Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
Astor Piazzolla was an Argentinian tango composer, arranger, and bandoneon virtuoso (the bandoneon is a type of accordion). He invented a modern style of tango music called tango nuevo (a style of tango that uses elements of jazz and classical music).
Here is a tango by Piazzolla arranged for violin, piano, melodia, cymbalom, guitar, and bass by Frantisek Janoska (the pianist). It is played by the Romani (gypsy) violinist Roby Lakatos ensemble and pianist Frantisek Janoska. Enjoy!
Antonio Bartomoleo Bruni (1757-1821)
Italian violinist and composer. He wrote over 200 chamber music works and 20 works for the stage. Bruni’s music is full of melodic invention. This piece is played by Andrea Rognoni on violin and Stefano Marcocchi on viola.
G.F. Handel (1685-1759)
G.F. Handel was a German baroque composer, organist, harpsichordist, and violinist. He is most well known today for works such as his Messiah, Water Music, and Royal Fireworks Music.
Here is a soprano aria from called Fiamma bella from a Cantata by Handel entitled Aminta e Fillide. The aria is sung by Catalan soprano Nuria Rial. Enjoy!
Gilles Binchois (1400-1460)
Gilles Binchois was a 15th century Franco-Flemish composer. Along with Dunstable and Dufay, Binchois was one of the three leading musical figures of the first half of the 15th century.
The first important chanson composer was Machaut. His chansons were written for a treble voice with two, three, or four parts, and were rhythmically iregular with ornamented melodic lines. Then came the chansons of the Burgundian school with composers such as Dufay and Binchois. Dufay and Binchois’ chansons are mostly about courtly love. They are more refined than earlier chansons. Later on in the 15th century the chansons of Dufay and Binchois became more homogeneous in texture. About a third of the chansons by Binchois are written in four parts, which was standard by c.1500.
Here are two chansons by Gilles Binchois. The first is called “Adieu, adieu, mon joleux souvenir,” and the second is called “Triste plaisir et douleureuse joye.” The poem that “Triste plaisir” uses as its text is by Alain Chartier (1385-1433). The musicians are Lena Susanne Norin (Alto), Randall Cook (viol’ da gamba/Vielle/fiddle) and Susanne Ansorg (Rebec/fiddle).
Minor Swing is a popular “gypsy jazz” tune by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. It was first recorded by Grappelli, Reinhardt, and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1937.
Here is a recording of Minor Swing by Ludovic Beier (a “gypsy jazz” accordion virtuoso), and Angelo Debarre (a Romani “gypsy jazz” guitarist). Enjoy!
Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829)
Mauro Giuliani was an Italian composer, guitar virtuoso, cellist, and singer. He was one of the leading guitar virtuosos of the 19th century.
Giuliani taught guitar, performed on the guitar, and composed a rich and varied repertoire for the guitar. His compositions include three guitar concertos, sonatas, studies, variations, duos for guitar with flute of violin, quartets, and songs.
Here is a recording of a Sonata for Violin, Cello, and Guitar in A Major by Mauro Giuliani. It is played by Leonid Kogan (violin), Alexander Ivanov-Kramskoy (guitar), and Fyodor Lusanov (cello). Enjoy!
Jakub Jan Ryba (1765-1815)
Jakub Jan Ryba was a Czech classical composer and teacher. He was a contemporary of W. A. Mozart and F. J. Haydn. He composed many pastorales and masses.
Ryba’s Missa Pastoralis in C Major is very popular in the Czech Republic.