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Art Music: Canaletto - Music of His Time

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Music of His Time

More than fifteen hundred years ago the ancestors of the Venetians calculated thatthe only way to avoid marauding newcomers from the east was to abandon themainland entirely and surround themselves with water. So they settled on a smallpatch of mud, which in due course they turned into one of the great miracles of theworld. In the heyday of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, as she liked to callherself, her traders were the richest, the canniest, the most enterprising in theeastern Mediterranean. Their empire came not from military prowess (though theywere never afraid to fight) but through deals, concessions and percentages, allunderpinned by a banking system of rock-like solidity.

Given all the money coming in, what were the Venetians to do with it? Theanswer was simple: glorify the republic. While the rest of Europe consumed itsenergies with local squabbles and dynastic feuding, Venice rose slowly from itsmarshes to become the most beautiful city in the world. Most of it the Venetiansbuilt themselves; some prize items came from looting, such as the four great bronzehorses that used to stand above the doorway of St Mark's. These were shipped backfrom Constantinople in 1204, with other priceless treasures, after the FourthCrusade had veered wildly from its original objective and turned into a demolitionjob on the Byzantine Empire. (The original horses, now safely stowed inside thebasilica, have been replaced by copies.)But all of that was a long time ago. With the discovery of sea routes to the eastround Africa, Venice had become an irrelevance in trading terms. In the age ofBach and Handel, rather than supplying the rest of Europe with goods, her functionwas to entertain it. The city became an irresistible lure for rich travellers wantingnew and exotic experiences. Like any successful prostitute, Venice was ready to beall things to all men - a work of art to the connoisseur, a stage set for trysting lovers,a sensuous paradise for the aficionado of pleasure. Romantic intrigue was at itsheight in winter, at Carnival time, 'in which masks, banquets, festive assemblies,plays, and musical dramas are conjoined, so that entire nights are consumed in anecstasy of delicious entertainments,' as one visitor wrote in 1681.

Music was everywhere. Charles Burney, in 1770, was astonished at what he heardgoing on around him:

If two of the common people walk together arm in arm, they are always singing,and seem to converse in song; if there is company on the water, in a gondola, it isthe same; a mere melody, unaccompanied with a second part, is not to be heard inthis city.

Item number 8558177
Barcode 636943817728
Release date 01/08/2005
Category Orchestral
Label Naxos Educational
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Andrew Watkinson
Anthony Camden
Christian Hommel
Christopher Hooker
Joanna Graham
Jozsef Kiss
Maria Keohane
Niklas Eklund
Susanne Ryden
Teresa Ringholz
Composers Alessandro Marcello
Antonio Vivaldi
Arcangelo Corelli
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Christoph Willibald Gluck
George Frideric Handel
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductors Arnold Ostman
Barry Wordsworth
Charles Medlam
Edward H. Tarr
Helmut Muller-Bruhl
Jaroslav Krecek
John Georgiadis
Nicholas Kraemer
Orchestras Capella Istropolitana
City of London Sinfonia
Cologne Chamber Orchestra
Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra
Ferenc Erkel Chamber Orchestra
London Baroque
London Virtuosi
Wasa Baroque Ensemble
Disc: 1
Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87: Overture
1 I. Vivace - Allegro - Adagio - Vivace - Allegro -
2 II. Allegro
3 III. Grave - Andante largo -
4 IV. Allegro
5 Oboe Concerto in B flat major, Op. 9, No. 2: II. A
6 I. Allegro
7 II. Largo
8 III. Allegro
9 Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, HWV 74: Eterna
10 Tito Manlio, RV 778: Combatta un gentil cor
11 Lascia ch’io pianga
12 I. Ouverture
13 V. Gigue
14 Oboe Concerto in D minor: II. Adagio
15 I. Andante molto
16 II. Largo
17 III. Allegro molto
18 Oboe Concerto in B flat major, Wq. 164, H. 466: II
19 Act I, Scene 5: Recitative: Ove son che ascoltai?
20 Act I, Scene 5: Aria: Ombre, larve, compagne di mo
21 Allegro
22 Andante grazioso
23 Presto
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