Musicology: 18th Century

The outline that you find below has been a very helpful study guide to assist students using the book A History of Western Music. I strongly recommend this book. With its contents, art work, and media, it's just gorgeous!

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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

  1. Background
    1. Student of Legrenzi
    2. Became a priest in 1703
      1. Eventually devotes himself entirely to music
      2. Known as 'il prete rosso' (the redheaded priest
    3. 1703-1740: employed at the Pio Ospedale della Pieta
      1. Residential shelter and school for girls in Venice
      2. Served as conductor, composer and teacher
      3. Musical training was a standard part of the curriculum
        1. Concerts were frequently given
  2. Cultural Attitudes
    1. No standing repertory of music, new music was constantly composed
    2. 18th c. composers were typically prodigious and wrote very quickly
      1. Tito Manlio
        1. Vivaldi opera said to have been completed in 5 days
      2. Vivaldi prided himself on being able to compose a concerto faster than a copyist could copy the parts
    3. Occasional music
      1. Vivaldi rec'd 49 opera commissions from Venice, Florence, Verona, Rome, Vienna, and elsewhere
      2. 500 concertos, many composed for foreign patrons
      3. 90 trio sonatas
  3. Vivaldi's Vocal works
    1. Known mainly as an instrumental composer (remember Corelli)
      1. Only works publ. during lifetime were instrumental
        1. 40 sonatas
        2. 100 concertos
    2. Vocal genres
      1. Opera
      2. Cantata
      3. Motet
      4. Oratorio
    3. Opera
      1. Contemporaries whose operas were produced in Venice
        1. Scarlatti
        2. Lotti
        3. Francesco Gasparini (1668-1727)
        4. Albinoni
        5. C.F. Pollarolo (1653-1722)
        6. Caldara
        7. Handel
      2. Vivaldi as successful opera composer (1713-1739)
        1. Most performed composer in Venice during this period
  4. Vivaldi's Concertos
    1. Opus 3 (1712)
      1. Vivaldi's first publ. collection of concertos
      2. Demonstrates new techniques
        1. Distinct musical forms
        2. Vigorous rhythm
        3. Idiomatic solo writing (not unlike Torelli and Albinoni)
    2. Most of Vivaldi's concertos are for one solo instrument
      1. Usually violin
      2. Sometimes cello, flute or bassoon
      3. Concertos for two violins: each instrument treated equally
    3. Vivaldi's Orchestra at the Pieta
      1. Consisted of 20-25 stringed instruments
      2. Harpsichord or organ for the continuo
      3. Often augments string orchestra with flutes, oboes, bassoons or horns
    4. Opus 8 'The Seasons' (1725)
      1. Set of 4 concertos
      2. Demonstrates Vivaldi's use of sonority in concertato medium
    5. Formal elements
      1. Movement scheme
        1. 3 movements
          1. Allegro
          2. Slow mov't in same key, relative major, dominant or subdominant
          3. Allegro (shorter and sprighlier than the first)
      2. Texture is typically homophonic rather than contrapuntal
        1. Emphasis on outer 2 voices
        2. Occasional use of the older fugal-contrapuntal texture
      3. Formal scheme
        1. Ritornello-form similar to Torelli
          1. Ritornellos for full orchestra
          2. Alternating with episodes for the soloist
        2. Vivaldi's forms are more delineated than Torelli
          1. Textures are more varied
          2. Solo sections are more differentiated
      4. Slow mov't becomes more significant in Vivaldi's concertos
        1. Use of cantabile melody
    6. Sinfonias
      1. Vivaldi writes 23 of these
      2. Terminology is imprecise, but is a kind of forerunner to the Classic symphony
  5. Vivaldi's Influence
    1. Equal to that of Corelli a generation earlier
    2. Orchestral scoring was revolutionary
      1. Dramatic conception of the role of the soloist was developed in the Classical concerto
      2. Concise themes
      3. Clarity of form
      4. Rythmic vitality
    3. Bach's transcriptions of Vivaldi
      1. Bach arranged 10 Vivaldi concertos
        1. 6 for harpsichord
        2. 3 for organ
        3. 1 for harpsichord and string orchestra

