Posts Tagged ‘Baroque’
Dutch piano restorer Frank Bernouw has painstakingly restored a stunning Hupfeld Phonoliszt-Violina, a self-playing, multi-violin orchestrion that plays a variety of concertos quite beautifully, if not a bit mechanically. This unusual instrument was invented in 1907 by Ludwig Hupfeld AG and “dubbed the “8th wonder of the world”…
Three violins (each with only one active string) mounted vertically were played by a round rotating bow made of 1300 threads of horse hair, according to the program on the roll of perforated paper. The small bellows replaced the violin player’s fingers, pressing on the strings to obtain the necessary notes. The piano can be driven either unaccompanied or together with the violins. It controls 38 accompaniment keys with 12 high notes (one octave) in extension. The whole pneumatic systems are controlled by an electric engine of uninterrupted current.
* Victor Borge
As we reach for the rosin, we might send intricately-melodic birthday greetings to Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist Georg Philipp Telemann; he was born on this date in 1681. Telemann was and still is one of the most prolific composers in history (at least in terms of surviving oeuvre) and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favorably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies and his music is an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles.
What if the great painters had filled larger canvases?…
Yarin Gal, at Cambridge University’s Machine Learning Group, has set out to answer the question: “New techniques in machine learning and image processing allow us to extrapolate the scene of a painting to see what the full scenery might have looked like…”
“Enhanced” Monet, Picasso, O’Keefe, (more) van Gogh, and others– with more added regularly– at Extrapolated Art.
* Vincent van Gogh
As we look beyond the frame, we might send broadly gestural birthday greetings to Ludovico Carracci; he was born on this date in 1555. An early Baroque master, his paintings, etchings, prints– but especially his frescos– are credited with reinvigorating Italian art, rescuing it from the formal mannerism that had accrued in the mid-late 16th century.
Your correspondent is headed out of reliable radio contact for a couple of weeks. Thus today’s post is a pair of tools– perhaps more accurately, mesmerizing toys– to which readers can turn for diversion until June 14 or so, when regular service will resume…
From Anselm Levskaya, a nifty polyhedron construction kit… and for more fun: Levskaya’s “Eschersketch,” a wonderfully-simple tool for creating repetitive geometric designs like this (or a nearly-infinite number of variations thereon):
As we just doodle it, we might spare a thought for Peter Paul Rubens; he died on this date in 1640. A master of the Flemish Baroque, Rubens was renown for his portraits, landscapes, and history paintings (largely of mythological and allegorical subjects), for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces… and for his fondness for painting full-figured women (to wit, “Rubenesque”). Rubens was born into a Calvinist family, but educated as a Humanist. And while he was a remarkably prolific painter, both personally and via the studio he oversaw in Antwerp, he remained an active scholar and diplomat– for which services he was knighted by both Spain’s Philip IV and England’s Charles I.
As we allow for idiosyncrasy, we might send melodious birthday greeting to Henry Purcell; he was born on this date in 1959 (or on September 10 of that year; scholars are divided). An accomplished organist, Purcell is best remembered as one of the leading Baroque composers of his time (e.g., Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy-Queen [an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream]). Indeed, he was the most famous native-born English composer until Edward Elgar.
Hear Purcell’s “Toccata in A Major” here.