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thu 19 jan 2023 21:00 

The Travel Diaries of Charles Burney, second journey, episode 7: Burney in Berlin.


Music historian, composer and musician Charles Burney (1726-1814) was given the ambition to describe the history of music. To this end, he undertook two major journeys.
His first trip in 1770 through France and Italy produced his ‘Present State of Music in France and Italy’. Two years later, in 1772, Burney travelled through the Low Countries, Germany and Austria and wrote ‘Present State of Music in Germany, The Netherlands and the United Provinces’.

Having been to Vienna and Bohemia, Charles Burney arrived in Berlin. Here he met Johann Friedrich Agricola and visited the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where Burney might have attended Carl Heinrich Graun’s opera ‘Cleopatra & Cesare’.

Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774)
1. Sonata in F major:
– Allegro assai
– Larghetto
– Allegro assai
Gregor Hollmann, harpsichord
(CD Claviermusik der Bach-Schüler. Dabringhaus und Grimm. MD+G L3318)

Frantisek Benda (1709-1786)
2. Sonata in B-flat major (Lee.III-127)
– Adagio
– Allegro
– Vivace
Czech Baroque Trio
(CD Frantisek Benda – Violin Sonatas, Matous MK 0052-2 131)

Carl Heinrich Graun (c. 1703-1759)
3. From ‘Cleopatra & Cesare’:
– Overture
First act
Scene 1
– Coro ‘Qual un giorno
– Recitativo Cesare: Basta, Amici, fin Qui
– Aria Tolomeo: Sopportar non devo in pace
Scene 2
– Recitativo Cesare: Verrò in breve, felon
– Aria Cornelia: Vidi io stessa, Oh Dei
Scene 3
– Recitativo Cesare: Sommi Dei
– Aria Cleopatra: S’avvien che si posi

Janet Williams, Cleopatra. Iris Vermillion, Cesar. Lynne Dawson, Cornelia and Robert Gambill, Tolomeo. Concerto Köln and RIAS Kammerchor conducted by René Jacobs
(3CD Cleopatra e Cesare – C.H.Graun. Harmonia Mundi 901561.63)

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