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)

  1. Background
    1. Foremost French musician of the 18th c.
    2. Practically unknown until the age of 40, he gained fame first as a theorist, later as a composer
    3. Most important compositions written in the 1630s
    4. Personal history
      1. 1706: publ. book of clavecin pieces in Paris
      2. 1709: becomes organist at Notre Dame in Dijon
      3. 1713: becomes organist in Lyons
      4. 1722: Traite de l'harmonie, his famous treatise publ. Paris
      5. Rameau regarded as a philosophe (intellectual)
        1. Critics attacked his compositions as being too 'learned'
    5. La Poupliniere (1693-1762)
      1. Leading patron of music in France
        1. His salon was a gethering place for a motley group of aristocrats, literary figures (Voltaire and Rousseau), painters (Van Loo and La Tour), adventures (Casanova) and musicians.
      2. Rameau meets him in 1731
      3. Maintained a standing orchestra of 14 players at his Paris chateau
        1. Held weekly concerts on Saturday
        2. Conducted mass on Sunday
        3. Sunday evening concerts
        4. Many orchestral concerts of Paris were played first at Poupliniere's chateau before opening for the public
      4. Rameau becomes La Poupliniere's organist, conductor and composer-in residence from 1731-1753
        1. Composed and prepared music for weekly concerts and church
        2. Also for various occasions: balls, plays, festivals, dinners, ballets
        3. Gave clavecin lessons to Mme. La Poupliniere
    6. Rameau's opera output
      1. La Poupliniere furnishes Rameau with librettists
      2. Operas
        1. 1733: Hippolyte et Aricie (libretto by Pellegrin)
        2. 1735: Les Indes galantes (an opera-ballet)
        3. 1737: Castor et Pollux (Rameau's masterpiece)
        4. 1739: Les Fetes d'Hebe ou les Talents lyriques (opera-ballet) Dardanus (opera)
        5. 1745: La Princesse de Navarre
          1. Successful comedy-ballet
          2. Perf. at Versailles
          3. King rewarded Rameau handsomely, paying for publ. of the work and giving Rameau and annual pension
      3. Rameau-Lully Opera controversy
        1. Rameau's first operas stirred up a storm of critical controversy
        2. 'Lullists'
          1. Believed Rameau was subverting the old French opera tradition of Lully
          2. They found Rameau's music abstruse, forced, difficult, mechanical and unnatural
        3. 'Ramists'
          1. Those who supported Rameau
      4. War of the Buffonists
        1. Another critical controversy of the 1750s
        2. Debated relative merits of French vs. Italian music
        3. Rameau was regarded as the champion of French music
        4. Rousseau
          1. Critic of French music
          2. wrote articles on music in Diderot's 'Encyclopedie'
  2. Rameau's Theoretical Works
    1. Elements of Rameau's theory
      1. Considered the chord (triad) as the primal element in music
      2. Major triad was naturally generated from string divisions and overtone series
        1. Had difficulty accounting for minor triad based on nature
        2. Established the so-called melodic minor scale
        3. Recognized the identity of a chord through all its inversions
