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Chapter 9 Baroque Instrumental Music

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1 Chapter 9 Baroque Instrumental Music
Concerto and Concerto Grosso: Bach

2 Key Terms Concerto Concerto grosso Concertare Movement Ritornello form

3 Concerto and Concerto Grosso
The most important orchestral genres of the Baroque era Latin concertare = to contend Concerto signifies a contest between— Soloist & orchestra (concerto) Group of soloists & orchestra (concerto grosso) Virtuoso brilliance of solos & orchestra’s power, stability

4 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Came from family of musicians Early positions as church organist Soon took prestigious court positions 1723–Cantor & Director musices, Leipzig Prolific–wrote in almost every late Baroque genre except opera Lutheran church music–cantatas, passions Organ music–fugues, chorale preludes Keyboard music–Well-Tempered Clavier, suites Orchestral music–concertos, suites

5 J.S. Bach

6 Bach’s church in Leipzig

7 Baroque Orchestra


9 The Concerto Grosso Concerto for a group of solo instruments & orchestra Otherwise similar to solo concerto Three movements: Fast–Slow–Fast Ritornello form often used in fast movements Emphasis on contrast (contest) between soloists & orchestra

10 Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos
Set of six concertos written before 1721 Beautiful manuscript copy sent as gift to the Margrave of Brandenburg Bach may have been looking for a job Each concerto uses different group of solo instruments–often unusual combinations Often dazzling tone colors Imaginative contrasts between soloists & orchestra

11 Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5
For three solo instruments–flute, violin, & harpsichord–and orchestra Some soloists do double duty— Solo violin also leads orchestra in ritornellos Harpsichord also provides continuo chords Uses standard three-movement format I – Fast; II – Slow; III – Fast 1st movement in ritornello form 2nd movement uses reduced instrumentation: only soloists & continuo

12 Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, I (1)
Allegro movement in ritornello form Extended movement–nearly ten minutes To sustain interest, Bach introduces progressively more dramatic contrasts Bright, vivacious ritornello theme Homophonic feel–dominated by melody Complete theme used only at beginning & end

13 Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, I (2)
Bright, vivacious ritornello theme (cont.) Divides into three subsections (a, b, c) Complex, irregular rhythms, melodic contour, & phrase lengths (especially b & c)

14 Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, I (2)
Solo episodes provide contrast These sections feature the three solo instruments with continuo accompaniment Solo sections use rich, imitative polyphony Progressively more dramatic contrasts (especially central solo & cadenza) Many concertos feature a cadenza Cadenza = improvised passage for soloist Typically used near end of 1st movement A cadenza this long was unusual in 1721

15 Conclusions Concerto the most significant Baroque orchestral genre
Usually feature one or more soloists Contest between soloist(s) & orchestra Three movements, Fast–Slow–Fast Differ in tempo, mood, key or mode, & form Fast movements often use ritornello form Bach’s music is more sophisticated & complex than Vivaldi’s

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