180 Days With Mozart And Me

A Survey Of The Philips Complete Mozart Edition…From Symphonies Through Theatre And Ballet Music

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Of Can and Canons (Arias, Vocal Ensembles, Canons, Box 12)

April 18th, 2010 · 2 Comments · A capella, Andreas Röhn, Box 12: Arias Vocal Ensembles Canons Lieder Notturni, Canon (definition), Chorus Viennensis, Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis, Guido Mancusi, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Uwe Christian Harrer

Arias Vocal Ensembles Box 12I’m sure there are those among you who are taking bets that I won’t like today’s music.

Sorry to disappoint you. I find this CD of Canons fascinating. Performed primarily by Chorus Viennensis and Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis, these Canons are sung a capella. Think German barbershop quartet, singing in a round.

A couple of the songs are instrumental, using instruments like bassoon, clarinet, or oboe (that’s what it sounds like to my ears, anyway). But, mostly, these are voices singing relatively short songs in precise harmony. ( 4 Puzzle Canons, K.73r – 2. Cantate Domino is a good example. It’s Track 23 on the disc. This was a fascinating composition.)

But that’s not a good enough definition for me. So I’ll turn to its entry on Wikipedia:

In music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration (e.g. quarter rest, one measure, etc.). The initial melody is called the leader (or dux), while the imitative melody, which is played in a different voice, is called the follower (or comes). The follower must imitate the leader, either as an exact replication of its rhythms and intervals or some transformation thereof. Repeating canons in which all voices are musically identical that repeat are called rounds – “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Frère Jacques” being widely known examples.

Accompanied canon is a canon accompanied by one or more additional independent parts which do not take part in imitating the melody.

See? I wasn’t that far off.

These are really fun to listen to. It’s not really possible to differentiate them from one another. They all pretty much sound the same. But what makes them interesting is how different they are from what I’ve been listening to lately. They stand out. In a good way.

New names today include…

Karl-Heinz Steffens, conductor, clarinetist…Andreas Röhn, violinist…Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis…Chorus Viennensis…and Members of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

Here is what I listened to today, complete with the best guesses of scholars regarding where and when each composition was penned. This information was pieced together from The Compactothèque book + CD, which is an essential purchase if you want the fullest enjoyment from the Philips Complete Mozart Edition. It’s only about $8 and the sampler CD, alone, is remarkably enjoyable. But the booklet is gold, Jerry! Gold! Keep in mind, some of these places and dates are merely guesses. But I find it fascinating to see even guesses for some of these compositions. They help me put Mozart’s life and creative output in perspective.

For example, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756. With that in mind, take a look at where and when these pieces were composed. I’ll add Mozart’s approximate age in the parenthetical data below each composition:

1. V’amo di core teneramente, K.348/K.382g (Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis)
2. Lieber Freistädtler, lieber Gaulimauli, K.232/K.509a (Chorus Viennensis)
3. Gehn wir im Prater, K.558
4. Difficile lectu mihi mars, K.559
5. O du eselhafter Peierl!, K.559a
6. Sie ist dahin, K.229/K.382a
7. Selig, selig alle, K.230/K.382b
8. Canon in A, K.73i (Karl-Heinz Steffens)
9. Ach, zu kurz ist unsers Lebens Lauf, K.228/K.515b (Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis)
10. Caro bell’idol mio, K.562
11. Canons in F, K.508a – Nos. 1-2 (Karl-Heinz Steffens)
12. “Interval” Canons Nos. 1-5 in F, K.deest – Canon No.3 in F, K.508a No. 3
13. Wo der perlende Wein im Glase blinkt, K.347/K.382f (Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis)
14. Heiterkeit und leichtes Blut, K.507 (Chorus Viennensis)
15. Auf das Wohl aller Freunde, K.508
16. G’rechtelt’s enk, K.556
17. Leck mich im Arsch, K.231/K.382c
18. Nichts labt mich mehr, K.233/K.382d
19. Essen, trinken, das erhält, K.234/K.382e
20. Bona nox, bist a rechta Ox, K.561
21. “Interval” Canons Nos. 6-10 in F, K.deest – Canons Nos. 4-6 in F, K.508a Nos. 4-6 (Karl-Heinz Steffens)
22. 4 Puzzle Canons, K.73r – 1. Incipe Menalios (Chorus Viennensis)
23. 4 Puzzle Canons, K.73r – 2. Cantate Domino
24. 4 Puzzle Canons, K.73r – 3. Confitebor tibi, Domine (Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis)
25. 4 Puzzle Canons, K.73r – 4. Thebana bella cantus
26. Canon in C, K.App.191/K.562c (Andreas Röhn)
27. Canon in C, K.508A
28. Lacrimoso son’io, K.555 (Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis)
29. Nascoso è il mio sol, K.557
30. “Interval” Canons Nos. 11-14 in F, K.deest – Canons Nos. 7-8 in F, K.508a Nos. 7-8 (Karl-Heinz Steffens)
31. Canon in B flat, K.562a
32. Canon in F, K.deest
33. Kyrie in G, K.89/K.73k (Damenchor Des Concertus Vocalis)
34. Ave Maria, K.554
35. Alleluia, K.553

There are way too many K numbers here for me to list all of the places and dates where these were composed, how old Mozart was, etc. I’m trying to finish a scene for a screenwriting competition. It seems a daunting challenge. But I can do it.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Andreas

    How could you not mention the 17th track, Leck mich im Arsch, K.231/K.382c — which means “Kiss my ass”. Amazing work 🙂

  • Bill

    Gee whiz, Andreas. I can’t mention everything! 🙂

    This project took six months and hundreds of hours. I was hoping people with your appreciate for the music would stop by and share some wisdom with me.

    Thanks for your input!

    If you see anything else here that could use a little tweaking, please feel free to leave a comment.



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