The Baroque Spirit
The Baroque Spirit1600-1750Baroque derived from Portuguese barroco pearl of irregular shapePeriod of change and adventureRise of the Middle Class Wealth, PowerEvolution of pomp and splendor of Art, elaborative decoration and grandeurAbsolute Monarchy GovernmentCourts employed opera troupes, chapel choirs and orchestrasOperas were a favorite
The Baroque SpiritMiddle Class music at home, the church and at the university.Rise of the Collegium MusicumReligion profound interest among people. Protestants and Catholics dominated.MonodyMonody: new style featuring solo song with instrumental accompanimentMonody was promoted by the Florentine Camerata:Group of writers and musicians who sought to resurrect musical-dramatic art of ancient GreeceStile Rappresentivo Representative StyleMusic job is to heighten the meaning of the textMusic written in this way consisted of melody that moved freely over a foundation of chordsMonody focused on text and its emotional power
New Harmonic StructuresBasic harmonies were understood and not fully notatedFigured bass: shorthand notation for harmonyChords created throughimprovisationBasso continuo: bass part, performed by 2 instrumentsChordal instrument (lute, keyboard, etc.) and bass instrumentMajor-minor tonality system is establishedEqual temperament: a tuning system that allows instruments to play in all keys is developedJ. S. Bach'sThe Well-Tempered Clavier(2 vols.), each containing 24 preludes and fugues, demonstrates the 12 major and minor keys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePdic5HLb-U&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=activeFigured Bass Example
ElementsRenaissance BaroqueHarmony * Triadic, based on Medieval * Triadic, based on major/minor tonalitymodes * Consonance prominent * Dissonance a fundamental part of chordsSound * Equal voices * Basso continuo accompaniment * Like instruments (consorts) * Wide variety of instrumental colors * Voices or instruments alone * Free mix of voices and instruments * Instrumentation up to perf. * Instrumentation defined by composer * Single dynamic level * Dynamic contrasts (terraced)ElementsRenaissance BaroqueMelody * Simple melodies * Ornate melodies * Mostly stepwise* Dramatic leaps commonRhythm * Consistent rhythms * Wider variety of rhythms * Slow underlying pulse* Faster, more regular pulse * Consistent tempos* Varied tempos between movements * Often based on text* Often based on dance rhythmsElementsRenaissance BaroqueTexture * Imitative or homophonic * Polyphonic/HomophonicForm * Based on text * New abstract forms or dance forms (Binary and Ternary) based on repetitionThe Rise of the Virtuoso MusicianInstrument builders improved and refined instrumentsComposers challenged the performers with music that was demandingDomenico ScarlattiAntonio VivaldiRise of virtuosity was both instrumental and vocalCastrato:a male singer who was castrated in boyhood to retain soprano or alto vocal rangeCountertenororfalsettist:"natural" high male voicePerformers improvised beyond what was written in the music score
George Frederic Handel16851750
Born in GermanyStudied and composed in ItalySuccess brought him to London Royal Academy of MusicProlific composer of Italianopera seriaJulius CaesarAfteropera seriafell out of vogue, composed oratoriosIsrael in Egypt, Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Jephtha
Handel's MusicTended toward diatonic harmoniesTone color used for atmosphere and expressionWrote more than 40 operasExpanded the role of the chorusProlific composer of instrumental musicOrchestral suitesWater MusicMusic for the Royal Fireworks
Messiah - BackgroundMessiah SaviourSon of God (Christian, Islam)Christians believe the Messiah prophecies were fulfilled in the mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus and that Jesus willreturn to fulfill the rest of Messiah prophecy.Messiah - OratorioTheoratoriois a large-scale dramatic genre with a religious or biblical text performed by solo voices, chorus, and orchestra; it is not staged or costumed.George Frederic Handel was known for his Italian operas and, later in life, his English-texted oratorios (includingMessiah).Messiahis an oratorio in three parts: it opens with aFrench overtureand features recitatives (secco(syllabic)andaccompagnato (melissmatic), lyrical arias, and majestic choruses, including the famous "Hallelujah Chorus."The text forMessiahis drawn from a compilation of Old and New Testament verses.
