Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Concerto Guide

I was impressed with the Guardian's just-completed symphony guide which I followed faithfully every week for a year. I often disagreed with the detailed comments and choices, but then, I'm like that! The whole idea of the project I thought was fantastic. Ever since the project ended a few weeks ago I have been checking in to see if they are going to follow it with another one. Nothing yet from Tom Service. So in the breach, I have been thinking that a very good equivalent project would be to do fifty posts on the fifty greatest concertos. What do you readers think? Interesting idea? Would you enjoy it?

Instead of the rather chaotic sequence Tom followed, I think I would do something chronological. With so many great concertos out there, I hardly think it would be boring! I have talked a lot about the symphony lately, due to my listening project, but much less about the concerto. One nice thing about doing a concerto project is that you see individual composers from a different perspective. For example, C. P. E. Bach was not a very important symphony composer--his examples in that genre rarely run over ten minutes in length--but he was much more important as a concerto composer. His flute concertos written for his employer Frederick the Great are large, serious pieces. Also, Mozart, who wrote a few sublime symphonies later in life, was much more prolific with his piano concertos. And composers, like John Cage, Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, who never wrote a single symphony nevertheless wrote concertos. (Yes, I know Schoenberg wrote a Kammersymphonie, but that aside...)

So give me your comments on this project, I would like to hear from you!

And in the meantime, an early concerto by Archangelo Corelli:

I think this is going to be fun!


Rickard Dahl said...

It would be interesting.

Damián López-de Jesús said...

Go for it! I know you will make the posts very in-depth and intriguing, like articles on music should be.

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks guys! I will go ahead with the series. First thing is, I have to research the origins of the concerto...