Presentation on theme: "BAROQUE ERA 1600-1750. Baroque Literature Shakespeare – Hamlet Cervantes – Don Quixote Milton – Paradise Lost Defoe – Robinson Crusoe Swift – Gulliver’s."— Presentation transcript:
Baroque Opera a French critic, late 1600s said: “Opera is a bizarre affair made up of poetry and music, in which the poet and the musician, each equally obstructed by the other, give themselves no end of trouble to produce a wretched work.” began as a combo of dance scenes, lyrical music and plot based upon courtly love.
Opera was illegal in Rome in the early 1700s. an English critic, 1872: Opera is to be regarded “musically, philosophically, and ethically, as an almost unmixed evil.” How evil is opera??
Baroque Instrumental Music This is the first time that we see instrumental music sharing the same stature as vocal music. For the first time, there was a clear separation of Vocal and Instrumental music
Baroque Instrumental Practice There were no ‘classics’, so contemporary composers were very prolific Virtuosity (music that shows off the technical skills of the performer)
Keyboard Instruments Three main instruments Organ: sacred venues and some home chapels Tracker Action Great, positive, and portative organ Harpsichord: basso continuo for orchestra and dance music. Solo instrument. Strings plucked by a Plectrum. Clavichord: strings struck by hammers made originally from bone. Precursor to the piano.
Innovations Instrument building families Stradivarius, Guarneri, and Amati Strings Cat gut Slightly different playing technique….bowing Woodwinds: mellow sound as opposed to a more brassy sound in modern times.
Innovations Brass Originally a military instrument for signals Without valves Key changes made by inserting longer or shorter crooks in the horn.
Violin, 1693 Made by Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) Cremona, Italy
Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
The Life of J.S. Bach Born in Eisenach, Germany, which was also the birthplace of Martin Luther. Bach’s family supplied musicians (agents) The Bach family was made up of more than 70 composers and performers in Germany from the 16th to the early 19th centuries. Orphaned at age of 10, raised by his older brother. Brother was an organist and Bach’s first music teacher (family apprenticeship)
Bach’s Signature J.S.Bach (musical) cross. Bach signed himself with a single note (using 4 different pitches) BB: Left staff (treble clef)clef AA: Upper staff (tenor clef) CC: Right staff (alto clef) HH: Lower staff (treble clef)
Bach’s Work Church Musician Write music for services Play organ Teach choirs Teach soloists Conduct orchestra, choirs Court Musician Wrote music for entertainment Wrote commissioned pieces School teacher Organ teacher Organ construction consultant Composer—sacred & secular music Husband/father
This is a picture of one of the churches in Leipzig where Bach worked. He was responsible for all music in all 4 churches in the town. St. Thomas Church and School
“Since the best man could not be obtained, mediocre ones would have to be accepted.” -Leipzig town council member commenting on the hiring of Bach
In 1707, Bach married his cousin, Maria Barbara. They had 7 children. She died in 1721. The same year, he married Anna Magdalena Wilken, who was a professional singer. They ended up having 13 more children during their marriage. This brings Bach’s total of children to 20!!! It is interesting to see that Bach did not travel much during his lifetime and stayed within a small area of Germany.
Born 1685 1703-1708 1708-1717 1717-1723 1723-1750 Germany Bach’s life and work
By 1748 Bach was nearly blind from cataracts. In March and April of 1750, he was operated on by the English oculist John Taylor. The operations and the treatment that followed them may have hastened Bach's death. Johann Sebastian Bach died on July 28, 1750.
Did you know? Bach shares his birth year with G.F.Handel. Handel also had cataract surgery performed by oculist John Taylor. American composer, Edward MacDowell said, "Bach and Handel were in every way quite different, except that both were born in the same year and killed by the same doctor”.
George Frideric Handel George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
George Fredric Handel born in Halle, Germany Father was a wealthy barber/surgeon that believed that Handel should never enter the music field. Born Georg Friedrich Händel, Handel anglicized the spelling of his name after becoming a British citizen in 1727. Handel never married.
Hanover He traveled to London to stage his opera, which was very well received The next time he went to London, he just stayed He was dismissed by the Elector of Hanover The elector of Hanover, was crowned King George I of England in 1714. Oops!
Handel’s Water Music 1717 An offering to King George I after irritating His Serene Highness. Music for an outing on the Thames river. His former salary (in Hanover) was doubled
Oratorio Baroque vocal piece. Multi-movement First oratorios were sacred operas.
Oratorio Eventually stripped of staging and costumes etc. At the end of the Baroque it was simply a “non-staged event.” Middle and late oratorio used no acting, staging, costumes. -- Concert version. Based upon a biblical story
Messiah (1742) Premiered in Dublin, Ireland. Composed in 24 days. Has been performed every year since its premiere in 1742. Libretto: Biblical verses divided in three parts: Christmas, Easter, Redemption
Concert etiquette for Messiah Why stand at the Hallelujah Chorus. Tradition or Religious significance? King George
the Top 10 (possible) reasons the king was awakened by the loud chords of the beginning of the chorus he was tired of sitting he was hard of hearing and thought they were playing “God Save the King” he had gout and stood for relief he arrived late and all stood when he entered
he had hemorrhoids and stood for relief he had to go to the bathroom he mistook the words “And he shall reign forever and ever” to be a personal tribute he thought the chorus was so splendid that he assumed it marked the end of the show he was actually moved and inspired to stand
Handel’s last years he lost his eyesight during the last years of his life He had the same physician who treated Bach!
Handel buried in Westminster Abbey Note the wrong date on the grave marker.
Handel is the greatest composer who ever lived. I would bare my head and kneel at his grave. - Ludwig Van Beethoven
Antonio Vivaldi: 1678 –1741 Composer in one of four of the most important music schools of Italy (and Europe) Called ‘The Red Priest’ because of his red hair
Vivaldi’s Musical Style Vivaldi is credited for helping to free instrumental style from vocal style. Each piece is used as a teaching tool to create virtuosity in the players of the orphanage and music school. Most famous piece: The Four Seasons