      3. Basse fondamentale: root progressions in a succession of harmonies
    2. Tonic harmony
      1. Established basic chords as pillars of harmony (functional harmony)
        1. Tonic
        2. Dominant
        3. Subdominant
      2. Modulation
        1. Modulation results from change in function of a chord
        2. Modern terminology: pivot chord
      3. Believed melody was derived harmonically
      4. Believed individual keys had specific qualities
    3. Jean Le Rond d'Alembert (1717-1783)
      1. French encylopedist
      2. Publ. a compedium of Rameau's theory in 1752
  3. Rameau's Musical Style
    1. Opera in the period following Lully
      1. Tended towards spectacle:
        1. Scenary
        2. Ballet
      2. Dramatic elements deteriorated
        1. Opera-ballet was essentially a large-scale ballet with a dramatic pretence
        2. Even tragedie-lyrique is affected by dramatic decline
    2. Les Indes galantes
      1. Rameau's 'heroic ballet'
      2. Opera-ballet
        1. Divided into four acts
        2. Each act has a self-contained plot which takes place in a different part of the world
          1. 'The Generous Turk'
            1. Plot is similar to Mozart's 'Abductin' singspiel
          2. 'The Incas of Peru'
          3. 'The Flowers, a Persian Festival'
          4. 'The Savages' (setting: a forest of America)
    3. Influence of Lully on Rameau
      1. Rameau's music concerned with declamation in recitatives
        1. Both intermingle recit. with more tuneful airs, choruses and inst. interludes
        2. Both follow the tradition of introducing frequent divertissement scenes
        3. Early Rameau operas use same overture form
      2. Rameau's innovations
        1. Melody is rooted in harmony
          1. Many phrases are purely triadic
          2. No uncertainity as to underlying harmony
        2. Tonal progressions and modulations guided by harmony
          1. Primarily diatonic
          2. Chromaticism used for dramatic effect
        3. Form
          1. Late overtures adopt Italian sinfonia (3-mov't) form
          2. Overture becomes a kind of symphonic poem, depicting the course of the drama to follow
        4. Instrumental writing
          1. Most innovative developments occur in this aspect of Rameau's operas
          2. writes 'descriptive', 'pictorial' orchestral music
            1. Hippolyte (Act I): thunder
            2. Les Surprises de l'Amour (Act III): tempest
            3. Les Indes galantes (Act II): earthquake
      3. Vocal airs
        1. Two types
          1. AB (short form)
          2. ABA (Italian da capo aria form)
  4. Non operatic works by Rameau
    1. Clavecin pieces
      1. Nouvelles suites de pieces de clavecin (1728)
        1. Last collection of clavecin pieces
        2. Like Couperin, exploits pictoral elements
        3. Use of virtuous effects similar to Domenico Scarlatti
    2. Instrumental Ensemble music
      1. Pieces de clavecin en concerts (1741)
        1. Rameau's only publication of instrumental ensemble music
        2. Collection of trio sonatas
        3. Harpsichord not treated simply as an accompaniment, but shares equally with the other inst. in presenting and developing thematic material

