There’s not long to go until we’re joined by Rachel Podger for concerts in Llanelli, Newport and Cardiff, so we thought it’d be a good idea to find out a little bit more about the composers featured in the programme with three quick-fire facts.

JJ Fux

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1. Fux wrote the book on compositional technique, Gradus ad Parnassum, literally translated “Steps to Parnassus” – (Parnassus, the Greek mountain range famous in Greek Mythology for its association with Apollo, God of music and the arts)
2. Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn all learned from his book, holding it in high esteem.
3. He was born in Styria, Austria, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Vivaldi

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1. Nicknamed the Red Priest; probably due to his hair colour (underneath the wig) and his employment with the Church.
2. It is widely believed that he suffered with Asthma throughout his life, though we’re not quite sure how he managed to get hold of a steroid inhaler…
3. In the years after his death, most of Vivaldi’s music was lost. He remained a forgotten man until the 1920s when a lot of it was inadvertently rediscovered in a box!

Telemann

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1. Far from being adversaries, Telemann and Bach were actually great friends. In fact, Telemann was Godfather to J S Bach’s eldest son, C P E Bach.
2. He was a completely self-taught musician and is thought to have written around 3000 works.
3. Like Lord Sugar (Pictured – see what we did there?), Telemann was the one of the great entrepreneurs of his time – known for his relentless acquisition of the biggest jobs.

J S Bach

1. He was a religious man, a family man (father to 20 children), and he also spent some time in a prison cell. To us, Bach sounds a bit like the Johnny Cash of his time!
2. Sadly, J S was orphaned at just 9 years old.
3. Like Vivaldi, Bach’s music was rediscovered years after his death. His saviours? Composers Mendelssohn and Schumann.

Purcell

1. Our ‘Enry wrote a lot of (rather rude) pub songs… we thought it’d better not include them in this blog.
2. His earliest discovered work is his ‘Ode to King Charles’ – written when he was just 11 years old!
3. It is believed that he died either of chocolate poisoning or from hypothermia after being locked out of the house by his wife…