What is the order of events in a typical Bach chorale cantata?

1st stanza

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3rd: duet

4: 2nd

6: duet

7: hymella (?)

–> structure is symmetrical, chiasm/chastic

What was the typical Bach cantata based on?
A chorale tune.
Give an example of a Bach cantata
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
What is Christ’s halo?
He’s accompanied by Strings!
What is secco recit?
Dry accompaniment, long held notes in the bass, quarter notes at cadences. Musical cadences are the syntactical cadences.
What is the last movement of a chorale cantata?
A harmonization of the hymn, unadorned.
How was the world changing in Bach’s lifetime? How did he relate to all of this?
It was changing from the old world to the enlightenment/galant period. Bach, himself, would have been viewed as pretty old-fashioned, because he was a master of the old style, but didn’t really write in galant-style.
How would Bach’s music have been perceived by contemporaries in the 1730s and 40s?
His devotion to complex counterpoint, etc. would have seemed stuffy and academic.
What did Scheibe think of Bach’s music
Bach’s music isn’t agreeable enough, he takes away the natural element of music by giving it too much complication. His pieces are difficult to play! Every ornament and every little grace he expresses completely in notes. His music is turgid and bombastic.
Who discovered Bach again in the 19th century and when?
Mendelssohn in 1829.
When were the Bach complete works published? What’s their name?
They’re called the Bach Gesellschaft, and were published between 1850 and 1900.
What is the A section called in a bar form hymn?
What is the most important category in which Bach composes?
Music as a Lutheran symbol.
What is the B section called in a bar form hymn?
Is structure in Bach primarily theological or musical?
Both! Gotcha!
Where do we find chorales in Bach?
Chorale cantatas, passions, oratorios, chorale preludes (organ elaborations of various kinds for organs)
What is the passion chorale?
A chorale used five times over the course of the St. Matthew Passion.
What is the general momentum of high baroque music?
“How do I keep the idea going until we snip the thread?”
How would you describe form in Bach dance suite movements?
Filling out his pre-crafted grids for what the form should be for that kind of dance.
When was the era of the baroque sonata and concerto?
What does the baroque sonata and concerto indicate about Italy?
Their national importance and pre-eminance in this period.
Where does the baroque sonata or concerto fall in the battle between instrumental music and vocal music?
Music without text, with no need to explain or justify it; instrumental music for its own sake
When did the Italian virtuoso violin tradition begin?
Around 1670
Who were the classic violin makers and where did they come from?
Amati (Cromona) and his pupil Stradivari (Cromona), Guarneri (Mantua)
What forms are related to the baroque sonata and concerto?
Multi-movement works, dance forms, and preludes.
What is the form of the instrumental canzona?
Multi-sectional, but in one movement.
For what instrumental group is the instrumental canzona written?
Either for keyboard alone or small ensemble
What piece have we listened to that is functionally similar to the instrumental canzona?
Purcell Fantasia for Viols (1680)
Were the instrumental canzone imitative?
Mos’ def.
What is an example of the ensemble canzonas?

  • Fourth Sonata (Canzona) in g minor by Cazzati (?)
    • Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars in a minor canon
    • Contrasting sections
    • Sections separated by cadences
    • Change in tempo from fast to slow and then slow again
    • -> basically it’s a piece of music

Where does the idea of a multi-movement structure come from?

  • Dance suite
  • Instrumental canzona/sonata/early concerto
  • 1650s-60s

Name a few important composers of Harpsichord music in the 17th century.
Frescobaldi, Froberger, Couperin (Tombeau de Monsieur de Blan Crocher: startling intervals in bass, abrupt contrasts, for example the “plus viste” at m. 15.), d’Anglebert (exemplifies late style)
Name a really important viol composer of the 17th century.
Jean de Sainte-Colombe (188 solo pieces, therefore 3.76x as good as Hotman; mostly dance suites, such as Le Tendre, which contrasts loud and soft)
Name some 17th century composers of the German keyboard chorale.
Bach, Tunder (Komm heiliger Geist, herr Gott), Frescobaldi and Froberger
Name the major 17th century violin-makers and the cities they hailed from.
Amati, Guarneri, Stradivari and Bergonzi in Cremona; Goffriller in Venice; Grancino and Testore in Milan; and Tononi in Bologna.
Name a string piece by Cazzati that’s important.
Fourth Sonata (Canzona) in g minor by Cazzati
What were Corelli’s 6 opuses? Bold one with a nice example of sequences in #2, 2nd movement?

