Am looking forward to a performance of Johann Theile's St Matthew Passion...

That was first given at Lüneburg in 1673 (so far as I can tell the first recording was made in 1984). I've seen his name (he was Heinrich Schütz's pupil and Dietrich Buxtehude's teacher) but have never listened to any of his work, I think. There is, inter alia, an oratorio (a geistliche Oper) Adam und Eva and another (I suppose: the German text doesn't actually affirm this but...) Davids und Jonathans treuer Liebe Bestätigung, which is 'David and Jonathan's Bestätigung of True Love', Bestätigung being declaration or confirmation, as well as what looks to be a singspiele about secular nonsense: Orontes, der verlohrne und wieder gefundene Königliche Prinz aus Candia, 'the lost and found royal Prince of Candia'. In any case, Danish Radio will broadcast a concert from Aabenraa* later on with a first half featuring works of Buxtehude, Johann Schop (presumably a lesser Baroque composer), Carl Nielsen, and Matthias Weckmann (a lesser Baroque composer).

A recording of the entire Passio Domini Nostri Iesu Christi secundum Matthaeum by Theile; the 1984 recording by Ensemble London Baroque, Charles Medlam, director.



Another beautiful day here. The canteloupe I bought early last week (or perhaps at the end of the preceding week) has finally ripened; I'd buy melon more often but I always seem to end up with four of the damn things ripe at the same moment or else with fruit that seems never to reach that happy state.  

Having listened yesterday to Dmitry Ablogin play Beethoven's 33 Variations upon a Theme of Diabelli, am looking forward to hearing Maestro Daniel Barenboim's performance of the same work at the Salzburg Festival-- it happens, happened today, so it ought to be on Arte later on. 


My ill-tutored sense is that I preferred Daniel Barenboim's Diabelli Variations today to Dmitry Ablogin's yesterday but I'd be hard pressed to articulate why this is. At one level I respond to the more substantial sound of whatever massive modern instrument Barenboim is playing, I reckon. And a part of this is that the opus 120 is 'received' as a chef d'oeuvre, as a grand mountain peak that everyone attempts and only a few climb with notable success-- so it ought to sound grand and profound throughout, and not like variations on a Chopin waltz. I don't know. Technical exactitude and a spirit of gaiety on the one hand, and on the other pathos, pain, and mastery. 

At the conclusion of the Beethoven, a panegyric to Maestro  Barenboim. Wednesday last, the 19th, was the 50th anniversary of his concert debut in Buenos Aires, when he was 7 years old. He has performed at Salzburg 87 times. He'll be 78 in November. Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Directorium of the Festival, prayed that they could look forward to the 100th performance; Barenboim didn't look very sure about this. 

Frau Rabl-Stadler also took the opportunity to give herself and all of the Festival people and audiences a pat on the back for being the only one of the greatest summer festivals to have gone on with the show, as it were, in the face of the plague nonsense. 


*From Wikipedia. 

After the 1948 Danish spelling reform, which abolished the digraph Aa in favor of Å, there was fervent resistance in Aabenraa. The town feared, among other things, to lose its status as first in alphabetical listings, because the letter Å is the last letter in the Dano-Norwegian alphabet. A later revision of the spelling rules allowed for retaining the Aa spelling as an option.

I wouldn't have wanted to adopt the Å, either.