Orchestral Percussion

Baroque "Messiah" embellishments?

  • 1.  Baroque "Messiah" embellishments?

    Posted 10-05-2011 14:09
    This message has been cross posted to the following eGroups: Orchestral Percussion and Timpani .
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    For several years I've had the opportunity to play timpani (Baroque style) with a Baroque orchestra. It definitely gives me a great appreciation for the challenges faced by timpanists back then. With my little bit of research I've found that it was common for Baroque timpanists to 'embellish' on the actual 'written' parts...at times. Once again this year I'll be part of the holiday performances of Handel's "Messiah". So far, the only 'embellishments' I've added have been dynamic emphases. Should/could the timp part in the "Messiah" be further embellished? If so....any suggestions? Thanks.


  • 2.  RE:Baroque "Messiah" embellishments?

    Posted 10-06-2011 07:32
    Short answer - Yes - if the "maestro" approves, so you can keep the job for next year.

    Check out Harms Historical Percussion on the internet. There are other resources for Baroque Timpanists and some fun videos on You Tube with players freely embellishing. You might also use the Philidor Brothers "March" duet as a guide for embellishing in the style.

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    John R. Beck
    PAS - President Elect
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