A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

A Sweet Baroque Embouchure Not To Be Missed
Thursday, May 22, 2014



Colin MacDonald & Domenico Gabrielli


It has been impossible for me to locate the lovely short story from an 80s Penthouse Magazine about some savvy LA music producers who bring Domenico Scarlatti in a time machine from the 18th century with the idea of presenting the public with some fresh new music. Unfortunately for the music men, Scarlatti abandons his harpsichord for a Moog Synthesizer, disappears and appears again as a member of a rock band.

One of my favourite short novels is Alejo Carpentier’s Concierto barroco (1974) based on the 1709 meeting of Vivaldi, Handel and Domenico Scarlatti, with cameo appearances by Wagner and Stravinsky, and fictional characters from the new world who inspire the Venetian composer's opera, Motezuma.

Because in the story the trio of Vivaldi, Handel and Scarlatti are at a bar during the Venetian carnevale they are quite drunk. A rich visiting Mexican (owns silver mines) dressed as Moctezuma (note the correct spelling) meets up with them by accident. Vivaldi enquires about the costume but gets the whole story about the Spanish and Moctezuma all wrong and even casts elephants into his opera Motezuma.

If I were to re-write this story, the Mexican’s companion, a very black Cuban would be replaced by my friend composer and saxophone player Colin MacDonald.

Carpentier who invented something called lo real maravilloso (doesn’t that sound much like magic realism?) has Wagner, dead in a coffin pass in his funeral cortege on St. Mark’s Square. We find out that Wagner died in Venice but was not buried there and the reverse of that is that Stravinsky who died elsewhere was buried in Venice. Louis Armstrong and his trumpet also make an appearance. Why not MacDonald?

Let me digress to mention that one of my favourite Miles Davis albums is his Sketches of Spain. But I absolutely detest Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. So popular was the Davis album that many versions of the Concierto appeared shortly after and I believe I heard a version placed with a kazoo.

And I also detest those who upon hearing a Bach Violin Sonata played with a mouth organ will say, “Bach would have approved.” I detest them! How do they know?

So in January 2013 when I heard a trio that featured a harpsichord, a cello and Colin MacDonald playing Vivaldi and Handel with a baritone and soprano sax I was floored in admiration. MacDonald made his baritone sax in a high register sound like a bassoon and his soprano sax (not always a sweet instrument) mimicked a flute.

I don’t particularly care if Vivaldi, or Handel or Gabrielli or even Papa Bach would have approved. I like it and I strongly suggest you who might be reading this decide to attend the concert tomorrow Friday. You will be delighted.

The Baroque Saxophone

Friday, May 23 at 7:30 pm

St. Mark's Church, 1805 Larch St, Vancouver, BC

Tickets $20/10 at the door or from http://baroquesaxophone.brownpapertickets.com/

With guest artists Christina Hutten and Marina Hasselberg

This is the program

Concerto in E minor, RV 484 by Antonio Vivaldi (originally bassoon, arranged for baritone sax)



Folie à Deux by Colin MacDonald (soprano saxophone and continuo)



Solo Suite V, BVW 1011 by J.S. Bach (originally cello, arranged for baritone sax)



Cello Sonata in G major by Domenico Gabrielli



Trio Sonata in G minor, KWV 393 by G.F. Handel (baritone sax and cello)

I must note that MacDonald’s composition, Folie à Deux is based on an ancient 16th or 17 century tune allegedly about a mad dancing woman. This tune was tackled by so many composers including versions by Arcangelo Corelli and Francesco Geminiani that I can assert here that it was the Louie Louie of its time.

And if all that is not enough you might note what kind of shoes the cellist will be wearing. 

There are rumours in the jazz community that redhaired Gerry Mulligan who was a virtuoso of the baritone saxophone was distantly related to a red haired priest who lived in Venice in the 18th century.  


The Red Haired Priest - Illustration attributed to Grahamus Caminati



     

Previous Posts
The Beauty Of The Vulgar

A Weed Not -Revealed

Archangelo Corelli & The Wedding At Cana

Controlled Circulation

Fiddling In The Garden & Remembering Donald Hodgso...

As I Saw Them

Vicodins and Percocets -The Goldfinch & War Cries ...

Carmelo Sortino - The Man Who Cooks With His Hands...

Mower Heaven

Utilis - Not



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5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17