Of course it goes up

But will it come back down?

I’m now feeling a little less profligate because of all the money I’ve spent on music over the past few months. I went to the Presto Classical website yesterday afternoon only to find that the price of downloads had gone up because US$11 (the usual price of international downloads) now costs NZ$14. Yes, I’m still avoiding VAT by not having to pay in sterling, but it does seem a little unfair that I should have to pay more because of fluctuations in the exchange rate.

With this in mind, and because I don’t know whether there might be a further unjustified increase in the cost of downloads, I bought Corelli Opp. 1-4 and Leclair Op. 4 last night. I suppose I’ll kick myself for doing that when the price comes down again; if the price comes down again.

Anyway, I now have Opp. 1-6 by Corelli. As I’ve observed before, there are innumerable versions of Opp. 5 and 6, which I’ve owned for some time, and little, it seems, of anything else by Corelli. I noted last night as I listened to some of the music that he seems to cross the divide between 17th and 18th century Baroque. There are still lingering traces of Renaissance lugubriousness, but Corelli’s music is more forward-looking.

The French, on the other hand, seem to have preferred that Renaissance style, although that might be a consequence of the dead hand of Lully, and the English seemed to have followed the French in that respect until they heard Corelli.

That has me wondering about English Baroque composers from the 17th century. I can name William Lawes, who was killed in the English Civil War, Matthew Locke, who was apparently barking mad, and Henry Purcell, who went all Mozart or Marilyn Monroe, and died at the age of 36. Er, well… That’s it!

[28.09.14. Actually, that wasn’t it, even at the time. I should’ve been able to name Peter Philips, who was an Elizabethan religious refugee, although like Byrd, he was probably more a composer of the 16th century than the 17th. I knew of others such as Gibbons, but probably not John Jenkins or John Ward, and certainly not Thomas Simpson, Robert Johnson, Maurice Webster, and Stephen Nau. The early Stuart court also attracted various émigré composers such as the Ferraboscos.

The Parley of Instruments has produced various albums of music by English composers or those who worked in England in the 16th and 17th centuries, which are available from Hyperion.]


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