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Fragmento de Notre charge apostolique. S.S San Pío X (1910)
"No, Venerables Hermanos -preciso es reconocerlo enérgicamente en estos tiempos de anarquía social e intelectual en que todos sientan plaza de doctores y legisladores-, no se edificará la ciudad de modo distinto de como Dios la edificó; no se edificará la ciudad si la Iglesia no pone los cimientos y dirige los trabajos; no, la civilización no está por inventar ni la "ciudad" nueva por edificarse en las nubes. Ha existido y existe; es la civilización cristiana, es la "ciudad" católica. No se trata más que de establecerla y restaurarla sin cesar sobre sus fundamentos naturales y divinos contra los ataques, siempre renovados, de la utopía malsana, de la rebeldía y de la impiedad: Omnia instaurare in Christo."

4 de diciembre de 2008

Algo más de Buena Música

1.- Haendel. Concerto a due cori in F Major (HWV 333)/ Rachel Podger

2.- Haendel. Concerto a due cori in F Major (HWV 333)/ Rachel Podger

3.- Haendel. Concerto a due cori in F Major (HWV 333)/ Rachel Podger

4.- Haendel. Concerto a due cori in F Major (HWV 333)/ Rachel Podger

5.- Haendel. Concerto a due cori in F Major (HWV 333)/ Rachel Podger

George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759).

Concerto a due cori no.2 in F major (HWV 333).

5th mov.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

Dir: Rachel Podger.

The second of George Frideric Handel's three Concerti a due cori (Concertos for strings and two wind groups), the Concerto a due cori No. 2 in F major, HWV 333, was written sometime during the first few months of 1748, or possibly the final days of 1747, and was first played to the public at Covent Garden on March 23, 1748 as part of a rich musical evening whose centerpiece was the brand new English oratorio Alexander Balus.

At that time, it was customary to bolster performances of even the largest compositions (especially oratorios, a form that the English public didn't quite yet know just what to do with) with a handful of instrumental pieces - at the premiere of the oratorio Alexander's Feast, for instance, no fewer than three of Handel's best-loved, large-scale instrumental works were first performed. Handel was an almost absurdly busy man, even during the 1740s and 1750s, when he was of an age when many composers have long been resting on their laurels, so to speak, and producing music so fast and at such volume is not at all easy. It was probably due more to this than to any other factor that so many of his instrumental pieces are in fact re-compositions, or sometimes transcriptions, of already existing works of music; sometimes, as is the case with the Concerti a due cori, the plundered works are Handel's own, but other times, as with the Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, HWV 76, he extracted themes and even whole passages from other composers' works, quite shamelessly it would seem to modern sensibilities.

Handel drew from three of his own English oratorios when putting the five-movement Concerto a due cori No. 2 in F major together: the Occasional Oratorio, Esther, and a work then rather unknown but of course now the one work upon which Handel's public fame rests, the Messiah. The Concerto is scored for an orchestra consisting of the usual strings and basso continuo, to which have been added two identical woodwind quintets (two oboes, two horns, and one bassoon each, for a total of ten wind players) that very often take over melodic lines given to singers in the original choral versions of the music Handel adapted. At times, Handel uses this unique three-fold instrumentation to create a very enjoyable kind of antiphonal effect. One will sometimes hear the Concerto a due cori No. 2 in F major performed by just two horn players as a kind of double concerto, but this is not really in keeping with Handel's intent, and of course such a performance lacks most of the antiphonal and echo effects that are so key to the piece.

The Overture is in the usual two-part form, beginning regally (Handel marks the opening Pomposo) and then proceeding with bright fanfare gestures - initiated by the horns, naturally - in the Allegro second half. The second movement is sewn from that happy, rhythmically-bouncing silk that has made Messiah so famous, while the Largo that follows is cast in a plaintive D minor; the strings begin things, the winds creep in almost unnoticed a few bars later. The Allegro ma non troppo movement is again festive (here antiphonal effects take the spotlight), the final A tempo ordinario perhaps more outwardly relaxed than some of the work's quicker movements but by no means less dramatic, as the sparkling oboe duet - competition, one might say - that breaks out twenty seconds into the movement demonstrates quite clearly.

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