Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A New Discovery

Yesterday, on my daily early-morning walk, I was listening to some beautiful music from a composer I was not familiar with, namely Johan Agrell. He lived from 1701 to 1765, a German/Swedish baroque composer, born in Loth, Ostergotland, a province in Sweden. By 1734 he was court violinist travelling in England, France, Italy among other important places. From 1746, he was the Kapellmeister in Nuremburg, Germany.

The piece I heard, a beautiful selection, was a concerto for flute , hear it here,  but he also wrote for voice, harpsicord and violin. He is credited with 22 symphonies.
He died in Nuremburg. Not a lot is known about him, but it's nice to hear the work of someone you didn't know existed.

The other day, our local public classical radio station, KCLV, was having one of their fund drives, and it was mentioned that we, now days, have the opportunity to hear any kind of music we wish, WHENEVER we wish. So true, that we mostly take that for granted.

In Johan's day, as well as for his contemporaries until hundreds of years later, with the invention of radio and phonograph, the only way to hear any music was to be present at a particular event where it was being played, often a debut, or a recital, in one of the court settings. And then, only the "glitterati" could partake! Everyone else might hear a jig or simple piece in a tavern or someone's home.

Yes, we do take the access to music for granted! Next time you listen, remember it used to be a privilege!

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