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

  1. Background
    1. Employment
      1. 1703-1707: organist at Arnstadt
      2. 1707-1708: organist at Muehlhausen
      3. 1708-1717: court organist and concertmaster in the chapel of the duke of Weimar
      4. 1717-1723: music director at Coethen
      5. 1723-1750: cantor of the St.Thomas school and music director in Leipzig
    2. Family
      1. Bach was born to family of musicians
      2. Produced a number of famous musicians from 1560-1800 (6 generations)
      3. J.S. Bach was born in Eisenach
        1. Father was a town musician
        2. Father dies in 1695 and elder brother Johann Christoph (organist and student of Pachelbel) continues his education
      4. Factors conditioning Bach's musical development
        1. Family tradition of craftmanship
        2. Assimilation of styles through studying and copying scores
        3. 18th c. system of patronage (whether by individual, church or municipality)
        4. Religious (Lutheran) conception of the function of art
        5. Genius
    3. Types of compositions
      1. Arnstadt, Muehlhausen and Weimar: organ works
      2. Coethen: secular chamber music: clavier and chamber ensembles
      3. Leipzig
        1. Early years: cantatas
        2. Keyboard and organ music

Bach's Instrumental Music

  1. Organ works
    1. Background
      1. Trained as a youth in the organ and violin
      2. Visited Hamburg as a youth to hear the organists
      3. Journeyed to Luebeck by foot (during his Arnstadt years) to hear Buxtehude
    2. Earliest organ compositions
      1. Chorale preludes
      2. Several sets of variations on chorales (partitas)
      3. Toccatas and fantasias
    3. Italian influence
      1. while at Weimar, Bach became interested in Italian music
      2. Arranged several Vivaldi concertos for organ and harpsichord
        1. Often writing out ornaments
        2. Adding inner voices
        3. Improving the counterpoint
      3. wrote fugues on subjects by Corelli and Legrenzi
      4. Consequences of Bach's Italian studies
        1. More concise themes (esp. in the manner of Vivaldi)
        2. Tighter harmonic schemes
        3. More defined formal structures
          1. Particularly concerto-ritornello forms
  2. Preludes and Fugues
    1. Standard genre of this period
    2. Most of the Preludes and Fugues date from Weimar
      1. Some later works were written at Coethen and Leipzig
    3. Toccata in D min (1708? BWV 565)
      1. Reveals influence of Buxtehude
      2. Fugal sections interspersed with sections of free fantasia
    4. Clavier-Ubung Part III ('Keyboard Practice')
      1. 4 part collection of keyboard works, Part III publ. in 1739
      2. Central portion of Clavier-Ubung is a series of chorale preludes on the hymns of the Lutheran Catechism and Mass
        1. Prelude and Fugue in Eb maj. ('St.Anne's', BWV 552)
          1. In symbolic recognition of the dogma of the Trinity, Bach employs the following:
            1. Triple fugue conclusion
            2. Key signature: 3 flats
            3. 3 sections of the fugue: each has its own subject
  3. Trio Sonatas
    1. BWV 525-530
      1. 6 trio sonatas written at Leipzig fo W.F. Bach
      2. Reveal the way Bach adapted the Italian trio sonata as a piece for a solo performer
  4. Chorale Preludes
    1. Bach wrote approximately 170 chorale settings
    2. Orgelbuechlein (Little Organ Book)
      1. Compilation of short chorale preludes during Weimar and early Cöthen years
      2. Bach planned to include only chorale melodies required for the church year (164)
      3. Bach's inclination towards unified cycle or smaller pieces can be seen throughout his life in a variety of genres:
        1. Orgelbuchlein
        2. The Well-Tempered Clavier
        3. Goldberg Variations
        4. A Musical Offering
        5. The Art of the Fugue
      4. Introduction has notes on 'pedal' technique
        1. Bach treats the pedal as obbligato (essential, not optional)
      5. Bach's 'didactic' collections for family members:
        1. Collections that taught technique and musicianship
        2. Orgelbuechlein composed for W.F. Bach
        3. Other didactic collections
          1. Two-part Inventions