  • Opus 1: 12 trio sonatas
  • Opus 2: 12 sonatas for two violins and violone or harpsichord
  • Opus 3: 12 sonatas for two violins, violone/archlute, and organ continuo
  • Opus 4: 12 sonatas for two violins, and violone or harpsichord
  • Opus 5: 12 sonatas for violin and violone or harpsichord
  • Opus 6: 12 concerti grossi for two violines and violoncello in the concertino group and two violins, viola and basso

What was the first example of a large instrumental ensemble playing together (other than ritornelli, etc., you smart-ass)
The concerto grosso.
Name a composer who wrote Bolognese trumpet sonatas
Cazzati, e.g. Allegro from Sonata 11, La Bianchina
Name a famous composer of a solo violin concerto and a famous piece by him.
Vivaldi. Violin concerto Opus 3, no. 3
Describe/name the 12 parts of the masque

  • 1. A procession of minor masquers and/or antimasquers.
  • 2. A speech or dialogue
  • 3. Anti-masque songs and dances
  • 4. Revelation of the fixed scenery of the masque, for example, by drawing aside a curtain, if this was not already done before the first speech
  • 5. A song, ending the antimasque
  • 6. Start of the masque proper with the entry of the grand masquers, dancing or riding on a festival cart, and their descent to the floor
  • 7. Another song
  • 8. The main dance of the masquers
  • 9. A third song
  • 10. Dancing with the spectators of the opposite sex (“revels”)
  • 11. A fourth song.
  • 12. The masquers’ return to the cart or stage and final dance or chorus.
  • (13. A banquet)

Name an early example of a masque and its date.
Brittania triumphans, 1638
Name the year, composer and initial performance venues for Venus and Adonis
1683, John Blow, Court and Josias Priest’s boarding school.
Name two early operas that are really related.
Venus and Adonis and Dido and Aeneas
What content is similar between the famous Purcell and Blow operas?
Three-act format
Theme of the woman abandoned
Use of the chorus for a variety of roles
Inclusion of dances
Use of an arioso version of Restoration recitative
What musical content is similar between the famous Purcell and Blow operas?

  • Earliest surviving all-sung English stage work
  • French Overtures (moreso the Purcell, I guess)
  • Dance airs in the French style
  • Multiple uses of choruses
  • Laments: Blow does not have a ground bass, Purcell obviously does.

Tell me about what makes Dido’s lament feel like a lament.

  • Opening recit: descending tetrachord used as both 8-7-6-5 and then as 5-4-3-2 (SO COOL)
  • Five-bar descending tetrachord, instead of 4-bar, so it’s offset
    • “Creating a kind of crazed, strained asymmetry” –Hepo
    • Repeated 11 times throughout the aria.
  • Slow recitative style
  • She almost never cadences at the same as the bass
    • Does this make it fortspinnung?!
      • No.
        • Just no.
    • She isn’t laid in Earth until she and her fate (the bass line) cadence at the same time.

Tell me about Dido’s lament’s relationship between text and music.

  • “Laid” of “laid in earth” is descending, and the F# on “Earth” is the lowest pitch. Get it?
  • “Trouble” is set with a descending tritone
  • “Remember me” is set a number of times with a D natural over the descending bass, as though to say that you’re remembering the D natural
  • After the final cadence is over and we’ve finished with the text, we get another “remember me”
  • “Ahhh” is sort of a moaning cry the way it’s set.

What is Orpheus Britannicus?
A collection of songs by Henry Purcell, published posthumously in London in two volumes, the first in 1698 and the second in 1702.
# What is a semi‑opera? How is one different from an opera (such as Dido)? Identify, with dates, three or four that Purcell wrote in the 1690s.
# “The defining features of dramatick opera or English semi-opera are elaborate staging and spoken dialogue in blank verse serving as pretext and framework for several elaborate and extended musical episodes” –Hill
How did French and Italian opera affect English opera
Other than Purcell and Blow and semi-opera, England pretty much didn’t have its own style without France and Italy.
Name two famous castrati and their dates.
Nicolini (1673–1732) and
Farinelli (1705-1782)
Name a few particularly important characteristics of the structural world of opera seria.

  • dominance of star singers
  • catering to upper-class audience [in London, at least]
  • historical/heroic plot subjects
  • no comic characters or subplots)

What is recitativo semplice?
Recitative accompanied by continuo only, forwards dramatic action and plot
What is recitativo accompagnato?
Recitative with orchestral accompaniment; reserved for expression of heightened emotion, contemplation of death, mortality
Tell me some important stuff about Margherita Durastanti.

  • Handel’s main soprano
  • Met her in Italy
    • Essentially all of the soprano parts in the Italian cantatas were written for
  • Brought her to England when he went there
    • She was the main soprano for the operas and oratorios

Describe the differences between Bach and Handel’s career paths.

