that, I don't see any reason to think that a composer today who chooses to adopt a musical language of the past couldn't also have their own personal style within that language and would be automatically considered to "sound like ______". Haydn and Mozart were contemporaries and shared the same language, but their music is fairly easy to distinguish from one another and from other contemporaries. No reason to think a modern composer writing in a strictly classical language would automatically sound like either of them.

Case in point:

This sounds like early baroque music, without clear modern influences (in other words, I'd call that baroque style music written today rather than neo-baroque), yet if you listened to several of his works, you could notice his own personal style, and you'd have a hard time saying that it sounds like any specific early baroque composer. It's his style and ideas, expressed through that language.

Whether those efforts would be considered worthy of acknowledgement, I'd say, by whom? The classical music establishment? Should we care? I don't think composers generally care much about that (also, it's not like most contemporary composers are having an easy time being acknowledged by the establishment anyway...)
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by robcat2075 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:23 pm

My post was addressing the narrow issue you had raised... people today writing baroque music.

Not talking about historical composers who inhabit a different realm of our consideration.

Is it hypocrisy to judge modern composers who adopt an old style as lesser?

Probably... It's a complicated issue of perceived authenticity/perceived value.

But they WILL be judged as lesser.


Haydn and Mozart were contemporaries and shared the same language, but their music is fairly easy to distinguish from one another and from other contemporaries.
I'll note that there are a lot of fake and misattributed paintings hanging on museum walls because someone was sure it was fairly easy to distinguish one painter from another. Experts.

I'm confident we could find pieces by Mozart and Haydn that would pass for the other's to listeners who were not familiar with the pieces.
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by mbarbier » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:05 pm

I've got a set of ornamentations/variations i wrote for sackbut on a Purcell melody (but I've played it on trombone as well). i could send a pdf if you'd like.
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by Kbiggs » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:12 am

LeTromboniste wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:58 pm
robcat2075 wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:42 pm


It is a hopeless endeavor. It will never be acknowledged as an original creative effort worthy of acknowledgement.

If one does capture the style people will just say something like, "Oh, that sounds like ________".

Saying that one's music sounds like someone else's is among the most withering back-handed compliments that composers dismiss each other with.
Just to be clear, I'm not advocating for or against either. I love neo-classicism. I was just pointing out that neo-baroque doesn't equal music written in baroque style today.

But I don't agree with your assessment. If it were true, then we'd have to say the same of any composer who uses a shared musical language (that would be pretty much everyone ever). I don't think anyone would dispute that different composers of any given era shared a common musical language and idioms that can be recognized as being typical of their time and geographical area yet still had a personal style that allows their work to be more or less easily distinguished from other composers of the same time. Then if we accept that, I don't see any reason to think that a composer today who chooses to adopt a musical language of the past couldn't also have their own personal style within that language and would be automatically considered to "sound like ______". Haydn and Mozart were contemporaries and shared the same language, but their music is fairly easy to distinguish from one another and from other contemporaries. No reason to think a modern composer writing in a strictly classical language would automatically sound like either of them.

Case in point:

This sounds like early baroque music, without clear modern influences (in other words, I'd call that baroque style music written today rather than neo-baroque), yet if you listened to several of his works, you could notice his own personal style, and you'd have a hard time saying that it sounds like any specific early baroque composer. It's his style and ideas, expressed through that language.

Whether those efforts would be considered worthy of acknowledgement, I'd say, by whom? The classical music establishment? Should we care? I don't think composers generally care much about that (also, it's not like most contemporary composers are having an easy time being acknowledged by the establishment anyway...)

Rotem’s Lamentation was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that video. It reminds me to broaden my listening choices.

robcat2075 wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:23 pm
My post was addressing the narrow issue you had raised... people today writing baroque music.

Not talking about historical composers who inhabit a different realm of our consideration.

Is it hypocrisy to judge modern composers who adopt an old style as lesser?

Probably... It's a complicated issue of perceived authenticity/perceived value.

But they WILL be judged as lesser.
Yes, it sounded like Heinrich Schütz, but it clearly was not. In this case, it is not intended as a back-handed compliment. Rather, I believe it is remarkable that someone cares enough about the past to attempt to study it, and then emulate it without copying it. Rotem used Baroque harmony, voicing, instrumentation, and rhythmic character. Even more remarkable, he used the Hebrew text and set it to music, something that I’m not sure is done very often (if at all), and certainly not in the 16th-17th centuries.

I don’t think it is hypocrisy to judge a modern composer who adopts an old style as lesser in the same way that I don’t believe it is hypocrisy to judge modern musicians who make an honest attempt to play reproduction instruments in an historically informed manner. Mozart and Haydn can be played by Neville Mariner and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and they can be played by Tafelmusik and the late Jean Lamon. Each have their place.

Composers can choose to write in a neo-Classical style, or choose to emulate or copy the Classical style. They can also choose to compose in their own unique way, whether it’s 12-tone, quartal/quintal harmony, the “academic” mid-20th century style, minimalism, etc.

Making art is about making choices to broaden our mental and emotional horizons, not close them off.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
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Re: Modern pieces in Baroque style

Post by Posaunus » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:21 am

Kbiggs wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:12 am

Rotem’s Lamentation was beautiful. Thank you for sharing that video. It reminds me to broaden my listening choices.
This piece is remarkable! And impeccably performed by skilled and sensitive musicians. I have absolutely no criticisms. I will view/listen again and again. :good:
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