          2. Three-part Sinfonie
          3. The Well-Tempered Clavier (Book I)
          4. Anna Magdalena Notebook
      6. Leipzig chorales
        1. Three collections of organ chorales compiled during this period
        2. 6 Schuebler chorales (BWV 645-650)
          1. Transcriptions of movements from cantatas
        3. BWV 651-668
          1. 18 chorales collected and revised between 1747-1749
          2. All the chorales were composed earlier in his life
          3. Styles of organ chorale settings
            1. Variations
            2. Fugues
            3. Fantasias
            4. Trios
            5. Extended preludes
  5. Harpsichord and Clavichord Music
    1. Same genres as used for organ are represented:
      1. Preludes
      2. Fantasies
      3. Toccatas
      4. Fugues
      5. Dance Suites
      6. Variations
    2. Other genres
      1. Sonatas
      2. Capriccios
      3. Concertos with orchestra
    3. Compositional history
      1. Large portion of the keyboard music was written at Cöthen
      2. Some important works composed during Leipzig period
  6. Toccatas
  7. The Well Tempered Clavier
    1. Part I: completed at Cöthen around 1722
    2. Part II: collected at Leipzig around 1740
      1. Each part consists of 24 preludes and fugues
      2. One prelude and fugue in each of the 12 major and minor keys
      3. Part I is more unified in style than Part II and was composed for didactic purposes
      4. Part II contains compositions from many different periods of Bach's life
  8. Clavier Suites
    1. Three sets of 6 suites
      1. French Suites (original versions in the Clavierbuchlein, Coethen, 1722)
      2. English Suites (composed at Weimar around 1715)
      3. 6 Partitas (1726-1731, collected in 1731 as Clavier-Ubung Part I)
    2. Suites consist of the 4 standard dance movements:
      1. Allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue
      2. Additional short movements are inserted between the sarabande and gigue
      3. Each English suite opens with a prelude
      4. Use of a double in some of the English suites (ornamented repetition of a movement)
  9. Goldberg Variations
    1. Also known as Aria with [30] Different Variations
      1. Published in Nuremberg in 1741
      2. Part of the Clavier-Ubung Part IV
  10. Works for Solo Violin and Cello
    1. 6 sonatas and partitas for solo violin
    2. 6 suites for solo cello
    3. 1 partita for solo flute
    4. all the pieces written during the Coethen period
  11. Ensemble Sonatas
  12. Concertos
    1. Brandenburg Concertos
      1. Composed at Coethen and dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg in 1721
      2. Formal elements
        1. All but no.1 use the Italian 3-movement scheme
          1. Fast-slow-fast
          2. Triadic themes
          3. Steadily driving rhythms
          4. Ritonello forms of the Allegro movements also draw on Italian models
        2. Bach's innovations
          1. Intensified thematic integration
          2. Use of long cadenzas (no.5)
          3. Elaborately developed fugues (no.5)
          4. No.3 & 6 are ripieno concertos (no featured solo inst.)
          5. Nos.1,2,4,5 are concerti grossi (use solo inst. in various combinations against strings and continuo)
    2. Two concertos for solo violin (and one for 2 violins)
    3. Harpsichord concertos
      1. 7 for solo harpsichord
      2. 3 for two harpsichords
      3. 2 for three harpsichords
      4. 1 for four harpsichords (an arrangement of a concerto for 4 violins)
  13. Orchestral Suites
    1. 4 Ouvertures or orchestral suites
      1. written at Coethen and Leipzig
      2. BWV 1068 and 1069 both have trumpets and drum (along with string and winds)
  14. Other works
    1. A Musical Offering
      1. Based on a theme proposed by Frederick the Great of Prussia
      2. Bach improvised on the theme when visiting the monarch in 1747
    2. The Art of the Fugue
      1. Composed 1749 and left unfinished
      2. It is a systematic demonstration and summary of all types of fugal writing
        1. 18 fugues in strict style
        2. All based on the same subject or one of its transformations
        3. Arranged in a general order of increasingly complexity and abstraction