    • Bach had a series of church jobs all over Germany
    • Moved to Leipzig to run the music for all local churches in 1723
      • Third choice for this job, actually, and it’s the only job he didn’t get through political connections
      • Began to compose more vocal music and stuff that he wouldn’t have had the instrumental muscle to do with his smaller churches, etc.
        • This is when he wrote many of his great works.
    • Handel, on the other hand, worked for a bunch of nobility, which is more in the older style for composition careers
      • Born in Halle, Germany
      • Hamburg (1703–1706)
      • Italian period 1706-1710
        • Wrote lots of cantatas, and a couple operas and two oratorios
        • England after 1710

Tell me about Handel’s Almira.

  • 1705
  • Performed in Italy, 1706–1710
  • Handel’s first opera
  • Mixes Italian and German languages
  • Influenced by opera company director Reinhard Keiser, a foremost composer of German Baroque opera
  • Immediately pre-Italian period
    • Potentially an audition, of sorts, for his Italian positions

Describe Handel’s Italian secular cantatas.

  • “mini-operas” for private “academy” performances.
  • Sort of operatic in themes
  • Generally of the form of two arias, each preceded by a recit; but there are a few that are much longer
  • Overwrought musical textures

Describe Handel’s 1709 opera Agrippina.

  • 1709
  • First “mature” opera
  •  Based on a cantata subject that he had used while he was in Naples. This one was for Venice Carnaval
    • Curiously, no borrowings between the two
  • Opera seria in three acts
    • Starred Durastanti, duh
      • She also starred in the cantata

Talk about the musical and textual ideas in the three assigned arias from Giulio Cesare.

  • Svegliatevi nel core
    • Sung by Sesto (trouser Soprano), who is assuring his mother that he will avenge her death
    • Turbulent bass-line
  • Empio dirò, tu sei
    • Sung by Cesare, who’s bitching out Achilla for killing Pompey
    • Agitated bass
      • Monteverdi much?
  • Tutto può donna vezzosa
    • Sung by Cleopatra, while she’s deceiving Ptolomey
    • Sharp key, deceptive, etc.

Tell me a little about Alessandro Scarlatti.

  • 1660-1725
  • influential composer of opera seria
  • In the service of the Spanish and Portuguese courts
  • Wrote a bunch of keyboard sonatas

What was the name and year of Handel’s first London opera? Tell me about it.

    • Rinaldo, 1711

        • Basically an Italian opera for English tastes
        • Italian style
        • Sort of modeled on the English semi-operas
        • Handel tries to make a name for himself in London
          • E.g. Harpsichord solo in Vo’ Far Guerra

Give two examples of additive forms of music.
The ritornello concerto and the fugue.
Tell me about Tamerlano.

  • Opera in three acts
  • Same year as Giulio Cesare, making this Handel’s greatest year of operatic works in England
  • Forte e lieto a morte andrei
    • Steady, imitative string texture

Tell me about Rodelinda

  • Opera in three acts
  • Nothing shocking in any of the arias, to be totally honest

What was the Second Academy?
Basically a business venture in which Handel and Heidegger, somewhat underwritten by their patrons, put on their own operas using their own (considerable) wealth
Tell me a bit about Orlando

  • Opera seria in three acts
  • No particularly fun arias to mention, though the parallels to Zauberflote are fun.

Tell me the name and date and anything fun about Ariodante.

  • Ariodante (1735)
    • Earthly but mythological love story
    • Opera seria in three acts

Tell me the name and date and anything fun about Alcina.

  • Alcina (1735)
    • Plot taken from Orlando Furioso, as with Orlando and Ariodante
    • Opera seria in three acts

Tell me the name and date and anything fun about Serse.

  • Serse (1738)
    • Ombra mai fù
      • Pastoral imagery recalls early 17th century opera
      • At the same time, text setting and context within the opera predates and sets the path for Beethoven and most of the German lieder tradition

Tell me the name and date and anything else that’s fun about The Beggars’ Opera.

  • The Beggar’s Opera (1728)
    • Libretto by John Gay, music by John Pepusch
    • Popular English-language “ballad opera”
      • English stage opera, fighting against Italian opera
    • public taste begins to turn away from Italian serious opera
    • Composed of a bunch of famous arias strung together with different words.

Tell me about English oratorio.

  • Created by Handel in late 1730s
  • Superficially similar to the earlier Italian oratorio latino
    • But much larger, grander, ceremonious, and in Englis
    • Essentially the same formal types as opera, but with the addition and great importance of the chorus.
  • Famous Handel oratorios
    • Israel in Egypt (1739)
    • Saul (1739)
    • Messiah (1742)
    • Samson (1743)
    • Susanna (1749)
    • Solomon (1749) 

Where did Bach work over the course of his life? When?
1. Weimar (1708-1717)
2. Cothen (1717-1723)
3. Leipzig (1723-1750)