Welcome to the debut of our brand new ‘Masterclass’ series, and who better to usher us in than the incredible Al Joseph! Al says ‘In this tutorial I'm going to answer a lot of the questions I've been getting over the last couple of years: ‘How do I write solos?’, ‘How do I come up with melodies?’,’What facilities on the guitar do I use when it comes to phrasing?’, ‘What am I looking at when it comes to visualising all these patterns and things on the fretboard?. I'm going to explain all this to you.
Joseph Kerman was a leading musicologist, music critic, and music educator from the 1950s to the 2000s. He reshaped our understanding and appreciation of Western classical music with his first book, Opera as Drama (1956), to his last, Opera and the Morbidity of Music (2008), including his studies on Bach, Beethoven, William Byrd, concertos, and more. He was a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, where he served two terms as chair of the Music Department. He wrote Listen together with his wife, Vivian Kerman.
This delightful "dramma eroicomico" ("heroic-comic drama"–-a made-up phrase brimming with irony) tells the story of the noble knight Orlando, who goes mad being torn between duty and love, his love, Angelica, who actually wants Medoro, and Alcina, an evil sorceress out to get Orlando, and turns it into a type of farce, with great results. There is some lovely music, mostly for Angelica and Medoro, but most of it is fun and light, with characters whistling, trying to impress people with how well they sing, etc. The scoring wittily underlines their foibles… –Robert Levine
Thanks to his omnivorous curiosity, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt has revived an authentic masterpiece. Several opera composers–Lully, Handel, and Gluck–had already availed themselves of the amorous and stormy adventures of the knight Rinaldo and the enchantress Armida, drawn from Tasso's Jerusalem Liberated. Composed in 1784, Haydn's Armida was his the final opera he wrote for his patron Prince Esterházy, but it was also the composer's debut opera seria. Even so–and just like Mozart–Haydn knew how to free himself from the rigid and monotonous alternation of aria and recitative that customarily governed this genre. Thus the final act, which unfolds in an enchanted forest, offers us a half-hour of nearly uninterrupted music, even prefiguring the romantic shape of things to come in the 19th century. This recording was made from a concert performance in June 2000 in Vienna's sumptuous Musikverein under the blazing baton of Harnoncourt. The cast is impeccable–including Christoph Prégardien and Patricia Petibon and dominated by the stunning Cecilia Bartoli, who can swerve within a few bars from boiling anger to the most overwhelming amorous pleading.(Franck Erikson)