Bach's Vocal Music

  1. Bach at Leipzig
    1. Background
      1. Leipzig as a flourishing commercial city with about 30,000 inhabitants
        1. Noted as a center of printing and publishing
        2. Seat of an acient university
        3. Had a good theater and an opera house (which closed in 1729)
        4. Kuhnau was Bach's predecessor
        5. 5 churches in Leipzig
          1. St.Nicholas
          2. St.Thomas
    2. St.Thomas
      1. School for day and boarding pupils
      2. Provided scholarships for boys who were obliged in return to sing or play in the services of four Leipzig churches
      3. Bach's appointment as cantor
        1. Bach was not first choice of the city council
        2. Telemann and Grapner were offered the position
        3. Bach assumed the post of 'Cantor and Director of Music' in May
      4. Bach's duties
        1. 4 hours of teaching each day (Latin and music)
        2. Music for the church services
      5. Typical music services at St.Thomas Church
        1. Principal service began at 7:00 am (until noon)
        2. Order of the Service
          1. Motet
          2. Lutheran Mass (Kyrie and Gloria only)
          3. Hymns
          4. Cantata
  2. The Church Cantatas
    1. St.Thomas Orchestra
      1. Players and singers recruited partly from the school
      2. Partly composed of town musicians
      3. Also used musicians from the collegium musicum of the university (an extracurricular musical society)
        1. The collegium was founded by Telemann in 1704
        2. Bach became its director in 1729
    2. Church orchestra consisted of (18-24 players):
      1. 2 flutes
      2. 2-3 oboes
      3. 1-2 bassoons
      4. 3 trumpets
      5. Kettledrums
      6. Strings with continuo
    3. Sacred Cantata and Church Liturgy
      1. Subject matter was linked to the content of the Gospel
      2. The Leipzig churches required 58 cantatas each year (plus Passion music for Good Friday, Magnificats at Vespers for three festivals, annual cantata for the installation of the city council, and occasional music for weddings and funerals)
      3. Between 1723-1729 Bach composed four complete annual cycles of cantatas (each with about 60 cantatas)
      4. Bach also composed a fifth cycle during the 1730s and early 1740s, but many of these cantatas have been lost
      5. 200 cantatas have survived
        1. Some written for Leipzig
        2. Some refashioned from earlier works
    4. Cantatas No.4 & No.80
      1. No.4 'Christ lag in Todesbanden'
        1. Uses chorale melodies
        2. Refashioned from an earlier version and sung at Leipzig in 1724
      2. No.80 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott'
        1. Composed in 1715 and later (1723) revised
        2. Opening chorus in D major is a towering fantasia on the melody and words of the first stanza of the chorale
        3. Vocal lines are freely adapted from the chorale tune (each phrase is introduced fugally)
    5. Secular Cantatas
      1. Bach titled these dramma per musica
      2. Coffee Cantata (1734-1735)
        1. Bach uses the new galant style (dominant vocal line, triadic accompaniment)
      3. Peasant Cantata (1742)
    6. Motets
      1. Motet in Leipzig signified a composition for chorus, generally in contrapuntal style without obbligato inst. parts and with a biblical or chorale text
      2. Leipzig motets often used a musical introductions to the service
      3. The Christmas Oratorio
        1. Produced at Leipzig in 1734-35
        2. A set of 6 cantatas for the festivals of the Christmas and Epiphany season
        3. Biblical narratives are presented in recitative
        4. work is essentially an oratorio
  3. The Passions
    1. Culmination of Bach's work as a church musician embodied in the Passions
      1. St.John Passion
      2. St.Matthew Passion
    2. St.Matthew Passion
      1. Orchestration
        1. For double chorus
        2. Soloist
        3. Double orchestra
        4. Two organs
      2. First performed on Good Friday in 1727
      3. Narrated in tenor solo recitative and choruses
      4. 'Passion chorale' appears five times in different keys with four different four-part harmonizations
      5. Text by C.F. Henrici (aka Picander)
        1. Leipzig poet who provided many of Bach's cantata texts
        2. Chorus sometimes participates in action, sometimes as Greek chorus commenting on the events
  4. The Mass in B minor
    1. Mass was not composed as a unified work
      1. Assembled between 1747 and 1749 from previously composed music
      2. Kyrie and Gloria presented in 1733
      3. Sanctus was perf. on Christmas 1724
      4. Other mov't adapted from choruses of cantatas
        1. German text was replaced with Latin
    2. Musical style
      1. Credo is in the stile antico
      2. Et in unum Dominum is in a contrasting modern style

Bach Revival

  1. Background
    1. Bach's music regarded as old-fashioned
    2. New operatic style from Italy was invading German music scene
    3. None of Bach's complete large works were composed between 1752-1800
  2. Bach 'Revival'
    1. J.N. Forkel's biography of 1802
    2. Zelter's revival of the St.Matthew Passion under the direction of Mendelssohn in 1829
    3. Foundation of the Bach Gesellschaft (Bach Society)

Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

  1. Handel's career
    1. Early history
      1. Studied with Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow
      2. Handel learned organ, harpsichord, violin and oboe
      3. Graduated from the University of Halle in 1702
    2. Maturity
      1. Gave up career as cantor to pursue opera
      2. 1703-1706: was at Hamburg (principal center of German opera)
        1. Almira
          1. Handel's first opera
          2. Perf. at the Hamburg opera hous in 1705
      3. 1706-1710: Handel in Italy
        1. Marquis Francesco Ruspoli
          1. Principal patron during this period
          2. Employed Handel as a musician-composer in Rome
        2. Handel meets Corelli, Caldara, the two Scarlattis and Steffani
        3. Chief compositions from this period
          1. Latin motets
          2. An oratorio
          3. Italian cantatas
          4. Agrippina (opera perf. at Venice in 1709)
      4. 1710: musical director at Hanover
    3. Handel in London
      1. 1710-11 Handel journeys to London
      2. 1712: Handel returns to London to settle down
        1. Granted permission to leave for a resonable time by elector of Hanover
        2. Elector becomes King George I of England
      3. English musical taste
        1. Italian opera was in fashion
        2. Royal Academy of Music
          1. 60 noble and wealthy gentlemen organzied in 1718-19 as a joint stock company
          2. Intended to present opera to the London public
          3. Hired Handel and two Italians:
            1. Giovanni Bononcini (1670-1747)
              1. Handel's most serious London rival
            2. Filippo Amadei (1690-1730)
          4. Academy flourishes from 1720-1728
        3. Handel's operas for the Academy
          1. Radamisto (1720)
          2. Ottone (1723)
          3. Giulio Cesare (1724)
          4. Rodelinda (1725)
          5. Admento (1727)
        4. Decline of the Academy
          1. The Beggar's Opera
            1. Popular success in 1728 pointed to the fact that English audiences were tiring of Italian opera
          2. 1729 the Academy folds, Handel takes over the theater in the dual role of composer and entrepeneur
          3. Opera of Nobility
            1. A competing organization
            2. Featured:
              1. Nicola Porpora (1686-1768)
                1. Neapolitan composer
              2. The highest priced singers in Europe
          4. Competition divided the London public so that by 1737 both organizations were bankrupt
        5. Handel's 1730s operas
          1. Orlando (1733)
          2. Alcina (1735)
          3. Serse (1738)
          4. Deidamia (1741)
      4. Oratorios
        1. Handel turns to oratorio after the 1738-39 season
        2. Saul (1739)
          1. Novel orchestration
            1. 3 trombones
            2. Carillon
            3. Double-bass kettledrums
        3. Messiah (1741)
          1. Commissioned by Dublin
          2. Success of Messiah committed Handel to the oratorio
            1. It was cheaper to produce than opera
            2. Oratorio was popular with the middle-class
        4. Handel writes 26 English oratorios
          1. Semele (1744)
          2. Judas Maccabaeus (1747)
          3. Jeptha (1752)
  2. The Suites and the Sonatas
    1. Handel's keyboard works include:
      1. 3 sets of concertos for harpsichord or organ
      2. 2 collections of suites for harpsichord
      3. Miscellaneous pieces
    2. The Harmonious Blacksmith (19th c. title)
      1. Set of variations
  3. The Concertos
    1. Two orchestral suites
      1. Water Music (1717)
      2. Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749)
    2. Concertos
      1. 6 concertos for woodwinds and strings
      2. 12 Grand Concertos (Op.6, 1739)
      3. Musical style
        1. Essentially a sonata da chiesa for full orchestra
          1. Conventional slow-fast-slow-fast scheme
          2. One Allegro is fugal
  4. Oratorios
    1. English oratorios constitute a new genre quite different from the Italian oratorio
    2. 18th c. Italian oratorio
      1. Essentially an opera based on a sacred subject
      2. Presented in concert rather than on stage
      3. Handel writes early oratorio in Italian style: La ressurezione (1708)
    3. English oratorio
      1. Designed for middle-class audiences
      2. Subject matter
        1. Classical mythology and ancient history associated with aristocratic audiences
        2. Handel uses biblical stories for middle-class audiences
        3. Uses English rather than Latin or Italian
        4. Oratorio with biblical topics
          1. Saul
          2. Israel in Egypt
          3. Judas Maccabaeus
          4. Joshua
  5. Handel's Choral Style
    1. Monumental quality
      1. Uses simpler textures than Bach
      2. Creates grandiose effect
    2. Texture
      1. Alternates fugal sections with solid bocks of harmony
      2. Scores for fullness of choral sound
      3. All four parts brought together tightly, basses and tenors high, sopranos and altos in middle register
  6. Handel's Borrowings
    1. Handel often borrows from earlier works or other composers
    2. Israel in Egypt
      1. 3 duets and 11 of 28 choruses are taken in whole or in part from the music of others, 4 choruses are taken from earlier Handel works
    3. Borrowing, transcribing, adapting, parodying were universally accepted practices
  7. Summary
    1. Composed for the public
      1. was a much more popular composer than Bach
      2. Musical style was correspondingly simpler (less contrapuntal)
    2. Oratorios written for middle-class audiences

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