Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - Concerto for Flute, Strings & Continuo in D minor (1747)

Here's my boy CPEB, whose name I can never spell correctly - two 'p's at the end of "Philipp" and one 'm' in "Emanuel?" What was the ol' Johann Sebastian thinking?

Anyway, this is a great concerto for your mind. The introductory theme from Allegro is regularly trapped in my head, and Allegro di molto features some virtuoso playing that can't help but conjure up images of black stallions sprinting through snow-strewn forests, or something equally fast and full of implied conflict.

Counterpoint composition is not based upon the harmonic structuring typical of blues/jazz/rock music, but rather, is based upon independent voices and the relationship between the melodies that they create. I would like to understand how this relates to the scale-based models through which our brains interpret music, as, although compositions are often ostensibly in either minor or major, certain passages imply a variable tonic in a very interesting way. Let's see if I can nail an example. In Allegro, the piece starts out in minor, then the melody ascends through a variety of variations that all seem to imply a new tonic, before descending back into the original minor key for the next theme at 40 seconds. Someone give me a lot of money and I'll isolate specific 'riffs' and have people identify what key they are in. Then I will publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal detailing the results.

Also interesting is how the strings and the continuo serve as timekeepers and keep the Allegro movement chugging along. Chug-a-lug, CPEB.


PS The new Beherit record, entitled Engram, is great.

3 comments:

Max said...

does he drop a B-A-C-H anywhere in there?

Todd said...

Are you talking about this thing:
http://www.cpebach.org/cpeb/

I don't see how that says "Bach," please advise.

Max said...

In Germany B stands for a B flat and H stands for B. It's in a bunch of woks according to this Godel, Escher, Bach book.