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Gypsy's collection of the unexpected

A few weeks back, there was an article posted here that speculated what kind of music Johann Sebastian Bach would have written if he had not believed in god. Granted, most of his compositions were written soli deo gloria (to God alone the glory), and he didn't write any operas, but he did write non-religious music, even for vocalists. Thus I present to you compositions by composers that will be off the beaten track record, so to speak.

J. S. Bach Coffee Cantata. I'm surprised that Starbucks never picked up on this piece as a marketing tool, although most classical musicians are hooked up to coffee machines.

Arnold Schoenberg Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night). Usually we think of this guy as the father of serial technique, using a matrix to help him employ all 12 chromatic tones in his compositions before repeating another one, as well as sprechstimme, that eerie sing/speak voice that help express out darkest inner feelings. Not so with Transfigured Night; this sounds completely romantic - more like Richard Wagner, sans the anti-semitism lurking in the background.

Gustav Holst Savitri. When most people think of Holst, they think of The Planets and anything sounding remotely like it, with British folk song leading the way. Ah, but the man's sadly well-kept secret is that he dug eastern culture. This terrific piece is based on Mahabharata. Totally worth changing your perspective on England's World War II hero-composer.

And, as a little extra no one expects the Spanish Inquisition (see anonymous composer). OK, see this as well!



Great post again!

One request... can you also advise on what recording to get? I haven't bought much music since I had a thing for Gershwin in highschool, but I remember buying some very disapointing recordings...because they were ,well... cheap.

Ooo - recording here are tricky for me. I don't own my own copy of either the Holst or the Bach, so I' m going off of reputation here.

Bach - My money's on the secular cantatas collection with Roschmann, Saint-Celais, the Violons du Roy with McMillan conducting.

Holst - try the one with his daughter, Imogen, conducting, with the English Chamber Orchestra backing up Janet Baker and Robert Tear. The one from teh British Music Collection with Sir Adrian Boult and Christopher Hogwood should be a good bet too.

I'll check what I have at home for Arnie.

For the Schoenberg, you might try this one with the Juilliard string quartet, plus Yo Yo Ma and Joel Krosnick (possibly on the Sting Trio).

The one I own has Babbitt and Stravinsky on it as well.

There may be other, better recordings; there's even one paired with Holst's Planets on it.

Gypsy - Thanks - after some snarking on another thread, it's good to come here :)

A Coffee Cantata that's my cup of tea.

Get the Emma Kirkby/Christopher Hogwood recording of the Coffee Cantata.

By the way, it's soli Deo gloria. (Even genii make mistakes. ;-))

it's soli Deo gloria.

So it is. ;~) My typing skills are terrible, and I usually proof read, but "solo dei" doesn't look too bad if there's a rehearsal pending following a post.

Now I'll have to think about editing it - some time or other.


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