Monday, April 18, 2011

Praetorius in the Brass World

Michael Praetorius (pictured right) is mostly known for his collection of folk/secular instrumental Renaissance dances called Terpsichore. Terpischore is the name of one of the nine muses of Greek mythology, the one associated with dance. He did not write the melodies in these piece but did arrange them for wind instruments; the counterpoint/voicing is his own.

Praetorius collaborated with the violinist/composer Caroubel, who was responsible for some 82 dances in Terpsichore. These dances were from the French tradition, and based off of pre-existing melodies.

I love these pieces. I've heard some of these dances since I was young, and like the innocent and light feel to them. I think it's good every once in a while to listen to music that isn't super-serious. It can be oppressive to listen to music out of a sense of duty or self-improvement.

During my listening presentation, we heard 2 "dance suites" arranged for the St. Louis Brass Quintet by the trumpeter, Allan Dean.

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