Handel:MessiahPremiered in Dublin in 1742Libretto: compilation of Old and New TestamentSmall orchestra size 9violins, 3 violas, 4 celli, 3 dbass, 2 trumpets, 2 oboes, timpani, basso continuo (harpsichord, organ, cello, db, bassoon)In three parts:I: ChristmasOverture in two sections (based onFrench overture slow then fast):A: slow introduction, tempo isgrave(slow, solemn, with dotted rhythms)B: Allegro in imitative style, returns tograveRecitative: bothseccoandaccompagnatoChorus selections contrasts homophony and counterpointSoprano aria "Rejoice greatly" (da capo aria to the top)II: Easter"Hallelujah Chorus" remains a popular pieceBuilt on contrasting textures: homophony/imitationIII: Redemption of the world through faith
Messiah Factstext compiled by Charles Jessenfrom theKing James Biblestructure resembles that of conventional opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech.a commentary on Jesus Christs Nativity, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension", beginning with God's promises as spoken by the prophets and ending with Christ's glorification in heaventhe singers inMessiahdo not assume dramatic rolesMessiah StoryPart I, the Messiah's coming and the Virgin Maryare predicted by theOld Testament prophets.Part II coversChrists Passion and his death, hisResurrection andAscension, the first spreading of the Gospelthrough the world, and a definitive statement of God's glory summarized in the "HallelujahPart III begins with the promise of Redemption, followed by a prediction of the Day of Judgment and the "general Resurrection", ending with the final victory over sin and death and the acclamation of ChrisBaroque OperaThe most important new genre of the Baroque era was opera, a large-scale music drama that combines poetry, acting, scenery, and costumes with singing and instrumental music.The principal components of opera include the orchestral overture, solo arias (lyrical songs) and recitatives (speechlike declamations of the text), and ensemble numbers, including choruses. The librettist writes the text of the opera.Baroque Opera ComposersThe early Baroque master Claudio Monteverdi wrote the operas Orfeo, based on mythology, and The Coronation of Poppea, based on Roman history. Monteverdi helped establish the love duet as a central component of opera.The English composer Henry Purcell wrote Dido and Aeneas, based on The Aeneid, a Roman epic by Virgil.George Frideric Handel is known for his opera seria (serious Italian opera), dramatic works that treat heroic or tragic subjects.
Monteverdi Opera FeaturesStile concitato (agitated style) expressed hidden tremors of the soultremolo, pizzicato The text should be the master of the musicnot the servantUse of dissonance and instrumental color to create drama, expressiveness, atmosphere and suspenseCombined with polyphonic writing, Monteverdi melded these elements into an expressive art form rooted in human emotions. Coronation of Poppea 1664 Late work from Venetian PeriodOut of the palace to the opera houseCast emperors to common folk (appeal) to the masses)Imitative declamatory duetSinfonia Instrumental piece (transition)A B B A FormGround Bass four note repeated bass lineExtensive use of Word PaintingMelissmas on Pur tannodo (I enchain you)Dissonances on peno (grieving), moro (sorrow)
Dido and Aeneas Henry PurcellPurcell - 1659-1695Tragedy - a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.Lament A Tragic opera aria placed before the climax of the plot Orchestra - first violins, second violins, violas and cellos) and a harpsichordKey Structure - Purcell used major keys to evoke happiness and minor keys to evoke sadness.Extensive use of dance, word painting, ground bass and dissonance.The AeneidThe text, and the Purcell opera are alluding to the Roman legend of theAeneid, the story of a Trojan Warrior Aeneas, seeking Italy in order to settle there and secure his son's lineage. Aeneas is blown off course from Sicily, and lands on the shores of Northern Africa, in Carthage, a recently settled city of former Tyrians. Their queen is Dido, with whom Aeneas has a love affair, before departing for Italy and leaving Dido alone. She becomes so distraught that she orders for a large pyre to be placed, on which she plans to impale herself, and be set ablaze so that Aeneas will see from his ship. Thy Hand Belinda & Didos Lament Purcell - AnalysisThe openingrecitativesecco, "Thy hand, Belinda", is accompanied bycontinuoonly. Word paintingis applied on the text "darkness" and "death" which is presented withchromaticism, symbolic of death."Dido's Lament" opens with a descending chromatic line, the ground bass, which is repeated eleven times throughout the aria. Themeteris3/2in thekeyofG minor. Henry Purcell has applied word painting on the words "laid", which is also given a descending chromatic line portraying death and agony, and "Remember me", which is presented in a syllabic text setting and repeated with its last presentation leaping inregisterwith a suddencrescendodisplaying her desperate cry with urgency as she prepares for her fate: death. In one interpretation Dido's relationship with Aeneas is po