Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Zum Geburtstag, Friedrich der Große, special concert

Happy Birthday, Friedrich der Große! It's Frederick the Great's 300th birthday and even a baroque potentate wouldn't do 300 candles on his cake, especially not someone as ascetic as he was. "Feed it to the horses!" So zum Geburtstag, a special concert of the music Frederick the Great knew, loved and played. That's der alte Fritz himself playing the flute at Sans-Souci in Potsdam.

Click HERE to listen to a the recital online by members of the Berliner Barock Soloisten and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Speakers will read from Friedrich's correspondence with Voltaire, "a unique document of nonchalantly commented contemporary history, full of top-class irony, anecdotes and philosophy.". The programme includes pieces by CPE Bach, Friedrich's court composer Johann Quantz and of course the King's own compositions. He was a virtuoso flautist and wrote many works, many of which are in print and have been recorded (see HERE and Emmauel Pahud HERE) with video clip. "There's a certain weight about the King's music", says Pahud, "that the courtiers don't have". Would that heads of state today had Friedrich's education and breadth of experience. Or even the basic mental discipline of art. Tomorrow, I'll celebrate by watching some of the old UFA films about the king, which are actually very good, though the lessons weren't learned by some of those watching them at the time. Please see my other posts on Frederick the Great, like this. and about West Prussia, various posts like THIS.

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