2 Time of experimentation for composers The Early BaroqueTime of experimentation for composersMonody – a type of music written for solo voice and basso continuo that imitated the natural rhythms of impassioned speech. Composed for both sacred and secular texts; in all cases, the single voice part ranges freely and flexibly above the bass.
3 Monteverdi and the First Great Opera First great opera in the history of Western music was Monteverdi’s Orfeo, written in It is based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and EuridiceMonteverdi sets the story to a variety of music, including: madrigal-like choruses, dances and instrumental interludes. He also uses recitative.Recitative – designed to imitate as closely as possible the freedom and expressiveness of speech. It is always sung by one singer with accompanying basso continuo. It is designed to mirror, moment by moment, the emotional state of the singer.
4 Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Orfeo’s recitative, Euridice’s recitative, chorus of nymphs and shepherds, and instrumental ritornello form the opera Orfeo.Composed in 1607 for Tenor and soprano solo, chorus, instrumental ensemble and basso continuo
5 Opera in the Seventeenth Century A distinction arises between the more lyrical part of the recitative and the more conversational.The lyrical and songlike part became known as an aria. They were usually written in set forms (ABA), with a fixed pattern of repetition. They are usually accompanied by the full orchestra.The conversational part kept the old name of recitative. The recitatives were freer in form and quite short. They are usually accompanied by basso continuo
6 English Civil WarAt this time in England, there was a civil war ( ). It ended with the beheading of the constitutional monarch, Charles I.Puritan Oliver Cromwell rose to power. While in power, most musical positions were abolished, and theaters and opera houses were closed.In 1660, the son of Charles I returned from exile in France and assumed the throne as Charles II. His return was known as the restoration and brought a rebirth of musical life in England
7 Henry Purcell and English Opera English, lived fromOrganist at Westminster Abbey in LondonComposed a large amount of vocal and instrumental music, including sacred music for the Anglican church, secular songs and cantatas, and chamber music for various combinations of instruments, as well as solo harpsichord music.He is best known for his short opera called Dido and Aeneas, written in 1689
8 Based on a portion of the epic Roman poem, the Aeneid of Virgil. Dido and AeneasBased on a portion of the epic Roman poem, the Aeneid of Virgil.Three acts with arias, recitatives, choruses, dances, and instrumental interludes.Composed for four principal singers and a very small orchestra of strings and harpsichord.