Music in the Making

Music In The Making: All In The Family

Join in on the Father’s Day fun on this week’s episode of Music in the Making.

On this week’s episode of Music in the Making, we’re celebrating Father’s Day, with music by father and son duos. Selections include music from the Bach family, as well as works by Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach

J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 548

Ken Cowan (organ)

11/2/2012

Edythe Bates Old Recital Hall and Grand Organ

With 20 children, 10 of whom survived to adulthood, Johann Sebastian Bach may be the ultimate musical father. J.S. Bach himself emerged from an important family of German musicians, and would become a famed composer and organist. In fact, the obituary written following Bach’s death reads, “For as long as there is nought to confute us other than the mere possibility of the existence of better organists and keyboard players, we cannot be reproached if we are bold enough to persist in the claim that our Bach was the most prodigious organist and keyboard player that there has ever been.” His dedication to the instrument, musical imagination, and prodigious skill is apparent in his compositions for the organ.

Morning prayers in the family of Sebastian Bach
Morning prayers in the family of Sebastian Bach

C.P.E. Bach: Sonata in A minor for solo flute

Martin Schuring (oboe)

3/7/2004

Moores Opera House

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach and his first wife, Maria Barbara. Though now frequently overshadowed by his famous father, in his day, C.P.E. Bach was recognized as an important keyboard composer and teacher in his own right. Like his father before him, he too composed for solo instruments, creating rich textures and flowing melodies, despite limiting himself to only one voice.

J.S. Bach: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903

Timothy Hester (harpsichord)

4/11/2006

Moores Opera House

In addition to his organ works, Johann Sebastian also composed for the other keyboard instruments, including the harpsichord, an instrument in which the strings are plucked, rather than hit. The Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue is a virtuosic work for the instrument. The fantasy, an improvisatory section, is filled with wild arpeggiation for which the harpsichord is well suited. The fugue, meanwhile, features a subject replete with semitones, as the title of the work suggests.

Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti

Alessandro Scarlatti: Oratorio sopra la Concettione della Beata Vergine

Moores School Collegium Musicum, Ars Lyrica Houston

3/21/2005

Moores Opera House

Italian Baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti is generally acknowledged as the father of the Neopolitan school of opera, but he also was the father of Domenico Scarlatti. Alessandro lived Italy throughout his life, working in Naples, Rome, Venice, and Urbino under the patronage of Ferdinando de Medici, Queen Christina of Sweden, and other notables. The Oratorio on the Conception of the Blessed Virgin was written by Alessandro Scarlatti around 1703 for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. 

Domenico Scarlatti
Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti: Stabat Mater

Moores School Collegium Musicum, Ars Lyrica Houston

3/21/2005

Moores Opera House

Domenico Scarlatti’s musical talent was noticed early in his life, and his father, Alessandro, clearly encouraged him. When he was 15, Alessandro arranged for his son to work as an organist and composer for the Cappella Reale. Five years later, his father described his son in letter as, “an eagle whose wings are grown; he must not remain idle in the nest, and I must not hinder his flight.” Domenico was successful throughout his life, eventually working in the royal courts of Spain and Portugal.

This episode originally aired Sunday, June 18th, 2017. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical.

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