Oct 31, 2019

Borrowing Baroque

Antique books on a shelf by Samantha Hurley via Burst.

It was quite a normal practice to "borrow" music in the 18th century. For composers to adapt works, or to borrow ideas or themes, was often looked upon as a form of praise. We begin our November concert, Lotti Revealed, with Antonio Lotti's Missa SapientiaeIt was not published, and yet among the numerous musicians who had written out copies of the score for their own use were Bach, Handel, and Zelenka — an impressive testament to Lotti’s inventiveness. Chamber Choir Director Ivars Taurins has noticed hints of Lotti's Mass in several familiar works by these composers.

Borrowing music from another musician isn't new these days. Check out this collection of pop songs borrowing from classical music.

It's hard to miss the intro of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. If you don't recognize the tune, it's Bach's Fugue in B minor from the Well-tempered Clavier Book I

On the flip side, someone then turned Lady Gaga's Bad Romance into a fugue.

You can hear hints of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major in Coolio's track from 1997, C U When When U Get There.

The instrumental rock group, Sky, pay homage to Bach with this prog version of the composer's most famous organ piece, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

You'll instantly recongnize the fourth movement of Beethoven's Symphony No.9 in D minor in Road to Joy by Bright Eyes. (We're sure the pun was intended.)

Ava Maria by Beyoncé is a rewrite of Ava Maria by Schubert.

The melody for the Beach Boys' Lady Linda is based on Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach.

Muse's Drones takes inspiration from Palestrina's Benedictus, from Missa Papae Marcelli.

Lana Del Ray nabbed the tune from Nino Rota's theme to the 1968 film version of Romeo & Juliet for her song Old Money.

Considered a pop classic, William Orbit reworked Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.

If any pop band was to take on an opera, it would be Queen. Freddie Mercury borrows the melody from Leoncavallo's Vesti La Giubba from his opera, Pagliacci.

Join us for Lotti Revealed, November 14–17, 2019. Buy your tickets here. Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Choir help us recover Lotti and his place in the baroque musical world by pairing the work that fired the imagination of Lotti's contemporaries with music by Bach, Handel, and Zelenka themselves.

Antique books image by Samantha Hurley via Burst.

Music History
Lotti Revealed
Bach
Chamber Choir
Ivars Taurins

Leave a Comment